Solving USB3 issues on 2013/14 Macs running Windows 7 \ Boot Camp
April 1, 2014 18 Comments
We run a lot of our Macs with a dual boot setup pushed out with DeployStudio so the machines can double up as standard Windows desktops. This has been working well, coupled with my BootCamp auto installer means the process is near enough fully automated and used the same version of Boot Camp support software across all our hardware. That was until we tried to use it with one of our new machines, a 21.5″, Late 2013 machine.
The first we noticed was message popping up saying that the version of Boot Camp wasn’t supported (188.8.131.52) which we were expecting; what we didn’t expect was the fact the keyboard and mouse didn’t work! Posts on the Apple forums suggested either rebuilding the image from scratch from fresh updated Boot Camp media or using Windows 8 instead.
We didn’t like the sound of either of those so my colleague Tristan Revell started digging and found a few possible causes, in the end he concluded USB3 was the problem after a couple of attempts to get various input devices to work after Windows started up
With that in mind we went back to Apple’s site and looked at the two updated versions of Boot Camp software (5.1.5621 and 5.1.5640). The way the download page is worded actually sends you off to the wrong version unless you read it very carefully!
Note to Apple, just put a list of supported machines on each page rather than telling us which ones it doesn’t work with… much easier to read that way (imo).
Upon inspecting the 5.1.5640 package we spotted some interesting driver files in the $WinPE$ folder which looked very much like USB controller drivers. At that point we booted up the OS X side of the dual boot and enabled NTFS write support on the Windows drive.
We then replaced the old version of the Boot Camp support files (make sure you extract all folders from the ZIP file or the installer will moan) then copied the suspected USB3 drivers to C:\Windows\inf which meant if the files were correct they’d get automatically installed by Windows as sysprep completes. We also placed the contents of HCSwitch into the inf folder as well just to be sure.
Once that was done we rebooted et voila, keyboard and mouse now working as expected and Device Manager reported Intel (R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller which confirmed our suspicions. The Boot Camp installer completed successfully with all drivers present and correct 🙂