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Finally: Windows 8 RTM on a MacBook Air under BootCamp with Unsigned Drivers

disclaimer: this worked on my machine.  It might not on yours, so if you brick it, don’t blame me.

In a couple of previous posts, I talked about my somewhat entertaining (if you are easily entertained) attempts to get Windows 8 RC to run under BootCamp without issue, and with all of the software and hardware that I require to use it as my full time machine, which essentially boiled down to getting the touchpad to work with secondary click, etc., FaceTime support, and the ability to use my Clear 4G USB stick when out at client sites, or travelling, etc.

A few things have changed since then.  Obviously, Windows 8 went from RC to RTM.  Also, although they aren’t officially Windows 8 drivers, Clear did update the drivers at the end of July (though I can’t really find a change doc to see what they fixed). 

So, with all of that, the process has been much easier (you can upgrade a base Windows 7 install to Windows 8, run the BootCamp driver setup program, and everything is recognized straight away, except (I just noticed), some HD audio device), and I can finally use my Clear services (not just once, but after a reboot as well).

There were two main steps that I performed:

1) Do something from an admin command prompt to disable the signed device check (again, this works on my machine, if you try it on yours and a kitten dies, it’s not my fault).  From the older forum thread found here, davehc taught us well:

The program might be just simply unable to run in Windows 8 at present. But you can disable the driver signing and try again:
Open a Command Prompt (Run as Administrator).
On the command prompt type BCDEDIT –Set LoadOptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS and enter.
A message will say "Command successful"
Now type BCDEDIT –Set TESTSIGNING ON.
If, for any reason, you want to change back to the default, repeat the steps but with the commands
BCDEDIT –Set LoadOptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS and
BCDEDIT –Set TESTSIGNING ON
Restart the computer.

Once you restart the computer, in the lower right, it will tell you that Windows 8 is running in test mode.  I don’t know what that is or what that means and am currently too lazy to Google it, so knock yourself out.

Afterwards, I right-clicked on the Clear install package and chose the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” option, which determined it needed to be run under Windows XP Service Pack 3 mode, and ran it did.  I then chose to run the connection manager itself under that mode, and voila.  It worked.

Then I rebooted.  And it still worked.

Almost makes me want to go out and get one of the new 8 GB MacBook Air machines.

posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:21 PM Print
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