Windows 8 on Macbook freezes due to Broadcom wifi driver: a solution?

I am writing this article in the hope that this will help someone else. I have a white 2009 Macbook (version 6,1 -- if you want to know what's yours, refer to this list http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1635) So here's the thing. I just installed Windows 8 on my macbook, via Boot camp. Unfortunately, even after installing the most recent available drivers (from Bootcamp 4, since Bootcamp 5 doesn't support my Macbook version), my computer freezes at random times.

After reading about a lot of similar problems on the web, this blog post seemed to best describe the issue I was personally encountering. Indeed: if I disable the Broadcom wifi adapter, the freezes no longer occur.  So yes, it seems the problem comes from the Broadcom wifi driver. It seems that I was able to solve the problem after looking at numerous solutions on the web. I followed all the instructions on this blog article but it did not solve the freezing problem. So I took additional steps.

Before reading my solution, you should know that I initially had the 32 bit version of Windows 8 professional. I quickly gave up because I found out that 32 bit versions aren't supported by newer bootcamps, as of v5 anyway. So I did a full reinstall of Windows 8 64 bit -- that wasn't easy, I had to resort to burning a DVD, which I hadn't done in a long time. Anyhow, after doing all that's described in the aforementionned blog article (which means you need to follow these steps too), I took the following actions:

1) I downloaded the Bootcamp 5 drivers from Apple.com. If you start the main install file, it won't run because this model isn't officially supported by Apple. Instead, go to the "Drivers" folder and install every driver one by one, including the Broadcom wifi driver (that's important). My system still froze after that step, just less often, but continue reading anyway. NOTE: this step won't work if you're under a 32-bit version of Windows, because all the drivers provided in this package are 64 bit only. This is what made me switch from 32 to 64 bit.

2) I went to driveridentifier.com, downloaded and ran the driver scan application. It told me which drivers were outdated and gave me links to download new ones (hint: driveridentifier.com charges you to download drivers, but you can get links to the drivers anyway, from the download URL just when you click "download". You just need to replace some encoded characters... you'll figure it out)

3) I updated all the outdated drivers listed to me by driveridentifier.com, EXCEPT for the broadcom wifi driver: I am still using the one from Bootcamp 5.0 (from step 1). But I did update the chipset driver, graphics, etc. Everything. The only part that wouldn't update, for some reason, is the bluetooth driver... but that didn't matter anyway.

4) Probably the most important part, at least what seems to have worked for me: I changed the laptop "Power plan" from "Balanced" to "High performance" (in the power options). I had read this advice on a thread in Apple forums, so I gave it a try. Bingo! Computer has been running for over 24 hours without a freeze.

All in all, I don't really know what fixed it but I suspect it could be a combination of things. I'm just reporting what I did in case someone else is reading this. I did NOT run the bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes command -- it won't do any good to run this (google it for more info). Hope this will help someone...


Clem said...

About a month later: still no freeze. I guess I'm all good now!

Marc Donkers said...

For me, only putting power to high performance solved it on my macbook pro 2011 model. Thanks for your post ;)

Filip said...

Doest thuis power mode drain the battery? Tought you could seperatly put parts of tour hardware on max-performance in the advanced settings...

Macintosh said...


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How To Install Microsoft Windows 7 Guides said...

Hi Clement,

Thanks for this share about Windows 8 OS freezing on Macbooks due to Broadcom wifi driver. I tired your guide and it worked for me!. Thanks!

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