Ralf Eisenreich

SQLBlog.DE | ..things to remember

December 31st, 2012

Windows 8 randomly freezes on MacBook

IT, Windows, by Ralf.

Problem / Issue

  • MacBook white (late 2009) model (apparently this also applies for other MacBook Pro as well)
  • Randomly freezes using Windows 8 occur especially when using internet based applications or starting downloads
  • Reason for the freezes: Windows 8 driver for the Wireless LAN adapter

Windows 8 Installation (and solution)

  1. Create Bootcamp partition
  2. Create Bootcamp driver software disk (or USB stick)
  3. Boot Mac from Windows 8 DvD and start installation
  4. Install Bootcamp drivers
  5. Under Device Manager search for any hardware without driver installation and let Windows search for a driver on the Bootcamp driver CD
  6. Disable Wireless LAN Adapter which will prevent the freezes
  7. Connect Ethernet Cable to MacBook and initiate Windows Update until all updates are installed (some restarts are required)
  8. Windows 8 will propose via Action Center to update chipset device drivers (follow the instructions)

Do not.. (following suggestions I found via Internet did not help to solve the problem)

  • Running the command bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes will not help but decrease battery duration
  • Enabling Hyper-V (under Control Panel – System – Advanced Settings)
  • Changing graphic drivers

Result

  • You will experience that the freezing issue is definitely gone – even if you initiate large downloads or use internet based applications

 And now?

  • Next step is to find a driver for the Wireless LAN adapter which will not cause those freezes anymore
  • Apple has to / will soon provide updated Windows 8 drivers
  • I will keep you posted when a suitable driver is available

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Responses to “Windows 8 randomly freezes on MacBook”

  1. I have used below settings in the network adapter setting of Broadcom 802.11 adapter in the device manager in control panel. The frequency of freezing have reduced significantly. I don’t know which setting affected the freezing. This setting disables additional features and reduces the speed to the minimum. My default language of Windows is not English so I translated these settings to English as below. So these setting can be shown differently in your case but their meanings will be similar to yours. It would be nice if you let us know which specific setting below reduces the freezing.

    20/40 simultaneous support: Not used
    40MHz non-error: Not used
    802.11h + d: strict 11h
    802.11n Preamble: Mixed Mode
    AP Compatibility Mode: Compatible Extensions
    ARP Offload: Not used
    Bandwidth capacity: 11a/b/g: 20MHz
    Bluetooth Collaboration: Disabled
    BSS PLCP Header: Long
    BT-AMP: Not used
    IBSS 54g ™ Protection Mode: Not used
    IBSS Mode: 802.11a / b-only
    NS Offload: Not used
    RTS Threshold: 256
    Short GI: Not used
    Wake On Magic Packet: Not used
    Wake On Pattern Match: Not used
    WiFi Rekeying Offload: Not used
    WMM: Not used
    WZC IBSS Channel Number: 11 (20MHz)
    XPress (TM) Technology: Not used
    Roaming Decision: Default
    Roam: about
    Locally Administered MAC Address: None
    Band Preference: None
    Disable Bands: 802.11a Disabled
    Fragmentation Threshold: 256
    Speed ??(802.11a): 6
    Speed ??(802.11b / g): 1
    Antenna Diversity: The secondary
    Connect Roaming Preferences: Not used
    Priority & VLAN: Priority & VLAN Disabled
    Disable Upon Wired Connect: Not used
    Minimum Power Consumption: Used
    Output: 25%
    Mixed cell support: Not used

    (Check off) to save power the computer to turn off this device can be

    tpaper at
  2. Did Apple release any drivers for the wireless LAN adapter yet? I found your article very informative since the freezing definitely stopped after disabling wifi. However my windows partition is pretty much useless without wifi.
    I’m running on a MacBook Pro mid 2010 BTW :)

    Niels at
  3. @mdo13, in my case disabling the MS Kernel Debug Network Adapter didn’t fix the freezing issue.

    Even though Ralf says disabledynamictick doesn’t fix the problem, I’m stubbornly going to try it (I am on a Mac mini so I don’t really care about battery life, but in my location/situation it’s a pain to run wired Ethernet to the computer.)

    dmatamales at
  4. I did a fresh install to Windows 8 Pro on my MBA 11″ and I still get the same freezing problem, even with the latest Bootcamp drivers.

    As I mentioned below it only freezes when I am connected by the power adapter, if I am running on battery I do not have a problem.

  5. Update is out but the MacBook (Late 2009) didn’t make the cut. Any suggestions?

    Which Macs support Windows 8?

    MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
    MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer)
    Mac Pro (Early 2009 or newer)
    Mac Mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
    iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010 or Mid 2011 or newer)

    Bob Wood at
  6. Its about time…

  7. 10.8.3 is out, they add Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8.

    Cedric at
  8. hi guys, I have this problem also but I had narrowed it down to when my power plug is connected to the MBA or not. When its on battery I have no problems. When it is connected to battery it happens. I thought it was a Wifi adapter issue at first but it didn\’t do anything for me.

  9. hi guys, I have this problem also but I had narrowed it down to when my power plug is connected to the MBA or not. When its on battery I have no problems. When it is connected to battery it happens. I thought it was a Wifi adapter issue at first but it didn’t do anything for me.

  10. Hi Ralf

    many thanks Ralf !!!!

    Followed your instructions : disabling wireless and updating via fixed Ethernet.
    Everthing perfect – freezes have gone !!

    BR

  11. Hi, so, Windows 8 runs perfectly for me now with wifi. You need to disable the microsoft network adaptor driver (in device manager). This fixed mine and it should fix yours. No complaints!

  12. Hello. I installed w8 today at my mbp, and it freezes all the time. It’s annoying. :/
    Your solution will totally disable the wi-fi?

    I hope apple soon release the drivers.

    Lucas at
  13. This seemed to by my issue as well. I know that Apple is always very secretive about everything, but have you heard any rumors as to when Apple will send out Boot Camp drivers for the Broadcom wireless device?

    ceb687 at
  14. This seemed to by my issue as well. I know that Apple is always very secretive about everything, but have you heard any rumors as to when Apple will send out Boot Camp drivers for the Broadcomm wireless device?

  15. any news? i can’t get my windows 8 working on macbook unibody 2009 (white), freezes after some minutes of use…

    Marco at
  16. Yes, unfortunately. But I monitored that I can use WiFi for browsing. However, as soon as I start a download or watch a video the macbook freezes.

    I keep searching for a compatible driver.. :-/

  17. Will this disable the use of Wi-Fi until the update gets releases?