Boot Camp 5.1: Frequently asked questions about installing Windows 8

Boot Camp 5.1 supports Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 on Intel-based Macs.

For installation instructions, software updates, and more, visit the Boot Camp Support page and consult Boot Camp Help. General information about Boot Camp 5.1 is in Boot Camp 5.1: Frequently asked questions.

Which Macs support Windows 8, and what are the Windows 8 system requirements?
See the Boot Camp system requirements for Microsoft Windows.

How do I create the Windows partition for Windows 8?
Use Boot Camp Assistant, as described in How to install Windows using Boot Camp. Don't partition your hard drive with a third-party utility before using Boot Camp Assistant, or your hard drive could be erased.

Can I perform an upgrade install from Windows 7 to Windows 8?
Yes, if both versions of Windows are 64 bit. Before upgrading, be sure to install the latest Boot Camp Support Software.

How do I download and install the latest Boot Camp Support Software?
If you're using OS X v10.8.3 or later, you can use Boot Camp Assistant to download the software. The Boot Camp system requirements page also links to the appropriate download page for Boot Camp Support Software. Follow the installation instructions on the download page.

To install Windows and the Boot Camp Support Software, you need a flash drive or other USB media, which must be formatted for the FAT file system:

  1. Open Disk Utility, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Select the USB disk that you want to format. Remember that formatting the disk also causes it to be erased.
  3. Click the Erase tab at the top of the window, then choose from the Format pop-up menu:
    • If the disk is 32 GB or smaller, choose MS-DOS (FAT).
    • If the disk is larger than 32 GB, choose ExFAT.
  4. Type a name for the disk. The maximum length is 11 characters.
  5. Click the Erase button, then click Erase again.

After upgrading to Windows 8, my Mac doesn't recognize Thunderbolt devices when I start up in Windows 8.
See Boot Camp: Thunderbolt devices not recognized after Windows 8 upgrade.

The message “Uninstall USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver” appears when upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
See Windows 8: "Uninstall the USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver" alert when upgrading from Windows 7

The message “We couldn't create a new partition or locate and existing one” appears when installing Windows 8.
If you have a Thunderbolt storage device connected to your computer, disconnect it and leave it disconnected until Windows installation is complete.

Boot Camp Assistant says “The startup disk cannot be partitioned or restored to a single partition.” 
See Boot Camp: Partition alert message when using Boot Camp Assistant.

When I try to install Windows using DVD media, I see alert messages, or my computer restarts to OS X.
See Boot Camp: Creating an ISO image from a Windows installation DVD.

The message “Free up space on Drive C” appears when I try to upgrade install from Windows 7 to Windows 8 on my MacBook Air. 
See MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012): "Free up space on Drive C" alert during Windows 8 upgrade.

I see a black screen or distortion when I install Windows 8 on my MacBook Pro.
See MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2012): Distorted or black screen during Windows 8 installation.

The brightness control keys (F1 and F2) on my keyboard don't work in Windows.

My MacBook Air (Mid 2012) doesn't start in Windows 8, or it displays VGA graphics when it starts up.
Download and install MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.6.

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