When I updated to Mac OS X 10.6.6, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Boot Camp Setup Assistant offered an option to download drivers remotely from Apple.
As I have said many times in the past, having to tote around a Mac OS X Install Disc to get the baseline Boot Camp driver install… is a major pain. If Windows corrupts, and you’re 3,000 miles away from your install disc, you are fscked (read it carefully… pun intended).
So, I tried it. I kibashed my super-secret Apple rumors-grade partition so that I could wind down to a single partition. With my pulse up, I launched Boot Camp Setup Assistant, and ran the new download driver option.
I was then prompted with the option to burn the drivers to disc, or copy them to a FAT-formatted flash drive. Great! This is what I’ve ranted to Apple many times to do.
And then, it failed. Couldn’t burn to disc, couldn’t copy to drive.
My neighbors heard the groan… across the street.
So, trying to figure out what happened, I pulled up Console. Got a weird error. Binged it. Yes, I binged it… get used to it. And, the top hit was an Apple support article. Specifically, this support article. To summarize, only new Mac models get to download the drivers. Everyone else gets to tote around a Mac OS X Install Disc, everywhere they go.
Now, I know, older iPod touch owners don’t get AirPlay. iPhone 3G didn’t get wallpapers. 802.11n MacBooks had to pay for an enabler just to use 802.11n. I’m used to Apple charging for software that unlocks hardware. There’s no reason to not offer all Intel-based Macs a simple driver download. Nada, none. Every other PC in the world sold today does this with ease.
My hope is that this gets fixed, but it appears pretty intentional. If you agree with me that you think this should be changed, please, tell Apple.
To my surprise, I actually had to bing up that page. Apple has actually removed the link to it from the main feedback site. Not a good sign for the future of Boot Camp.
So, Mac users out there, what’s your favorite way to tote around a Mac OS X disc? (My tongue firmly planted in cheek as I write this).