Build 1922 with XP SP2 hard crashes Mac Pro 4Gb

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by rickross, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. rickross

    rickross

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    I am jealously reading other users talking about how Parallels 1922 is working well for them. I admit it is incredibly impressive to install XP, Office, Firefox etc and see it all run in a window on my Mac Pro. But all is not well.

    I can launch my 1Gb VM with Windows XP, but within 5-10 minutes it invariably locks up my whole machine (not just the Parallels process & window.) What actually happens is that the mouse continues to move, but no events appear to be processed. Once this occurs I cannot Force Quit, switch windows or perform any other activities on the machine at all.

    The last time it happened I noticed that iTunes (running on Mac OS) continued to play through to the end of the song, and I saw the mouse cursor change occasionally from the arrow to the watch or the spinning rainbow, but no events were processed. Eventually, after about 10 minutes, the mouse cursor even stopped responding and I had power down the Mac and restart.

    It's really frustrating because it is SOOO close. Windows is there, and it works (for a while.) I really don't know how Parallels is able to crash the whole Mac this hard and not leave any messages to explain what went wrong. If there is a way to enable more debugging output or locate a log for hints, then I will be glad to provide more info.

    I have converted the expanding disk to a plain disk, tried with VT-x both enabled and disabled, limited Parallels total ram to 1.5Gb, and other steps. So far nothing has alleviated this dreadful problem.

    If you can help, please let me know. I'm online on IM almost all the time: rickrossjl on AIM/Yahoo/Skype, rick@dzone.com on Jabber.

    Thanks,
    Rick

    Mac Pro dual 2.66Ghz, 4Gb ram, Apple wireless keyboard & mouse, dual ATI XT1900 video cards, dual 500Gb drives.
     
  2. BlueSkyISdotCOM

    BlueSkyISdotCOM Bit Poster

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    Seems obvious, but have you also upgraded Parallels Tools to the latest version?
     
  3. rickross

    rickross

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    Tools is the version that came with 1922

    Parallels Tools is the version which was packaged with build 1922. This was a fresh install on a new machine, not an upgrade.

    Is there a version of Parallels Tools that is actually newer than the RC2 release?

    Rick

    PS - I have tried uninstalling the tools to see if that would help. No joy. It seemed to last a little longer before locking, but it still locked.
     
  4. rickross

    rickross

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    Update: A little more info, ssh window to box remains operative

    I ssh'd into this Mac from another machine to see if the terminal was still responsive after the desktop had locked. I started the Parallels VM, and a few minutes later the entire Mac desktop became unresponsive (as it always does, so far.)

    After the desktop locked, the shell windows remained fully operative. I ran "top" and it reported that 1 process was stuck. I don't know this particular version of top well. however, so I was not able to identify which process was the "stuck" one.

    I did a "kill -9" to take out the Parallels process, but it did not restore the desktop functionality. I tried killing the WindowServer process as well, but no visible results.

    I was able to do a reboot from the terminal windows this time, at least, so I didn't have to power cycle the machine to restart. It seems promising that a shell into the box continues to work after Parallels kills the desktop. At this point I don't know what to do.

    Any next steps?

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2006
  5. wstehl

    wstehl

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    I am running Build 1848 with XP Pro and do not have any problems, even with CAD programs and microprocessor emulators, so it is working pretty well. I run iTunes all the time, keeps me sane. Build 1922 is a Release Candidate, so it likely has a few unresolved issues. It is aimed at the 64 bit world and Vista, so there are likely some other issues in Windows as well. My XP Pro on a 64 bit Intel machine hangs as well, problems with driver compatibilities. It can't run properly as a primary OS, so I am not surprised there are problems when it is a guest. I decided not to upgrade until the official Parallels release comes out, they say in a few weeks.

    Just some thoughts...

    Bill
     
  6. Mr SA

    Mr SA

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    Multiple Parallels VMs running 1922 rc2

    I've been getting some recent weird behaviour with running multiple Parallels instances. Don't know if this is related. This is all on a 2GB 3.0Ghz Mac Pro, using the virtualization support.

    With 4x 256MB memory instances running, I first noticed that Safari lost its title bar and click events had to be offset from the screen elements. Other windows started following suit, with Chicken of the VNC resulting in non-responsive Windows stuck in the top left of the desktop- I managed to fullscreen one of these which narfed the whole machine.

    3x256MB images works fine.

    I've been investigating the relative performance of more RAM given over to the VMs by OS X vs. paged RAM inside the VM. If my 3x256MB images work, try giving your Win XP image 768MB and see how you get on. I had been thinking that some more physical RAm might solve my issues, but your experience would suggest not.
     
  7. rickross

    rickross

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    Thanks, Bill, but my understanding was that build 1922 is required if you hope to have correct operation on a Mac Pro. Maybe I should back down to an older version?

    Rick
     
  8. rickross

    rickross

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    Although the problems may somehow be related, mine have been occurring with just one single Parallels VM instance running. I have not been able to observe any reliable trigger that causes the machine to get whacked, but it does get whacked every single time within a few minutes of starting XP.

    I'm starting to wonder whether this may be related to the fact that I have two display cards in my Mac Pro? Since the underlying kernel continues to operate and shell sessions to the machine continue to work after the desktop freeze, it would appear to be related to desktop GUI event handling.

    The weird thing is that it takes out the whole Mac, not just Parallels!
     
  9. Mr SA

    Mr SA

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    Have you tried reducing the VM's memory. My problems showed up with the same total memory usage as your single instance. Try backing down the memory allocated to the VM.
     
  10. rickross

    rickross

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    Thanks for the idea. I tried this, but no joy :(
     
  11. kgregc

    kgregc

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    Are you running on a "set" VM of only 1.5Gb? Why not try changing to a larger VM, 10Gb or so and see if it helps...give it some more room.
     
  12. rickross

    rickross

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    You seem to be referring to the size of the volume, but I was speaking about the ram allocated to the VM. The disk volume is 20Gb, but only about 8Gb is actually in use. It seems to have plenty of room to grow.
     
  13. Mr SA

    Mr SA

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    Just experimented and my issues with 4x VMs is unrelated to the total memory in allocated.
     
  14. rickross

    rickross

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    OK, maybe it's the wireless Mighty Mouse or Apple Wireless Keyboard

    Trying various experiments here, it was interesting to see that after changing from the Apple wireless keyboard and Mighty Mouse, I could run Parallels successfully for over 2 hours without crashing.

    I happened to have a Logitech USB keyboard and mouse handy, so I switched to those. Voila, no more crashes! The only problem now is that I cannot seem to get the VT-x issue cleared. The machine goes to sleep and immediately comes back on, apparently too soon for the EFI magic to have taken place. I have shut off all the apps I could see running, but it still doesn't sleep for more tha 1 second or so before automatically reawakening.

    So, anyone know whether there are known issues with Parallels supporting the Apple wireless keyboard or wireless Mighty Mouse? It appears that one of them was probably involved in causing the problem I have been having. When using them, Parallels would lock up the whole Mac desktop within 5 minutes. After switching to the Logitech, the Parallels XP VM ran for 2 hours (until I needed to stop it to try something else with the VT-x issue.)

    Is there some funky stuff related to supporting bluetooth?

    Rick
     
  15. rickross

    rickross

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    Not just the mouse, something more insidious and elusive

    Well, I wish it had been merely the wireless mouse and/or keyboard, but I have had several more crashes since the keyboard/mouse change.

    The thing that really bothers me is that this takes out the entire Mac desktop, not just Parallels. The good news is that the machine is still operative at many levels, and I'm sure that someone from Parallels could learn what is going wrong by connecting via a shell login and looking around.

    AFAIK, however, nobody from Parallels is even looking at this discussion. It's a pity.

    Rick
     

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