My experience... Parallels is a disaster!

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by jaydear, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. jaydear

    jaydear

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    We recently bought two MacBook Pro 15" laptops to replace our old PC laptops, because I was confident after seeing it in use on his 17" Mac Book Pro on "The Lab with Leo" AND being very conversant with XP Pro that I would have no particular problems setting up XP to run on the Macs.

    I liked the idea of coherence mode so we could become familiar with MacOS whilst still using the familiar Windows environment.

    I read on the Parallels site that it supports Boot Camp partitions, so on the first Mac I installed BC v 1.3 and then XP Pro and experienced no problems whatsoever.

    I then installed the Parallels v3.0.4560 trial and it seemed to work OK, but I did not have time to fully check it out and decided to buy anyway because there's not much choice once the trial period expires. 15 days isn't long enough IMHO.

    Having to reactivate XP was a shock. I would not have activated it in Boot Camp if I'd known up front that would happen.

    Anyway, once I had entered the key it all started to fall in a heap. Any time I tried to run Parallels XP would start then immediately crash in a BSOD, re-start itself, then proceed to tell me it had recovered from a bad error due to unexpected termination of a driver or service.

    I contacted support, but only got the unwelcome advice that "Parallels works better on it's own". So does it work with Boot Camp or not? I'm having no issues whatsoever running XP under Boot Camp - very smooth... congratulations to Apple! Nothing but BSOD's under Parallels though.

    So, on the second Mac I decided to just install Parallels and XP by the book, even taking their advice to use a disk image rather than a CD. It all went in smoothly and worked fine for about a week, but following some Windows security updates it too is now suffering the exact same crashes as the other Mac, so it is a total loss and totally unuseable.

    It looks like many users are suffering BSOD's with Parallels. I'd like my money back, but I can guess what answer I'd get, so I'm not going to get my blood pressure up by starting that waste of time.

    I've done nothing weird or unusual. Bog-standard Boot Camp and/or Parallels and XP installs. Parallels just doesn't work reliably on two identical Macs. Total waste of time and money, I'm sorry to say. I don't have time to muck about with it, it's not fit for the purpose, so I'm cutting my losses - goodbye Parallels and good riddance. I'm sticking with Boot Camp.

    Info that might help fix it for the next release...

    ===============================================================================
    Example error messages:-
    The system has recovered from a serious error

    Error signature
    BCCode : f4 BCP1 : 00000003 BCP2 : 86639020 BCP3 : 86639194
    BCP4 : 805FA7A8 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 2_0 Product : 256_1

    Error signature
    BCCode : f4 BCP1 : 00000003 BCP2 : 866330B0 BCP3 : 86633224
    BCP4 : 805FA7A8 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 2_0 Product : 256_1

    ===============================================================================

    I can't find these directories/files, I think they must get deleted automatically:-
    C:\DOCUME~1\Jay~\LOCALS~1\Temp\WER430b.dir00\Mini081407-01.dmp
    C:\DOCUME~1\Jay~\LOCALS~1\Temp\WER430b.dir00\sysdata.xml

    ===============================================================================
     
  2. chabig

    chabig

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    133
    Sorry to hear about your problems. But most people use Parallels just fine, so I'd say the problem is with your XP installation, not Parallels. Your best bet is probably to reinstall XP from scratch. Or just stick with Boot Camp.
     
  3. jaydear

    jaydear

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    Hmmmm... the forums seem to be full of the problems people are having. I think the product is flakey and not mature. I've never had this type of problem with any install of XP I've performed on normal PC hardware, AND the first install I did on the MBP is 100% under Boot Camp, yet totally stuffed under Parallels.

    Logically, the Parallels VM or the drivers have to be flawed or it would run as smoothly as the Boot Camp VM and driver set does.

    You can't say that most people use it just fine unless you know how many copies have been sold and how many have been without issues. Even you have had issues! I'd be surprised if SWsoft would release such statistics... might be very embarrassing for them.
     
  4. sandro

    sandro Parallels Developers

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    512
    Nevertheless SwSoft is the partner of Parallels ;) I think that Parallels yet young company that growth very fast and issues that users having with it products are issues of newly created product that just appeared on the market and at once became very popular for users. I quiet sure that these issues will be eliminated at the nearest future especially in the view that SwSoft became Parallels partner now and can to provide them with own experience.
     
  5. spectre

    spectre Parallels Team

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    jaydear,

    I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with Parallels. By your description it looks like the problem in both cases happened after some particular software update or installation and it may possibly be some software conflict with Parallels Tools in Bootcamp and some software you are using. It's hard to say more without knowing the details on your Windows installation, but for the general troubleshooting I'd suggest you following this KB article and check if it solves the issue - http://kb.parallels.com/entry/336
     
  6. jaydear

    jaydear

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    7
    Hi spectre, thanks for your support.

    I have done as you suggested. After the XP process completed, it started up OK in full-screen mode. I fixed a few things that had been altered by the process, shut down windows and the VM and re-booted the MBP.

    I then re-started the MBP, then the VM config to reset to boot Win from HDD first, and restarted XP in full-screen mode again. No problem. I was also able to Alt+Enter back to Mac OS. That's when the old behaviour started again.

    I tried to change to Coherence mode, which is how we wanted to use Parallels. After a few seconds there were some ugly screens, then the good old BSOD showing a memory dump (bigger than I'd seen previously) which gave me time to grab a pic with a camera (screen grab won't work in fault condition) which is attached FYI.

    I'm running a business and just don't have time to fiddle about trying to make Parallels work. There is obviously something horribly awry with it and I can't afford to put all of our mission-critical data and pgms on a flakey system.

    So it's back to Boot Camp for me, I have no option. Sorry it didn't work out, it would have been good. I'd like my money back as I can't get the s/w to work... I bought a two-pack online 25th July (element 5 Order number: 140401225) - how about it?

    Incidentally, I noticed yesterday on one of Leo Laporte's blogs that he had similar trouble with Parallels on his MBP 17"! I'm glad I'm in good company.
     

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  7. dorian88

    dorian88

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    47
    Parallals is just a utility that allows you to use windows.

    Like they say if the ice cream (windows xp) isn't that great then it's the ice cream not the bowl (paralells) to blame.

    I would check on how you installed windows like someone previously mentioned.
     
  8. jaydear

    jaydear

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    Thanks spectre!
     
  9. spectre

    spectre Parallels Team

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    You are welcome. I hope you'll consider using Parallels again with our next versions getting released. Boot Camp support is something we developed according to our customers requests, but running Windows in regular VM is really better, at least because you'll have more features available like Multiple Snapshots technology for example...
     
  10. jaydear

    jaydear

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    7
    I will. I can definitely see the benefits of the Parallels approach to that of being 'locked up' inside Boot Camp and I have no doubt that Windows is a tricky monster to tame.

    One major detraction as I see it is the cursed re-activation that is required by installing in the VM. I can see Micro$oft clamping down on their support for that. It would be good if you could work out a way around it. After all, only one copy of the OS is on the same physical machine no matter what VM it is in on that machine.

    I can imagine a change in the Parallels code causing a tsunami of re-activation requests, which may ultimately be refused by M$.
     
  11. InsanelyOne

    InsanelyOne

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    3
    Why exactly are you trying to use Parallels in conjunction with Boot Camp? I think that is your entire problem. I've been using Parallels for months with not a single problem. On 3 different machines. Coherence mode is amazing. I would suggest scrapping Boot Camp and going with a standard Parallels implementation.
     
  12. jaydear

    jaydear

    Messages:
    7
    Look through *all* the posts in this thread and you will see that two MBPs are involved. One with Boot Camp and then Parallels installed on it and the second one with just Parallels. The problems experienced in Parallels were identical on both machines.

    We are putting the trouble down to either a) something in the MBPs and/or OS X, or b) something caused by Windows updates. The raw, un-updated install of XP Pro with SP-2 seemed OK in full-screen and coherence modes.

    And just in case anyone reading this is unsure... you still have to do your regular Windows updates. Running XP inside a VM inside a Mac doesn't give the Micro$oft OS any protection from web nasties.

    Anyway, I am waiting to see if a future version of Parallels will fix the bad behaviour of a fully updated, XP Pro installation in coherence mode on a fully updated MBP.
     
  13. jaydear

    jaydear

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    7
    Uninstalling Parallels is easy enough, but it would be helpful if the pdf instructions made it clear that you need to uninstall the Plls Tools in Windows whilst it's running in the Plls VM *BEFORE* uninstalling Plls in Mac OS X!

    Apparently, there's no way to get rid of it if you can't run the Plls VM.

    That raises a quandary too... if you can't run Windows in the Plls VM because it crashes in a heap, how does one uninstall the Tools?
     
  14. MarkHolbrook

    MarkHolbrook

    Messages:
    350
    These forums will show little but problems since they are support forums.

    I am one of the users that uses Parallels flawlessly almost every day. I don't use bootcamp, I prefer the ability to copy my VM files periodically as a total windows backup.

    Without a doubt there are things that will cause Parallels to go south. I do believe something during windows update can do so. I also believe Parallels itself can go south. But so far I've never had it happen.

    I use only outlook and Delphi for windows development along with word, excel and a few other PC programs. For me it rocks and it works.
     
  15. paddler

    paddler

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    9
    Does Bootcamp cause more problems?

    I have to agree, I use Parallels almost without any problems at all. Still on version 2.x though, very nervous about upgrading to 3.x, (so far besides snapshots I see no reason to).

    I have seen a lot of issues associated with installing in BootCamp in these forums. I've always wondered what the ratio is of problems where people are running BootCamp vs without.

    Having BootCamp as BETA software was enough to stop me from using it. Even more I want to isolate Windows as much as possible from OS X and like having it boxed up inside files instead of having it installed where it becomes part of the boot process of my Mac.
     
  16. ohTina

    ohTina

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    46
    If you find yourself wanting to take another stab at Parallels, slap yourself - ha,ha. just kidding. No really, I did take another run at it, following the instructions at http://kb.parallels.com/entry/31/458/ - and I'm FINALLY running XP on my MBP 10.4.10. I'm not having the original network problems anymore, and I'm actually running XP in Pll (3212) successfully again. I'm going to take baby steps in doing any further installs. The support I got through this forum was rather disappointing, too. It took months to finally stumble on the answer. Good luck!
     
  17. dwmreg

    dwmreg Bit Poster

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    I've experienced weird problems with Parallels as described here. Crashes. It's very unstable. It was not bad until 3.0 arrived. I bought VMWare because I have access to many VM's there from the PC life I lived once. I have not switched yet, but with all the problems I'm hearing and experiencing myself I'm looking at dumping Parallels also.
     
  18. OS9Alive.com

    OS9Alive.com

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    It is my opinion that you are better off running an actual winblows system. The cost involved here are not worth it at all and the lack of functionality both on Apple and Nova Developement is a real surprise.

    I am a 15+ year developer of dynamic websites. I have been in this business long enough to know that I should provide my clients what they pay for. I build a high quality site for my clients that gives them the functionality they need to run their site from the start. Do I charge for upgrades ? Yes I do, it does take time to program upgrades but the fact still remains my sites are built with every possible needed function from the start.

    I have used a Mac for the entire 15+ years and own 6 Mac computers all bought brand new. Because of the type of business I am in I have to run winblows because of the file types and such my cleints send me dont work under Mac, so I also purchased and own SoftWindows 3.1, SoftWindows95, SoftWindows98, VirtualPC, and now WindowsXP.

    Yes I know this is not a Apple forum but I am making a point here... To start off with Apple (even though I supported them for years) did infact lead the public to think that this Intel Crap would run winblows with no mention at first that you needed to buy more software to run it and you also had to buy a copy of winblows software.

    Then we come to Parallels which I was only told after I paid $2,000 for this new IMac that I had to spend $80 for Parallels and another $200 for WindowsXP. Well Parallels I feel is not what the public was lead to think it was either. So we are told that Parallels would have an update for DirectX and many bug fixes, then we was told we had to pay for that update so another $40 out the window. It is my opinion that Parallels in no way stands up to the name as there are still many issues and this DirectX support is really of no use but for a very limited amount of software.

    DirectX / 3D / and Many other things should have been the first thing on the list when Nova Developement decided to even make this software. There are a great many software titles that require DirectX and I dont know if anyone told Nova but this is the year 2007 and 3D is a real big thing.

    After spending all this money to have a system that is really no better than my eMac which runs VirtualPC with WindowsXP with no issues, I am kinda upset that companies run their business the way they do.

    It is my honest opinion that it is best to just go buy a Microsuck Winblows computer instead of spending all this effort and money. I would never run my business this way as if I did I sure would not have been developing websites for over 15 years.

    I hope parallels does get all their issues taken care of but if they expect to see anymore money from me then they will wait a long time. $120 for software to run winblows and it still has very little support for today's technology is unreal.

    This may not be the forum for this but anyways.. The way I see it Apple decided to trade MacOS9 support for Intel that is supposed to run Winblows. The only people I see making on this deal is Nova, Microsuck, and Apple with all the cost us users have to fork out...

    James
     
  19. ohTina

    ohTina

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    wow. what are you trying to say, James? just kidding. :)
     
  20. OS9Alive.com

    OS9Alive.com

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    I think there are alot of people that agree with what I said, only difference is I have the gutts to say it.. :)

    I will say this, if I posted that on Apple's forum I would be banned and the post removed within minutes. Gee I wonder why ...

    James
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
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