Parallels 11 + MBP Retina + Thunderbolt Display resolution problem

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Flinky, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Flinky

    Flinky Bit Poster

    Messages:
    23
    Hi Guys!
    I've an very annoying problem with the new Parallels 11 which I can't solve on my own ...

    First of all, hardware & software:
    MBP Retina 2014, MacOS Yosemite, Thunderbolt Display, Windows 8.1 Pro and recently upgraded from Parallels 9 to 11
    I think it is a very common hardware combo, so there should be a working solution ....

    What I want: (and I think thousands of other users :) ... )
    If the Thunderbolt Display is disconnected and i start Parallels, Windows should run in the native MBP-Retina resolution (2880x1800) with DPI scaled to eg. 200% ... otherwise everything is way to small.
    If the Thunderbolt Display is connected, Parallels/Windows should start on the Thunderbolt Display in the native resolution (2560x1440) with no DPI scaling (100%) ... otherwise everything is huge. The Retina MBP-Display should show the normal MacOS desktop.

    I can't find the right settings that both setups work together. If the TD is disconnected I have to set Parallels to "Retina optimized" and DPI scale to 200% ... now it looks good. Then I shut down Parallels, connect the TD, start Windows --> everything is blurry. So i have to set Parallels to "Scaled" and DPI to 100% ... now it looks good, but is it really necessary to dial in display-setup each time I use Windows in the office or on the go? I spent hours of trial and error to find this "easiest" solution, all the other configurations I did were even worse.

    Btw. it worked fine with Parallels 9!!!

    Any ideas or settings I can try?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Flinky

    Flinky Bit Poster

    Messages:
    23
    Hours later ... as far as I found out, Parallels 9 is able to recognize which kind of monitor is in use, Retina or not. It seems like this function has been removed in Parallels 10 / 11. WTF?!?
    Can i switch back to Parallels 9 without destroying my Windows? Time Machine has no Parallels-Backup ....
    Thanks!
     
  3. TS-Micah

    TS-Micah Product Expert

    Messages:
    66
    I've had "fun" getting this to work in Parallels 10 + Windows 8.1 Pro (and I think it's the same in Parallels 11 as well). I believe the scaling is more of a a Windows specific problem, or it may lie with the Parallels tools - tough to say considering in Win8.1 the scaling for Retina display started to place nice.

    In the Hardware -> Video settings of the VM configuration there is a checkbox that says "Enable Retina Resolution". I have this box checked. However, I've run into the issue when I disconnect from a 25" monitor at 1900x1200 while leaving the Windows VM running, it would adjust the resolution to the Retina resolution (2880x1800), but it wouldn't scale natively. Typically I can get Windows to scale by simply logging out and back in again. When that doesn't work, I reboot the Windows VM. Rarely, I need to shutdown the VM, reboot OSX then boot the VM again as there's something on the OSX side that may have been causing an issue.

    I believe without the "Enable Retina Resolution" option checked it will use a 1920x1200 resolution but the screen is scaled and tends to look blurry. It took a while to figure that out myself. Thankfully rebooting the VM doesn't take too long.

    HTH
     
  4. Flinky

    Flinky Bit Poster

    Messages:
    23
    Thanks for reply!

    If I set the "Enable Retina Resolution" or "Best for Retina", then Windows looks good on the MBP Retina Display, but as soon as I connect the non-Retina Thunderbolt Display, which is my primary working-monitor for Windows, I get a few problems: the resolution in Windows is 5120x2880. Then I set the resolution manually to 2560x1440 (native TB) but some elements like the task bar and the icons are fine, but the mouse-pointer is tiny and the whole display is blurry (unusable ...). The only way to get the Thunderbolt Display look normal, is to set the video setting from "Best for Retina" to "Scaled".
    But the "Scaled"-setting then is unusable for the MBP-Display ...

    I think, Parallels should be able to recognize which kind of output-device is in use. If the device is 2880x1800 .... it's Retina and it should optimize for Retina resolution ("Best for Retina" + DPI Scaled 200%) and if the resolution is 2560x1440 or lower it's non-Retina with the "Scaled"-Setting and DPI Scale 100%.

    And I also think Parallels could get the information, which hardware is in use, from MacOS ... so it doesn't even has to guess the settings by the resolution ...

    Another question:
    How does Windows 10 behave with this situation ... is it the same like Windows 8.1 or would an upgrade be the solution for my problem? Unfortunatly I don't can trial and error on my own, I've got to work with Windows and have no time for beta-testing Windows 10 :rolleyes: ....
     
  5. TS-Micah

    TS-Micah Product Expert

    Messages:
    66
    I have a Dell U2515H at home and I did notice that windows did some scaling. Some things looked out-of-whack when switching to it from Retina display on the MacBook. For instance, the notification icons were almost 2x larger than the pinned applications on the task bar. To resolve this, I simply signed-out and signed-in and that resolved the "funk" with the sizing issues. There are still some programs eg SQL Server Management Studio that perform too well with scaling. When I see things like this I believe it's more of a Windows implementation than anything. I haven't upgraded to Win10 just yet so I don't know if it handles the scaling as naturally as OSX.
     
  6. AlekseyM

    AlekseyM Product Expert

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    210
    This is an unfortunate windows thing. The easiest way to rectify this is when you connect the TB display, sign out of your account in windows and sign in. Windows will detect the monitor and properly scale. And vice versa when you disconnect.

    Parallels 10/11 actually passes the monitor size through to the VM. So it's not so much that it's not smart enough, as much as it's letting Windows do the scaling.

    Windows will not switch scaling without you signing out/in. This has been brought up on technet hundreds of times. Search for a thread "At some point microsoft has to address DPI scaling issues".

    Win 10 is better, but still blurry when a regular DPI monitor is used.
     
  7. Flinky

    Flinky Bit Poster

    Messages:
    23
    logging off and on again doesn't change anything. maybe it gets the dpi scaling handled but i get a blurry screen when "best for retina" is enabled in parallels and I'm working on the TB-display. And I get a very coarse screen with parallels view-setting "scaled" when working on the retina display. The solution would be an option to select "automatic" in which parallels chooses the right displaytype on its own!

    I don't know how, but it worked already in Parallels 9. Sometimes the scaling required to log off/on but paralles 9 had no problem with these different display types.

    I wonder why nobody else has this problem ... I think a Macbook Pro with attached TB-Display isn't an uncommon combination. Maybe there is something else messed in my settings?

    Maybe another solution would be something like a startup script with 2 different desktop icons for TB-Display and Retina .... but I'm not very experienced with Mac at all, so I don't know if this is possible.
     
  8. Kuips

    Kuips Bit Poster

    Messages:
    1
    Sorry but this reaction is completely not true.
    I've been using (and still use) Parallels 10 with Windows 10 for more than a year now.
    Everything is fine with resolution and connecting and disconnecting my TB screen.
    Parallels 11 gives the double physical resolution 5120x2880 problem, tried all updates of Parallels 11 and it still exists

    This is not a Windows problem but a Parallels problem. I hope Parallels fixes this asap!!
     
  9. AlekseyM

    AlekseyM Product Expert

    Messages:
    210
    I stand in-corrected. I was describing how Windows handles DPI and it seems Parallels 11 does things differently and now sends windows info that even non-high dpi displays are high dpi displays (if any that are connected) to avoid the login/logout issue I described above. Parallels then does scaling itself on the non-HIDPI monitor thus looking blurry.

    Quite frankly, being a developer myself and dealing with HighDPI with Windows & Mac all the time, I'm not sure there is a good solution at this point. It's either login/logoff to get Windows to scale-but even with their scaling, the non-DPI monitor for some applications will be blurry, or have the entire screen be blurry.

    Windows needs to step it up a notch and actually scale things on the fly, which it currently can't do. But knowing how GDI is set up in Windows, I don't see a way to do it properly. Apple had it easy, they just told developers to fix their apps and make them hidpi aware and developers did. I don't think Microsoft can get away with that, since Win32 apps cannot be made DPI aware. Only WPF, Universal or general store bought apps support HighDPI by default. Everything else requires a lot of work for a developer to do, and most just don't care enough to do it.
     
  10. AlekseyM

    AlekseyM Product Expert

    Messages:
    210
    Forgot to mention... This isn't something that Parallels can fix on their own. This isn't something that even graphics drivers can fix. It really requires MS & app developers to fix in tandem.
     
  11. sHelphrey

    sHelphrey Bit Poster

    Messages:
    5
    Am I missing something? I no longer have the ability to enable retina resolution in the VM settings, and under Hardware it says Graphics, not Video as everyone else is talking about. The retina checkbox is not even there. This whole TB display thing is really pi$$ing me off.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 10.50.07 AM.png
     
  12. AlekseyM

    AlekseyM Product Expert

    Messages:
    210
    Disconnect the TB display and you should see it on your MB.
     

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