Parallels 318 -and- OS X wayyyy slowww when trying to start VM

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by phazer, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. rufosx

    rufosx

    Messages:
    22
    Mine has always been this way

    I've had this problem since the patch where they added the miniature window views to the dock (well, around that time - thats all I remember).

    I've got a MacPro with 3 GB of physical. As far as I can tell, if I get physical memory too fragmented, or too much other stuff running, Parallels will no longer launch new VMs without the super slowness, and I get the same window as the one earlier in this thread. Most of the menu items are inaccessible and there is no option to open an existing VM. Parallels can only be quit by right clicking the dock icon and selecting quit there.

    I end up rebooting to fix it. In general, I cycle through 3-4 VMs and usually have 2 of them running at a time, all the time. Each has 400ish MB allocated to it. Paging does not seem to be too bad, unless I'm running a Visual Studio project in debug.

    Running World of Warcraft is an easy way to get into this memory constrained situation.
     
  2. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    ok now I quit MAMP first, and when I started Parallels (the APP, not the VM), my entire computer slowed down. Then after a few minutes parallels the application finally launched, and here I was, presented with the normal Parallels VM Config screen where I can choose to start my VM

    So I hit the Play button to start my VM. My entire computer slowed down AGAIN. Then I hover ed my mouse over the Parallels start screen (the VM was not booting, it hadn't even asked for my password to open the Bootcamp partition), my computer froze and I had to hard reboot.

    This is crap. I should not have to be dealing with this. I guess I'm going to try and use a regular VM file instead of bootcamp since I never boot into windows anyway.
     
  3. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    please SOMEONE look into this
     
  4. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    Anyone from Parallels team looking into this? It's so slow when it's trying to mount the Bootcamp partition.... my whole computer slows down so much and then finally, the VM POSTs and my computer starts working better

    this didn't used to be a problem

    and i am not running MAMP when having this problem
     
  5. websyndicate

    websyndicate

    Messages:
    125
    Thats why I swicthed to VMware because way faster to boot and doesnt bring osx to snail speeds. Not say that I would never go back but vm has some really good devs working and also you have the option of 3d support or not and yes it works great.
    I would say the initial start of Windows takes forever then it finally shows the screen of winxp boots thats pretty quick.
     
  6. mmischke

    mmischke

    Messages:
    155
    Yeah, the VS debugger IS kinda hungry, isn't it? You must have a nicely-tweaked Windows installation to be able to dev in 400-ish MB. Kudos.
     
  7. mmischke

    mmischke

    Messages:
    155
    @phazer

    Dude, you come across as a pretty talented guy and I am, in fact, guilty as charged about misreading your post (sorry about that). One question lingers after all this time. Why are you still running XP in 256 MB of RAM? That just doesn't work well - even on physical hardware with a highly-optimized configuration.

    Try giving 768 MB to XP. Things may well improve. MAMP probably doesn't need much in the way of resources if your Mac is a dev box, unless you're hosting a heavily-loaded dev or test environment. You can probably spare the memory.

    Virtualization requires a fast (preferably multi-core) CPU and RAM, RAM, RAM. Keep both sides of the house well-afloat in physical memory and most performance problems will disappear.

    Just a general broadcast to Parallels users. Load up w/RAM (2 GB minimum), split it evenly between host & guest, turn off OS X widgets, don't run Vista and disable all the 'glitz' in XP. You'll be happier campers.
     
  8. SanJoseBen

    SanJoseBen

    Messages:
    21
    I haven't had too many strange problems on my MacBook Pro, but I have an older PowerMac G4 and occasionally one of them will get the weirdness! Following a few steps will usually clear up these weird problems. My apologies if you have already tried them without avail.

    Repair Disk Permissions - Disk Utility can do this for you
    Repair Disk - boot into single user mode (command + s at boot sound) and run fsck
    Remove any 3rd party haxies - if you have them you'd know it
    Rebuild all caches and re-optimize the system - use Cocktail or Onyx to make this easy
    Rebuild the directory - DiskWarrior or TechTool Pro can do this

    The above items are in order of seriousness, mostly. Also, I never apply OS updates using the Delta installer, only the combo installer. For example, instead of downloading the 10.4.8 to 10.4.9 update to go from 10.4.8 to .9, I download the Combo update that will work for any version of 10.4. Yeah, it's larger, but generally avoids the weirdness! If you used the delta updaters to get to 10.4.9, download the combo updater from apple and reapply the update.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    I agree. I don't turn off OS X's extra services (such as widgets) even though the computers we issue have 'only' 2 GB of RAM, but things run plenty fast for most uses.

    Give at least 500 to your VM. I found the 'sweet spot' for use primarily in Parallels to be ~800 MB.
     
  10. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    Hi. I still run at 256mb because the VM runs absolutely fine at this speed, using IE6, Outlook, and Yahoo Messenger. I don't use it for much else, it's for work tasks and checking browser compatibility of web sites.

    The problem isn't with Windows performance, it's a problem with Parallels performance. Parallels takes forever to start. Read: WINDOWS DOES NOT TAKE FOREVER TO START. PARALLELS DOES. <<< Parallels team please note this. WINDOWS is not being slow. Parallels is slow BEFORE i try to start LOADING windows.

    PLEASE PARALLELS TEAM LOOK INTO THIS.
     
  11. Tom Ironcast

    Tom Ironcast Guest

    CPU Utilization is a known issue to Developer's team, and they work on it.

    phazer,
    What build number do you have in use btw ?

    But can you be a little more specific: If your VM works fine, where is the "slow-point"?
    At my office Mac mini it takes several moments to start the app.
    Macmini Proc. 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo, 1 GB RAM.
    My VM also uses 256 MB and 4000 MB on HDD
     
  12. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105

    Hi Tom-

    I am using Build 3188 -- the typo in my title is because I couldn't type in real time when I was trying to post. Parallels was slowing down my entire computer just trying to open itself. (not trying to boot the vm)

    I am using Macbook pro 1.83 gHz Dual Core, 2gb RAM, 256 allocated to Windows XP VM on bootcamp partition with 20gb of hdd

    The slow point is when trying to start Parallels the application.

    NOT trying to start my VM. NOT running Windows, NOT booting windows.

    It's either when starting the application, or when Parallels is trying to unmount and boot the BC partition. Once it finally POSTs, everything runs fine again.

    I usually have to hard reboot when trying to open parallels because everything freezes. Seems to only be a problem if I have left my computer on sleep overnight. (I never leave parallels running when I close my lid)
     
  13. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    is it possible to convert my BC partition into a normal VM file? I think i'm going to just ditch Bootcamp, since that seems to be the problem here
     
  14. mmischke

    mmischke

    Messages:
    155
    As I'm sure you've discovered, Transporter can't directly import XP from a Boot Camp partition. Since Transporter requires the source XP machine to be running and have Transporter Agent installed, you could probably pull this off using a second machine running Parallels/Transporter (Win, Lin or Mac). I'm guessing you've already thought of that option, though, and don't have another physical machine available.

    I have a somewhat roundabout idea that might work using your current setup and an external hard drive:

    1) Grab the trial version of Symantec Ghost 10.0 (hopefully it's a time-limited, full-featured trial - it didn't say, but many Symantec products are) and use it to create a full image of XP on the external drive.

    2) Install (free) VMWare Converter under XP. Converter is similar to Transporter, but it also imports Ghost images.

    3) Use Converter to create a VMWare .vhd file on the external drive.

    4) Boot up OS X and use Transporter to import the .vhd drive to a Parallels .hdd image.

    In theory this could work, but it's not without its potential pitfalls. The downside is that if it doesn't work, you're no worse off than you are now. Even if you're successful you'll probably have to reactivate XP (just a phone call to MS). If you decide to try this, please post your results since it'd be interesting to see if works. I'm half-tempted to carve out a Boot Camp partition myself just to give it a try... :)
     
  15. Tom Ironcast

    Tom Ironcast Guest

    phazer,
    Can you send me screenshots, which could display your CPU perfomance while starting up the PD application?
    Make sure, that you have no other apps running except parallels.
     
  16. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    Yes, transporter can actually transform your Bootcamp install into a VM file nicely without requiring a second machine. That's how I did it. I realized that i didn't need bootcamp after all and was tired of having to always enter my password when starting PD and not being able to suspend my VM so I just tranfered my Windows XP Bootcamp install to a normal VM file using Transporter.

    Nothing special to do. Install and run the Transporter agent in Windows, launch transporter in MacOS X, give it the IP address used by Windows (in my case I had my macbook connected to my Wifi router which allocates private IPs via DHCP so MacOS X was using 192.168.0.2 and Windows XP was using 192.168.0.3. To find out what IP address has been allocated to XP, open a command window in Windows and type ipconfig /all). Then all I had to do was to wait for 45-50 minutes (don't trust the progress bar, the first 50% took 45 minutes, the last 50% took 30 seconds for me). The agent in Windows crashed the first time after a few minutes. It looked to me like it crashed when the Windows screensaver kicked in (although I'm probably wrong as i can't see how the screensaver could have crashed it) so I disabled both the MacOS X and Windows screensaver and tried again. Worked fine the second time.

    Happily running Windows from a VM file now and it flies. Parallels is definitely not without flaws but it still rocks for me. Awesome stuff.
     
  17. mmischke

    mmischke

    Messages:
    155
    I'm curious as to how you were able to do this using only your MB. From your description, it sounds like you have both OS X and XP running at the same time. Since this isn't a possible scenario with Boot Camp, I'm sure I've misinterpreted something. Can you clarify?
     
  18. vioccc

    vioccc

    Messages:
    80
    The latest version of Parallels allows you to use a Bootcamp partition instead of a VM file to run Windows within MacOS X. This is the configuration the OP is using at the moment. So, if you want to transfer your Bootcamp Windows XP install to a standard Virtual Machine file, you can start your "Bootcamped" Windows in Parallels and run the Transporter agent in there. On the MacOS X side, run the transporter software to extract your Windows from the Bootcamp partition and create a VM file out of it.

    This is a very ineficient but very simple way to get rid of bootcamp without having to re-create a Windows image from scratch (inefficient because even though you are effectively simply copying your Windows installation locally from your Bootcamp partition to your MacOS X partition, the Transporter software thinks that it's accessing a remote PC via the network and therefore transfers your entire Windows install out of your Macbook via the network then back in your Macbook again).
     
  19. shaddai

    shaddai

    Messages:
    3
    I experience the same issues after my Mac has been running for a few days/weeks. I have an original MacBook Pro w/2G of RAM. I wish I could put more in the machine. Activity monitor usually reports numbers like these:

    Free: 20-50 MB
    Inactive: 500 MB

    It would be nice if Mac OS X would free up some of the inactive memory. I seem to notice that when the Free amount is low, starting Parallels causes the whole computer to lag, including the Dock and Finder. The Parallels icon bounces slowly and choppily until it finally asks me to select an OS (I have two to choose from). After that, performance is fine.

    I am not using Boot Camp - just a regular Parallels image. I pause my Parallels instance before putting the Mac to sleep, most of the time, but I sleep my Mac daily.
     
  20. phazer

    phazer

    Messages:
    105
    I switched to using a regular VM file, no more boot camp. Not having any problems whatsoever anymore, able to run MAMP, too
     

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