Parallels 5 slows Mac it's almost unusable

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Roger Holden, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Roger Holden

    Roger Holden

    Messages:
    6
    Hi

    I'm at the end of my tether with Parallels (5.0.9310) .

    I have a brand new 27" iMac, 30.6Ghz with 8GB RAM. It all runs fine until I start Parallels. Then anything to do with a finder action is unbearably slow. If I open a file or do a 'save as' in a running app, it takes ten seconds for the dialogue box to appear.

    If I close Parallels the problem persists until I reboot and leave Parallels well alone.

    I've tried dedicating 4GM RAM to Parallels but it still happens. Nothing in Activity Monitor suggests any excess CPU or memory use.

    Please help!
     
  2. patddfan88

    patddfan88

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    21
    I'm having similar problems. both Windows and Snow Leopard have gotten really slow lately! please help me!!!
     
  3. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    Look at the disk usage in Activity monitor. I believe you'll find lots of I/O operations - indicating that a lot of swapping is going on. Reduce your VM's memory to 1 or 2 GB or memory, that should drastically improve responsiveness of your machine (both Mac and the VM).
     
  4. Roger Holden

    Roger Holden

    Messages:
    6
    Hi Shaddam

    Thanks for the reply.

    There's no unusual disk activity nor any excessing processor or RAM usage. I've got 8GM in my Mac and I've tried giving 512mb, 1 GB and 4GB to Parallels and it makes no difference at all.
     
  5. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    Another idea: Turn off the VM. Check "Optimize for Mac OS X" and "Adaptive Hypervisor" in your VM settings (Options>Optimization). Restart the VM.

    I'm right now running a Windows 7 VM with 832 MB Ram and 3d acceleration turned on on my MB Air with a paltry 2 GB of total memory; the Mac is also running Entourage (so I can read my company emails) and iTunes (which is just now downloading an iPhone update) and all three apps are quite responsive. Switching between them works like a charm.

    I'm running Windows in full screen mode and have tweaked Windows (and Parallels) a bit to improve speed. I find that finding the right balance between Windows and Mac memory is quite essential; for me, it is 832 MB for the VM. I have 2 processors assigned to the VM which also considerably helps. I have the non-essential Parallels services turned off (Parallels coherence service, Parallels tools service) in the VM - I don't use coherence.

    What also helped performance on my rig was reducing the sound output quality to 11.025 kHz; this makes for somewhat muffled sound but there are no crackles and pops during sound playback. I have recently turned off USB but I'm not sure yet whether that has any significant impact.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Roger Holden

    Roger Holden

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks again.

    Nope, tried all that and still exactly the same.

    The problem persists after Parallels has closed so I don't think it's connected to it's resource use per se - it seems to be crippling the Finder when it starts and only a reboot cures it.

    I've tried re launching the Finder after closing Parallels but this makes no difference.

    I'd understand it if I had a slow Mac with not much RAM but it's a powerful machine with 8 GM memory...
     
  7. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    One thing that's been discussed here is that there may be circumstances where Parallels and Spotlight are interfering with each other. You could try adding the Parallels folder (usually located in your documents folder - I mean the folder that contains your VM) to the items that Spotlight should not index. A few Parallels builds ago I used to turn off Spotlight altogether which helped speed when I was running the VM with 1 GB of Ram (which is just a tad too much for my rig). I still have the Parallels folder in the Spotlight exclusion list. Give it a try.
     
  8. Roger Holden

    Roger Holden

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks again but no, done that and still the problem persists...
     
  9. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    Hm. The only thing that I can think of now is uninstalling Parallels, and then reinstalling it. The install disk / image comes with an uninstaller. Use that but don't throw your VM files out (nor your registration info) - the uninstaller will give you that option. So: Uninstall, restart Mac, reinstall Parallels 5, update to latest build, start up the VM. Hope that helps.
     
  10. Roger Holden

    Roger Holden

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for your patient help.

    I've just done that - uninstalled then reinstalled and guess what? same problem.

    Hmm - I'm seriously unimpressed with Parallels. Especially as I have to pay to get support from them...
     
  11. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    Maybe you could post the contents of your VM's configuration settings: Find your VM file (usually within the Parallels folder inside your Documents folder). That file is actually a package; if you right click on it and select "Open package", you'll find a file there called "config.pvs". Open that file with a text editor, copy the text, and post it here. (Close the VM package once your're done.) Or copy the entire file (it's not large) and upload it here.

    The file contains information about how much Ram you've assigned to the VM, what devices (including USB devices) are attached to it, various settings for the different modes of Parallels (Window, Coherence, Full screen etc), the hard disk size, mouse settings, etc. There is no personal information nor a serial number in the file except for the VM network card's (virtual) MAC address. The MAC address is the one with which your Windows version is registered with Microsoft. Hide it if you like (or replace the number with "x".).

    I've played a lot with my config.pvs and I'd like to have a look at yours; maybe I can find something that'll help.
     
  12. StarShot

    StarShot Bit Poster

    Messages:
    95
    Have you considered dumping Parallels and going the Bootcamp route instead? That's the setup I have on my new 21.5 iMac. Seems to work great and I haven't noticed any performance degrade in either OS X or Win7.

    My wife has a new Mac Mini and on that computer, I installed BootCamp first and then Win 7 and then finally Parallels. Parallels immediately found the Bootcamp Win 7 installation and that combination also seems to work well.

    Finally, there is my MB. On that unit, I had Par 5 running Vista (not a fast performer). I then installed Win 7 in another VM and when I saw that was working fine, I "kissed" the Vista VM good-bye.

    All three computer seem fast on the OS X side with good performance with Win 7.
     
  13. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

    Messages:
    14
    The excruciating slowness of Parallels

    I'm using Parallels 5 and Win XP on a Macbook Pro 2.26 running Snow Leopard. I have 2 gb of RAM. It's a great system, and Parallels makes me want to throw it out the window. When Parallels is running, with only a single application open under XP, my entire system slows to a crawl. It is virtually unusable, yet nothing substantive from Parallels. This is a product that worked reasonably well in version 4, that I paid for, and that I depend upon.
     
  14. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

    Messages:
    14
    A slight improvement

    I find that if I restart the virtual machine it makes a noticeable improvement. Everything still miserably slow, but better, particularly on the OS X side.
     
  15. OlivierR

    OlivierR

    Messages:
    4
    Hello,

    I have the same problem.

    I bought last week Parralel 5.
    I use windows seven 64 bits entreprise (I am professional : I am developper)

    I have a macbook pro, 2.26 ghz, 2 GB ram, a lot of room available on my disk (160 GB, original disk from apple, so 5400 tr/min)

    my virtual machine is slow, slow, and unusable.
    my osx is slow, and become unusable, when parralel is running.

    last year, I was running with fusion (during the evaluation period), and it was working fine.
    I am so disapointed of parrallel 5. but I bought it, I have to stay with it :eek:|

    I hope Parallel will find a way to fix it soon.

    Olivier
     
  16. Techhead156

    Techhead156

    Messages:
    130
    I know in previous builds of PD, there were a few bugs here, but how is the performance with 2 processors in PD 5 (9310)
     
  17. Elric

    Elric Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,718
    For all experiencing this problem:

    Please upgrade to the Parallels Desktop 5.0 build 9310 (or later).

    If this doesn't help we'd appreciate if you click menu of Parallels Desktop "Help" -> "Report a Problem" and send a problem report. Then please post here its ID.
     
  18. Mark Steyn

    Mark Steyn

    Messages:
    1
    I'm also experiencing the same symptoms. Performance is appalling and resuming a suspended vm can take between 5 and 10 minutes (the start up screen freezes at 60% for an age).

    I've reported the problem as suggested above. My report id is 3058187.
     
  19. OlivierR

    OlivierR

    Messages:
    4
    Hello,

    i have already this release (bought last week)

    I will send a report.

    here is some change I did, with no changes :

    I bought yesterday a new hard disk, 7200tr/min, 500 GB (seagate), because the stock disk is 5400 tr/min.

    I formated it, installed OSX.

    then, I have installed windows sevent 64 B with boot camp (the disk is cutted in 2 parts)
    after all installed, I came back to OSX.
    I launched parrallel.
    I choose to import my VM. it proposed me 768 MB, 1 processor.
    I didn't changed these parameters.
    it is almost the same result. a little bit better may be.

    (I have also removed spotlight)

    I try Enable adaptive hypervisor, with no results
    I try to optimize performance for osx, or VM, with quite the same result
    I have removed : auto compress
    I used power consumption = Better performance.

    under windows :
    to open an explorer windows, sometime, it takes around 2 seconds.
    4 seconds to launch wordpad.

    it is may be a memory problem, my macbook pro has only 2 GB.


    olivier
     
  20. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

    Messages:
    14
    Thanks for your interest, Elric. I hope this can be addressed urgently because right now the program is useless--and renders the rest of my system useless as well. My problem report number is 3082121.
     

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