Parallels 5 slows Mac it's almost unusable

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

  1. OC_Don

    OC_Don Bit Poster

    Messages:
    19
    I also noticed what seems to be a memory leak in Parallels v5, especially running x64 Windows RC. For other reasons I blew that one away and created a new VM w/ x32 Windows 7 RC. On my iMac 21" w/ 4 GB and everything else stock, I did NOT experience anymore of the eventual crawl.
    When I started experiencing the crawl w/ x64 Win7RC and Parallels v5, I did some experimenting as discussed above. After reboot, with no auto starts I would start only Parallels v5 w/ the x64 Win7RC. And yes, it would eventually start to crawl, if I stayed on that long. And I did find it strange that neither system monitor showed any unusual activity except for continual disk I/O, and this was with no apps running in Win7RC or the iMac. I once figured that indeed maybe one of the operating systems might be doing some background processing: indexing, auto compression, disk defrag, virus checking, ... so I just let things run overnight. 10 hours later the disk I/O activity was the same. It like the machine never goes idle, but Task Manager would show %85+ idle. I could not believe there would be a background process that would not finish whatever it was doing in 10 hrs. I suspected the VM because this had never happened before running the VM and has never happened when the VM is not running. Also it was the VM's disk activity light that was flashing.
    As others, I have perceived some sort of issue w/ Parallels v5 not seen in v4. I figure one of the updates will eventually fix it, maybe with a release note like "improved stability and performance".
     
  2. reinierv

    reinierv

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    8
    so far so good. I'm having very good results so far. After 8 hours having win 7 64bit running, it still runs fast and closes within 10-20 seconds.

    the rest having similar results?
     
  3. DanaK

    DanaK

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    10
    I read a similar post. I had upgraded to snow leopard and had many application issues. I really think the slowness is probably related to something in SL.
     
  4. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

    Messages:
    14
    So far so good

    Running 9344 for about a half hour now, with a book-length document open in Word 2008 for Mac, as well as Firefox, Safari, Mail, Addr Book, Skype and God knows what. 2 mb ram on my Macbook Pro 2.26. All running very nicely. I will report back to describe a more extended experience, but meanwhile wanted to encourage others with the slowness problem to upgrade immediately.

    By the way, can anyone explain why a company wouldn't take the trouble to post something about this? You know, like "We think we've got it fixed, thanks for your patience. Do let us know your experience." But I guess, why cultivate user goodwill at no cost when you can just as easily antagonize customers?

    All that said, I am hopeful this is the fix we've been waiting for, and so thanks Parallels.
     
  5. hognutz

    hognutz

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    5
    I upgraded Version 5 the week it was released. It ran fine for a week or so then started getting slower and slower until it took about 5 minutes to load XP on Snow Leopard.

    I went through uninstalling and reinstalling Parallels several times and even went as far as wiping my drive and doing a complete reinstall of both Snow Leopard and PD with no luck. I got frustrated and went back to V4.

    I was told the issue was squared away with the latest build.

    After my reinstall of V5 it ran well for about 3 weeks. Now I'm back to the same issues and it seems to be getting worse. Extremely slow load time (about 5 minutes) plus it brings my Snow Leopard to a crawl so I can't even use my Mac while PD's loading.

    Even when V5 was running well I didn't see any performance increase running XP. I'm REALLY FRUSTRATED with version 5 and I wish I could get my money back. I've spent way too much time screwing around with this program. Now I need to uninstall it (again) and go back to V4.
     
  6. hognutz

    hognutz

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    5
    By the way if the problem was with Snow Leopard, PD Version 4 wouldn't run right either.
     
  7. hognutz

    hognutz

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    I'm now running build 9344 and so far so good!
     
  8. publice

    publice

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    1
    problems remain

    Build 5.0.9344 german: Stalls allways for minutes at 60% on restart of different VMs while the system is very slow. Tried many settings without effort. Always shutting down and starting the OS inside VM is much quicker. Unusable software.
     
  9. pendolino

    pendolino

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    75
    publice - i have the same 60% stall problem as you exactly. please update us if you find any fix that works and i will do the same.
     
  10. FNB

    FNB

    Messages:
    1
    I've had the same progressive slowness problem using version 4 and OS X. Based on what I've read here, upgrading will not solve the problem, so I've held off. Restarting parallels or restarting the mac will give me another hour or so before I fall in the tar pit again, but I have noticed that whenever I launch an Adobe product on the mac side, the loss in performance on the parallels side is immediate. Just thought I'd put that out there in case it is a clue for someone.
     
  11. pendolino

    pendolino

    Messages:
    75
    FNB - thank you for sharing your experience. i personally commiserate with you on the mysterious interactions of mac apps with windows on parallels and vice versa.

    my theory is that most users (90% ?) of the installed user base of parallels either don't really push their computers performance with high end applications or they abandon the product.

    in my case, i've pretty much stopped using parallels but i can do that because i was using it for outlook to access my exchange server smoothly but now i have snow leopard's mail/ical/address integration with exchange and its pretty much filled the gap there.
     
  12. SuzettN

    SuzettN

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    7
    Re: Slowness of Windows XP SP3

    I am ditto every complaint thus far on my Mac Pro 8-core, 64-bit dual processor running Snow Leopard and Windows XP SP3. In fact, when I first start Windows, I witness a really quick outline of a window that disappears just as quickly, and I cannot make out what it is exactly just because of the speed. I have installed 16GB of ECC RAM and now wonder if that is enough. I'm a former PC user who thought having that much RAM would be sufficient, but maybe it's insufficient since I'm running dual OSs. Like the usual complaint, I had many issues with Parallels for Mac 5 initially, that I used up my free support really quickly. Many of those issues were fixed by Parallels Support, but new ones keep cropping up. I wouldn't have considered trying to run Windows on a Mac if it hadn't been for the local Mac store selling the idea to me since I had so much Windows OS platform software already leftover from my PC. My computer runs very slowly, and I'm trying to keep an eye on the usage meter and all of its processes that are running.
     
  13. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    I'm using a Parallels 5 VM running Windows 7 on a very low-spec Mac (1.6 GHz MBAir, 2 GB Ram overall, 864 MB assigned to the VM, 3D on at 128 MB video memory) and I notice that things slow down dramatically under these conditions:

    - I run the VM, and several Mac apps. The Mac starts thrashing as it is pushing memory onto the hard disk.
    - I run the VM, no Mac apps, but many resource-intensive Windows apps. Again, the Mac starts thrashing.

    However, when I run the VM, no Mac apps, and only one resource-intensive Windows app such as a (relatively) modern 3D game, I don't get slowdowns. It is also very nicely running Office etc. apps together with Entourage and other comparatively low-resource hungry Mac apps.

    I don't use coherence or crystal, I run Windows in full screen. I've given the VM only one processor (the MBAir will switch off one core when it's running too hot which impacts everything when I have 2 processors assigned to the VM).

    The limiting factor here is clearly my Mac and certainly not Parallels. Within the limitations of my machine I needed to find a balance between the memory requirements of the VM vs. that of the Mac; for instance, I'm not using the Mac's memory for caching the VM's swap file ("optimize for OS X"). I think that with experimentation it should be possible to come to a VM configuration that yields a rather fast VM and retains a fast Mac. Since I don't have 16 GB I can't recommend any particular setting, though :-(
     
  14. SuzettN

    SuzettN

    Messages:
    7
    Slow Down or Dropping Altogether

    Like you, I have learned that running my VM means not trying to use Mac apps, using just Windows (not coherence or crystal), and generally just open one Windows application at a time, but sometimes the computer runs slowly and/or just suddenly drops altogether. Therefore, it must be settings that are not right I figure. I have chosen to let Parallels figure out what it needs automatically, but maybe that isn't sufficient. Also, I have which are the high-demand applications. However, even if I'm just using the windows platform of Turbo Tax, the VM has dropped on me, too. My starting question I had... would it help to add even more SDRAM than the 16GB I already have installed, or are my problems based just on the settings within Parallels 5 for Mac? I admit I'm too new to this Mac to have answers on my own, but I definitely am not a novice with a PC.
     
  15. pendolino

    pendolino

    Messages:
    75
    i've got no idea what happened but today i restarted by mac because prl_disp_service error was keeping me from starting parallels (i think that happened after i last force quit parallels) to try it out again.

    what happened was close to amazing: the application starts within seconds even from a suspended state and is running smoothly. going back to suspend is also almost immediate!

    im worried i wont be enjoying this for too long before something else happens but no thanks to parallels nonexistant support it is now working.
     
  16. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    Suzett,

    I don't think that adding memory to your Mac will do the trick. Try to decrease the memory your VM uses. Give your VM 1 GB of memory, or maybe 2. Also, set the VM to "prioritize for Mac OS X". Then, give it only 1 or 2 processors, not 4. Finally, set the overall memory that Parallels uses ("Preferences" settings from the Parallels menu) to

    _the memory requirements for your VM (e.g. 2,048 kB)
    _plus the memory settings for the graphics card (e.g. 128 MB)
    _plus some headspace, maybe around 160 MB

    -> this would result in 2,236MB - why don't you round that to 2,300 MB (or even 2,500 MB). Try that. With 16 GB overall, you should have no trouble running Photoshop AND Aperture running next to your VM. I'd be very interested to know whether this will improve the VM's behaviour or not.
     
  17. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

    Messages:
    14
    Ok, things are back to being excruciating. In my earlier post (on March 16) I'd reported some success with the latest Parallels patch. But not anymore. As others have reported, things stall for minutes on end at 60, and when the vm finally comes up everything is horribly slow. I agree with the earlier poster who observed that the problem is worse when several Mac apps are running. But for Pete's sake, I need to have several Mac apps running! I need MS Word for Mac running while I use Parallels. Ditto Mail etc. What are we doing here, heading back to the C prompt? Parallels is close to unusable again, and I am stuck with my vast database of notes (in Ecco Pro) that I can barely access. A terrible situation which I hope can somehow be remedied soon.
     
  18. pendolino

    pendolino

    Messages:
    75
    i am on my second day now with things being very snappy as unexpected. i hope it lasts.

    one thing i observed even after things fixed themselves is that there is a momentary stop at the 60% loading mark even when things are working well. this can be from a split second up to five seconds but enough for the observant user to catch it.

    i would appreciate if parallels support could let us know what is happening at this stage as it likely may pinpoint the problem.

    thanks!
     
  19. Bill Hall

    Bill Hall Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    One thing to look at:

    I noticed that once I disconnected any online drives (ex: iDisk mapped to a drive letter). Things improved substantially. There's some sort of problem with PD trying to connect to online disks when booting or especially waking up.
     
  20. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

    Messages:
    626
    I don't experience these issues. One thing I've done a while back was to disable USB in the VM (I don't need it there as I Channel any USB devices thru the Mac). Maybe that has something to do with it...?
     

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