Parallels 5 slows Mac it's almost unusable

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

  1. pendolino

    pendolino

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    is anyone here using viscosity VPN by any chance? or other VPN client applications on mac?
     
  2. reinierv

    reinierv

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    It's the same for me.... t's back as slow as ever....

    You can feel when slowness starts, and you then have to exit the vm as quickly as possible. The longer you wait the slower it becomes.

    I notice too that having more mac apps running causes it to start quicker. Firefox especially is a sure thing to kill the vm. Thanks god for chrome. Then again, using lean and mean apps is only postponing the inevitable

    Has Parallels acknowledged our problems??

    R
     
  3. SuzettN

    SuzettN

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    Trying a different memory configuration

    Shaddam IV,

    I finally got the chance to try the different memory configuration you suggested I try, personally. BTW, thanks for that! So far, your suggestion could be helping. While I do have the 16GB RAM installed on my Mac Pro, I was noticing really slow reactions in Windows, dropping of Windows VM, and ghosting of Windows frames. I had the impression that because I am running more Windows applications in my Win XP Pro SP3 OS (VM) and some very powerful ones at that, I needed more memory alotted to the VM than the Mac (or Snow Leopard OS) side. Perhaps I am missing some important information to understand better the configuring process. This is my first Mac; I've had a PC since abt. 1985 and gradually have purchased upgrades of Windows platform software. Because I use Adobe software and have been frustrated with PCs, I allowed a local Mac person to talk me into switching to a Mac when I needed a new computer this time. There are some nice features of a Mac I like now, but I realize I need to keep Parallels running in tiptop condition to keep my Windows VM.
     
  4. davert

    davert Bit Poster

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    Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.
     
  5. SuzettN

    SuzettN

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    I finally settled in with using Win XP Pro SP3 and finally got it to work pretty well, but now I'm getting Win 7 Pro x64 fever since my much of my windows platform software is upgraded to Win 7. I've tried to make some notes of some settings, because I don't want to go back to slowness again while I make this transition. Are there any suggestions for settings I should make?
     
  6. OC_Don

    OC_Don Bit Poster

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    SuzettN,
    My question is does it have to be Win 7 Pro x64? I am not referring the "Pro" part, but does it have to be a 64 bit version, just to use as a vm?

    I bring this up because when I was using the x64 RC version I ran into problems (as noted previously). Yet I ran quite well with the x32 RC version up until it kept shutting down every hour because I wouldn't (didn't) buy the required license.

    Also, quite frankly, I am not sure there really is any "performance" advantage to running a x64 version within a vm. For sure, an x64 version running "native" will improve performance because because the os and apps can take advantage of the x64 architecture that provides the performance. I saw this performance gain on my laptop when I went from the installed x32 to x64. Big difference. (For the life of me, I can't figure out why they put an x32 version on top of 64 bit hardware. Maybe a x32 version is cheaper than a x64 version for a manufacturer. But for retail it is the same cost. But, I digress :cool:

    Anyway, running a guest os in a vm really quite different. I notice that Parallels say they can run both x32 and x64 versions of guest os but do not say that you need a 64 bit platform to do it. (Or did i miss something?)

    If there is some sort of performance gain to be had running an x64 version within a vm, I certainly am not aware of it. In fact, as noted above, the x64 version gave me grief and the x32 version did not. I would think it is the vm that controls os performance because this whole thread is about os performance whether it be host or guest.

    So, unless there is some compelling reason to run x64, I would go with the x32 version. From my experience PD5 seems more stable.

    Also I noted you said you have 16GB memory. As I understand it, memory limits the number of simultaneous machines. With 16GB you probably could be able to start up 6 vm simultaneously (2G per machine) and your host would still have plenty to work with. (More memory so I can run simultaneous vm is the only reason I am being forced to "upgrade". This entry is already to long, so I am not going to explain why I NEED multiple simultaneous vm).

    What I watch for is how long I "flat line" at %100 cpu usage (sometimes the host, sometimes the guest and occasionally, both). The longer the flat line, the slower things seem to run. That's where I start looking for resource hogs.

    Well, that's my $20 worth. Good luck.
     
  7. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

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    For God's sake do something!

    My Parallels setup is still unusable, and still renders my whole system unusable. I have an entire book's worth of notes in Ecco Pro under Win XP, and before this version of Parallels it worked fine. Now it is absolutely useless. How long does this problem have to go on before Parallels solves it? Hello, Parallels. Any comments or suggestions? Anything at all?
     
  8. SuzettN

    SuzettN

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    x64 Response

    The answer to your question about 64-bit is "no, I don't HAVE to install this version". I thought it would be beneficial since my Mac can handle it, but maybe using Parallels 5 and Win 7 in 64-bit would be too much for it.

    Also, your note about CPU usage makes lots of sense to me. I will adjust the gigs that my VM is using again to see how much difference it makes. For some reason, perhaps because I'm just too new at using a Mac with VMs, I have trouble figuring out what amount gigs I should be allowing for my VM. Is there any kind of formula for this that would be most helpful?
     
  9. DianaB

    DianaB Bit Poster

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    OlivierR, thank you SO much for your configuration suggestions, it has made a huge improvement. I too was tearing my hair out in anguish over the slowness of my Mac and the 15 min+ bootup time for the Windows XP Pro SP3 VM (bootcamp.)

    My settings now:

    Parallels preferences: Total memory allocated: Manual: 1456 Mb (used to be automatic)
    VM Configuration:
    General: 1Gb memory (used to be 2Gb -- I have 4Gb total memory)
    Options: Optimization: UNcheck Adaptive Hypervisor (used to be checked)
    UNcheck autocompress (never used that anyway)
    CHECK Tune Windows for Speed
    Optimize performance for Mac OS X applications (used to be for VM)
    Options: Shared Applications: UNcheck Share Windows Applications with OS X (used to be checked)
    UNcheck Share Mac OS X Applications with Windows (used to be checked)

    Hardware: Video: Maximized video memory (256Mb on this MacBook Pro).

    I also followed another good suggestion on these boards and removed my Parallels VM folder from Spotlight.

    AT LAST, Eureka, EET RUNS!

    And it had nothing to do with the virus scanner. Nor would I have had a clue on what to do except for this message board, because a lot of these settings are counter intuitive, to wit: if it's running slowly, give it more memory, right? No, don't do that, force it to use less memory. Seems to me that Parallels 5.0.9344 isn't playing nice in the OS 10.6.4 environment, so it has to be physically restricted.
     
  10. SuzettN

    SuzettN

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    Settings Suggestions

    Thanks, DianaB! This seems worth trying now!
     
  11. nrt2e

    nrt2e

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    DianaB, I tried your configuration suggestions over the weekend as I was having many of the problems as described in this thread and I have to say I have seen massive improvements with the operation of my windows VM and my mac. My windows VM is so much faster and I don't have any trouble having a few windows open at the same time. Meanwhile, my mac side is not impeded by the VM and I can still maneuver and use programs on it without hangups or anything crashing. It is amazing! Thank you :)
     
  12. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

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    At last, something that works

    DianeB, thanks so much for those fantastic instructions, which worked almost immediately. My VM is now hugely faster and the Mac side is usable too. Not exactly snappy, but the improvement is nonetheless gigantic.

    For the benefit of others, I should note that I could not follow your directions to the letter because for some reason Parallels won't let me change the settings under Virtual Machine|Configure having to do wtih memory or Video. The memory there is fixed at 512 mb I think and the video at 128 mb. Right now under Parallels|Preferences|Memory I have it set to manual and 892 mb, simply because I have only 2 GB of RAM on my Macbook Pro.

    Any suggestions on settings for someone with only 2GB? Perhaps it's worth upgrading. Do you think it makes much of a different generally? I am wondering also if it was one of your other suggestions that really was most important, since I wasn't able to do much with my memory settings.

    Meanwhile, I am nearly deliriously happy to have access once again to an entire book's worth of notes in Ecco Pro under Windows.

    PS--Why on earth didn't Parallels post this fix long ago?
     
  13. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

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    626
    > For the benefit of others, I should note that I could not follow your directions to the letter because for some reason Parallels won't let me change the settings under Virtual Machine|Configure having to do wtih memory or Video.

    This may well be because the VM is running. Stop the VM (but don't quit Parallels) and then change the settings.
     
  14. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

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    Shaddam IV, thanks! You were right; stopping the VM enabled me to change the remaining settings. Under Virtual Machine|Configure|Hardware, I moved video memory all the way up to 256 mb. I also turned off 3D accel and vertical synch, since I never play games on the Windows side and feared these might be slowing things down. Under "General" I moved "Main memory" up to 768 mb, not as much as DianeB suggested but remember i only have 2 gb ram. So far the results are excellent, even faster and smoother than after my earlier improvements.

    Other 2GB users may be interested to hear that I ran Activity Monitor to see what was happening with memory. I discovered my free memory was only around 32mb and page outs were 3.8 GB. I concluded from this that i badly need more RAM and so ordered a 4GB upgrade yesterday.

    Kudos to all on this forum for working to solve a huge problem and sharing info. If only the management of Parallels would take a similar approach.
     
  15. JeronimoG

    JeronimoG

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    Many thanks for the wonderful tips!!!

    But just one more question... where's the Parallels VM folder located??

    Thanks again.
     
  16. JeronimoG

    JeronimoG

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    DianaB thaaaaaaankkkkkkssssss!!!
    Just one more question...where is the Parallels VM folder located??

    many thanks again
     
  17. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV

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    The folder that contains your VM's files is usually located in your documents folder (yourusername/Documents).
     
  18. JRStaff

    JRStaff

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    I have started having slow performance issues after the latest update to build 5.0.9370
    When starting the VM I have tracked the High CPU % to the prl_vm_app this is a child process of prl_disp_service
    how ever the parent is not being identified with high CPU usage I have found that by restarting the VM a number of times it will eventually startup and while it peg's the CPU it only spikes and then drops right back to a level one would expect.
    this also occurs when bringing a VM back from suspension as well which of course is unusable and I have to force stop the VM and start rebooting till the problem does not pop up 4-8 restarts to get it to work normally. I will post process samples next time I have the issue as its working ok atm.
     
  19. Mammonist

    Mammonist Bit Poster

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    Just to follow up, today I installed 4 gb of ram in place of the 2 gb of memory that had been in my Macbook Pro. I then fired up Parallels and saw an immediate and striking improvement. Then I adjusted my settings to take advantage of the new memory, following DianeB's excellent suggestions. The result was just stunning--not just inside the VM but on the Mac side as well. Everything is instantaneous! I urge others who have been frustrated with Parallels to try the DianeB recommendations and then spend $100 or so to go up to 4 gb if you don't already have them. It's a world of difference.
     
  20. David Loke

    David Loke

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    Thanks DianaB, your suggestion really works. But i would like to ask what if i need more RAM for my application? what should i do then? Now my machine runs very well with 1GB, but i need to have 2GB for my VM in order to have a particular application to run well. What should i do?
     

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