Parallels 7, Lion: Mac OS grinds to a halt

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Ovate, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    I have installed Parallels 7 on the following configuration:

    Macbook Pro, 13 inch, Mid 2009
    Processor 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    Graphics NVICIA GeForce 9400 M 256 MB
    Software Mac OSX Lion 10.7.1 (11826)

    When I run Parallels with XP in virtualisation my whole system grinds to a halt, it is near impossible to get anything done. Nearly all operations have a very long delay / freeze before engaging. I have to switch off Parallels to be productive. Is this normal behaviour for this kind of configuration and if so what does Parallels need to function properly. If not is there anything that I can do to rectify this behaviour?


  2. RoyWhitten


    I'm having the same problem

    Me too! What can be done to optimize Parallels so that my Mac doesn't slow to a crawl? I'm running a Macbook Pro, 15", dual core Intel, 2.53 Ghz, 4 GB RAM.

    Can anyone help here?
  3. megavolt17

    megavolt17 Product Expert

    The emulation needs to be shut down to change many of these settings.

    First make sure you are not using too much RAM in the emulation (keep the RAM slider in the green area or use as little as you can to allow your Windows apps to still run properly).

    If you have more than 1 CPU or Thread on your CPU don't give them all to Parallels.

    You can also select Optimization, then select Faster Mac for performance. Enabling Hypervisor is also supposed to allow Parallels to give more resources to whichever OS needs it, but some users have claimed that turning it off has helped.

    Finally if your system can accept more RAM add it. RAM prices are relatively cheap these days and running a virtual OS takes memory. The more memory the happier both OSs are. When memory runs low Windows and the Mac will use swap files but even the fastest hard drives are still much slower than RAM.
  4. mattfield


    Did you ever get resolution on this? I have the same issue

    Since upgrading to version 7 and lion, my virtual XP machine periodically hangs for 30 seconds or so and slows down host OSX when it does so. Watching the process list in OS shows CPU activity completely disappearing from Parallels while this is happening.

    Have tried all of the performance settings, disabling and enabling Active Hypervisor etc. My graphics is locked onto the nVidia 9600M GT discrete card, and all power management in OSX is set to performance with nothing powering off or spinning down ever.

    My virtual Ubuntu machine does not exhibit the same behavior.

    The XP partition has run fine on this machine through Leopard and Snow Leopard with no issues at all, it is either Lion or PD ver 7 or a combination of the two that has caused it.

    3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro
    8 GB RAM
    My OS and Applications are on SSD and my home directory including the XP machine are on a 7200 internal drive
    The rest of the machine flies along with gobs of RAM and scratch on SSD, I am confident the machine itself is not straining in any department to run a 1M RAM XP partition with 1 CPU assigned.
  5. t3ch04


    Same Issue


    I have the same issue and I found that having firefox open when I use Parallels is a bad thing. The whole system grinds to a stop. Also I turned off the 3d acceleration and it speed up my Windows 7 OS. I am not sure if any of this helps.

  6. GlennM



    Same for me.

    Not having Firefox open just delays the seemingly inevitable for me.

    I've tried loads of options. Native install of Parallels. Running a Boot Camp install.

    Nothing works. The VM doesn't even need to be running, it's Parallels that has the problem. Anyone have a solution?
  7. GasparS


    Same problem

    I have the same problem after upgrading to Desktop 7
    Mac startup takes longer and the Mac performance is considerably *affected when running Desktop 7

    My config:

    MacBook Pro 15
    Late 2008
    2.66 MHz*
    4 GB RAM
    500 GB hard drive at 7200 rpm
  8. michaelstanford


    Same here

    When Parallels is running, even with all the VMs stopped, the entire computer crawls, even though the activity monitor is showing very light load (sub 25%) on all four cores.

    Terminate Parallels and everything is OK.

    Parallels Build 7.0.15054
    Mac OSX Lion
    15 inch Macbook Pro March 2011
    500 GB disk
    8GB memory
  9. WilliamPaul


    Sometimes it may happens that few programs or applications stop responding and that makes the system crawls
  10. AaronW123


    Similar for me. I was raving to my friends about how great parallels was when i originally installed it on snow leopard and running windows 7 as the guest. worked flawlessly and super fast.

    I upgrade to lion this week and both the host and guest are unusable slow when parallels is running. it's horrible, i wish i never upgraded to lion.

    I submitted a support ticket a cpl days ago but no response.

    Macbook Pro
    2.66 i7
    8gb ram
    mid 2010
  11. think


    I'm still on 10.6.8 and running Parallels 6. I have several XP VM's that run without issue, but when I needed to move on to Win7 64 I went the route of building out a bootcamp install which I now run through Parallels 6. This config runs extremely well with no noticeable slowdowns even when running ProE, Solidworks, etc.

    I'm on an MBP 17 with 3.06 C2D, 8Gb RAM and at the moment running solely on 500 Gb / 7200 RPM HDD. I've recently purchased an SSD and the OWC conversion kit for the optical drive bay to keep the HDD internal as well. This config will have to be built out with Lion, but I'm hoping to stay on Parallels 6 for the time being. Sounds like the combination of
    Lion / Parallels 7 / Win7 64 could have some performance/stability issues.

    Is anyone running this config successfully?
  12. DarenD


    Windows 7 Very Slow with Parallels 7

    This version of Parallels runs extremely slow on my Mac Pro 2.66GHz Dual Core Intel Zeon with 13 Gig of Ram. At this point I can't really even use it for the CAD work I do since it is painfully slow.

    Does VM Ware work any better?

  13. Mike_Brown

    Mike_Brown Bit Poster

    100% CPU usage 100% of the time

    I have been having the same problem lately everything grinding to a halt and a hell of a lot of HDD activity all the time. I am running Parallels 7 with OSX Lion in Cohesion which is normally fantastic but the both the OSX Activity Monitor and the equivalent Windows widget are showing a constant 100% processor usage all the time.

    Activity Monitor tells me that "pro_vm_app" is using 106% of CPU and 1.11GB of Memory and 1.17GB of virtual memory constantly. The only way to speed things up is to close Parallels which is a bind since I use both OS's together all the time...

    What the hell has happened?


    My system:
    MacPro 2.66GHz with 6GB RAM running OSX 10.7.3 and Windows 7 with Parallels 7.0
  14. JerkStore


    Who's getting d*cked over the most by Parallel?

    This thread feels like a contest to see whose getting d*cked over the most by running Parallels. It's sad. I have wiped my MacBook Pro twice and it seems Parallels is impossible to run without lagging the whole computer. It also crashed my HD somehow so I had to reinstall both Snow Leopard AND/OR Lion. Both suck and can't handle Parallels or is it vice versa?

    MacBook Pro Mid 2009, 2.8 gHz, 8GB Ram, 750GB HD and even a fresh copy of Snow Leopard or Lion, Parallels just runs so slow. Beach ball from hell

    Created this account just to add my frustration.
  15. virtualsamana


    Any response from Parallels as to why this is occurring? It has made my Mac unusable as well.
  16. dpickett

    dpickett Bit Poster

    No problems running Win 7 32 in Parallels 7 on my Mac Pro, which makes me think there may be a specific set of symptoms which can be isolated to help solve the problem.
  17. takeshi74


    Doesn't really help anyone but no problems here either. Didn't have problems with Snow Leopard, PD7 & Win7 64 bit. Still no problems after upgrading to Lion. On an early 2011 MBP (2.3GHz/8GB/SSD).
  18. dpickett

    dpickett Bit Poster

    All of the problems seem to be on laptops, or older Mac Pros. Do those machines have something in common?
  19. andrew_p

    andrew_p Bit Poster

    Just adding my 2 cents here. I was a happy Parallels 7 user not too long ago. Both Mac and Windows apps ran smooth as glass under Lion on my older MacBook. But some recent change has made my entire system (both Mac and Win apps) very slow when Parallels is running, even when just an "empty" Windows 7 VM is open. I start Parallels now only when absolutely needed and then quit it. Not a very productive experience anymore. Hopefully this will be fixed soon! I want to like Parallels again! Perhaps this is due to "experimental" changes mentioned in the release notes? Seeing that word in production-level software doesn't inspire confidence...


    Parallels 7 Desktop for Mac (build 7.0.15055)
    MacBook Pro, 15"
    2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3
  20. Specimen

    Specimen Product Expert

    From your description seems more likely that you changed something in your system that is now greatly affecting performance, or some hardware issue, one possibility that comes to mind, is that you are running out of disk space.
    As for the 'experimental' features in the release notes, I think you misread, these refer to supporting not yet released OSes (OSX Mountain Lion and Windows 8) and don't affect you if you aren't running any of these OSs as Guests or Mountain Lion as Host.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

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