Parallels 7, Lion: Mac OS grinds to a halt

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

  1. JoelRubio

    JoelRubio Bit Poster

    I finally switched machines (from MB late 2008, 4GB, 250GB, 2.5Ghz) to MBP mid 2010, 8GB, 320GB, 2.66Ghz) and cloned the same exact drive from the old MB to the new MBP. Both are 13", btw. So basically, I got all my settings back as I'm using the same image. Did not have to re-install anything. Now it's all working fine and very usable. I didn't have to upgrade my P7 installation (was using same build 7-1.0.15094.749908, from previous machine and image). I'm happy. Go figure. Now I can recommend it to my other client, but I will insist that her machine be upgraded from 4GB to 8GB of RAM.

    Hope everyone else has better success like I did. But I think the key may be RAM, even though previous posters in this topic had indicated that they already have that, and even have SSD. I guess if you already have a good machine with the latest version of P7, and still experiencing the problem, re-install and see what happens (as the previous posted, Andrew_P, had success doing that).

    Best to all,
  2. tsheffield


    Paralles 7 grinds to a halt

    Similar problem to all the other posts. Parallels ran fine, upgraded and now runs intolerably slow. So curious that Parallels doesn't respond to all these issues right on their own website.
  3. EveningClouds

    EveningClouds Bit Poster

    Running iMac Snow Leopard, Parallels sloooow

    Must be some kind of memory leak. Runs OK then gradually slows to a crawl. I'm disturbed at Parallel's lack of reply to all these complaints. I just loaded 8 gb of cpu memory and still find Parallels taking almost all of it. Hoping to get an answer soon.
  4. Gracerider


    Similar problem

    Parallels 7 latest release, just upgraded to Lion on MacBook Pro with 8G RAM 500G harddrive 30G free i7 core. Everything was fine with Snow Leopard. Now with Lion my Windows XP machines are running much slower it seems the windows explorer gets halted for longs period when opening directories. I see the XP CPU go up to 100%. I'm running the XP VM with 1 CPU. This did not happen as often with Snow Leopard. Any suggestions beside the usual I'm looking for something that is related to Lion as it was definitely after the upgrade I saw the slow down. BTW the upgrade went very smooth no problems otherwise.
  5. cheeseb


    Any developments on this front?

    I have a mid-2009 MBP
    2.8 Ghz core 2 duo
    4GB RAM
    Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT
    Mac OS 10.6.8 (DO NOT WANT LION, compatibility still too spotty)

    I currently have Parallels 5 with 32-bit Windows XP and it runs acceptably. No hardcore gaming or anything like that, but I can open and run Solidworks 2009 well enough for relatively basic projects.

    However, I am transitioning into doing freelance design/engineering work, so I will probably need SW 2013 for some of the people I will be working with. As you may or may not know, Solidworks is cutting Win XP from the compatibility list and will actually refuse to install in Windows XP.

    So, in order to run Solidworks 2013, I will need Windows 7. I figure I might as well install Windows 7 64-bit. Since I'm doing that, I have heard Parallels 7 has better 3D performance, so should I upgrade or stick with 5? Upgrade to 6? I don't have a problem upgrading to 8 GB of RAM if it will help.

    Anyone else with a similar computer (4 or 8 GB of RAM) running Win 7 64+Parallels 7+Solidworks 2011/12/13 successfully? I would hate to spend $200-$300 on software to realize my computer just can't handle it. I feel like with upgraded RAM it should, though. Also, keep in mind, I don't expect much to go on in the Mac side of things when I'm running Windows in Parallels, just basic web browsing and maybe some Word/Excel should suffice. I don't want to go to bootcamp as that just makes everything complicated for me.
  6. nemodomi2


    Once burned twice shy.

    Just thought I'd add my .66 Rubles here.

    I started with Parallels v4, running XP Home. Since then, I've purchased the upgrades to v5, v6, v7, as well as Windows 7 Pro.

    BUT, thanks to my having found and read threads like this one over the years, that illustrate the ETERNAL UTTER LACK OF ADEQUATE RESPONSE from Parallels Inc. to such threads, I've chosen to allow my foolishly purchased v5, v6, v7 and Windows 7 Pro to sit on the shelf and gather dust.

    It's amazing and pathetic that in all these years Parallels Inc. hasn't gotten its stuff together -- not its programming stuff, nor its customer-support stuff.

    So I'll continue to plunk along running v4 and XP. Meh. Who needs the headaches.
  7. DariuszM


    Same issues for me.

    I've got MB Pro 2009 with 8GB RAM and P7 with WinXP works quite ok, but on my iMac 2011 with 4GB RAM it's hang all my system. Parallels 7 is a greatest piece of sh... I've ever seen in my life. It's optimized for Lion, HAHAHA what do You do if You NOT optimize the shitty software Parallels? I've got P5, 6 and now 7 but it's a WORST version EVER. Comparing to VMware Fusion, P7 just SUCKS!
  8. cheeseb


    I upgraded to 8GB of RAM (see 3 posts up for my full setup) and then upgraded to Parallels 7 with the same Bootcamp Windows XP and it's working great. I think the problem here is that modern OSes are too RAM hungry for anything less than 8GB+ to run two at a time. I have the RAM slider set for 3 GB and Solidworks 2009 runs well. I fear what will happen when I go to Win 7+SW 2013, though, as both of those will most assuredly be more RAM hungry. I wish I could've gone to 16 GB of RAM as that would surely have been enough.

    For those of you having trouble, have you gone into settings and adjusted the RAM slider? I adjusted it to the max of the green part of the bar (it goes from green, to yellow, to red). If you have 4 or especially 8 GB of RAM, try adjusting that and see what your results are like. I really have no idea if this will help or not, but am curious in the event I have to update to Lion in the near future.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  9. ksn135


    Same issue. Probably this start happend after last update.

    My config:

    iMac 27-inch, Mid 2011
    Processor 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory 8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
    Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB
    Serial Number DGKH6040DL8Q
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53)

    Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
    Build 7.0.15104
    (Revision 778994; July 10, 2012)
  10. caywen


    Same here

    I used to run Parallels 7 in Snow Leopard and it ran great. I don't know exactly when it began, but running the latest Parallels 7 on Lion, Windows 7 *and* Win8 Release Preview are both practically unusable. Major system-wide hangs and beachball cursors.

    Parallels, please take this seriously.
  11. CourtH


    I cannot believe I gave this company my money. it is impossible to get in touch with anyone at the company. I have. 2011 Mac mini i5 2.5ghz 8mb Ram. I bought PD7 just so I could play games in OSX. I ran them all in full specs on boot camp. I installed PD7 and they are inoperable at minimum specs.

    I will be seeking a refund and will make sure to tell everyone I know to avoid this company.
  12. dpickett

    dpickett Bit Poster

    The problem isn't Parallels, it's your expectations.

    First of all, I doubt you ran the games at full specs with a 256MB 6630M: it's a low-end GPU with a tiny amount of VRAM.

    Second, not all games will run in Parallels. Before buying you should google around to see if it's possible. For instance, Mass Effect 1 and 2 run fine in Parallels. Mass Effect 3 will only run in Boot Camp, not because of the game itself but because of Origin, which won't let ME3 run for some reason.
  13. WilliamCarr


    No, the problem is really Parallels.

    We usually only hear from them when it's paid Upgrade Time, right? Always the bright and shiny new version that should FIX everything !

    I'm sure the solution is some combination of; a) a memory leak, b) defaulting to the "slow" builtin Graphics card, c) HUGE cache file buildup, or d) hitting the hard drive over and over and over obsessing over cache files.

    The slow performance looks like pagein-pageouts. And the stuttering is likely a graphics card problem.

    You'd think they could keep a fleet of laptops around to test these issues and just post a "best used with a MacBook Pro 7,2, 640 MB Hard Drive, and 16MB Ram", but that would hurt sales.
  14. Bill Rising

    Bill Rising Bit Poster

    On the Edge of 4GB

    I've experienced the same massive slowdowns using both Parallels 7 and now Parallels 8 under Mountain Lion (and Lion).

    I have a mid-2009 MBP which has the magic 4GB of RAM which others have.

    I believe that the problem is that the little extra RAM needed by the Parallels Desktop app (not the VM) when running Windows (7 or 8, 32bit or 64bit) is enough to start thrashing. When I run Ubuntu, the memory footprint of the Parallels Desktop App is a little smaller, so things are a bit better.

    The other problem could be that Mountain Lion or Lion use more RAM than Snow Leopard, which then squeezes apps for space.

    In any case, it seems that 4GB is just not enough RAM anymore.
  15. CurtisCo


    Mid-2011 IMac with 8 Gig - Parallels Crawls

    I don't understand what is wrong with this product. I am running WIndows 7. I have the latest version of Parallels, I have 8 Gig of Ram, I have assigned Parallels 4 Gig, I have a ton of free disk space and it just crawllllllllllllllllllllllllllllls !!!!! It is completely useless. I have applied all the optimization techniques with no results.

    I guess there is a reason that it is NOT for sale on the Apple Store.
    I just unsigned for all all update emails. I will not be fooled again into buying the next release on the false promise that it is faster than the last.

  16. Andrew@Parallels

    Andrew@Parallels Parallels Team

    Hi everyone,

    Guys, please, let's keep the different issues in the different threads. This one initially started with Parallels Desktop 7 performance on Mac OS X Lion and it got all sorts of the various replies with different questions, different OS and different symptoms. For example please use this forum for games and this one for high CPU usage when running Parallels Desktop.

    Back to the problem - the common "performance" troubleshooting (to make your Windows run faster) can be found at

    Please include more details if your issue is different from this one and we will be happy to help.
  17. JoelRubio

    JoelRubio Bit Poster

    One huge change I did that fixed everything for me is replacing my hard drive with an SSD drive. It's like a whole new world opened up when I did that. Parallels is super happy now. And I did not do a clean install either. Just cloned the old hard drive over to the SSD, and wham! It's like cure for cancer on everything on my Mac. Now even running Windows 8 along with it. Btw, upgrade to Parallels 8.
  18. Griffin


    My experience with Parallels support on this issue

    I have done all of the suggestions listed at that link, none fixes the issue. Here is my experience:

    About 9 months ago (June 2012) I upgraded my MacBook Pro to Lion, and I also upgraded to Parallels 7 because it was "recommended" for Lion. Since then, running parallels (with or without a VM running) made my system slow to a crawl. Once my CPU was pegged at 100%, it would heat up, the fans would go into overdrive, and I would be concerned the heat would damage my Mac. Unusable, as many have reported here. I called Parallels support. Spent the next three evenings with Parallels support remoting into my Mac, trying to resolve the issue. They had no clue. They could see the problem happening, and tried all manner of things (I am not sure what all they tried, as this went on for hours on end). I know that we uninstalled Parallels, and reinstalled. I bought a memory upgrade (from 4GB to 8GB) at their suggestion. I even reinstalled OSX, then did a fresh reinstall of Parallels. No change. After that, I gave up. Because I stopped calling Parallels support every evening, I got an email from them saying "We haven't heard from you, so we assume everything is great!" and they closed the ticket.

    Because I need both Mac and Windows for work, I dug out my old Windows laptop, and have been lugging around two laptops for the last 9 months. (I spend most of my time at clients' locations, so I need to have both laptops with me all the time.) A royal pain, and the reason I have been using parallels since version 2 or 3.

    This past weekend, I decided to bite the bullet (again), and see if i could get P7 working again. There have been a couple of upgrades in the last few months, I figured they must have fixed this issue by now. I installed the latest version of P7, and had the exact same problem. I have a lot of software on my Mac, so, to make things as clean as possible, I spent the weekend backing up everything, formatting my Mac's hard drive, doing a fresh install of Lion. Installed only MS Office 2011 on the Mac, no other software. Mac was running like a champ, very fast and responsive, as I would expect. Still had a lot of software to reinstall, but first I thought I would get Parallels installed.

    I downloaded the latest version of P7, installed it, copied my WinXP VM from my backup. Ran it, and Wham! My Mac slows to a crawl. Same symptoms as before. Hours and hours of time with reboots, reinstalls, optimizing, no improvement.

    I created a new VM, and tried to do a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro, but it slowed to a crawl, and after several hours on the Setup screen (and my CPU and fans going to max) I shut it down. Big waste of time, and now I have to reinstall all my Mac software.

    I can't imagine a cleaner installation, with a freshly formatted hard drive, fresh OSX install, fresh Parallels install and a fresh Windows install. 8 GB of Ram, half of it dedicated to the VM. I really thought after all this time this issue would have been resolved. I even tried uninstalling P7, and doing a fresh install of Parallels 6, but had the same issue.

    So, my only question at this time for Parallels support is: Has the problem been fixed yet? I am not interested in spending 8-10 hours on the phone with Parallels support again, if there is no fix. Obviously, support did not have the fix 9 months ago, and my impression was that they would just keep me on the phone, trying everything they could think of, which they did every evening until I would tell them I needed to go to bed (I think the tech was relieved to be done with the call by that point), and then they would pick it up the next evening when I called, with a new tech repeating most of what the previous tech tried the night before, until I gave up. I don't really want to go through that again. Especially since I had just bought P7 and was getting free support. I think that ends after 30 or 60 days, so I don't know if they would want to charge me now, which is why I was looking for a fix posted here.

    A quick Google search shows that this, apparently, is a widespread problem. Amazing to me that it hasn't been fixed yet.

    (I also want to say that it is quite insulting to get the emails about upgrading to Parallels 8 which will fix everything. I bought Parallels 7 nine months ago, I have yet to get it running, and they want me to buy Parallels 8? Insulting. As far as I am concerned, they still owe me a working version of Parallels. But I digress...)

    So, what say you, Parallels support? I'm not sure what I am going to do next, I was going to try calling Parallels support, but did a search first to see if there was some definitive fix for this, and that led me to this thread, and this long rant.

  19. EinfachFabi


    Hello mates.

    Today, i just installed Parallels the first time, downloaded steam after installation and purchased DayZ in the Steamstore. When i first tried to start the game i saw that it doesnt really recognizes my mouse (Hama USB Mouse) that works perfect on either mac and windows. The game starting manue seemed to be very very laggy and i didnt even get into the game. so first i tried to set graphics and stuff down to minimum but it doesnt work. i checked google and it said that i should give parallels more ram and cpu. as i am working on the newest generation of macbook pro 15" i gave windows 6GB of ram and 4 out of 8 cpu. it still doesnt work and the starting screen still seems very laggy! also the mouse isnt working properly. when i move it gently it doesnt work but when i double click then it just jumps to a different position. it doesnt even show me the mouse in the USB configuration in the settings.. what can i do ?

    thanks for the help in advance,
    Fabian Skala
    - depressed gamer :)

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