Parallels causes Excel 2008 (Mac) slowness

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by bgstults, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    Parallels + WinXP causes Excel 2008 (Mac) slowness

    I have a problem that I've only been able to reproduce when using Excel 2008 for Mac combined with Parallels.

    When Parallels + Windows XP are not up and launched, Excel 2008 behaves normally. After launching Parallels (running Windows XP Pro as the guest OS), Excel 2008 becomes sluggish. Any sort of operation -- even basic entry of data in cells -- lags seconds behind. It is, in short, not useable.

    Note that the sluggishness doesn't happen when Parallels is simply launched. It only occurs when the guest OS is booted. If I "pause" the guest OS in Parallels, Excel for Mac goes back to behaving just fine.

    I have tried changing the memory settings in Parallels, to no avail. I am working on a 2.2Ghz MacBook Pro that has 4GB of RAM, so I'm certain that the machine isn't to blame either.

    Has anyone experienced similar problems, and if so, have you identified a solution? Right now, this is pretty crippling for me....

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  2. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

    Messages:
    1,547
    Hello Bgstults,

    Thank you for your report. We are going to investigate the issue.

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  3. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    To keep this thread updated: I recently upgraded to a new MacBook Pro (2.4Ghz). After performing a fresh install of Office 2008, along with the updates, the problem persists -- albeit not to the same extent.

    To be specific, Excel continues to lag, but usually *not* as much after a fresh restart. I assumed that RAM could be to blame, but right now, I have over 1GB "free" RAM as reported by Activity Monitor or top, and the problem continues. As before, "pausing" the virtual machine in Parallels allows Excel to behave normally again.

    I have posted on Microsoft's Mactopia forums the same information:
    http://www.officeformac.com/ProductForums/Excel/884/5
     
  4. Carl Rambert

    Carl Rambert

    Messages:
    1
    Excel 2008 "Save" causes alert to eject Parallels virtual Disk

    One Parallels Virtual machine active with XP (or Vista), MS Excel 2008 with spreadsheet open, an Excel 2008 "Save" results in an Alert about access to the Parallels virtual harddrive on the desktop. Choices, Retry, or Eject. Retry -> repeats the alert in a few seconds. "Eject" dismisses the alert. Parallels virtual harddrive desktop icon vanishes. Subsequent saves in Excel 2008 go fine. "Shutdown" of the XP (or Vista) Parallels Virtual machine Never completes, window with Windows shutting down screen stays forever, eventually must force quit. Next Parallels launch seems normal.

    No problems with Excel 2004.
    No problems with Word 2008.
     
  5. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

    Messages:
    1,547
    Bgstults and Carl, could you please provide the following information for we could reproduce the issue:

    Parallels Desktop build,
    Mac model,
    Host OS.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  6. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    Parallels Build: 5584.0
    Mac: MacBook Pro 2.4 Ghz, 4GB RAM, 200GB HD
    Mac OS: 10.5.2
    Parallels OS: Windows XP Professional SP2
     
  7. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

    Messages:
    1,547
    Bgstults, thank you for the reply. We did not see this behavior on Excel 2008 with Parallels.
    Could you let me know, in which folder Excel documents are stored on your MacBook Pro? Is this folder shared with the Guest OS?

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  8. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    I generally store Excel documents on my Mac partition, so it's Mac on both the app and the documents. However, the behavior occurs even when working in a "new" and unsaved document. I can open a brand new spreadsheet, and it too will lag.

    As a sidenote: last night, I created a new disk image to run Windows XP, as opposed to my traditional setup (which is running Parallels off of a Boot Camp partition). Thus far, I have not been able to reproduce the problem. HOWEVER, it did take a few days for the problem to manifest itself before.

    I will keep this thread up to date. There is quite literally *nothing* different about my new Parallels image drive and my Boot Camp partition, aside from installation of the Boot Camp drivers on the Boot Camp partition. This makes me wonder if the problem might be related somehow to Boot Camp's drivers and their interaction with Parallels and/or Microsoft's products.
     
  9. jlambert121

    jlambert121

    Messages:
    1
    Issue confirmation

    I am having the exact same problem. Excel 2008 and Parallels causing Excel to be extrememly slow. If I pause the virtual machine (XP SP3) Excel slowness goes away, resuming the VM and the slowness returns.

    MBP 2GB RAM OSX 10.5.4
    Parallels 3.0 build 5608
    Only Excel and Parallels running. 1.2GB free ram

    Please let me know if I can provide any other information useful in solving this issue.

    jl
     
  10. bgstults

    bgstults

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    19
    Glad it's not just me. The problem persists for me too. Very frustrating!
     
  11. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

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    6,343
    Please try some optimization recommendation:
    1. Set memory for Virtual Machine to less than 1 GB
    2. Perform Mac and Windows side disk defragmentation http://www.xvsxp.com/system/system_tools_defrag.php
    3. Set Adjust memory limit from Auto to Manual at Parallels Desktop -Preferences-Memory, and set limit a bit more higher than VM memory
    4. Disable Themes in Windows XP serives.msc stop Themes service
    5. If you are running in Coherence, try to switch to Single Window, or lower Mac resolution
    6. Some antivirus software can load CPU when Heuristic Prediction is set, or Tamper protection (Symantec, MacAffey), adjust settings to risk you are supposed, high security settings is not always good idea, as it can also affect software running
    7. Run msconfig , and disable unneeded startup items
    See http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_xp.html
    8. Make sure that no VNC,or remote desktop connection is established to Mac, this can slowdown Parallels Desktop
     
  12. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    These are all good performance tips. Unfortunately, none of them address the performance bug we're talking about in this thread.

    This is a very specific and precipitous slowdown that occurs only when a particular set of conditions exist. There is zero doubt that it's a software bug: the only question is whether the fault lies on the Parallels side, or with a Microsoft product (either Office or Windows XP Pro).
     
  13. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

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    6,343
    Do you have some Excel example which slows Mac, or can you create sample one I can check
     
  14. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    Just creating a new spreadsheet in Excel 2008 while Parallels is open (from a Boot Camp partition, running Windows XP Pro SP2 or SP3) is how I'm able to consistently reproduce it. Even a blank, new spreadsheet exhibits the problem. Typing in any cells in the sheet lags substantially.
     
  15. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

    Messages:
    6,343
    I am not able to reproduce it
    Configuration
    MB CD 1.83 2GB Windows 2003 Boot Camp(w and w/o Parallels Tools), MS Ofiice 2008 - Excel
    MBP CD 1.83 2Gb Windows XP SP3 BC, MS Ofiice 2008 - Excel

    Build is 5608
     
  16. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    So very weird. I have tried this on MacBook Pros -- both 2.2Ghz and 2.4Ghz models. 2GB and 4GB of RAM. Windows XP Pro SP2 and SP3 on a Boot Camp partition, and MS Office 2008 installed.

    The only other x-factor I can think of is the installation of Office 2003 on the Boot Camp partition. (I do this because I continue to use Outlook as my e-mail client.) Perhaps the collision of Office 2008 on the Mac Side, Office 2003 on the PC side, and Boot Camp + Parallels is what's causing it?

    jlambert121, it would be interesting to note whether you have another version of Office installed on your Boot Camp partition like I do.
     
  17. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

    Messages:
    6,343
    May be external monitor?
     
  18. bgstults

    bgstults

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    No, I've never used an external monitor with either laptop.
     
  19. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

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    6,343
    Installed Office 2003 Pro in Boot Camp, enabled disabled Smart Select.
    no difference,
    I suppose if you can check System profiler-Logs node, system.log it will give you some more clues, what is behind
    or use in terminal
    sudo less /private/var/system.log
     
  20. bgstults

    bgstults

    Messages:
    19
    That's befuddling. I figured for sure that Office 2003 would do it.

    I've run into this with absolutely no other third party programs running under either operating system.
     

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