Parallels, Video memory error, and windowserver.log

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by dereed999, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. dereed999

    dereed999

    Messages:
    3
    Setup:
    I have two monitors. The "built in" on my MBP 15" (1440x900) and a flat panel 1600x1200 external. I almost always put Parallels into coherence mode on the "built in" screen but limit it to just that screen (so it's not trying to span both displays). If it matters, the screens are set to be "offset" in my OS X display preferences since the external sits higher up than the built in. (That way my mouse moves in a straight line between the two monitors.)

    Problem:
    I frequently (at least once a day) get an error in Parallels about not enough video memory, try increasing it. This only seems to happen when my screens go to sleep and then wake back up. The exact error is:
    "The Screen resolution in the guest OS cannot be set because it is low on video memory. To increase the amount of video memory, shutdown the virtual machine, set new virtual machine video memory size (Edit Configuration -> Memory -> Video Memory)."

    Observations:
    When this happens, I notice that my /var/log/windowserver.log file starts filling with errors like:
    Mar 05 09:46:34 [68] kCGErrorIllegalArgument: _CGXCacheMergeShmem: Invalid mergeShmemID (672)
    Mar 05 09:48:11 [68] kCGErrorIllegalArgument: _CGXCacheMergeShmem: Invalid mergeShmemID (3950)

    I have to leave coherence mode or those errors will continue to occur. Once I leave coherence mode they seem to stop. If I try to re-enter coherence mode, they come back.

    Any suggestions on what I can try to fix the problem and/or when Parallels will actually work as advertised? :)
     
  2. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

    Messages:
    1,547
    Hello Dereed999,

    This is a known issue that happens on Macbooks and iMacs with integrated video cards. It is a Mac hardware limitation. Unfortunately integrated Mac video cards can't support Coherence running on both displays simultaneously. You can try to resolve the problem by lowering the screen resolution on both displays.

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  3. reesd

    reesd

    Messages:
    25
    This just started happening to me, but I have been running coherence on the same machine on the same monitors with the same resolution for a month with no problems. So this can work somehow, any suggestion on how to get back to when it was working?
    d
    Parallels 5584
    Mac OS X 10.5.2 (9C31)
    Model Name: MacBook Pro 15"
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro2,2
    Chipset Model: ATY,RadeonX1600
    Color LCD: 1440 x 900
    Cinema HD: 1920 x 1200
     
  4. stsanford

    stsanford Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    I am having the same issue, but I am on a Brand-New 8-Core Mac Pro with 8GB of RAM, so I don't think it's the Video Hardware ;-)
    You think it's the upper limit of 64MB of Video RAM?
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  5. reesd

    reesd

    Messages:
    25
    Interestingly, the solution for me seems to be setting my video memory back down to 16MB. I still get an occasional "Invalid mergeShmemID" in the windowserver.log, but everything works...
     
  6. funtuva

    funtuva

    Messages:
    4
    I am getting the same video error memory on a new iMAC24, no external monitor, running Leopard 10.5.2 and Parallels 5584. This started happening when I started using Coherence, did not happen with Full screen. Coherence also hangs XP and mouse stops responding, need to restart the VM
     
  7. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

    Messages:
    1,547
    Hello,

    Reesd and Funtuva, as I have mentioned above, we could reproduce the issue on MacBooks and iMacs (when going to sleep mode) and it is entered into a bug report.

    We can currently propose two workarounds:

    * Hide Parallels Desktop (Command key + H) every time you are going to leave you computer for long
    * Disable sleep mode options - Never put computer to sleep and never put display to sleep in Mac System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Sleep.

    Stsanford, I don't feel certain of what the cause is in your case. Did you try to reinstall Parallels? Are you sure that Parallels Tools version is corresponding the build? You should probably reinstall Parallels Tools.

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  8. reesd

    reesd

    Messages:
    25
    For those who are not familiar with it, I recommend InsomniaX for controlling sleep/hiberation. Its a great little, free tool. Its great for turning off sleep when you just want to close the lid and walk to another meeting room.
    d
     
  9. stsanford

    stsanford Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    Xenos,
    my machine does power off the monitors, but it never sleeps. It's been actually much worse the last 3 days or so.
    If I leave Parallels open over night when I come back to the computer it is with that error message that I find it.
     
  10. mantis108

    mantis108

    Messages:
    5
    No, it's not just those machines, I have a brand new eight-core super duper MacPro system and it's happening on that system's dual display setup as well.
     
  11. stsanford

    stsanford Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    Mantis108
    Thanks for the validation. I have the super duper 8-core dual display as well. Seems to be a limitation with the Parallels VM, but I was kind of getting shot down here. Now maybe with 2 machines exhibiting the same malady, it will get some serious attention. I say being able to give 128MB of VRAM to it may help... Just hope it can be swapped.

    As it is now, I run Parallels in my Left monitor and Fusion in the right. Neither seem able to run dual displays in coherence / unity so this is the best solution I have...
     
  12. mantis108

    mantis108

    Messages:
    5
    These aren't great solutions since the first requires remembering to do the CMD-H thing every time you walk away (inconvenient -- can this be implemented as a feature/option in parallels to auto-hide itself after a period of inactivity perhaps?), and the 2nd isn't very "green"...

    Btw, I reinstalled the Parallel Tools a week ago on my MacPro Eight-Core and it's still happening for me.

    Further investigation by the Parallels team on this issue would be appreciated, as it's a bug that regularly and consistently has an adverse affect on the user experience with this otherwise excellent software.
     
  13. mantis108

    mantis108

    Messages:
    5
    Oh wow, I just remembered -- I am only running Parallels on the left screen (1920x1200) and not on the right, as I didn't like the partial screen thing happening (due to the "one big screen" methodology Parallels uses on a two-screen setup) on the right monitor which is lower resolution. So, to clarify, this is happening in a NON-dual display setup, and is running out of video memory on ANY setting with Parallels being on a single display...

    Just to clarify that this isn't limited to dual-displays...
     
  14. mantis108

    mantis108

    Messages:
    5
    This is exactly the situation I experience it in.. after a night of the machine running, whether left sleeping or not. This causes me to believe it is a memory leak issue in Parallels, but that's just a semi-educated guess on my part.
     
  15. funtuva

    funtuva

    Messages:
    4
    Coherence 5584 freezing Lepoard

    Xenos

    The problem is that there is not time to issue the cmd-h to hide parallels before a long break, because the problem arises also during normal use of Coherence, usually after a period of 30 to 45 min.

    I have disabled all sleep timers on the screen, but still, Coherence so far is just not working stable on the new iMacs 24 running Leopard 10.5.2. It freezes sooner or later. I have tried giving more RAm to the VM (from 512 o 1024). This seemed to make the problem worse for whatever reason. Also fiddling around with video resolution options, does not solve the problem.

    I have installed vmware Unity and it works, it is much more stable, does not make the screen jumpy or jittery. I am now caught between two worlds as my Parallels VM machine is more elaborated, and I rather do not use the Import VM tool offered by vmware. Also I notice that resource use is lower with Unity (CPU stays around 20% to max 40%) while Coherene shows from 60% to 90% as a norm, very often you check and is 98% and up!!!

    I just hope Parallels comes up with a fix for Coherence, before they loose more customers to VMware´s Unity. I would rather stick with Parallels, just because I am used to it and I think it handles USB better.

    funtuva
     
  16. mantis108

    mantis108

    Messages:
    5
    Well I hate to say this because I've been such a longtime and loyal Parallels customer, but I just migrated my Parallels 3.0 VM to VMWare Fusion and after about an hour of installing and converting with their Import tool, I'm happily running under VMWare and Unity mode without the issues I'm experiencing under Parallels. Sucks that this had to be the solution, but maybe it will be a reminder to Parallels that they need to stay competitive and not leave major bugs in the software like this.

    This was an $80 solution, so I don't recommend it to everyone...if you're patient (unlike me, I needed this fixed now) keep petitioning these guys and hopefully they'll recognize the issue and fix it soon in a Parallels 3.0 future build.
     
  17. smj

    smj

    Messages:
    9
    Same problem with MSN

    I am getting a similar problem with MSN windows that pop-up.

    I can see the icon for the window on the task-bar but it's impossible to display the window. I either have to close the window and then open a new one or i have to leave coherence mode.

    The error message that parallels gives is the same - it tells me to try increasing the amount of video memory but this doesn't help at all.

    It hadn't occurred to me before now but I'm fairly sure it only happens when I've been away from the computer for a period of time.

    I'm running build 5584 but I've suffered from this problem for as long as I can remember. Reinstalling OS X and parallels didn't help. I have a MBP with 2GB ram. I never use a second monitor.

    MSN is one of my main uses for parallels these days so I too will be moving to vmware if this problem doesn't get fixed. Expecting people to follow those workarounds is unreasonable - who wants to minimize a window every time they walk away from the computer or disable the power saving features?
     
  18. twynne

    twynne Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    154
    Just wanted to add another voice. I'm getting this on a Macbook Air (so a single screen), with Parallels in Coherence mode. It will generally run fine for *days* at a time, then I come back to find it has happened and Parallels is consuming in excess of 100% CPU.

    Details:

    OS X Leopard 10.5.2
    Guest: XP Pro SP2
    Parallels build 5592

    The workaround of disabling sleep is not an option for me as it's too insecure to leave my machine unlocked. Remembering to hide Parallels is just a pain!

    Rgds,

    Tom
     
  19. Jaimie

    Jaimie

    Messages:
    1
    Another sufferer here

    Leopard 10.5.2, Parallels 3/Mac build 5584. I'm running on a Mini with a single 1920x1200 screen, and get hit by this when in Coherence mode, after the screen saver has kicked in. It's occasional, once every few days, although I constantly have an app running in coherence and have a screensaver timeout of 5 minutes.

    I've pushed video memory up to the limit, doesn't help.
     
  20. twynne

    twynne Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    154
    Is Parallels support any further ahead on this issue? It's been happening for some time, and I'm afraid it's not healthy for my machine as the CPU maxes out whenever the error message is being displayed. It then gets so hot that it shuts down a core, at which point it's nearly impossible to regain control of the machine.

    If there's not a fix in the near future I'm going to have to look at other alternatives.
     

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