prl_vm_app @ 99.9% CPU on Mac OS X 10.7

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by Greenwood Digital, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. johnmharte

    johnmharte

    Messages:
    10
    Well, I don't know why...but I imported the Parallels 7 VM into Fusion 4 and it's not peaking over 10% CPU...
    I really think it's something with my Macbook Cpu... or Win 7 x64 and Parallels 7's code...
    There can't be so many good reviews of Parallels 7 and it not be a good product. It's just not working for me and my cleanly installed Win7 x64 VM on a Macbook Pro Mid 2009 build... Raid0 Seagate Hybrid XT's....and 8GB of RAM... running OSX 10.7.

    Here's my low 2% cpu usage now...
    [​IMG]

    For removing Parallels 7 Completely...
    http://kb.parallels.com/en/112189
    Not strait foreword...
     
  2. asana

    asana

    Messages:
    6
    Your tip worked great for me. As soon as I closed Google Chrome on the Mac OS 10.7 side, the panic stopped immediately. The fans, which I was monitoring, slowed down, and the temperature went to normal, which is for PC people pretty hot at 71C.
    A later test when starting the browser again on the Mac side, did not have any noticeable influence on performance.

    Due to my work, I can not give up on VM. Over time and with patience, most idiosyncratic behavior has been ironed out. Right now I still can not copy to the clipboard on the WIN7 side and paste to a Mac program. I have not researched it well. Any quick fix?
     
  3. SimonAntony

    SimonAntony Bit Poster

    Messages:
    4
    Same here i'm afraid and it's costing me a lot of money in lost time. I've seen this process hitting over 200% on my MBP 8Gig ram etc

    Windows 7 32bit is running with a shade over 3 gig ram available to it, two HDD and shared folders with the mac (which is really useful for my work so need to stay with it).

    Not sure what to do, tempted to jump back to Fusion now, going to download a copy and try it out to see how it runs, not used since V2. I've paid a lot of good money for Parallels and now it's starting to brass me right off.

    Parallels, sort it please and quickly - there are enough of us complaining about it to justify you sorting - and yes i'm running the latest version of Parallels!

    Si
     
  4. AdamCK

    AdamCK

    Messages:
    1
    Applications folder and Adobe Updater in Windows caused the issues for me

    I tried removing the Windows Apps folder from OSX and immediately my CPU usage for Parallels dropped from around 160% down to 20s%, but alas only for a short period of time. Soon after the fan ramped up, CPU was right up way over 100% again.

    I went searching in Windows for the culprit and found it was the Adobe Updater process (this is always a process hog, even previously when I was Bootcamping). I've closed that process down and for the last 3 days prl_vm_app hasn't gone above 50%. I've 3 cores of 8 given to Windows and it runs really well - better than in Bootcamp.
     
  5. Bill Hall

    Bill Hall Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    I have the problem with Paralells 7 utilizing over 100% of my processor as well.

    Wasn't nearly as much of a problem with version 6. Now with version 7, I have to restart paralells a couple times a day.

    Hey... Paralells... something is wrong!

    Config: Macbook Pro w/8GB ram, 256 SSD drive, 10.6.8, Paralells 7 totally up to date and latest tools installed (and reinstalled)
     
  6. NateAshday

    NateAshday

    Messages:
    5
    I've been struggling with this for a long time now, and it's reached a point where my MBP runs so hot and hard all the time that the 85W power adapter can no longer charge my battery and I end up sitting at ~0% charge most of the time with the fans cooking like mad. Finally reached a boiling point today with it and went looking for solutions, tried everything so far and have had no luck in resolving this issue.

    I'm running on a MacbookPro8,3 with 16GB RAM so this thing should be able to practically fly to the moon on it's own resources and back. I've allocated 4GB RAM to the W7 VM, if that somehow matters? prl_vm_app constantly fluctuates and runs between ~75% CPU and ~350% CPU without any interaction on my part, basically just because I have my W7 VM running. I have an external monitor attached, but I don't find any reason or symptom that seems to indicate that could be related.

    Admittedly, these specs are pretty beefy for my usage needs, as I'm not using this machine for any gaming, high-intensity software compilation, video-related tasks, etc. It's pretty much just a very nice OSX/Windows hybrid web/iOS development workstation that stays plugged into the AC adapter 99% of the time... that is ideally supposed to afford me the luxury of not having to worry about dealing with limitations in my hardware setup in any situation. Quite literally, this is the ONLY issue that I have encountered with this ~$3500 setup. The only reason I have this model, incidentally, was because I *could* upgrade it to 16GB RAM which allows me to have the VM running on 4GB and not slow down the OSX host by robbing a huge portion of its' available RAM (and slow down my daily workflow in the process).

    Windows' Task Manager shows CPU Usage in the 0%-1% (never more) range at the same time that the process in Activity Monitor shows in the above 75%-350% range. Software wise, there's nothing HAPPENING to indicate that this is related to any process firing automatically nor anything that I'm actually doing with the setup. I'm running SQL server, ColdFusion server on IIS7, and IE basically with nothing else of note on the VM side, but this situation happens independent of any action or program that I have running on the VM. Still occurs when I stop the CF/SQL processes and close out IE, which basically gives me a bare W7 instance.

    I don't have anything stupid installed like toolbars in IE or whatnot that I've seen indicated as "solutions" to this problem on either the OSX or W7 sides of the equation, so none of those solutions have been helpful. Additionally (and yes, I've got "Show processes from all users" checked) there seems to be a major disconnect between the usage on the CPU in my OSX environment when there's literally NOTHING going on in the W7 environment and it's sitting at 0% usage.

    Both OSX and W7 sides have all the software/windows updates up to date, so there really isn't anything more that I can think to do here short of a major runaway process somewhere under the hood of Parallels 7??

    Anyone else experiencing this issue? Obviously, I'm a (software and web) developer so I'm not naive to how my system works, but I just can't think of anything else that could cause this sort of bizarre behavior.

    Incidentally, my coworker has a nearly identical setup on his nearly identical machine and is having the same issues, so I doubt this is hardware-related or an anomaly with my individual installation.

    Typically the best band-aid we've found so far here is to either shut down Parallels and start it back up or sometimes just jumping out of Coherence and back in helps, but overall this is really frustrating and bizarre.

    Help?!

    Thanks!! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  7. Bill Hall

    Bill Hall Bit Poster

    Messages:
    22
    Hey Nate-

    I unfortunately, never found an official solution, but I did find a way to make it almost stop. Like you, I'm an engineer and actually came from 12yrs at Apple so I know that there is nothing wonky going on with either my machine or setup from the Win or Mac side. Everything is exceptionally clean... So, I did an experiment just in case I did actually miss something.

    I reinstalled on a brand new fresh clean install of OS X Lion and did a software update from both Parallels and OS X. Totally clean everything... Then, I did a brand spanking new fresh install of Win 7 and did all the updates... LOADED NOTHING ELSE. To be clear here... there was NO 3rd party software except for Parallels. Absolutely sanitary.

    Then, Let'er go. Just opened parallels and just basically let her sit idle.

    Results:
    - Nothing... for about an hour.. then, shazam... pvm starts cranking the crap out of my processor(s). Its was on a quad core Mac Pro, so I didn't worry about heat... I just let her do her thing. After about 1/2 hour (I think), pvm calms down and goes back to it's normal 20%-ish or whatever it usually sits at. It did this quite often.

    Why?:
    - So, I did a trace activity, but I did it on the Windows side. What I found was that when Win does some sort of indexing (it was awhile ago, so I don't remember what it was, but I think it was doing something in search or HD maintenance, not sure), it throws PVM into a hissy. Once that activity was done, pvm calms down.

    The tough part about this was that I only sort of accidentally found it because the win activity doesn't take up hardly any processor cycles on the PC side... Its just sort of a background maintenance activity. So, I just sort of let it be. After about two weeks of this (I let the machine alone and just left it on), pvm didn't do it as much. I guess windows was licking itself so much (cleaning), that it felt it was nice and tidy and stopped doing it as much... not really sure.

    So... The final test... I created a linux VM.. pvm rarely spun up. Case sort of unofficially closed... in a way. There's something in Windows that is triggering pvm to go into overdrive when in fact, it doesn't need to. I have the latest version of PVM 7 and it doesn't seem to do it nearly as much. I now run it daily and leave it on all the time on my 13" Macbook and don't really have the problem much. Maybe once a week at the most.

    So... what do you do with all this... Well, since you can't really trash Win7, I would suggest you try to just let it sit on as much as you can. I know this is tough with a MBP, but just dim the screen, don't let it go to sleep, raise the MBP off the desk to give it additional air under the body, and let her do her thing overnight... It may work itself out. If you're not on PVM 7, this seems to have helped me quite a bit or at least the latest version.

    I know this was long writeup, but its been a long saga.

    I just wish Parallels would have looked into this and actually helped out its users a little bit. They have been silent on it and it 100% reproducible and many seem to have the problems. There are many threads about this on the Apple support forums because they gave up on Parallels support. If I hadn't been very curious and stubborn, I would have switched to VMWare, but I don't think that's any better and I find this forum better so that makes the difference.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. NateAshday

    NateAshday

    Messages:
    5
    Bill-

    Thanks for the response; that makes me feel a bit better about the state of my situation here, but also leaves me wanting for a real solution that isn't going to be possible from my side. This sounds like my worst fear - W7 has crap going on behind the scenes that it even doesn't seem to know about (according to the Task Manager) that's impacting my workflow. I really wish I could just turn off indexing, or whatever's going on in the VM to just nuke this issue, but that's sounding like a wild goose chase.

    I would also say that this gives me hope that it might sort itself out eventually, but in reality this is an issue that popped up somewhat suddenly and without explanation for me, and if it was going to resolve itself over time it would probably have done so by now. I have already set up my OSX side to never fall asleep when on power and have left my machine sitting over the weekend a few times because I also use Carbonite backup and it took a very long time to get my backup into their cloud.

    If I come across anything further on this or have any luck with solutions, I'll be sure to let the forum (and you) know!

    Thanks for the reply!

    -nate
     
  9. danrog

    danrog Bit Poster

    Messages:
    4
    You can actually shut off indexing in Windows 7. For those that use Outlook, it will kill your instant search, but if you don't care about that then try this:

    - Go to Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Performance Information and Tools
    - on the left side, select Adjust Indexing options
    - disable what you want

    You could also try to disable the 'Windows Search' service, but not sure what else uses that.

    The other hidden thing are all the hidden tasks the OS now runs regularly.

    To check these out:
    - Go to Admin tools
    - Task Scheduler

    Things like the scheduled defrag will run during the day if it didn't get a chance to run overnight (defaults to 1:00AM). If you continue to restart/ etc... it will just have to continue to play catch up.
     
  10. NateAshday

    NateAshday

    Messages:
    5
    Danrog - looks like you're the genius that solved my issue!! (of course, pending some more time passing to confirm that it doesn't re-occur!?)

    I followed these and nuked anything that windows was indexing (loved seeing the "0 items indexed" note!) and I disabled the defrag task. Now, I'm sitting at ~10-25% CPU while running my SQL/CF services and the mac is now charging properly and my fans have gone on vacation for the first time in a long time.

    Thanks so much!! I'll keep this posted with anything interesting that comes up, but hopefully I've been able to put this issue to bed.

    Kudos!
     
  11. ScottTR

    ScottTR

    Messages:
    1
    I was having the same issue as everyone here for the last year or two (13" Mid 2009 MBP 2.26GHz Intel 2core OSX 10.7.4 8GB). Utilizing some of the tips shown in this thread made some (temporary) progress, but still had issues.

    What ultimately worked for me, I went into the Win7VM resource monitor and saw that the "googleUpdater" was eating up most of the CPU processing. I killed that whole tree and my CPU usage for prl_vm_app went from 168% down to 6% and CPU temp down from 190F to 140F.
    RAM usage is still kind of high, but not as bad as before. Hope this helps some folks.
     
  12. NateAshday

    NateAshday

    Messages:
    5
    As a follow up to my previous note, I've been running for the last 25 days since my index/defrag changes in the VM and things are still going fine! I definitely feel that this entire issue boils down to processes internal to the VM that Parallels has little to no control over, causing the host to overwork to accomodate those things. I think that's also a primary reason that this issue seems to be so frustrating and unsolvable in most cases.
     
  13. GoetzT

    GoetzT

    Messages:
    2
    I have exactly the same problem mentioned above and cannot solve the problem by getting rid of indexing (I have a 2011 MB Air with Parallels 7 running Windows 7 64bit).

    What I can see on the Mac Activity Monitor under the blue Info button and "Opened Files and Ports" is that "prl_vm_app" goes through my entire NAS and accesses one file after the other. CPU usage goes up to above 100% and RAM usage increases constantly (it's now at more than 850MB without any Windows programs running).

    I did not have any of the fan issues with Parallels until 2-3 months ago. Maybe it's a coincidence, but the problem started around the time I had Kaspersky installed on the Mac OS Lion as suggested by Parallels. However, I have removed Kaspersky again and the problem still remains. I do have Norton Internet Security running on Windows 7, but I had that right from the start and never had the fan issue at the beginning.

    If I were paranoid, I would assume that some Russian spyware is scanning my entire NAS. But maybe there is a better answer...
     
  14. NateAshday

    NateAshday

    Messages:
    5
    Have you attached your NAS to your windows installation? That sounds like your parallels VM might still be indexing it, so you might want to revisit that? I doubt there's any Russian hackers trying to scan your drive unless you work for a government agency or have some reason they would be interested in your stuff... In my view, network security basically boils down to avoiding unintentionally lending your computing resources to someone's hacker project, avoiding contracting and/or spreading net-disease, or preventing access to your sensitive data. Most people are terrified of #3 and spend money and time protecting a relatively small amount of sensitive files, but generally don't have much of anything stored on their network/machine that's interesting enough to a hacker to try to obtain it. Hackers seem to be much more invested in leveraging the first 2, in my experience, so as long as you're protected there, the 3rd (to me) is somewhat of a benefit of the other 2.

    In either case, my issues completely stemmed from background processes running in my VM, which once stopped completely fixed the issue. That's what makes this harder, that the issue is within the parallels ecosystem but not caused by parallels, so Parallels can't really solve it since these things are considered 'legitimate' processes by the VM controller, it's just annoying to the end user, especially when you're working with limited resources.

    Also, since you mentioned that this could be related to A/V, I would not be remotely surprised if there's some leftover pieces of your previous installation that Kaspersky left sitting around on your VM, which could be proactively scanning files on your NAS drive. You might want to look into how to properly and completely remove your previous Kaspersky installation (or rebuild your VM/revert to a snapshot/etc), as I know that this can happen with other A/V programs like Norton.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  15. ThoreS

    ThoreS

    Messages:
    2
    I had the same problem, and searching the web suggested that the real reason for this had to do with Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service (http://itpro.no/supportforum/index.php?showtopic=75711 - the question asked is in Norwegian but the solution in post #2 is in English).

    After implementing the solution provided my CPU usage dropped significantly and is now averaging at 10-11%. Solution in short:

    1) In the Windows VM: start services.msc
    2) Locate "Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service"
    3) Stop and disable the service.
    4) Voila...

    --
    Thore
     
  16. GoetzT

    GoetzT

    Messages:
    2
    @ Thore: Thanks a lot, the Media Player Network Sharing Service was indeed the culprit - it scanned all the music files on my NAS...
     
  17. jamdalu

    jamdalu

    Messages:
    3
  18. JBeeline

    JBeeline

    Messages:
    2
    I have the same issue...
    I spent time with parallels tech support last week, talking with someone in India to trouble shoot parallels 7, after experiencing sever response delays and a freezing system, overlapping windows and scramble up at the intersections (see attached), which makes it impossible to work with parallels.
    We adjusted the setup to use 2 CPUs and 2GB of ram. In addition I was talked into getting the latest version 8 and things should be much better....
    Well, I am running version 8.. at it is just painful, maybe even worse. The machine might work for a few hours and than unexpected, usually when entering some information - mostly in outlook - the whole thing is not accessible anymore, in the activity monitor the CPU % goes above 200, when running normally its around 25-35 (not sure how anything can go above 200%), the cooling fan runs like mad and basically the only way out is stopping the VM.

    While I was pretty happy with parallels when starting to use it 1-2 years ago, now it is not bearable anymore and I cannot work with it.

    Any advice form the community will be highly appreciated...

    Thank you

    Juergen
    Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.55.06 AM.png
     
  19. JBeeline

    JBeeline

    Messages:
    2
    I have the same issue...
    I spent time with parallels tech support last week, talking with someone in India to trouble shoot parallels 7, after experiencing sever response delays and a freezing system, overlapping windows and scramble up at the intersections (see attached), which makes it impossible to work with parallels.
    We adjusted the setup to use 2 CPUs and 2GB of ram. In addition I was talked into getting the latest version 8 and things should be much better....
    Well, I am running version 8.. at it is just painful, maybe even worse. The machine might work for a few hours and than unexpected, usually when entering some information - mostly in outlook - the whole thing is not accessible anymore, in the activity monitor the CPU % goes above 200, when running normally its around 25-35 (not sure how anything can go above 200%), the cooling fan runs like mad and basically the only way out is stopping the VM.

    While I was pretty happy with parallels when starting to use it 1-2 years ago, now it is not bearable anymore and I cannot work with it.

    Also, I wonder if there is a difference when running Windows 7 - currently I am running XP - since parallels tech support recommended to change to Windows 7 - They also recommended to upgrade to Parallels 8, which did not help...

    Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.55.06 AM.png Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.55.44 AM.png

    Any advice form the community will be highly appreciated...


    Thank you

    Juergen
     
  20. Mel A

    Mel A

    Messages:
    12
    As suggested, I shut off windows indexing and haven't had any problems since. Thanks so much for the suggestion.
     

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