PWS 3.0 deteriorates the drive image over time

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by MicroDev, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. MicroDev


    Other topics are discussing the corruption of the image file in the host. I am now finding that 3.0 is deteriorating the integrity of the internals of the drive image. Prior to 3.0 a periodic chkdsk rarely turned up a single error. With 3.0, after a short while, chkdsk will start turning up numerous errors. By telling chkdsk to correct the errors, the drive slowly turned into Swiss cheese. It would work for a session or two, then another chkdsk would find more errors. Eventually, databases became corrupt, programs stopped working and so on as the disk deteriorated.

    I tried many different things to verify that PWS was the problem - some obvious, some not:
    1) Check the host disk (fix permissions, verify disk) - OK
    2) Restore the image from a 2.5 backup - Starts to corrupt after a short while
    3) Have chkdsk check the disk for physical problems - OK
    4) Create a fresh disk image - Starts to corrupt after a short while
    5) REPLACE THE HD with another new HD (Seagate Momentus in a MacBook Pro) - same issues
    6) VMWare was not on the machine (some report a conflict with PWS)

    That said, I'm pretty confident that PWS 3.0 is the culprit. The problem is consistent, it may not affect FAT32 or Vista in the same way. I'm running XP SP2 with an NTFS formatted drive.
  2. jbsound


    Same problem here, which actually has caused some major issues with lost production files and a significant effort in rebuilding the VMs and a recovering a development project.

    Since the problem occurs over time, even backups are of no use, as they have been corrupted too.

    We have attempted the recovery twice and have had repeat corruptions on two VMs.

    SWsoft, please have a serious look at this problem. Because of it, we are no longer using Parallels in our production environment until the issues have been addressed.

    In our case this has happened with a Windows 2003 Standard Server running in a virtual machine.

    If anyone at SWsoft is interested to get details, please contact me with a private message.

    Jurgen Beck
  3. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Please run Apple Hardware Test on your computer and select the extended testing. I have had issues with corruption on my hard drive that turned out to be a hardware problem that is unrelated to the disk itself, even though the computer normally doesn't seem to have any issues.
  4. kastorff


    I too am now seeing corruption in a 3.0 VM (XP SP-2, Office 2003, MS SQL Server 2000 Developer Ed). After reading this thread today, I ran chkdsk in read only mode and found problems. Repairing the disk errors resulted in more errors, with each repair/reboot/read-only check/repair cycle indicating errors.

    This is a Parallels issue. Any implication that it's some sort of OS X/computer issue is a load of crap. I'm under deadline with a development project, and I'm moving everything to VMware Fusion tonight. I stuck around when the first version of 3.0 wouldn't complete installation of Parallels Tools. I disabled everything not required in Tools when upgrading to the current release version so that it would install. But I'm not sticking about when the VM gets corrupted simply by using version 3.
  5. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    This doesn't seem to be a hardware problem then, but for resolving this problem, further details are needed. What build were you using when this disk corruption occurred? Did these corruption issues always happen with an upgraded Parallels Desktop 2 virtual disk? Have you experienced corruption while using a virtual disk created with Parallels Desktop 3.0?

    It is worth noting that this change is in build 5060:
  6. aguydude


    Personally, I tried using Disk Utility (should be in your applications folder, but you'll need to use your Mac installation disk if it finds anything) and discovered some issues. Whether Parallels was the culprit or not, if the corruption is on the Mac end, it will keep showing up on your guest OS via chkdisk until you fix the host OS.
  7. spectre

    spectre Parallels Team

    jbsound, kastorff,

    Could you specify the Parallels Desktop build numbers you experienced hdd corruption with? Did Disk Utility find any errors on the Mac OS side?
    Also, any test-case details to try reproducing your problem in-house will be helpful, feel free to PM me if you can provide them.
  8. jbsound


    Hi spectre,

    I'm posting here as there may be some details about the issue that others are experiencing and may be able to contribute.

    As this has been a cumulative issue, it's hard to say at what build the problem has started. However, we are currently running build 4560.

    Disk Utility is not finding any issues with the hardware. The volume passed verification in each an every instance that we ran it after discovering issues with the VMs.

    To the best of my knowledge here is a scenario that you may want to investigate (if you can reproduce it) to see whether that has contributed to the problem:

    Using the Mac's sleep process seems to have an issue on VMs that are run in Coherence mode, namely that when putting the Mac (Pro in our case) to sleep, the system would completely freeze. The Windows 2003 VM was in Coherence mode at the time.

    The only way to remedy the problem was to do a hard reset of the system with holding the power button for 10 seconds. This may have caused the VM image to become compromised. However, the problem was not apparent right away, of course, as the system rebooted normally and the VM loaded without any obvious issues in Parallels. Over time though, we saw Windows displaying file corruption messages.

    This may have happened a couple more times, before we decided that before putting the system to sleep that we needed to suspend the VM. At that point though we had a VM that was showing corruption issues and running Chkdsk on the Windows 2003 disk would show significant issues that were fixed, but as a result destroyed vital Windows system and application files.

    We also encountered other Mac freezing issues that seemed to be pointing to Parallels, as the system freezes only happened when Parallels was active and running. As a result of the freezes we of course had to always hard reset the system, which in turn may have resulted in the same corruption discussed above.

    So there seems to be a correlation between hard-resetting a system and the disk corruption witnessed in the Parallels VMs.

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007

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