System-wide Choking when Starting/Stopping VM

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by Djoh, May 15, 2006.

  1. Djoh


    So for me, PW v. Beta 6 is almost unusable. It is definitely related to the aforementioned "slow boot time", but for me the "slow" boot time is more like "Everything chokes and if I go and get some coffee, it may be done when I get back". Sorry, but I'm not exaggurating. This occurs when booting Or shutting down the VM.

    It's running in Intel VT-x, I've got a MiniMac/Duo with only 1 Gig RAM, running WinXP SP2 or Win2000 (same result for either). Just about 10 minutes ago I finished the 45 minute process of acquiring some simple information about the processes while it was hogging my computer. During this time, the entire computer was crawling, to the point that a single click took between 45-90 seconds to get a response, often beachballing while it figured out what to do.
    So surely that sounds like Virtual Memory choking, right? Well, the startup drive had 4.6 Gigs free, here's some interesting things that Activity monitor had to say:

    Application // CPU % // # Threads // Real Mem // Virtual Mem
    rcd (not responding) // 0.0 // 1 // // 1.73M // 328.3 M
    loginwindow (not responding) // 0 // 5 // 180k // 355.7M
    Parallels Workstation (not responding) // 1.8 // 11 // 137.1M // 1.21G (!!!)
    |----> Parallels // 0 // 1 // 84k // 77.48M
    Safari (not responding) // 0.4 // 8 // 16.49M // 458.79M

    [ all other procs were happy it seems ]

    It is running Windows 2000, was finished starting up the VM but everything was still just horribly slow. Had unchecked "Enable" in the "Audio" settings in the VM prior to starting up, which fixed the Mac's sleep/resume killing the VM, but did not alter this massive slowdown at all. This is just one example of the occurrence, but it has happened every time I try to use it, so I can't use PW right now!

    PW's "(not responding)" was turning on and off repeatedly. Everything seemed to be updating semi-regularly, but my mouse clicks took literally minutes to be serviced. Eventually, after a long time, the " (not responding)"s went away but when I'd click they'd come back while the system chugged. After hitting "Stop VM" and just killing it (not suspending) & Quitting PW, it took about 2-3 minutes for my computer to return to normal functionality.

    This did not occur with PW Beta 5. Beta 5 was (for me) just awesome, fast and great all around, no problems experienced. Is there a copy of Beta 5 floating around I can downgrade to so I can at least use PW?

    info :
    Machine Name: Mac mini
    Machine Model: Macmini1,1
    CPU Type: Intel Core Duo
    Number Of Cores: 2
    CPU Speed: 1.66 GHz
    L2 Cache (shared): 2 MB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MM11.0055.B03
    Serial Number: YM6138ERUXX
    SMC Version: 1.3f2

    Hope this helps you locate the problem. If you want me check anything else, let me know.

    Anyone with similar problems, please post. Sorry if I missed a thread where this is already discussed.
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  2. Djoh


  3. bps1


    I agree. Beta 5 was great and this Beta 6 is extremely slow. I have even gone to a force quit and watched my open programs go from not responding to responding and back again. Strange!!
  4. wesley


    I've noted the slowness in that other thread, so I won't repeat... but I hope it's fixed in the next beta. :)
  5. davert

    davert Bit Poster

    When it opens or closes, it DOES need all the computer's attention...that's I've seen.

    Additional note - when suspending while Microsoft's Magic School Bus game is on (my daugher, not me), it reboots the Mac!
  6. bbraun


    If parallels uses fcntl(F_NOCACHE) on the file descriptor they are suspending to, it should have less impact on the system as a whole. At least, it won't blow the working set cache for all the other applications in order to cache the data being written to the suspend file (which doesn't need to be cached anyway). IO is painful on systems in general and OS X in particular, but it can often be mitigated.
  7. le848dave


    I've noticed that after I upgraded from 1 GB to 2 GB that the sluggish problem goes away. I can now do anything I want w/ little slowdown while booting/closing Parallels VMs.

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