To Parallels: did I buy useless product?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by macgebruiker, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    I have now placed several time the problem that I cannot print to a USB printer. Also sent this problem thru email. But there never comes ANY answer, and that is more frustrating than the problem itself!

    The problem is as follows:

    I have an Epson ACL 1100 colorlaser connected to the USB port. XP (thru Parallels) installs automatically the drivers. However as soon as I start to print I get a BSOD!

    I dl'ed the latetst drivers from the Epson site: same result!

    Using the PDF is not (in this particular case) an acceptable option. I need to be able to print to the printer and not thru intermediate output.

    I tried to connect to the printer thru the network but XP is not able to find it.

    Is this a problem that is going to be solved or is my $39 learning money for me to never buy any Beta products anymore.
  2. Larry__Rymal

    Larry__Rymal Member

    I think until the beta-testing is completed, one can expect issues and bugs. A pre-purchase of the final program at a discounted price, while receiving free beta testing programs is a positive idea. But a beta release is always very risky and should be accepted only under the condition that it is not consumer-ready, that is still in a hobby and experimenter's category.

    Many software companies will solicit for beta testers, usually propping them up with discounts and allowing them into some insider testing of some very buggy, crippled, feature-disabled software. I don't see PARALLELS being any different from other software companies with public beta tests. However, for my own unique setup, their VM software has been very clean, but I dance around the items that just don't work (like a favorite card reader of mine that just bails when I plug it in. OK, move on...).

    This is beta stuff. That is all it is. Beta does not give us polished software during the testing period.
  3. Olivier

    Olivier Forum Maven

    Is it XP crashing? Or Mac OS X crashing?
    Do you also have drivers for this printer in Mac OS X, or not?
  4. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    I know it is Beta and O know what implications that might mean. problem is that I do not have any feeling that Parallels reads here. At least they do not react to email sent to them, not even an acknowledgment.

    It is XP crashing with its famous Blue Screen of Death (which I haven't seen on XP since at least 2 years).. All drivers are installed in OSX and so are the drivers in XP. Even dl'ed the latest from Epson's site.

    Printer works flawlessly in OSX and also while using from within VPC.
  5. Larry__Rymal

    Larry__Rymal Member

    I know it seems I'm kinda flogging a wayward horse and I don't mean anything in the reply. This is one of those exchanges that comes across far better in person. Anyway, a long time ago, I beta tested WordPerfect. At the time, that was a huge product and was bigger than MicroSoft's Word.

    We were given a kit of supplies and submission forms, and discount coupons. And that was it. In the three years I was on the team, I think we had a total of four messages. From that experience and another I had, my experience was that communications to the company was basically a one-way affair, that data-keepers were logging, skimming, scanning reports, and collecting.

    I would imagine that as popular as PARALLELS has suddenly become, that they are utterly swamped with e-mail.
  6. MatthewR

    MatthewR Member

    You can use USB devices in only one OS at a time. It will never work to share them. I still can't fathom why people want to run stuff direct from the VM. The point of the VM is to share hardware, which means working through an intermediary for everything going in or out of the VM. If the printer works in OS X, then just share it out using Windows printer sharing and then access that share from within the VM (host-only or bridged networking should just work) as if it were any other network printer.
  7. Olivier

    Olivier Forum Maven

    I would shutdown the guest, turn OFF VTx in the VM configuration and boot the guest XP to see if the BSOD happens too or not. If not, it may be a good hint for the Parallels developers.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  8. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    I disagree.

    With VPC I printed straight from XP to the printer. No problem.

    I also tried to use the printer as a shared network printer but Parallels/XP do not "see" it. Although the networking works.

    Also (on using from 1 OS). AFAIK it is not possible to disconnect the printer from OSX.
  9. tc60045

    tc60045 Junior Member

    I view Parallels as a tool, not necessarily as a solve-it-all solution, so I look constantly for workarounds.

    Print from PC to a PDF (in a shared folder).

    Print the PDF on the Mac side of that shared folder to the printer.

    Heck, while you are at it, write an applescript routine to monitor the folder for pdfs and auto-print them (and share that script back with us).

    Should work reliably. If you are printing a lot, and this is inconvenient, boot to boot camp?
  10. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    I know that solution but it does have drawbacks.

    45 years ago I was in the programming business. I have no inkling whatsoever to start doing that.

    Anyway: printing is a very basic feature without that ability this type of software is more or less useless. At least very limited.

    (As to Bootcamp: an even better solution is to start using my old PC again or old Mac with VPC. Borth work)
  11. RickMaddy

    RickMaddy Member

    I had a similar problem. Try installing Bonjour for Windows under your guest XP. Bonjour for Windows saw my shared OS X printer under Windows and I was able to print that way.

    Good luck.

  12. VTMac

    VTMac Pro

    I've been use parallels since Beta 1. I've yet to have the desire or need to print from it. While I agree it "should" work, it certainly isn't a requirement for everyone. It really depends on each persons unique needs. In my case, I need to be able to run MS Project, IE (on occasion), and host online web meetings using GotoMeeting.
  13. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    Indeed one of the options I had already tried.

    Printing, no BSOD, in 'waiting row' on OSX it says "job printed" but no printed paper (no paper at all!) coming out of the printer.
  14. rcomeau

    rcomeau Member

    Um, because thats why we bought Parallels. maybe? You see it from the technical implementation side, that is you see it as a VM. I see it from the customer side. A way of runing Windows and Windows apps without having to get a second computer and reboot. I don't want to have to deal workarounds and bridge this and bridge that.

    About USB sharing. VirtualPC on my PowerPC mac does that resonably well, so it is not impossible. Also, not everything can be shared. You gave a printer example. What about the many of us that need to use a different USB device. In my case, I use a USB-Serial adapter to communicate with a piece of lab equipment. I have my own software on the Mac that does data acquision, but the software to calibrate and test the equipment is Windows only. I don't want to have to remove the Mac drivers (or run kextunload) every time I want to use Parallels. Parallels advertises USB sharing so thery should deliver that. Obviously we can't have Mac and Windows apps using the divice simultaniously, but Parallels should be able to capture the device when the device is selectedc. I am willling to give them time to get that runing, but it was a key advertised feature that, if not implemented, renders Parallels useless to a great many customers.

    Great that you have a workaround for your printer, but don't assume that because your problem is solved that way, that the rest of us are in the same position.


  15. dkp

    dkp Forum Maven

    You don't yet have the product you bought, so it's a bit premature to wonder if you've gotten your money's worth. And you didn't buy a beta product - the beta/RC versions are free.

    Since the problem appears to be USB printing you should give up on that and find out why you can't print to a shared printer. It works here. My Mac is the printer server and the guest OS is a print client. This problem on your system may be a quick fix. Quicker than a USB-only solution, at least.

  16. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    Maybe you don't know it yet but the product is being sold and many people (read other messages) dit already buy it! And since there is no reaction at all from Parallels I have a good right to wonder whether the endproduct will suffice!

    How am I supposed to find out "Why it does not work"? I have no access whatsoever to internals of Parallels nor OSX!
    I know it works for some people but there appear to be much more people for which it does not work.

    In my case it does not work:
    1. Directly from XP thru the XP driver. Tried several drivers.
    2. Using Bonjour.
    3. Using as an OSX shared printer.

    It does work:
    1. Straight from OSX.
    2. From any system (OSX or XP) within the network.
    3. From within VPC.

    So the problem is not within the printerdriver but solely with the handling of USB by Parallels. And sharing/using USB devices is a must for any product that wants to communicate with attached devices.
  17. Larry__Rymal

    Larry__Rymal Member

    Well, just my fingers rambling here... Here's my $0.01 opinion:

    • This is a free product, but we were given a discount against the final release
    • LIkewise, this is a beta product, going through a very public beta testing program. If anything, PARALLELS should have had a private beta release to a limited number of testers, in my opinion. But, at least this way, they received a broad range of a test population.
    • Being beta, some features are broken, awkward, or non-functioning USB IS CRIPPLED. Accept that for now. If the product is released as final to the consumer public as 100%, and USB is still crippled, then folks have the right to complain and loudly.
    • Most beta test programs use one-way communications. There is hardly a very active dialog or the programmers would be swamped with messages.
    • Until the beta test program for a particular version number is stopped, it remains beta, with all the broken pieces. Finally a golden version is released, typically with a very limited test period. We ain't there, yet.

    I would suggest that if USB, for now, for the immediate computer's use, is needed to be 100%, that BOOT CAMP be used instead. I haven't seen in any of the complaints that a need to share Mac/PC environment is required. So, in my rambling opinion, just be done with it, go with Boot Camp. When the beta testing program is complete, then return to Parallels when it is released for purchase by the Muggles who have to pay, what?, $79.00???
  18. macgebruiker

    macgebruiker Hunter

    Larry, just 3 short answers:

    1. Parallels could have stated that USB does not work. Do not forget, this is supposed to be a rc! meaning it could have been the final! So people have a right to expect standard stuff like regular printers to be working.

    2. Boot Camp is also beta but since I have no use for a product that needs booting, I am not interested in it.

    3. Sharing environment is explictly the utmost important function of this type of programm.
  19. Sheppy

    Sheppy Hunter

    I do have to say that calling Parallels "useless" because USB doesn't do everything you want it to do is kind of like calling a diamond ring "worthless" because it's too small to fit on your finger. :)
  20. gander2112

    gander2112 Junior Member

    Let me add to the list:

    There is a problem with limited beta's and small populations used for testing. You usually get little or no feedback, and HUGE GLARING INCREDIBLY LARGE faults will always get through.

    I know, we make high end metrology equipment, and it is hard to get beta testers, and when you do you get very little meaningful feedback.

    I wish we made something with as much draw as Parallels Desktop were we could get thousands of testers. Heck, when I read of some of the issues people are having, I check to see if they affect me. Most do not. But then again, I am not dependent upon Windows for any USB devices, and keep it disables on my VM image.

    What I do with it, is perfect. I check presentations I make on the Mac in Office XP PPT, I have a few internal websites that demand IE 6 or better, and MS Project, all of which are very good.

    For this alone, I am satisfied that my $$$ is well spent.


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