Update: Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5160 is available

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Andrew @ Parallels, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Team

    Dear Users,

    Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5160 is available for download:

    Most important features and improvements are:

    * Coherence is now completely integrated with OS X’s “Expose†feature. This means when Expose is activated, each Parallels Coherence window will appear as a separate Window, displayed with its full contents. Coherence windows also “stack†in any order with Mac applications and offer drop shadows, just like native Mac application windows. You can even minimize Coherence windows to the Mac app dock, just like a normal Mac app window.

    * Mirrored Desktops, Documents and Media: This is a really great tool that ensures that you have instant access to all of your files and folders regardless of which OS X or Windows app you're using. With Mirrored Desktops & Documents, you can set your Windows Desktop as well as your “My Documentsâ€, “My Picturesâ€, and “My Music†folders to automatically mirror the Mac OS X desktop and the “Documentsâ€, “Picturesâ€, “Movies†and “Music†folders located in the Mac home directory. A change in one file structure is automatically reflected in the other, so no more searching for documents or worrying about managing double copies.

    * More Powerful Parallels Explorer: Parallels Explorer, which enables users to view and modify the contents of their virtual machine (VM) hard disk while the VM is off, now gives you the option to automatically mount a VM hard drive to your OS X desktop as a drive that’s readable and writable even if the VM is off. This means you can access files inside their VMs instantly and at any time, even without opening Explorer.

    * Better Performance and Lower Overhead: Real-world workload performance has been substantially improved, especially in high stress situations like OS startup and shutdown, and Parallels Desktop is much friendlier when it comes to resource usage (particularly CPU utilization). Vista's faster and smoother too, and you can now also allocate up to 2GB of RAM to an individual virtual machine.

    If you're already a Parallels Desktop 3.0 customer, you'll get this update automatically (and 100% free) via the auto-update utility, or you can download the Update here. And of course, there's a 15-day free trial for new users who want to check things out before buying.

    Please find detailed release notes below:

    == What's New in Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac (Build 5160) ==

    * '''Coherence 3.0'''
    ** Each Windows application window opens as a separate Mac window
    ** Correct Z-order support for all windows
    ** Expose support
    ** Mac-style drop shadow support (foreground window has deeper shadow)
    ** Transparent windows support
    ** Minimize windows to Mac Dock support
    ** Coherence performance improvement
    ** Bringing Windows notifications to front
    ** Silent boot in Coherence mode when clicking on virtual machine alias
    * '''Virtualization Engine'''
    ** General virtual machine performance optimization
    ** Significant CPU usage improvement
    ** Memory management improvement: support for more than 4GB of RAM for multiple virtual machines
    ** Maximum memory size available for a virtual machine increased from 1.5GB to 2GB
    * '''Shared User Profile''' - Use your Mac Desktop and Documents/Pictures/Music folders as Desktop and My Documents/My Pictures/My Music in Windows
    NOTE: Parallels Desktop doesn’t automatically synchronize your Windows profile folders to Mac folders when you enable Shared Profile. You can access your Windows desktop at “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\†or “C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Desktop\â€. To access other Windows profile folders, go to “C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\<User Name>’s Documents\â€.
    * '''Map Shared Folders to Windows drives letters''' - Automatically map and access your Shared Folders using Windows drive letters
    * '''Multi-user support''' - Share your virtual machines with other Mac OS X users
    * '''Recycle Bin integration''' - Ability to drag and drop files from Windows to Mac OS X trash bin
    * '''Empty Windows Recycle Bin''' - Empty Windows recylcle bin directly from the Application menu
    * '''Show Windows Desktop''' - Show Windows desktop in Coherence mode directly from the Application menu
    * '''Configurable Sound''' - Allows you to use headset within virtual machine with highest sound quality
    * '''Change Sound Device on the fly''' - Change input and output sound devices connected to virtual machine on the fly via menu or status bar icon
    * '''Boot Camp compatible key mapping''' - Boot Camp key combinations substitute specific Windows keys like Insert, Print Screen and so on
    * '''Virtual keyboard''' – send key combinations to virtual machine in one click
    * '''Keyboard passthrough support when assistive devices are on''' - Keyboard passthrough mode when assistive devices support is enabled in Universal Access preferences
    * '''Apple iPhone support''' - synchronize contacts, scheduler, mail and media between your Windows virtual machine and your iPhone
    * '''Parallels Transporter''' - Migrate your Linux PC to a Parallels virtual machine
    * '''Parallels Mounter''' - Double-click Parallels virtual disks and mount them to Mac Desktop to access Windows files and folders using Finder (even if the virtual machine is not running)
    * '''Parallels Explorer'''
    ** Suspended virtual machines support
    ** Improved drag-and-drop, copying/deleting operations
    * '''Parallels Image Tool''' - Manages properties of your virtual disk image
    ** Changes your virtual disk format and properties

    == Bugfixes and improvements in Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac (Build 5160) ==

    * '''Primary OS support'''
    ** Latest Leopard versions may become unusable after installing Parallels Desktop - fixed
    ** Uninstaller doesn't work on Leopard 9a499 and 9a500n - fixed
    * '''Stability and resources usage'''
    ** Overall CPU and memory resources usage - optimized
    ** Kernel Panics on Mac Mini when VT-x is disabled - fixed
    ** Some fatal errors during virtual machine startup - fixed
    ** Fatal error during browsing some websites - fixed
    ** Windows 98 high CPU usage - fixed
    ** HDD file corruption after changing the format of the virtual hard disk - fixed
    ** Choppy sound in Windows Media Player 11 in Vista – fixed
    ** Running 3D applications may freeze iMac with ATI Radeon 2600 graphic card - fixed
    * '''Coherence'''
    ** "Show/Hide Windows Taskbar" option - improved
    ** Transparent windows display incorrectly - fixed
    ** Issues during windows moving - fixed
    ** Windows moving speed - improved
    * '''Parallels Tools'''
    ** Large screen resolutions support - added
    ** Parallels Tools Center CPU usage - optimized
    ** Parallels Tools Center crashes caused by some applications - fixed
    ** Mouse scrolling problem in Adobe Acrobat 8 - fixed
    ** Parallels Tools Center in Windows 95 can't be started due to a missing symbol - fixed
    * '''SmartSelect and Shared Applications '''
    ** In rare cases Parallels Desktop crashes on Parallels Tools updating if "Share Mac Applications to Windows" option enabled - fixed
    ** Incorrect Shared Web Applications state after build upgrade - fixed
    ** Can't edit SmartSelect options for paused virtual machine - fixed
    * '''Disks and folders sharing'''
    ** Shared folders may become unavailable after resume - fixed
    * '''Video and 3D'''
    ** Several segmentation faults during playing games - fixed
    ** Crashes of some applications caused by DirectX drivers - fixed
    ** Parallels Desktop window resizing issues - fixed
    ** DirectX and OpenGL performance - improved
    ** Force Suspend for OpenGL – added (you can suspend virtual machine with running OpenGL applications)
    * '''Parallels Explorer&Mounter'''
    ** Mounter as a default application for browsing HDD files
    ** Drag-and-drop issues due to some Unicode problems - fixed
    ** Extentional searching procedure for Columns and Tree views - added
    ** Command+Up ? Command+Down support - added
    ** Columns view: listing the same column items using the keyboard shortcuts - added
    ** Sorting - improved
    * '''Parallels Image Tool'''
    ** Increasing capacity of expanding and plain(!) virtual disks - added
    ** Converting virtual disks from expanding to plain and vice versa - added
    ** Converting HDD file format from 2.5 version to 3.0 and vice versa - added

    == Known issues in Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac (Build 5160) ==

    * '''Stability and resources usage'''
    ** Leopard may be frozen during guest OS installation
    ** Problems may occur when suspending a virtual machine with running OpenGL application
    * '''Coherence'''
    ** Visual Studio may become frozen as you try to dock its toolbar to another position
    ** Windows desktop may show up when transparent windows are used
    ** The Start button in Vista may become blank (just move mouse pointer over it and it will be OK)
    ** Transparent windows may be displayed incorrectly
    ** Small artefacts in Expose may appear
    ** Accidental artefacts may appear after restoring windows from Dock
    ** Problems with VirtueDesktops
    ** Leopard Spaces are not fully supported
    * '''Parallels Tools'''
    ** Parallels Tools Center sometimes may use 100% CPU after drag-and-drop operation
    ** In rare cases, Coherence service may not be started
    * '''Disks and folders sharing'''
    ** Logging odd the Windows guest OS may be a bit slower
    ** Error may occur during Windows disk mounting to the Finder
    * '''Parallels Explorer&Mounter'''
    ** Some problems during drag-and-drop operations may occur
    ** Incorrect disk size may be displayed
    ** Transmission between different columns with keyboard is not available yet
  2. agranovsky

    agranovsky Member

    I can't say I'm off to a good start with it. First, the virtual NIC is unable to get an IP. Next, it seems like my Windows installation decided it needs to activate itself again. Ideas?
  3. esgargs

    esgargs Member

    hmmm...when I check for updates, it's telling me that my installation is up-todate. I am running 4560.
  4. esgargs

    esgargs Member

    Not good...not good. Windows XP Pro BSOD'd and rebooted while Parallels Tools were being installed.

    Anyone else experience the same?
  5. brkirch

    brkirch Pro

    It takes some time for the updates to appear in Parallels.

    Try booting in safe mode and then installing Parallels Tools.

    Also restart your computer if you have not already done so, that would probably significantly reduce the likelihood of having these kind of problems.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
  6. photoze34

    photoze34 Bit poster

    Problem Installing Windows XP


    Someone in a different post was having a similar problem that I am with installing Windows XP. The recommendation was to install the lastest Parallels Desktop build 5160. I just finished installing the newest build and I'm still getting same error.

    Problem Details:
    - Installing Windows XP (screen shows status on left side with bullets; first three bullets are green and "installing windows" is highlighted)
    - Install processes for maybe a minute then I get the following error dialog:

    Fatal Error
    X An error has been encountered that prevents Setup from continuing. One of the components that Windows needs to continue setup could not be installed. The device is not ready.

    Setup Log File reads:
    Error: Installation Failed: D:\I386\asms. Error Message: The device is not ready.

    Help Needed:
    1. What are the recommended actions steps at this point? Each time I close out of the error log the program restarts and tries to install Windows XP again but I keep getting same error each time.

    2. Is there a way to uninstall the Windows XP portion that has already been installed or do I need to uninstall Parallels desktop. Can't seem to figure this out.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
  7. esgargs

    esgargs Member

    Coherence is pretty darn buggy for me. For example, I am using Eclipse in Windows, and when I press Ctrl-F6 to switch between open class files, sometimes my window display gets all corrupted with other application windows, and then I have to switch to Full Screen and back to get Eclipse working normally again.

    IMO, this drop shade stuff was buggy in the beta, and is buggy in this release.
  8. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    Ya know, I hate to be the one to say it, but it feels like it's about time to abandon ship.

    I did a complete clean install of everything in Parallels for the Release Candidate 2. I am amazed at how Parallels just seems to get buggier. A couple of builds back during this beta cycle it was rock solid except for a couple of very small hiccups. Now, Coherence is so slow during Window movement that it's actually funny, everything seems to be constantly stuttering back and forth, and a HUGE bug that came up out of Visual Studio, that is definitely a work stoppage issue.

    Here we are at the final release and all of these things are still issues.

    Yes, Parallels has some interesting features, but the trade off for reliability and stability is just not something I'm willing to do. The whole synced Documents, Music, and Photos slows down things considerably when you try to open up files. I can go on and on. At the end of the day, VMWare Fusion is rock solid. I have yet to make it crash, or have any kind of erratic behavior, and I personally don't have the patience to sit around and use unstable software that doesn't get MAJOR bugs worked out before the final release, all so Parallels and SWSoft can keep up with the Jones.
  9. brkirch

    brkirch Pro

    Your experience is by no means what most people are seeing. In fact, most people consider the builds since beta 2 to be much LESS buggy. The window movement seems no slower then it was in any of the betas, and the Visual Studio problem is listed as a known issue; perhaps the only one that could be considered particularly problematic.

    VMWare Fusion has, on the other hand, had plenty of bugs surface, and there have been no new releases to fix them since Fusion came out. Unity is very, very buggy from my experience, requiring that I switch to windowed mode frequently because Unity locks up. There is no way to add existing virtual disks from the UI, or specify which network interface(s) to use. I have seen reports of everything from Fusion causing the airport process to take up 100% CPU to someone actually having Fusion cause their computer to lock up and corrupt their hard drive directory (which is something it can do because it has a number of processes that run with root access privileges).

    But, if you wish to discuss this further, please make a new topic to do so. This thread won't benefit from any further mention of Fusion. I'm sure there could be many improvements made to Parallels, but giving up on a product because something isn't fixed immediately isn't really a solution.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007
  10. esgargs

    esgargs Member

    I am pretty impressed with the CPU usage. Whereas, earlier it used to consume about 40% CPU with nothing running, it's at about 10% for me right now. I have been experiencing better performance ever since I rebooted my laptop, so let's see how it works out over the course of the day.

    GG Team Parallels :D
  11. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    I'm sorry, you completely misunderstood me. The betas of this did seem a lot more stable for me too, especially coherence window movement.

    Parallels from a practicality standpoint has just become unusable for productivity work. It is just too quirky. I keep wanting Parallels to be as good and usable as it was in 2.5, but I just simply don't have time to spend on checking out these trivial little features that half work, while everything else becomes so unreliable that it's not worth using. Beta 2 of the feature update was the best one we saw in a long while.

    VMWare isn't perfect, but it works consistently, it performs with such little overhead that I had it running for 4 hours yesterday while at work, not even realizing it was still running, my CPU temp didn't go up at all as a result of it working.
  12. etresoft

    etresoft Junior Member

    Did they (VMWare) fix that 100% CPU usage on the airport process that continues even after Fusion has quit?

    People should just go ahead and stop complaining about how unusable Parallels is and how wonderful Fusion is (or "is going to be"). I'll give you some credit. Even I got suckered a bit. I was a little skeptical when Parallels 3 came out. I heard about so many problems with version 3 that I actually pre-ordered Fusion while I could still get the pre-order price.

    Fusion was buggy, had 100% CPU usage even after it was done, and didn't support my MacBook's video. I immediately bought the upgrade to Parallels 3 and have had zero problems with it (or any other version of Parallels). Parallels is one of the cheapest programs I own. It is also one of the least buggy.

    Complain about Parallels all you want. But I simply don't believe you at all.
  13. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    Ya know, I hate to be just one of the crowd complainin for the sake of complainin unfortunately, the Visual Studio bug hits me where I live. If they were able to get the Visual Studio bug, and crappy window movement fixed, theres enough in Parallels where I'd actually move back, heck, just a fix for the Visual Studio would be enough to put up with the rest of the twitchy bugginess.

    I personally don't see the 100% CPU usage problem, but I never saw it to begin with. I'd recommend just playing with the trial and see how that runs for you.

    I love virtualization. It lets me live on the Mac for all the great stuff, and put up with the mediocrity that is Windows, and still use Expose, and Spotlight!
  14. agranovsky

    agranovsky Member

    5160 ... so far so good. Finally my MBP doesn't feel like a portable heater. ;-)
  15. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    How is windows movement in coherence?

    Do all the individual elements of the window still stutter a bit when you move the window?
  16. agranovsky

    agranovsky Member

    Honestly, don't know. I don't care much about Coherence, and have it disabled (most of the day, I have Win running full screen on the external monitor). I use Windows for development, and prefer to keep the two worlds as separate as possible ;-)
  17. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member


    Rock on, I couldn't agree with you more. I would do the same thing if I had the luxury of running more then one display all the time
  18. whytyger

    whytyger Member

    Since you seem to have the inside track on Parallels, perhaps through private communication with the developers or the support team, perhaps you would also ask them (and relay to the forum):

    1) Why should it take "some time" for updates to appear? How much time is that? I would have thought that "check for updates" would do just that and return a correct answer. Is this a feature or a bug? If the latter, is it scheduled for a fix?

    2) Why should it be necessary to install Tools in safe mode? Not every user is familiar with this nor knows how to enter it. Is this a bug? It has persisted for some time. If it is necessary, shouldn't this be mentioned in the Parallels documentation? If a bug, is it scheduled for a fix? If not, why not?

    3) If a restart is necessary before, during or after installation to avoid crashes, shouldn't this be described in the documentation? Is this a bug or a feature? Is it scheduled for a fix? If not, why not?
  19. musk

    musk Junior Member

    No it is not fixed. I've been following this issue closely because it bit me months ago during the beta and caused me to uninstall Fusion. A work-around was figured out by users, although VMware finally posted a formal work-around just the other day. It is supposed to be fixed in the next release.

    With 5160, Coherence integration with Mac OS X is first-rate. The only thing Fusion did better for me was USB. If Parallels can just get USB stability worked out, then it will have everything I need.
  20. Vigilant

    Vigilant Member

    Do do the elements of the window still stutter when you move around a window? Has Parallels finally returned to stability in window movement in Coherence?

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