v4 very slow after resume

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by schvenk, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. schvenk


    I switched from VMWare back to Parallels with v4 because it seemed fast and was easy on the Mac's processor. For the first week or so that was true, but now it's really not.

    When I resume a suspended XP VM, it doesn't take long - maybe 45 seconds. Then the VM is completely unresponsive for several minutes, while the Mac is bogged down. Then for several more minutes, various apps are drawn in a partial state and the VM is almost completely unresponsive. Then it's just slow for a long time. If, after this maybe 10-minute process completes, I haven't given up, I have a relatively fast VM to work with.

    Any idea what's going on? I tried rebuilding the VM from scratch but no luck.

  2. Bill Rising

    Bill Rising Bit Poster

    check swap files

    This happens to me when swap files are being written en masse.

    Try looking at your swap files to see if a bunch were written while you were twiddling your thumbs waiting for Parallels to resume:

    ls -la /var/vm

  3. Solution?

    Is there any solution to this? When I start parallels, it takes a really long time before its fast enough to work with. I can hear the harddrive spinning in the background. Eventually, it seems like everything is written to ram, or swapped or whatever, and both OSs (xp and osx) work fine. Until then, though, it's all sludge. It makes me very resistant to restarting my machine.
  4. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin

    I concur

    I too experience said symptoms. I can confirm that a large swap file is indeed being generated, however, knowing this doesn't make it any faster.
    Why is it doing this?
    Can it be stopped?
    Answers on a postcard, etc.
  5. I rebuilt my laptop from scratch, updated the OS, and then reinstalled parallels. That helped with quite a few problems, but Parallels was still very slow to start.

    So I got a new machine that could accept 4 GB of RAM. A whole new world. Suddenly, Parallels is a joy to use again. Unfortunate solution, but there you go.
  6. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin


    I have 4gig of RAM. My Mac is relatively new (3 months), OS is up to date etc.
    So, back to the simple question that is:

    Why does resuming take so long?
    What causes it and how can I mitigate it?

    While I love to hear all these sweet tales of "I had a bath in pixie juice and it made things seem a little better", I feel that there is a specific issue here which must have a resolution as there is no way that parallels can run like this for everyone or there'd be uproar.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to put down your reply. It's just that your solution is the reason that I moved away from Windows and into the world of Apple. If in doubt, FDISK!
  7. Michael Pantoja

    Michael Pantoja

    Same issue here...

    3.06 GHz, 4GB RAM, OS X 10.5.7, Parallels build 4.0.3844, TimeMachine not running, SmartMount disabled, Windows XP

    A painful 10 minutes for Parallels to thaw, then it's snappy and a joy.

    During that 10 minutes, there is a serious lag between input and response. Applications draw their windows in a fractured, intermittent manner. Parallels itself launches quickly and the restoration of the session occurs in a favorable amount of time. It's just that after the session is ready to use (not dimmed), it's not *ready*.

    I'm wondering if I would actually get better performance if I cut the amount of RAM allocated to the VM from 2GB to 1GB. Would that cut the amount of data that needs to be loaded or is RAM fast enough (800MHz, DDR2 SDRAM) to make the difference in time negligible? Is it the disk read times?
  8. lahaina


    I have an MBP 17 Unibody with 4GB of memory. After experimenting quite a bit I found that 764MB was my sweet spot. More memory did not improve speed. 512 MB was also fast, except that I was getting page out warnings from XP. Also, minimizing the allocated memory improves the speed of resuming XP because the ".mem" file is smaller so it can be read from the disk quicker when Parallels is launched and the VM is resumed. Also, I disabled 3d video and am using 16 MB of video memory which is plenty for 32 bit color depth at XP screen sizes up to 2500 x 1600. With these settings my VM resumes in 4-5 seconds and settles down almost immediately--there is almost no disk thrashing. Smartmount and the Adaptive Hypervisor are disabled. Time Machine is enables and I run exclusively in Single Window mode.

    Even so, I am mystified as to why Parallels V4 with XP on my new machine runs no faster than V3 on my old MBP CoreDuo with less speed, memory, etc. This was accomplished only after following a dizzying number of procedures recommended by the Parallels team. Prior to that it V4 was 20% to 40% slower for almost all functions except launch of the application itself with a shut down machine.
  9. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin

    So, in summary...

    I'm still baffled that this is happening to what I can only imagine to be a subset of users given that this thread would be a little busier if it happened to everyone.

    By way of an experiment, I installed and converted my image to that of a popular competitor and lo and behold, immediate response after restoration of state.

    The performance of PD4 is very slow.

  10. TLITD


    Same slow performance after resuming VM here as well.

    I too experience the same problem as others have mentioned, slow response (almost nil) time after either resuming from a paused or suspended XP VM. I've got a Mac Mini with 2 GHz C2D CPU and 2 GB RAM and running Parallels 4.0.3844. My XP VM is set to use 384 MB RAM and 10 MB Video Memory. I notice that when resuming, if I had a bunch of stuff running in memory (browsers, programs, etc.) that performace of the VM will be almost nil for about 4 to 5 minutes. Clicking to open programs in the VM, or even the just Start button will take a minute to even register to the system.

    What I have done to combat this is to use OS X Activity Monitor to make sure I have at least 500 MB of free memory (the green part of the pie chart) and will shut down programs, if necessary to achieve this. I can then resume the VM and it will function normally. If you have more RAM to begin with, thus more free RAM to work with, then this may/may not be an issue for you. Also to speed up "boot" time I rarely shut down my VM, instead I just suspend it so it will start much quicker.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  11. Steve Martin

    Steve Martin

    And again...

    No real solution, just another 'yep it happened to me, this is the particular ritual I performed to kinda make things a little less unbearable'

    I reiterate, this shouldn't require working around. If I bought a car and it ran slow for the first ten minutes, I wouldn't pull out the seats and lop the doors off in order to lighten it a little.

    Other VM products that I have tried on my Mac work as I would expect them to: same host configuration with the virtual disk imported from the Parallels disk and mounted with the same guest configuration offers me immediate response once the state has been restored.
    Why does this not happen with Parallels?
  12. lahaina


    I would definitely up the ram allocation to 512 as a start. 384 is like trying to have an elephant dance in a shoe box. You are bound to get lots of page outs and disk thrashing. Also, disable 3D and experiment with the hypervisor and smartmount toggles.
  13. TLITD


    Steve, I agree with you 100%, it should not require a work-around to function properly after resuming.I can only assume that it's not happening to everyone thus the reason Parallels hasn't been inclined to look into it.
  14. TLITD


    Lahaina, 384 seems OK for what I'm using it for...to run the occasional app that's not Mac compatible and no multitasking. Response time after resuming, assuming I have cleared enough memory, is fine. I have tried experimening with hypervisor, 3D disabled, reinstalled Parallels program and tools, all to no avail. I will try the smatmount toggle, thanks for the suggestion. It really should just resume and be responsive immediately as Steve Martin said, we shouldn't have to "jump through hoops" to get it to funtion properly. I'll be opening a support ticket and see what response I get.
  15. Christopher Becker

    Christopher Becker

    I'm having the same issue. Apps don't wont to load for a full 3-5 mintues after coming out of suspend. I got it to perform a tiny bit better by decreasing ram to 640 and adjusting cpus from 2 to 1. Its still totally unacceptable especially since I recall a couple builds ago everything was LIGHTNING fast.
  16. dbcyclist

    dbcyclist Bit Poster

    Same Problem-my solution

    I was having the same problem with my 24" iMac 667 MHz, 4GB RAM OSX10.5.8. Parallels 4 - Build 3844.

    When this occurred, I could shut down the VM, Parallels and my Mac - a full re-boot - and the problem was still there. Activity monitor under the CPU tab showed that the machine was being entirely flooded with activity from Parallels. Oddly, the rest of my Mac still worked well.

    My solution was to restore my VM file from a TimeMachine backup from before the problem began. Apparently Parallels Tools had been updated since the restore I selected. So when I started the VM after the restore, Parallels asked if I wanted to Update Parallels Tools, and I selected no. To date, all is working well, and ActivityMonitor shows normal CPU activity.

    At this point, I'm suspicious that Parallels Tools was the problem. But since the restore was fairly recent, stayed tuned.
  17. StephenW


    Same issue here

    I was always noted for having the best Parallels experience in the company somehow, I never really had issues with it like most people seemed to. However, now I have horrible problems whenever I resume. I already have 4 GB of RAM so I don't think that's the silver bullet. I don't tell my VM's to allocate very much RAM either. All I know is, back in Parallels 3, I could resume and yeah, resuming would take a while, but when it was done, I was fine. Now, resuming is very fast, but the VM I get after that is worthless. I never suspend now - and if I forget and quit without shutting down, when they do come back up all I do is wait for it to let me stop the vm and do a hard reset. That's the only way to get the VM back to a usable state. And I don't know what this BS is about 10 minutes and then it's fine - after 3 hours the slow VM's are still slow. They never recover.

    I can run 3 VMs in parallel with a million other programs and no problems. I suspend and resume just one of those VMs, and it's over. My whole computer slows down to a crawl until I reset it.
  18. wwwake


    Having this same issue with the one Macbook we decided to test the new version of Parallels on before giving it to our techs. It takes significantly longer to boot up, use, and navigate through the Parallels program than version 3. It's so bad that both myself and my boss have migrated back to Version 3 to avoid this terrible lag.

    If anyone has a solution other than "boot it up and wait for 30 minutes" that was described in the official Parallels post I would be ecstatic to hear it. I've tried playing with allocated RAM, different programs in both parallels and mac side, etc. and nothing has worked.
  19. jefflsadv


    Same Thing

    Using it for years without a hitch. Now brand new 2.8 macbook pro 4gb ram and a SSD drive. Too slow to use. The only fixed after a 30 min boot is to re-install paralles tools which fixes it. sometimes for a week and other times only 2 hours.

  20. MarkusZ


    I am experiencing the exactly same problem. If Parallels runs, then it is fast like hell and many windows users are impressed. It is even faster for me, to boot up the machine instead of resuming, but that is not what I want. When I am using it, I want having all apps open at that place when I left. That's why I am running a VM.

    The performance problems are certainly caused by disk access. Maybe Parallels can do something about that, because on PD3, it was not really that SLOW!

    Please, developers, give us a hint!

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