Win 7: Processor at 200%

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by Ovate, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi there
    I have recently installed Windows 7 as a guest on Parallels 11 for Mac.
    When Windows 7 is running its utilising around 200% of the Macbook pro processor and the fan is running fiercely to keep the mac cool. The macbook and client have been shut down and restarted a number of times, and the behaviour is the same. Windows 7 also caused this behaviour before any other software was installed on it.
    I'm presuming this is not normal behaviour as I had windows 10 installed as a client last week, on the same set up, and there was no issue with the processor.
    Any idea what might be causing this behaviour and how to resolve it. My Macbook is burning up as it is.

    Set up:
    Macbook pro retina mid 2012, 750 SSD, 16 GB RAM
    OS 10.11.16
    Windows 7 enterprise client
    Parallels desktop for Mac 11


    Thanks
     
  2. Guna@Parallels

    Guna@Parallels Parallels Support

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    Hi @Ovate
    Please try the steps outlined in this article and let us know how it goes.
     
  3. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi Guna, thanks for the link. I went through the steps, created a test virtual machine. The test VM used about 100% of the processor until "no boot device is available" displayed and then consumption dropped to minimal levels. So according to the article that suggests there is something wrong with the Windows 7 setup. I followed the instructions to try and remedy that. However when i reached the part where i was to select the source of Hard Disk 1 in the test VM, i was not able to select "Choose an image file". This option was greyed out and there was an notice in the dialogue box stating that the virtual machine would have to be booted and then shut down again before this option became available. The problem with that is it is not possible to boot the test VM as it doesn't have a client operating system installed.

    So to be thorough I thought i would cut my losses and completely re-install everything. I shut the VMs and Parallels down, trashed both the VMs from within Paralllels and then uninstalled Parallels by trashing the application folder. I tried to use the 3rd party app that Parallels recommends to delete system files, however the app couldn't finish its task and gave an non descript error message.

    Once everything was uninstalled i reboot, reinstalled parallels, and created a new windows 7 VM. The new VM so far has tended to run at around 100% processesor. Thats an improvement on the last VM which was running up to around 200%. It's still far from ideal however.

    The odd thing is I had no problem when I was running Windows 10 VM in parallels last week. Unfortunately I can't use W10 as it doesn't support some software I need to use.

    Any ideas where I go from here?
     
  4. Sasti@Parallels

    Sasti@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    278
    You could try changing the number of processors and RAM allocated to your virtual machine. Start with giving the minimum required resources to your Windows. Let us know if there are any changes.
     
  5. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Original configuration was 2 processors (out of 8) and 3 GB memory (out of 16 GB).
    With this configuration windows when idle was using 100% of processor. When being used lightly it goes up to between 150% and 220%.

    Changing to 1 processor and 1GB of memory:
    With this configuration windows sits idle at about 60%. When being used lightly processor usage goes up to around 100%.

    Additional odd behaviour at the moment. If I save a folder to the desktop I have to restart windows for the folder to appear on the windows desktop, although it will show on the Mac desktop.

    Also the text size in application windows has been odd since installing this second VM of Windows 7, as seen in attachment. In the first Windows 7 VM, the text was fine. I have tried changing the text size in the control panel. However if i choose a smaller text size out of the options (smaller / medium / larger / custom), it defaults to custom (199%) after applying any change and logging off and back in again (as the system requests). The text size is so large that when I tried to install IBM SPSS, I wasn't able to read the text in the authorisation window, no matter what I tried. I eventually had to uninstall Parallels Tools for Windows, fire up the authorisation window for SPSS, complete the installation and then re-install Parallels Tools. But of course the text in all other application windows remains odd.

    Does this shed any further light on what the problem might be?
    Regards
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Sasti@Parallels

    Sasti@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    278
    If you are using your virtual machine in full screen, reinstall Parallels tools and try keeping a custom screen resolution. Also, if you are using best for retina display option, change it to scaled as suggested in this article. This is because, some Windows applications cannot handle the retina display of Mac.
    Regarding the CPU usage of your virtual machine, please try to find which application/process of Windows is taking up the high usage(you could use task manager to do this). Then, try clean booting your virtual machine and check the CPU usage.
     
    Ovate likes this.
  7. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi Sasti
    Thanks! That has done the trick. Disabling the "dynamic resolution feature" and the "best for retina" settings have sorted the problems.
    Not only have the screen problems been fixed, but windows 7 is no longer using a large percentage of the processor, it is down around 7% when idle now. Perfect.
    Thank you again. Now I can get on with some work :)
     
  8. Sasti@Parallels

    Sasti@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    278
    Great! If you have more questions, reach out here anytime.
     
  9. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi
    Bad news I'm afraid. the CPU has started running at around 100% as standard again, its been a few days like this now and I can't seem think of anything I've done that could have affected it. I haven't changed any of the settings above, i.e. for the "dynamic resolution" feature and the "best for retina" feature, that seemed to solve the problems last week.
    Any idea what could be causing the high usage again? Currently back to only running the VM for short periods as it heats up the computer so much that the fan goes wild.
    Thanks.
     
  10. AndreB4

    AndreB4 Bit Poster

    Messages:
    6
    You might want to look at the task manager in Windows to see what actually uses CPU. Could be normal, on a new install there could be a lot happening in the background for a few days.
     
  11. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi there,
    I have experimented with the system over the past week. Each time the VM starts up the processor hits over 100% almost immediately, without any applications running. If I leave the VM running for extended period of time, it continues to stay at over 100% without running any applications.
    Based on your advice I have looked at the Task Manager and as you can see in the screen shots there are no processes running, but the performance in the task manager is at 100%. The screen shot of the Mac activity window also shows Windows 7 running at over 100% of the CPU.
    I don't like running the VM like this as the laptop starts to heat up considerably and the fan runs really loudly.
    Today I increased the amount of RAM allocated to the VM. Your advice previously was to reduce the amount of RAM to 1GB, however Win 7 performance has been impaired too much. I have increased it to 4 GB today (out of 16GB total). There has been no change in the CPU usage since increasing the RAM allocation, although Win 7 runs smoother again.
    Would you have any ideas at this point?
    Thanks
    Colin
     

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  12. Konstantin@Parallels

    Konstantin@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    12
    Hello Ovate,

    It's tough to say for sure without seeing the "Processes" tab in Windows Task Manager. But if I had to guess that looks normal from the technical point of view.
    Your host system (Mac) high CPU usage is caused by your guest system (Windows) taking most of the CPU resources. That usually (like 99%) happens due to some incorrect behavior of some of your Windows processes/ applications, etc..To make sure that this is Windows environment issue you can install a new Windows virtual machine and I'm pretty sure that high CPU usage issue would be gone in that case.

    In case you'd provide us with a screenshot of "Processes" tab in Windows Task Manager we might be able to check if that's a know Windows issue or not.

    Cheers,
     
  13. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi
    Sorry, isn't the screen shot attached to my last message of the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager? In the screen shot there are no processes using the CPU, but performance is still at 100%.
    You will see from the email trail above that I have already gone through the process of trying a test VM installation and then I completely re-installed the VM - Windows 7 from the beginning, only to find that I had the same problem with CPU persisted.
     
  14. Konstantin@Parallels

    Konstantin@Parallels Parallels Support

    Messages:
    12
    Ovate,

    My bad, didn't notice it before.

    The thing is that the screenshot you've provided us with is only for your user account.
    We should see all the processes that are consuming your Windows CPU resources.
    To check all running processes and applications you need to make sure that "Show processes from all users" option is checked:
    [​IMG]

    Also, you migh want to refer to this article and use "Process Explorer" Microsoft utility:
    technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
     
  15. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Hi there
    Having installed process explorer it seems that there is a svchost.exe process using around 100% of the processor all of the time, as seen in the attached screen shot.

    The high processor usage starts as soon as i have input my windows password. Would this just be a problem with the Windows installation and not parallels. Not looking forward to a complete re-install again, as this will be the 4th time :-(
     

    Attached Files:

  16. DustinHullett

    DustinHullett Product Expert

    Messages:
    181
    I have experienced the same problem with Windows 7 and parallels. It was the svchost that was causing it. This is tied directly to Windows updates. I disabled Windows updates and restarted the VM. Now my Windows 7 VM runs 0 to 1% when at idle instead of 75%. If you need help on how to stop all the unnecessary Windows updates send me a message or post back here. Also reinstalling Windows is going to start this process over and over again because the service pack updates will have to be reinstalled and downloaded. I wouldn't recommend doing this again.
     
    Ovate likes this.
  17. Ovate

    Ovate Bit Poster

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks for the feedback. I gave up on the VM, it was getting worse and worse and the system started freezing a lot. Prob a system file problem.
    I have installed a new Windows 7 VM from scratch. After installation I updated it with an SP1 .iso and have turned off Windows Update so that I don't get any complications with svchost. So far the CPU usage has stay nice and low!
    If I do however turn on Windows update, it just sits and searches for updates endlessly with no result, and of course the CPU usage shoots right up. Is there a fundamental problem with Win7 and Windows Update on Parallels? Not quite sure how to update Win7 in the current situation if Win Update keeps getting stuck mid search.
    Kind regards
    Colin
     
  18. DustinHullett

    DustinHullett Product Expert

    Messages:
    181
    no not just a parallels issue. I have a Windows laptop and desktop that do the same exact thing with updates turned on. Windows updates especially Windows 7 are terrible. I have had so many updates that have completely broken my pc. Which explains why I'm now a Mac user. I never get updates now because of the headache they cause. If you do decide you want or need an update go directly to Microsoft and download updates yourself and install. This works much better than the integrated update. I even turn updates off on my Windows 10 machines and just download the new builds when I see they are available. Hope this answers all your questions. If not please feel free to ask anything. Also if you don't mind please like if your satisfied. I'm trying to build up my reputation here on parallels. Thanks
     
    Ovate likes this.
  19. tblack

    tblack Bit Poster

    Messages:
    91
    Please help me with this same problem. I am running Windows 10 and was running the latest version of Parallels v11. Yesterday the VM started to use 200 - 300 % CPU with the fans roaring so updated to v12 and I followed the procedure recommended earlier in this thread, the article at http://kb.parallels.com/au/116263

    It has not done any good, the CPU usage still goes off the scale with the new VM and I don't know what to do.

    I am running a mid-2015 MacBook Pro with 16g ram and 2.8ghz processor.
     
  20. tblack

    tblack Bit Poster

    Messages:
    91
    My problem seems to have settled down, and the culprit seems to have been Windows updater. The problem stopped as soon as I switched it off. I have switched it back on, so far so good.
     

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