Windows 11 VM runs slow

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop on a Mac with Apple silicon' started by PJ1, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. SamS4

    SamS4 Hunter

    To everyone on this thread interested in how to salvage a VM --

    I've been using Parallels for years, and I've learned that before I install an update to Parallels or to Windows, I always back up my SSD storage using Carbon Copy Cloner (of course there are other apps that can do this as well). That way I can easily go backwards in time and install either a past version of Parallels and restore my VM, or in the case of a failed Windows update I can simply delete the VM and reinstall the copy. In general I run a backup once a week since only changed files are copied, and it takes <20 min.

    Case in point - I was in the midst of a Windows update last week when all of a sudden my 14" M1 MacBook crashed (NOTE - this was after the macOS Monterrey 12.4 install, and it would somewhat routinely crash after waking from Sleep. I think I fixed the problem by doing an SMC reset). Nonetheless, my Windows 11 install wound't pick up where it left off - basically it was toast. So I deleted the VM and restored the copied VM and ran the Windows 11 update which completed successfully.

    Bottom line - These apps and operating systems are just too damn complex to trust that everything will work correctly. Our only recovery is to have backup handy.
  2. carlosrodzbotet

    carlosrodzbotet Hunter

    I also do CCC and Time Machine backups but :

    1- I can't find the Parallels App in Time Machine (is it under another name?) even though I have a backup from as far as June 14. Is there another file I can restore? Everything was working fine until I updated to the latest 17.1.4 so if I can restore to the previous version everything would be perfect. Do I restore the Windows 7.pvm or the Parallels App or what file ?

    2- in CCC, the Safety Net only goes back to June 19 and the update was done on June 17 so I don't know if the old version is still available or not.
  3. SamS4

    SamS4 Hunter

    Try going to and downloading a previous version.
  4. carlosrodzbotet

    carlosrodzbotet Hunter

    Thank you. I went there now but only found the dmg for Version 17, 16, 15 etc, but not for individual updates 17.1.1, 17.1.4, etc...
  5. MatthiasE5

    MatthiasE5 Hunter

    Here's some more tips:
    1. If you have issues with Windows not shutting down/restarting properly, consider it might be USB devices that have not been properly detached via menu.
    2. I have been using 4cpus/6GB (as recommended) and this has been working too (just like 2 cpus), on mba m1 16GB. The sound issues with 4cpus might have been limited to sound/video functionality only in very specific conditions (old games). But they were reproducible.

    3.##### IM AM MARKING THIS ##### Here's an important tip that might save you in the future. CCC is able to take snapshots like time machine. CCC has special permissions that only few software companies get from Apple. You can disable time machine snapshots and rely only on CCC which has advantages as you can then contol your snapshots better (in the face of limited space on SSD). You can define exactly how the snapshots should be done, for EACH volume.
    Now here's the trick: You can create a new volume on you mac ssd and name it parallels.

    On my 1 TB SSD, the parallels volume looks like this: capacity 994 GB (apfs encr), available 466, used 360 (i think this includes snapshot data). The PVM file itself is 300, of which 100 gb are snapshots of the VM (don't confuse pvm snapshots with ccc snapshots, and dont confuse ccc snapshots with time machine snapshots even though the latter are technically the same to my knowledge). side note, always keep a copy of your vtpm file on separate media, and keep your keys for that safe too (sync is on by default anyway i think, about the key chain).

    the trick is this. ccc will always do a snapshots of the full volume whenever it performs a backup. and you can configure the retention scheme, like i said.
    when you update windows, and you fear it make breakt the vm, you could of course copy the full 200 gb each time to external, or copy the full 200 gb pvm file within your internal ssd if you have space. but that does a lot writes and takes a lot of time.
    you could also think you could copy it with ccc to external and use delta copying, but the problem is that to my knowledge delta coyping does not work for the pvm container. and also delta copying takes actually longer than simple copy anyway, to my knowledge. even if you copy much more.
    but if you create a "fake" backup plan in ccc that will just always copy a 1byte textfile from ssd elsewhere, then ccc will be triggered to make a snapshot of the parallels volume. if you have shut down windows before, or, used SUSPEND from the parallels menu, then to my knowledge (even for the supsended situation, I believe -- i am 99% sure, not 100%), you will be creating a snapshot of an functioning pvm file (don't do it whilst the vm is running, or only paused). this snapshot will just take 1-5 seconds, typically 2-3 seconds at max.
    Of course, on top of this, you now also do a Parallels snapshot (not ccc/macos), so you also have an internal snapshot within the pvm. (you can do that before or after the ccc snapshot, perhaps before is better unless you scared of curruption/issues during the making of the parallels snapshot)
    now you update windows. in case of a problem that completely breaks your pvm file to the degree that NEITHER the current state NOR a previous snapshot can be booted, you can then go to CCC and restore the pvm from before the ccc snapshot.
    I suspend my pvm once a day and take ccc snapshot, on top of a macrium reflect incremental/differential. i also do macrium automatic backups of only my most important files (.doc, .xls, .txt etc.) every 15 minutes to a permanently attached 1 tb usb stick.

    A VM adds additional layers of complexity and more reasons why things can go wrong, whilst at the same time not having all the backup options that a normal windows installation has: macrium reflect images are NOT bootable -- perhaps they are bootable on ARM notebooks via the "restore to dissimilar hardware feature". but not bootable in parallels, to my knowledge (99% sure). this also means you cannot do incrementals (which could be done frequently) into a bootable system image. all of this puts you at risk. with the above methods, you can greate mitigate these problem in my opinion. and consireding that Parallels snapshots AND ccc snapshots are extremely easy and fast to make, you also have a some plus points over most non-vm users: thanks to smartguard, you will have some backup luxury that normal windows pc users don't have. by the way, as a side note, before going back to a paralles snapshot, unless you want to continue from there indefinitely, i recommend disabling the wifi to avoid sync problems because otherwise the old snapshot will start syncing stuff, and you might not want that after you go back to the current windows state.
  6. ThiloS1

    ThiloS1 Bit poster

    This did it for me as well, after hours of searching. Thank you very nuch! (MBAir M1 8GB Monterrey)
  7. Ernest1

    Ernest1 Bit poster

    After many hours of checking what the issue is I've discovered that mdworker is constantly spiking disk usage to 100% which was causing Windows 11 freezing.
    I did disable mdworker completely with command sudo mdutil -a -i on, but didn't realise you can exclude separate folders which is a much better solutions, thanks!

    I don't understand why Parallels don't advise you of this during install? Would saved me so much time..
  8. robertm86

    robertm86 Bit poster

    Outlook for Windows running extremely slow - I'm running latest version of Parallels; latest version of Windows; and Ventura on a new Apple Air with 24 gb of RAM and 1 TB of storage. This happened a few weeks ago and then resolved itself. It then started again. Help!
  9. FilipR

    FilipR Junior Member

    When I run benchmarks (Novabench) I notice that Windows 11 on a silicon Mac Studio is slower than Windows 10 on a 13 year old Intel MacPro 5,1 with a Radeon 580 card. (Parallels 18 vs Parallels 11):(
  10. DanK15


    I know i'm late to the party but doing an SMC reset and NVRAm reset on the MacBook Pro made my Windows 11 VM run properly. Try those resets first before doing anything else as they are easy and may solve your slow Windows 11 issue. That worked like magic in my case.
  11. Fausto1

    Fausto1 Bit poster

    Windows 11 was extremely slow on a customer's iMac that has Intel Core i5, 1TB SSD and 32GB of RAM. I solved the problem by installing Windows 7.

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