XP SP3 Time Zone Glitch

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by lotii, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. lotii


    Hopefully this saves some other users my wasted time (pun intended)! I had an issue where I could not get the Windows OS to show the correct time & time zone. It was close (Darwin rather than Adelaide) but enough to be 1 hour out with daylight saving.

    When I changed it in Windows it would save the settings (including OS reboots), but whenever I restarted Parallels it would return to the old setting.

    Lived with it for a while but it was begining to annoy me. Mostly trial-and-error as I'm a new Mac user with absolutely no experience in Parallels or the like.....

    Turns out there must be a little glitch with the [ Parallels > Configure > Advanced > Time: Synchronize with Mac ] option. Although the time zone is correct in the Mac OS (Adelaide) when synchronising it becomes Darwin under XP.

    To fix you either need to turn off the synchronisation OR set it to "Allow a different time than on Mac"


    And some feedback for the Parallels team.

    As detailed elsewhere, after a horrible time with the updated version I am using older build 6.0.11800 r593005 on a new 2.4 Macbook and cannot help be be impressed with the software & performance. Not only am I running my Windows programs as per normal (several are PC only), I am also getting used to the Mac OS and didn't need to spend a small fortune re-purchasing Mac licenses for my existing software. And all running on a HP LP3065 monitor. Brilliant.

    However, given that the documentation for the software is non-existant and the KB & Forums are the only "free" resources, I would like to see a bit more organisation of the information - especially regarding fixes for specific Windows OS glitches.

    For example, the KB article http://kb.parallels.com/en/9150 is probably related (error with Central America time zones), however it is not immediately obvious and the "fix" is to upgrade - which wouldn't have helped me anyway as I couldn't install the new version!

    Would make life a lot easier for us PC-based users and perhaps also make it easier for the Mac population when they attempt to install and debug problems with a Windows OS install. It seems most users like(d) the software and, like me, are happy to contribute to the support information.

    But it is a tad messy......
  2. lotii


    XP SP3 Memory Use

    FYI when the default-install XP SP3 OS is up and running the MacBook reports memory use of 1.8Gb.

    When XP is shut down memory use reduces to 1.17Gb.

    When Parallels is also closed down memory use reduces to around 975Mb.


    I found with Parallels that the default install was perfectly fine except when I was running Photoshop Elements 7, so I (Under Configure > )
    - General - increased the VM memory allocation to the recommended 1Gb;
    - General - allocated 2 CPU's (don't use the Mac for much when using Parallels else so doesn't impact me there) - definite improvement in opening PSE application with 2 CPU's. Heck, even opens HD video content using Premiere elements 7, but struggles to play the video.
    - Options > Performance - faster VM, better performance, enable Adaptive Hypervisor, Tune windows for speed

    Also set XP Performance Options to "Adjust for Best Performance". Performance is OK so I didn't feel the need to strip anything else out from XP (though there is plenty of fat there......)

    I still get a "Out of Memory" error when trying to create a PDF from Photoshop Elements (PDF Creator produces much better results than the default PS output) but everything else seems to have enough CPU/Memory.


    In sum I will be upgrading the memory so I can allocate as much memory as Windows can use. The 2.4Ghx 2010 Macbooks default 2Gb is plenty for most XP users I suspect, even though there doesn't seem a lot spare in the Mac OS.

    But memory is pretty cheap (third party....) so it is a relatively painless upgrade that can only help.
  3. lotii


    XP SP3 Memory Use Update

    Whilst using the 2 CPU's in the VM helps with the Adobe processor hungry apps, it seems to degrade the overall performance of the system so for normal stuff (inc all Office apps), especially noticable when trying to close applications and turn off the MacBook. have returned to the default install of 1 CPU. See what happens with more memory.
  4. lotii


    MacBook memory update

    Heres the MacBooks Activity Monitor results after upgrade to 8GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM. And yes I have read that it is only supposed to be upgradeable to 4GB of RAM.......

    Simply running Parallels now uses 1.9-2.1Gb of RAM so I would *strongly* suggest to upsize the RAM, as obviously the Mac OS (and maybe Parallels) was making concessions to get everything to run with the default 2GB.

    I reconfigured to give the Parallels VM 4GB of memory, now when XP OS is loaded total of 2.8G-3.0GB is being used by the Mac.

    When loading Premiere Elements (New Project) RAM use increases to about 3.5GB and playing back a AVCHD sample video takes it up to near 4GB.

    Playback is choppy so for HD stuff this is borderline, but then again it does the job which is damn impressive anyway. This isn't a video editing machine folks - and even it it were I wouldn't be trying to do it from within a VM! What was interesting was that changing from VM to 2xCPU actually gave *worse* playback performance than with 1xCPU, so at this point with the extra RAM I see no benefit in assigning both CPU's to the VM.

    Summary - as is always the case increasing memory is a very cost effective (unbelievably only $150) way to improve "across-the-board" performance of any computer - PC or Mac. And not only is the Mac faster & happier, the performance improvements when running programs is clearly also improved in XP.

    So a no brainer at this point.
  5. lotii


    XP SP3, Zone Alarm and MSE

    As a very, very long-time user (with purchased licenses) of ZA I gave it a try with the Parallels install. Bad idea.

    The subsequent OS load took so long I initially thought Parallels had broken! Everything runs *significantly* slower (to the point of annoyance) and the default install cut access to the web and the networked printer. Aargh! Knowing the ZA product I tinkered a bit but in the end the performance overhead and need for customisation was too inhibiting so I simply uninstalled (nice now this is built-in to ZA).

    This returned the system back without needing to do a System Restore.

    After pondering a few other security options I tried Microsoft Security Essentials. Although I knew it is RAM hungry it isn't too bad for a free product and since I "assumed" it integrates well with XP (though we are talking MS here...) so was hoping that it would also integrate well with the Parallels install.

    So far so good in terms of OS performance (un-noticable for opening/running programs), though I note that the MacBooks RAM usage has now increased to 6.2GB!


    Do I really need security? Possibly not, as it isn't a high-risk use scenario. However I feel that it is better to have some layers of protection as I really don't want to be messing around with System Restores or reloads of the OS under Parallels. So having a RAM overhead is an acceptable trade-off to giving the OS additional protection, especially as it is running with XP OS Administrator priviledges.


    Zone Alarm is running happily on my other PC's (XP & Vista) so it appears that it is just the added complication of Parallels that is creating the problems. Can't blame anyone here, and certainly not something that I expect either company to try and resolve.


    But even more reason to give your Mac as much RAM as possible when running Parallels.......

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