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Mac is slow after installing Parallels Desktop

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Standard Edition

Symptoms

Mac is running slower after installing Parallels Desktop.

Cause

There could be several reasons:

  • Unsupported hardware
  • A lack of hardware resources
  • An incorrect resource allocation to the virtual machine

Resolution

First of all please check if your computer meets Parallels Desktop system requirements:

http://kb.parallels.com/en/122662 for Parallels Desktop 10

http://kb.parallels.com/en/117047 for Parllels Desktop 9

Then, if you suspect a lack of resources on your computer, please try to adjust virtual machine settings:

  • Allocate less RAM for the virtual machine.
  • Options tab -> Optimization -> Performance -> set to Faster Mac.

If you suspect an incorrect resource allocation to the virtual machine side, then you need to identify applications on Mac that may consume too much resources:

  • Restart Mac and ensure that Parallels Desktop is not running
  • Open Finder and go to Applications Folder > Run Activity Monitor
  • Click on the CPU tab, this will display the process that consumes the most CPU in descending order.
  • Observe which process consumes the most CPU usage and take note of the its name.
  • If your Mac has low performance at this point, the issue is not related to Parallels Desktop.

Or

  • While observing the Activity Monitor, start Parallels Desktop and Windows virtual machine.
  • Once Windows start, observe how the processes on the Activity Monitor fluctuates and take note of the process name.
  • Upon starting Windows virtual machine, right/option click on the Task Bar and select Task Manager.
  • Select the Processes tab from the Task Manager and click on CPU, this will display the process that consumes the most CPU in descending order.
  • Observe which process consumes the most CPU. Once you have identified it, you can quit that program by selecting on it and clicking on End Process.
  • Observe if Mac will freeze up at this point and how the Activity Monitor respond to the CPU usage.

If it is a resourse consumption:

Check the log messages in Console Utility:

Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Console - If it is required click Show Log List - Select All Messages - In the search box type i/o - if it returns disk0s2: I/O error, your hard drive is corrupted and you need to contact Apple Support.

Also please check how much CPU usage is taken prl_vm_app process. If CPU amount is very high (>80%), please do the following:

  1. First of all please check if any driver takes improper amount (>5000) of interruptions per second via this KB article

  2. Make sure that your Virtual Machine configured to the best performance following this article.

  3. Perform the test described in this KB article

  4. Start the virtual machine and turn off Antivirus and Firewall software on the both sides: Mac and Windows.
  5. Perform Selective Startup:

For Windows XP and Windows 7:

  • Start virtual machine
  • Go to Start > (for Windows XP: Start > Run >) in the search box type msconfig and hit Enter (return).
  • In the System Configuration choose Selective startup and uncheck Load startup items. Click apply.
  • In the Services tab UN-check Hide all Microsoft services, click Enable all, click Apply.
  • Check Hide all Microsoft services, click Disable all, locate and check: Parallels Coherence Service and Parallels Tools Service (so 2 Parallels services should be checked), click Apply.
  • In the Startup tab locate and check Parallels Tools (it can be called prl_cc).
  • Click Apply and reboot your virtual machine normally.

For Windows 8:

  • Start virtual machine
  • Go to Start > in the search box type msconfig and hit Enter (return).
  • In the System Configuration choose Selective startup and uncheck Load startup items. Click Apply.
  • In the Services tab UN-check Hide all Microsoft services, click Enable all, click Apply.
  • Check Hide all Microsoft services, click Disable all, locate and check: Parallels Coherence Service and Parallels Tools Service (so 2 Parallels services should be checked), click Apply.
  • In the Startup tab click Open Task Manager. Here disable all the processes except Parallels Control Center (it may be called prl_cc).
  • Reboot virtual machine.

Check the issue. If it does not help:

  1. Shut down virtual machine, open virtual machine configuration > Security Tab, turn on Isolate Windows from Mac option.

  2. Start virtual machine and check the issue.
  3. Contact Parallels Support team if you still experience 'slow Mac performance' issue while using Parallels Desktop.

Search words:

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PD




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