Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Run Windows apps and Mac apps side-by-side, without restarting! Now supports Windows 8 on your Mac. Integrates Mountain Lion and Windows 8 features, such as centralized notifications, and Mission Control and Launchpad for Windows apps. Also runs Lion as a guest OS.

"I found Parallels faster at every common task, like starting and restarting Windows, and resuming Windows from a suspended state."
--Walt Mossberg, New York Times

Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports

Tips and issues running Windows with Parallels on a Mac

Updated August 12, 2013

On This Page:

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop about any problems or tips.

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About Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop is a virtual machine application that can run Windows, Linux, and other x86 operating systems in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. It is a competitor to VMware Fusion, and similar to Microsoft Virtual PC on PowerPC Macs.

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Version History

Parallels update improves 3D, supports new Ubuntu

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac 7 Build 15094, a maintenance update for the virtualization application for running Windows and Linux on a Mac. The update makes some improvements in 3D graphics and fixes a problem synchronizing time settings between Windows and Mac OS X. The new build also adds some Linux features, including "experimental" support for the prerelease version of Ubuntu 12.04 Linux build, which will be released on April 26. The ability to install Fedora 16 Linux from the Parallels Wizard was also added, as was support for keyboard support for additional languages. (See also the change log for this release.)

Parallels update adds support for Windows 8

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parallels released Parallels Desktop 7 build 7.0.14924, an update that adds the ability to run Windows 8 Developer Preview in a virtual machine in Mac OS X. The update also improves performance, optimizes CPU utilization when Parallels Desktop is idle, and improves compatibility with Quicken 2011and Autodesk 3DS Max 2012 3D. The new build is available from within Desktop 7 by selecting Check for Updates in the Parallels Desktop menu.

Parallels Desktop 7 was released early last month with 90 new features, according to the company, including using Lion's interface features to Windows VMs. This ability to run Windows 8, however, came first with VMware Fusion 4, which shipped a few weeks after Desktop 7. (See "Schizophrenic Windows 8 takes a different path than Lion.")

If you've tried Parallels Desktop 7, with Windows 8 or anything else, .

Parallels Desktop 7 adds Lion features to Windows VMs

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parallels today released a major update to its virtualization software for Mac, Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac. The upgrade from Version 6 is available today for US $50, but users will have to wait until September 6 to get the freestanding version ($80). When running in Lion, Parallels Desktop 7 enables Windows applications to take advantage of Lion's new features. And for the first time, Lion users get the ability to run Lion in a virtual machine.

The update also contains 90 improvements for Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion users, including......Read entire story here

Parallels Mobile 7 for iOS controls Windows or Mac OS X

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Along with the Parallels Desktop 7 releases today, Parallels released Parallels Mobile 7, an update to the software that enables users to control a Windows virtual machine remotely from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. New features include support of sound coming from the Windows virtual machine and the ability to copy and paste between iOS apps and Windows programs.

Another major feature is the ability to control the host Mac and operate Mac applications from the iOS device. Parallels said that Parallels Mobile 7 has better video performance......Read entire story here

Parallels updates Desktop and Server for Lion

Monday, July 25, 2011

Parallels released new versions of its virtualization products for Mac that improve compatibility Mac OS X Lion. Parallels Desktop 6 Build 12094 and Parallels Server for Mac Update 1 improve compatibility of running on in a Lion host OS. Versions before Parallels Desktop 6 and Parallels Server 4 will not run at all on Lion. These updates do not enable Lion Server to run in a virtual machine, which is currently not supported.

Parallels describes the Parallels Desktop update:

Parallels Desktop (build 6.0.12094) improves compatibility with Mac OS X v10.7 Lion and includes fixes and improvements that:

  • Resolve issues with shared Windows applications when running virtual machines in Crystal mode on Mac OS X Lion
  • Improve compatibility with Launchpad (introduced in Mac OS X Lion)
  • Resolves other compatibility issues revealed while testing Parallels Desktop on Mac OSX Lion
  • Includes the version of Kasperky Anti-Virus which is compatible with Mac OS X Lion

If you've tried this update .

Parallels 6.0.12092 update improves performance, 10.6.8 compatibility

Friday, July 1, 2011

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 6.0.12092, a maintenance update for the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The update improves overall performance, improves compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6.8, and fixes bugs. It improves the sharing of clipboards between Mac OS X and Windows running in virtual machines. The update also fixes a problem with the Finder and Dock becoming unresponsive when working with Parallels-created icons larger than 128x128 pixels. The company recommends the update for all users of Parallels Desktop 6. The free Build 6.0.12092 update is available via the Check for Update commend in the Parallels Desktop menu.

If you've tried this update if it fixed (or caused) any problems.

Parallels releases update 6.0.11994 for 10.6.5/10.6.6

Monday, February 28, 2011

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 6.0.11994 for Mac, a maintenance update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The release notes indicate that update "resolves compatibility issues " specifically for Mac OS X 10.6.5 and 10.6.6.

If this update fixes any problems for you

Parallels Desktop 6.0.11992 updates for performance, fixes Boot Camp errors

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 6.0.11992, a maintenance update of the virtualization software for Mac OS X. Parallels said the update improves general performance and fixes some bugs, including disk access errors with virtual machines that use Windows on Boot Camp partitions. The update is free for owners of version 6.x; for owners previous versions, the upgrade is US $40.

The update also fixes a problem with SATA virtual CD/DVD drives in a virtual machine with more than 2 GB of memory, and problems with incorrect handling of HTML links and files. Graphical problems with the Need for Speed Hot Pursuit game are also fixes in this update. The previous build, 6.0.11990, also fixed a number of issues, including networking problems, which some readers had reported when first updating Parallels Desktop 6.

Parallels ships free app for running Windows on iPad, iPhone

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Parallels has released a free mobile app that enables users to run Windows from Apple iOS devices, the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. The app, called Parallels Mobile, enables users of Parallels Desktop 6 and Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition to operate Windows applications, including Microsoft Outlook, as well as to print and view Flash-based websites. Parallels Mobile uses a new service called My Parallels. The company did not provide much information about My Parallels. Parallels Mobile can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes App Store.

Parallels is not the first to bring Windows to iPads. Last March, Citrix released Citrix Receiver for Mac, a free client for the company's XenApp 6 server, which enables users to operate Windows applications from iPads.

If you're using Parallels Mobile what you think of it.

Parallels 6 full version now available; small build update released.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Parallels has made available the full version of Parallels Desktop 6, the latest version of the virtualization software for Mac . Last Friday, the company released an upgrade version in advance of the full version. The company also updated the build, which is now Build 6.0.11822, which fixes some bugs in the original Build 6.0.11820 released in the upgrade version. (Parallels also issued a fix for a problem that readers reported with networking, described here.).....Read entire story here

Parallels 6 gets faster performance, 64-bit, 5.1 sound; Upgrade available now

Friday, September 10, 2010

On September 14, Parallels will ship Parallels Desktop 6 (US $80), a major new version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS's on Intel-powered Macs. The company, however, is offering an upgrade from earlier versions today (upgrade, US $50), available as a download. The new version has 80 new features and a number of performance improvements over version 5, according to the company.

Parallels said that Parallels 6 runs 3D graphics 40 percent faster than version 5, and that boot time for Windows is 41 percent quicker. The new version now sports a fully 64-bit virtualization engine, which the company says can better take advantage of 64-bit Macs. It also provides faster access to USB drives and shared network folders or servers. Spotlight integration I improved, with faster searches of Windows virtual machines from Mac OS X' Spotlight.

Parallels Desktop 6 also supports 5.1 surround sound -- the first virtualization product for Mac OS X to do so. You can now use Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts within Windows applications. The new version also applies andyMac OS X parental controls to Windows. And, version 6 now enables you to encrypt virtual machines.

Parallels will also continue to ship Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition ($100), which includes Parallels Desktop 6 plus new features designed to make improve migrating from a real PC to a virtual machine on a Mac. A student edition is available for US $40.

People who purchase Parallels Desktop 5.0 today through September 14 will be eligible for a free upgrade to version 6.

If you've tried the upgrade to Parallels 6 what you think.

Parallels 5 update 9344 adds Google Chrome OS support, Windows improvements

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Parallels, Inc. today released Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac Build 9344, an update that enables Macs run Google Chrome OS in a virtual machine. Google Chrome OS is a lightweight, Linux-based, open source operating system designed to run web apps for certain x86 and ARM netbooks and tablet PCs. Chrome OS is in the early stages of development; Google has said that it will release the first stable version later this year.

Parallels Desktop 5 Build 9344 also includes improvements and fixes when running Windows and other operating systems in virtual machines...... Read entire story here

Parallels Build 9310 improves Win performance, helps iMacs, Mac Pro

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 5 Build 9310, a maintenance update of the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The company said the update improves performance of Windows in virtual machines, and addresses issues on Nehalem-based iMacs and Mac Pros. (See Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports for more on Parallels.) If you've installed this update

Parallels releases Desktop 5 Build 9308 fixes slow launch problem

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Parallels released Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac Build 9308, a maintenance update for the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The company said that the update fixes the problem of slow launches of the application, which MacWindows readers have been reporting.

The update also includes several dozen fixes and improvements with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X Server guests OS's. For running Windows, the new build fixes several issues related to video and switching to Coherence or Crystal modes. On Macs with multiple monitors, Windows will now resume from a suspended state faster than before. Windows guests also get faster access to files using Shared Folders. It also fixes problems with 3D video and a number of games, as well as curing a problem of crashing on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Build 9308 is available from within Parallels Desktop 5 via the Check for Updates item in the Help menu. If you tried this update whether it solves the slow-launch problem for you.

Parallels fires back in virtualization wars with Desktop 5

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just days after VMware released Fusion 3, Parallels today released Parallels Desktop 5 (US $80, $50 upgrade), a new version of its Mac OS X virtualization software. New features include support for Windows Aero features, Apple track pad gestures in Windows apps, and a new screen mode called Crystal. A Parallels spokesperson also said that Parallels 5 runs faster than VMware Fusion 3, and graphics performance that is seven times faster than Parallels 4. It also now supports 64-bit Snow Leopard hosts and 64-bit Windows 7 guests.

Support of Windows 7 and Vista Aero features, such as Aero Peak and Flip 3D, is enabled with support for DirectX 9.0c/9Ex Shader Model 3 and OpenGL 2.1 Windows WWDM. The company said that Linux guests will also see improved graphics performance due to Open GL 2.1...
...Read entire story here

Parallels Desktop update for Snow Leopard, Windows 7

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

About two weeks ago, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 4.0.3846, and update to the virtualization environment for Mac OS X. The update improves running in a Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard host OS in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes. The update also adds official support for running Mac OS X Server and Windows 7 in virtual machines. There are also various bug fixes in the update.

On Snow Leopard hosts, the update fixes problems with USB devices causing kernel panics on 64-bit Macs, as well as problems with the QuickLook plugin, and a situation where Parallels Mounter and Explorer would fail to open Parallels Desktop disk images.

On the guest OS side, Parallels said that the update now supports running Leopard Server and Snow Leopard Server in virtual machines on Nehalem-based Mac Pros and Xserves. Build 3846 includes several improvements to running Windows 7 as a guest OS, including express installation, direct printing, and sound card support. There is also new support for creating Boot Camp virtual machines with Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7. The update also fixed a problem with installing Parallels Tools in the Ubuntu Linux 9.04 guest OS. Build 4.0.3846 available from within Parallels Desktop by choosing Check for Updates in the Help menu. If you've tried this update

Parallels Switch to Mac migrates Win OS to Mac and teaches

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parallels today released Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition (US $99). Aimed at Windows users buying their first Mac, the Switch to Mac Edition is a bundle of Parallels Desktop virtualization software, a USB migration cable and software, and interactive tutorials on how to use Mac OS X.

Parallels High Speed USB Transfer Cable connects a Mac and PC and includes flash ROM containing Enhanced Parallels Transporter software. The software launches in Windows when the cable is plugged in. A wizard guides the user through migrating the entire PC environment into Parallels Desktop running on the Mac, and the software does the work. The cable can move the Windows operating system itself, as well as Windows applications, files, and other data.

The ClickTour tutorials focus on teaching the Mac interface to new users. It first present the Mac desktop. When you roll the mouse over a portion, it brings up a definition in what looks like a QuickLook window. The users can then click on anything on the screen to bring up a video tutorial. The tutorials focus on describing the Mac OS X interface items in terms of the Windows equivalents. There are also tutorials on how to use Parallels Desktop. A Quick Reference Guide is also included.

Parallels Desktop update added Direct 9 SM2, Win 7, Snow Leopard

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here's one we missed during the holiday break: On December 30, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 4 Build 3810, an update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X with some useful new features.

In this build, Parallels updated its DirectX 9 3D graphics support to DirectX 9.0 with Shaders Model 2, catching up to VMware Fusion 2. There's also improved performance for media applications through support of the Intel SSE4 instruction set.

Build 3810 now runs Windows 7 Beta 1 inside a virtual machine. It can also run on the unreleased developer preview of Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6), and supports the Snow Leopard Server developer preview in a virtual machine.

We've installed the developer preview of Snow Leopard Server in Parallels Desktop 4 Build 3810 with good results, as long as the virtual machine has 2 GB of RAM. We were unable to install Snow Leopard Server in VMware Fusion 2 which is supposed to support Snow Leopard Server as a guest.

Parallels refers to support these unreleased OS's as "experimental." Other improvements in Build 3810 include:

  • Ability to drag Windows files to Mac applications in the Dock
  • Support of Apple remote disk support for MacBook Air users.
  • Ability to suspend Boot Camp virtual machines with the help of a "disp.allow_to_suspend_bootcamp_vm=1" system flag, which makes it safer to suspend Boot Camp virtual machines.
  • Silent start in Coherence
  • Ability to specify CPU and memory options in the New Virtual Machine assistant
  • Ability to remove a virtual machine from the list with a context menu option

If you've tried Parallels Desktop 4 Build 3810, particularly with Windows 7 Beta or Snow Leopard,

Parallels releases new build to fix 4.0 updating issues

Monday, December 1, 2008

Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 4.0 Build 3540, a maintenance update to address problems with caused by upgrading Parallels Desktop 3.x to Parallels Desktop 4. Build 3540 corrects a number of bugs, including a case where Windows stops while booting during the upgrade, and where a Boot Camp partition can't be accessed after the upgrade, or an error message appears stating that it "failed to configure the Boot Camp partition." The code at this link is only the English build; Parallels said it would release builds localized to other languages in the near future.

If this update has solved any problems upgrading from Parallels Desk 3 Before the Build was released, readers reported problems with upgrading to 4.0...

Read entire story here

Parallels Desktop 4 adds expanded memory, more user features, support for Leopard Server

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today Parallels released Parallels Desktop 4.0 (US $80 Upgrade US $40), a major new version of the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The company said the new version increases performance by 50 percent while using less of the Mac’s hardware resources. Parallels said that version 4.0 also adds 50 new features, including remote control from an iPhone, built-in speech recognition for Windows, and the ability to run Leopard Server in a virtual machine...

Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5608 fixes Leopard 10.5.3 problems

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Last week, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5608, a minor update to its virtualization software for individual users. Parallels said the update fixed a problem with "accidental video artifacts in virtual machines running in the Single Window mode on Macs updated to Mac OS X v10.5.3.

Yesterday we published a reader report saying that Build 5604 fixed a problem that sounded like this one.

Build 5608 also fixes another problem with Leopard 10.5.3, this one with Coherence mode "incorrect behavior" of the topmost windows.

(Thanks to David Zimbelman to alerting us to Build 5608.)

If you've tried Parallels Desktop Build 5608 if it fixes any problems

Parallels Build 5604 fixes video problems with Leopard 10.5.3

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kevin David reports that a Parallels Desktop Build 5604 fixes a problem with flickering video in Windows with Leopard 10.5.3:

There have been reports at the Parallels forums of problems with Build 5600 of Parallels Desktop. Apparently there's now a fix, Build 5604, that is available that deals with the issues in that thread:

To ensure that people who upgrade have no problems, do this:

  1. Back up your VM's (just in case)
  2. Uninstall Parallels desktop (there's an uninstaller in the DMG file)
  3. Follow this document to make sure everything is gone:
  4. Install Parallels Desktop 5604 from here:
  5. Update Parallels Desktop tools in your VM's.

Parallels Desktop updated for XP SP3, Vista SP1

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 -- On Friday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3 Build 5600, an update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X. The new build adds support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 and for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Both are also supported as Boot Camp partitions. The new build also fixes a problem with kernel panics on the MacBook Air.

The update also fixes a number of other bugs an issues, including:

  • Fixed a problem that prevented copying folders with a custom icon
  • Added Shared Folders sharing support for removable drives
  • Improved Shared Folders transfer speed for SmartSelect
  • SmartSelect: added the ability to use user-defined Shared Folders instead of using All Mac disks or Home folder - added
  • Fixed a problem with Mac OS X high CPU usage and slow responsiveness
  • Fixed a bug that caused kernel panics when switching on CPUs using CPUPalette
  • Fixed a problem with an inability to mount Windows disk on the Mac desktop

If you've tried Parallels Desktop 3 Build 5600 with Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1

Parallels update fixes minor bugs with Tiger Security Update and Linux

Thursday, January 31, 2008 -- Parallels has released Parallels Desktop Build 5584, a minor update to Version 3.0 that fixes a problem with Apple's Security Update 2007-009 for Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger. The Security Update prevented drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste between Windows and Mac OS X.

Build 5584 also fixes a problem with Linux where it could not initialize 1600x1200x24 default resolution. This occurred with Xorg 1.3.0 in newest Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 7.10, Fedora Core 7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and others.

Parallels supports VPN Tracker for VPN link in Windows

Thursday, January 17, 2008 -- Yesterday, Equinux and Parallels announced that the two companies have been working together to make Parallels Desktop fully compatible with Equinux VPN Tracker 5 for Mac OS X. Equinux said that any Windows application running in of Parallels Desktop can connect to remote sites through the virtual private network connection provided by VPN Tracker. VPN Tracker 5 is a universal IPsec VPN client for Mac OS X, supporting over 300 VPN gateways and servers.

Update, April 14, 2008 -- The Equinux web site has a tutorial on how to configure VPN Tracker in Mac OS X and Parallels Desktop to enable Windows to use VPN Tracker's virtual private network connection.

Parallels update for Leopard speeds graphics performance

Monday, December 10, 2007 -- Last week, Parallels released an update for Parallels Desktop 3.0. The free update, called Build 5582, adds "enhanced compatibility" with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by fixing half a dozen or so Leopard issues, as well as minor bugs for all users. The company recommends the update for all Leopard users, but the new version also adds improvements that also benefit Tiger users.

The company said that the Build 5582 update improves DirectX and OpenGL graphics performance in Windows Vista and Windows XP. Other improvement include:

  • The ability to migrate a copy of Windows from a Boot Camp partition to a Parallels virtual disk image. This is called Parallels Transporter. This could be useful for people running Tiger with Boot Camp 1.4, which expires at the end of this month.
  • The ability to use two identical CD/DVD drives in a virtual machine.
  • Improvements in USB compatibility, including certain Blackberry and National Instruments
  • Enhancements to the look and feel of Windows programs in Coherence mode

After installing the Build 5582 update, users will need to reinstall Parallels Tools from the Actions menu.

If you've used Build 5582 how it works for you.

Parallels Premium Edition bundles Windows utility apps with Desktop

Monday, December 10, 2007 -- Last week Parallels released Parallels Desktop for Mac Premium Edition (US$99), a bundle of the Parallels Desktop virtualization software along with three utilities for Windows XP and Vista.

Until December 27, Parallels is offering Parallels Desktop Premium Edition and a $25 iTunes gift card for $99.

The three Windows utilities included in the bundle:

  • Kaspersky Internet Security. Protects the Windows virtual machine from viruses, spyware (identity theft, confidential data leakage, etc), and malware. Also adds privacy and parental controls.
  • Acronis Disk Director Suite. Enables user to modify, move, and merge partitions without losing data. Also can even recover lost or deleted partitions.
  • Acronis True Image Home. A Windows backup program.

Parallels releases stable upgrade with dozens of features and fixes. Monday, September 17, 2007 --Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 3 Build 5160, an upgrade to the software for running Windows and Linux on Mac OS X. The new version is a final version of the last two betas, Builds 5060 and 5144, incorporating dozens of new features and improvements. (The previous stable release was Build 4560.)

This includes improvements to Coherence, the feature that hides the Windows desktop while displaying the Windows programs. Each Windows program window opens as a separate Mac window. Build 5160 now supports the Mac OS X's Exposé feature and the overlapping of Windows and Mac windows. You can now boot the virtual machine directly into Coherence mode, without first showing the Windows desktop. Transparent windows are now supported.

Other improvements over Build 4560 include:

  • Windows application windows can minimize to the Mac OS X Dock
  • Syncing between an iPhone and Windows (contacts, scheduler, mail and media)
  • Improved performance and lower system overhead, including better DirectX and OpenGL performance
  • Maximum memory size available for a virtual machine increased from 1.5GB to 2GB, and support for more than 4 GB or RAM for multiple virtual machines
  • The ability to use Documents, Pictures, and Music folders as the My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music directories in Windows
  • Map Mac folders to a Windows letter drives (a feature that Virtual PC had)
  • Boot Camp compatible key mapping - Boot Camp key combinations substitute specific Windows keys like Insert, Print Screen and so on
  • Configurable audio lets you use headphones within a virtual machine with highest sound quality. You can also now change input and output sound devices connected to virtual machine on the fly
  • Parallels Transporter can now migrate a Linux PC (in addition to Windows) to a Parallels virtual machine
  • The Parallels Image Tool lets you change the virtual hard disk's format between plain and expanding disk
  • Parallels Mounter: Double-click Parallels virtual disks and mount them to Mac Desktop to access Windows files and folders using Finder, even if the virtual machine is not running. (Another Virtual PC feature)

The new version also includes several dozen bug fixes and stability improvements.

If you've tried Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5160

Parallels Beta 5144 improves performance, Mac OS X integration. September 4, 2007 -- Parallels last week released Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5144, which the company is calling Beta 2 and a release candidate for the next version. (Build 5060 was called Beta 1. The current shipping version is Version 3.0 Build 4560.)

Parallels said that Build 5144 improves overall performance, and supports over 4 GB of RAM for multiple virtual machines. There are also a number of features that improve integration between Windows and Mac OS X.

The Coherence feature, which hides the Windows desktop, now supports the overlapping of Windows and Mac windows, and supports Mac OS X's Exposé feature. This Beta 2 version also has the ability to boot directly into Coherence mode, without first showing the Windows desktop at all. Also new is the ability to use Documents, Pictures, and Music folders as the My Documents, My Pictures, and My Music directories in Windows.

The Parallels' Transporter utility can now migrate Linux into a virtual machines on the Mac.

More current news on the MacWindows home page

Parallels Beta 5060 adds Expose, iPhone support. August 6, 2007 -- Last week, Parallels issued Parallels Desktop Build 5060 Beta for testing. (Parallels warns that this version is still in beta testing and is not bug free. (The current release version is Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 4560.)

The prerelease build of the virtualization software for Mac OS X adds some new features, some of which are included in the new VMware Fusion 1.0, Parallels’ direct competitor. For instance, Mac OS X’s Expose is now supported in the Coherence features, which hides the Windows desktop. And like VMware Fusion, Parallels Build 5060’s Coherence mode can now overlap Windows and Mac windows.

A Transporter tool allows you to import a Linux installation from an actual PC into a Parallels virtual machine. Build 5060 Beta now supports iPhone in iTunes for Windows. Currently, Parallels reports that the USB device is in use by another application.

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop Build 5060 Beta

Parallels releases Build 4560 bug-fix update. July 18, 2007 -- Yesterday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 4560, an update to the virtualization software for running Windows and other OS’s on Intel Macs. The update fixes a large number of bugs and improves functionality. Among the improvements:

  • Parallels can better detect Windows installed in a Boot Camp partition.
  • Fixes some problems with the way CAD/CAM programs work, including AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
  • Other video fixes and improvements
  • Fixed a problem where a USB device in configuration increased the CPU usage by 30 percent with Windows Vista.
  • Fixes several problems with the SmartSelect feature, which lets you open files in Mac OS X or Windows with any available Mac OS X or Windows application.
  • The Image Tool has been added back into the product. Image Tool allows you to increase the capacity of the virtual hard drive.

The update Readme file does not mention of the problem of crashing Windows during the installation of Parallels Tools. If the update fixes this or another problem

Parallels 3 adds 3D hardware acceleration, integration features. June 8, 2007 --Yesterday, Parallels released Parallels Desktop 3, a new version of the virtualization environment for running Windows and other OS’s in Mac OS X on Intel Macs. The new version adds support for 3D graphics hardware acceleration as well as some new Mac-Windows integration features. The price remains the same at US $80, but the company is now charging a hefty US $50 for an upgrade from previous versions.

The new 3D graphics capabilities include support for OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 9, which allow Parallels Desktop to run a large number of games. Parallels did not say if Desktop 3 will support of the Aero, however. While Parallels claimed that the new version can run “3D CAD programs such as 3DMark,” it did not list AutoCAD among the supported graphics applications.

A new feature called SmartSelect lets you set defaults so that a Mac program opens a type of file when you double-click a file in Windows. For instance, you could double-click .doc files in Windows and have Parallels Desktop launch Word for Mac. You can set another file type to launch a Windows application when double-click in the Mac Finder. You can also select a Mac or Windows application to open a file by right-clicking (or Control-clicking) that file.

Parallels Desktop 3.0 also adds several features that are similar to those in Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs. Parallels Explorer is a Mac OS X utility that lets you see into and add or move files to or from the virtual hard disk, without running the virtual machine. (Virtual PC does this from the Finder, without a special utility.)

Another VPC-like feature (though more advanced) is Snapshots, which saves the state of a virtual machine, including settings and configurations. You can get back to this state and erase all changes at any time. (Snapshots is similar to Deep Freeze from Faronics Technologies, which does the same for Mac OS X.)

For more info, see this Parallels press release.

If you’ve tried Parallels Desktop 3.0 about your experience, particularly if it fixes any of the bugs previously reported on this page.

Parallels releases another Build, #3188. March 14, 2007 -- Parallels released another update of Parallels Desktop called Build 3188, an update to Build 3186 released the previous week. Parallels has not indicated what changes are in the new build, either on its web site or in the download. Readers reported problems with the previous 3186, but there were also many reports of problems with the 3188 build as well. (See the links above.)

Parallels adds USB 2.0, hides Windows desktop. March 1, 2007 --Parallels has released a finished new version of Parallels Desktop, a virtualization environment for running Windows and other x86 operating systems on Mac OS X. Parallels does not use version numbers, but is calling this release "Build 3186." Recent releases previous to this were beta builds of this release.

This new release adds significant new features, including Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying Windows applications, much as Classic mode displayed OS 9 applications in Mac OS X on PowerPC Macs.

This new version adds support for USB 2.0 devices, as well as support built-in iSight cameras in MacBooks and iMacs. This is one area where the shipping versions of Parallels Desktop had lagged behind the beta of VMware Fusion. A number of MacWindows readers reported USB printing problems with previous versions of Parallels Desktop.

The new version also comes with a migration tool called Transporter that can move existing Windows setups from real PCs, and translate virtual machines from VMware Workstation (the Windows version) and Microsoft Virtual PC. Transport moves all files, applications, settings, and user profiles.

This version also supports a copy of Windows installed in Apple's Boot Camp. This lets users access a single installation of Windows for either Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop.

There is also support of burning CDs and DVDs from within virtual machines.

Parallels beta adds Coherence Mode. January 12, 2007 -- Parallels demonstrated for the first time a release candidate (RC1, also called Build 3128), which was just released to beta testers. It features an improved Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying only open windows. Windows applications appear in the Dock, letting you switch between them without using the Windows interface. (The difference between CrossOver and Parallel’s Coherence Mode is that Parallels runs Windows and requires you to own it; CrossOver is not running Windows at all.) Coherence Mode currently works with Windows XP and Windows Vista, but Parallels said that it would be bringing the feature to other operating systems as well. Parallels also implemented dynamic resizable windows, a feature that VMware also has, as does Microsoft’s Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs.

Parallels updates Desktop for Vista support, 64-bit Mac performance. September 20, 2006 -- Parallels today released another new build for Parallels Desktop, the virtualization software for running Windows on Intel-powered Macs.

The new version adds support for Windows Vista Release Candidate 1. (The previous Parallels Desktop update added what the company called “experimental” support for Vista. The new version also improves performance on 64-bit Macs, the Mac Pro and the 64-bit iMac, according to the company. Parallels also said the update eliminates “major bugs” and eliminates kernel panics, according to a company spokesperson.

The new version also adds a tool for setting RAM. A Parallels spokesperson explained:

In previous builds, Mac Pro and 64-bit iMac users who have machines with more than 2GB of RAM had to manually limit RAM via the command line in Terminal. In this build, we've included a tool that will help you take this action without any command line coding. With a single click you can limit your RAM and make your Mac Pro fully compatible with this build. You can easily revert your memory back at any time to the full configuration with the same tool. Its very important to note that limiting your RAM configuration to run Parallels Desktop will NOT prevent you from running any other OS X application (although they may run slightly slower). It simply helps our hypervisor "play nice" with the Mac Pro.

Reader Reports and Tips

TIP: Use your VPC copy of Windows in Parallels and Boot Camp

November 21, 2006 -- has a tip on how to use the copy of Windows bundled with Virtual PC with Boot Camp and possibly with Parallels Desktop. The procedure involves download Windows XP Service Pack 2 and creating bootable CD.

December 1, 2006 -- Several readers wrote to comment on our previous report about enabling the copy of Windows XP that came with Virtual PC to run with Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop. (iEmulator told us that this method will work with iEmulator as well.)

The readers told us that the easier method is to get Microsoft to send you a new Windows installer CD:

December 1, 2006
Pat Sullivan:

This worked better for me:

1. Call Microsoft Customer Service.  Explain to them you have a new computer that requires SP2. This is the same department that replaces lost or broken Windows install disks.

2. Pay about $30.  I think it was $23 + $7 shipping.

3. Receive genuine XP SP2 disk in mail.

December 1, 2006
Len W. has more details:

I am an owner of Microsoft Office 2004 Professional: Mac, which comes with Windows XP Professional PREINSTALLED with Virtual PC.    I needed an original install disk of Windows XP Professional ONLY, to use with Parallels Desktop.

I phoned Microsoft at 800-360-7561 and gave them the Windows XP Professional serial number from my running copy of Windows XP Professional.    I requested a replacement install disk of ONLY Windows XP Professional.

It cost $23 plus $5 regular shipping plus tax.    Since I was in a hurry, I paid $25 extra for 2-3 day Airborne Express (really DHL) shipping.

This is simpler than the procedure mentioned in today's "TIP: Use your VPC copy of Windows in Boot Camp, Parallels." and has a nominal cost.

XP activiation an issue when using VPC's Windows in Boot Camp/Parallels.

December 1, 2006 -- Several readers reported that the method we reported above of using Virtual PC's copy of Windows in Boot Camp and Parallels (and iEmulator) does work. However, they said that there is an issue with the activation of Windows XP.

December 1, 2006
Steve Hume:

I had success getting my VPC 7 professional copy of Win XP to work on both Bootcamp and then finally Parallels. I had to call Microsoft by the time I installed on Parallels since the activation stopped working. I was really reinstalling to replace the VPC that didn't make sense to use on the new iMac. The voice recognition activation process was interesting and I ended up talking to India.

December 1, 2006
Brian Jackson reported some modifications to the procedure are required:

Yes! You can do this, and it does work.  However, there are some slight variations from the instructions on the website posted.  For instance, my copy of VPC already came with SP2, so I did not need to perform the slipstreaming step.  The problem is, this leaves you without the necessary “Win51ip.SP2” file at the root of the CD.  Luckily, you can simply copy the “Win51ip” file, and rename it “Win51ip.SP2”.  Don’t just rename the previous file, they both must be there.  Other than that, the CD I created worked perfectly in both Parallels and Bootcamp. 

The only other issue I had was that when I went to activate Windows in Bootcamp (after installing and activating it in Parallels) it told me that I “...have exceeded the number of times this copy of Windows can be activated...”.  I simply clicked on the TELEPHONE button in the activation window, called MS and went through the activation ID number fiasco.  When I was asked by their customer service person how many machines this copy of Windows was installed on, I honestly answered one, and was promptly given a code that allowed it to activate. Cumbersome, but why should I buy Windows again when I already own a copy?

TIP: Sharing an EVDO high-speed wireless link with Parallels Desktop

November 16, 2006 -- has posted a tech note that describes how to set up a high-speed, wireless EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) connection that you can share between Parallels Desktop running Windows and Mac OS X. The connection is created through the use of an EVDO PC Card in a MacBook or MacBook Pro.

TIP: Using Garmin GPS 10 Bluetooth with Parallels and Virtual PC

November 21, 2006 -- Paul Ronney sent us solutions for a long-time problem for virtual machine users on Mac OS X: using a Garmin GPS 10 in Virtual PC or Parallels Desktop. Instead of USB, Ronney used Bluetooth to make the connection. He says that it is easier in Virtual PC (for PowerPC Macs) than in Parallels (for Intel Macs). Ronney’s tip:

This was surprisingly easy to do considering how much trouble I've had trying to use Virtual PC and Parallels with Garmin USB cable devices.  These procedures work for me on a G4 PowerBook with Virtual PC and on an Intel iMac with Parallels. The key seems to be that the GPS 10 appears as an RS-232 serial device, which Virtual PC and Parallels support reasonably well, instead of a USB device, for which Virtual PC's and Parallel's lack of support is legendary.  While I describe this for the Garmin GPS 10, similar procedures will probably work for other Bluetooth GPS receivers.

(As always, it's a good idea to restart both the Mac and the virtual machine before doing installations like this...)

The first part is done on the Mac side and is the same regardless of whether you are using Virtual PC with a G3/G4 Mac or Parallels with an Intel Mac.

  1. Turn on the Garmin GPS 10 bluetooth receiver.
  2. On the Mac, select Apple Menu/System Preferences/Bluetooth /Devices/Set up new device/Continue/Any device/Continu
  3. Select "Garmin GPS 10" and select Passkey Options / Use a specific passkey/OK/Continue
  4. When Bluetooth Setup Assistant is done collection information about the device, press Continue
  5. Enter "1234" (without the quotes) in the passkey box and select Continue (Passkey 1234 was just a wild, lucky guess on my part; I have no idea how one is supposed to know this!)
  6. Bluetooth Setup Assistant will claim that there are no supported services on this device.  Ignore the message and press Continue then Quit.
  7. Back on the Bluetooth system preference panel, select "Garmin GPS 10" then "Edit serial ports".  The device name will be "GarminGPS10-Gps10-1" or something like that, and the service "Gps 10". Select port type "RS-232" and don't check "Require pairing" or "Show in Network Preferences" (maybe you can, but I didn't).  Press Apply.
  8. Quit System Preferences.

    Now the process is different depending on which processor your Mac has and thus what emulator you're using.

    For Virtual PC on G3/G4 Macs it's really easy:

  9. Start Virtual PC.  From the Edit menu, select "XXX Settings", where XXX is the name of your Virtual PC.
  10. Select the COM1 or COM2 port, then under COMn Port Settings (where n = 1 or 2) select the Mac Serial Port button and select "GarminGPS10-Gps10-1" from the drop-down menu.  Do not select "Modem".  Press OK.
  11. You should now be able to use the GPS 10 like any GPS device. Normally you'll use this with Garmin nRoute; select Utilities/Select GPS/AutoDetect and your GPS 10 unit should appear.  Select it.

    For Parallels on Intel Macs it's much more difficult:

9.  Download and install the free program SerialClient from

10.  Open SerialClient.  Configure with the following settings.  

These settings seem to be very critical; almost any other combination I tried at best didn't work and at worst froze the Mac:

  • Stream Path: /tmp/serial/  (this is apparently the default path)
  • Serial Port: GarminGPS10-Gps10-1
  • Baud Rate:  9600
  • Data Bits:  8
  • Parity:  None
  • Stop Bits:  1
  • Flow Control:  None

11.  Press "Connect".  Close SerialClient.
12.  Start Parallels, but DO NOT start your Virtual Machine.
13.  Select File / Edit Configuration / Add... / Next
14.  From the hardware types, select Serial Port.  Press Next.
15.  Select the "Use a socket" radio button.  Press Next.
16.  In the box to specify the name of the socket, enter "/tmp/serial/" (without the quotes) and for role select "Server" from the drop-down menu.
17.  Optionally, select "Connect Serial Port at startup" if you want to connect automatically next time.  Press Finish.
18.  Back in the "Configuration Editor" dialog box, press OK.
19.  Start your virtual machine.

You should now be able to use the GPS 10 like any GPS device.  

Normally you'll use this with Garmin nRoute; select Utilities/Select GPS/AutoDetect and your GPS 10 unit should appear.  Select it.

Reader compares VMware, Parallels, and CrossOver

February 11, 2007
Michael Hocking compared running Windows applications on an Intel Mac using the current version of Parallels Desktop, the VMware Fusion Beta, and the first release of CodeWeavers CrossOver.

I have tried all three and found the following:

Crossover does not seem ready for prime time yet as there are not enough apps that work with it. I tried a few apps that were not on the tested list and they did not work or worked very poorly.

I found both Parallels and Fusion to work pretty well, with Parallels running faster. Fusion still has debug code running which is affecting its speed.

I would be happy with either product but Fusion wins for me because of the portability of the virtual machines (VMs) between different platforms.  I was able to bring in VMs that I had already created with the Windows version and download virtual appliances found on the Web. I was able to burn DVD's, run Mapping software, run Quicken for Windows, run Office and just about anything I could think of and it all worked on both platforms.

I love being able to use my MacBook and still have Windows if need be. I have also tried Boot Camp too but not like to have to reboot all the time.

Reader has Parallels uppercase problem

February 19, 2007
David Gonzalez has a strange problem with Parallels Desktop and uppercase S:

I'm running XP via Paraells on a Mac Book. After installing XP I am unable to type the capital S. I have to press the caps lock type the letter s, then release the cap lock.


February 21, 2007
Charles Wells

I've seen this sporadically using Parallels on my MacBook Pro. I think it's an interplay between Parallels key mapping and Windows "sticky keys" (accessibility feature). You can see this by pressing the shift key in Windows 5 times - you'll get a dialog box that let's you turn off sticky keys.

If you've seen this problem

Reader problem with Parallels and upper case B

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ross Bevan is seeing a problem similar to one we reported two years ago with and upper case character in a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop. It appears to be some sort of keyboard mapping issue:

I have the same issue but for me it is with typing uppercase "b" (I have to sue the same procedure of use the caps lock key to obtain a capital "b"). I tried the suggestion of deactivating Sticky Keys but to no avail; the problem still exists. In fact if I type shift b in any program, including the Finder, the folder containing the Virtual Machine file opens up. If you have any thoughts, I would appreciate it (I have submitted a report to Parallels). This problem cropped up when I upgraded to Parallels Desktop 5 (I had not experienced the issues with the earlier versions of Parallels Desktop)

If you've seen this problem

Current news on the MacWindows home page

Comment below

Temporary 1.5 GB .mem files

Huge .mem file and slowdown of Parallels beta

February 23, 2007

Steven Palm reports performance problems with the current beta of the next version of Parallels Desktop, possibly caused by exceptional large .mem files:

I am running the latest series of Betas (or Release Candidates as they are calling them) for Parallel's Desktop for Mac. I am using Windows XP on a Boot Camp partition that is formatted as FAT32.

The problem is that startup of the VM is incredibly slow, in fact it takes a LONG time before the initial black Windows logo screen even shows up to show the loading is starting. This is one issue, and I could live with it.

The biggest problem is that it now creates a .mem file named the same as your VM configuration inside the ~/Library/Parallels/{vm name} folder. The .mem file is 1.48GB!

It's not bad enough that running Parallel's causes the Mac to page more virtual memory of it's own taking disk space, it now wastes another GIG AND A HALF of disk space for this mystery file. That was a large part of the reason to use a Boot Camp partition was so that a fixed amount of disk space was used by the VM, and now you loose another gig and a half on top of that space.

If you've seen this problem

Opinions differ on Parallels big .mem file

February 27, 2007

Readers reacted differently to last week's report of Parallels Desktop creating large (1.5 GB) files that slow performance of the virtual machine software.

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous said that this is not a bug and does not slow performance:

This is a non issue, and should be treated as such. You need to have virtual memory turned on in some capacity or another. This is the Windows virtual memory swap file, it just happens to be on the Mac side. You can tune the swap file this way to give better performance to the virtual machine or better performance to the Mac. This has been brought up more than once in the Parallels forums and should not warrant an entry is a bug.

However, a poster at the Parallels forums said that Parallels has acknowledged it as a bug:

I'm fairly certain I saw a post by Andrew @ Parallels on this that said it was a bug and would be fixed - but unable to find the post just now.

Scott Smith believes the file degrades performance:

Yes, I have the same problem on an original MacBook Pro. I have not found a solution. It slows the machine greatly.

Edward Danley:

I can confirm that Parallels generates the .mem file. Mine is the same size, 1.5 GB. It is only created when Parallels is accessing the partition. When stopped, the file goes away. If Parallels crashes, the file remains until the next successful start/stop. The file is also in a different location on my machine. The location is governed by Preferences/General options.

Gerben Wierda said that the file is smaller for older versions of Windows:

The Parallels .mem is 286MB on my system running Windows 2000 Pro.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

Big Parallels .mem files still exist with new version

March 1, 2007

Steve Palm, who first reported the problem of large .mem files created by Parallels Desktop with slow startups persists with the new version:

I downloaded the new shipping version yesterday and the problem still exists.

Another reader said that this is not a bug and does not slow performance. I did not say it slowed *performance*, but rather that it slowed/delayed STARTUP time.

However, it *IS* an issue, and it is NOT virtual memory. Windows virtual memory is being handled BY WINDOWS on the boot camp partition in a 2GB file there. I'm glad that some people have apparently endless disk space and are not bothered by the combination of extra Mac OS X swap file space (My system will typically spawn another one or two 512MB swap files when running Parallels), MS Windows Swap File space (2GB in my case) and then this extra 1.5GB of the .mem file.

Even more to the point of how absurd this is: If I want to just launch and run a LIVECD image of a Linux distribution, I create a new virtual machine configuration with no hard drive image, a pre-set amount of RAM, and so on, instructed to connect to either the ISO image file or the real CD_ROM drive and to boot from there. It *STILL* creates this 1.5GB .mem file on my drive, so it's not even a "Windows" cache file as the other gentleman tried to point out. It's something Parallels is doing which to the best of my knowledge. VMWare does not and certainly the old VirtualPC products did not, and I can't say it with 100% certainty, but I believe it only started in this last round of beta releases.

Parallels explains the big .mem files

March 8, 2007

Steven Palm, who first reported the issue with Parallels Desktop where it creates temporary 1.5 GB .mem files, received an explanation from Parallels as to the purpose the file. Parallels told him that future versions may not create this file. Palm said:

One last time, I think this is the nail in the coffin for this issue. Anyway, for your edification, here is the last reply from Parallels:

You are correct – in previous Parallels versions (like build 1970) memory were allocated using system paging file. This was the main cause why suspend/resume wasn’t worked fast and took about 30-40 seconds. Now when all VM memory is located in single file it is possible to suspend/resume in 2-3 seconds.

1.5 GB size file – is temporary solution to memory fragmentation issue. If you will allocate for example 512M and will start/stop VM number of times, then increase memory to 1G for example you can face situation then you can’t allocate 1G because memory was fragmented and there is no such contiguous buffer. Allocation of maximum of virtual memory available for VM (1.5 GB) helps here. We are constantly working on the product and will offer better memory management in our upcoming version 3.0.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

Windows crashing in Parallels with Boot Camp partition

February 27, 2007

Edward Danley reports that Windows is crashing (aka, blue screen of death) when using the version of Windows installed with Boot Camp:

I'd like to report that with RC3 (build 3170) I ran across a show-stopper issue. I get a Blue Screen of Death when booting a boot camp partition with Parallels. Running via boot camp works fine. I can accept a bug in a beta (RC) version but I can't get any response from Parallels support (desktop@, beta@ or on their forums) on how to back out any changes to let me become operational again. A simply remove and reinstall the older version didn't work. With Boot Camp I can't remove the Parallels Tools to possibly correct the situation because XP says they can only be removed when running in a virtual machine.

Perhaps others might know how to do that and could provide assistance. I don't want to have to resort to paying a $30 support fee.

Prior to 3170 (3150), it ran fine and coherence mode was phenomenal on my MacBookPro.

If you've seen this problem and have a suggestion

Comment below

The Black Screen Bug

Note: The fix is described below.

Parallels Build 3186 hanging Mac with black screen

March 1, 2007

David Ourisman is having a problem with the new release version of Parallels Desktop that results in a black screen on his Mac:

I made a big mistake by upgrading to the release version of Parallels today. I had the latest beta (activated), and it worked fine. I upgraded to the new version.

I was unable to successfully run Parallels Tools. (When I choose it from the menu, it just hangs).

The virtual machine goes into full screen mode, and no combination of keys will bring it back (ALT + ENTER is supposed to work) and, worst of all, I have completely black Windows screen.

If you've seen this problem and haves a suggestion

Many reports of Parallels "black screen" bug in Build 3186

March 5, 2007

Many readers are having the "black screen" problem with the new release (Build 3186) of Parallels Desktop that we reported last week.

Robert D'Angel found a way to get out of it without restarting:

Had the same problem getting out of full screen mode that Dave O. reports. Out of frustration, I hit the Enter/Return key alone and it worked. It does every time. Weird.

Michael Curtis gets out of it another way:

I have seen this issue as well on my MacPro. I can get out of it though. I come out of full screen mode with the key command Apple-Tab to Mac apps and that is fine. I haven't used coherence since. I had no beta installed. It only started to do this once I hid the Windows start bar.

For Anna Davis, a reinstall fixed the problem:

I upgraded to the new Parallels release and also got a black screen after Windows started to boot up. Parallels Tools would just hang. I eventually uninstalled it, reinstalled and reinstalled Windows. Now it is fine. I was never able to trace the problem unfortunately.

Jonathan Jacobson

I read about David Ourisman problem (March 1, 2007) with the new release version of Desktop that results in a black screen. I have the exact same problem on my 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook, running OS X 10.4.8. I have not figured out how to overcome this problem and have searched far and wide with no success.

Peter Mitchell said the problem started in a late Beta. Reinstalling with the shipping version fixed the problem, but is slow:

I encountered the same problem when upgrading to Beta 3170. When I upgraded from version 1970 to Beta 3170 I was unable to un- install 3170 and reinstall 1970. I would get the following message "You cannot continue. There is nothing to install" I tried everything I could think of and now have a ticket filed with Parallels help.

The only solution that I could find was to create a new virtual machine and reinstall Windows XP.

I upgraded to Version 3186. It is "very" slow compared to earlier versions but it does run on my MacBook.

George Palfi:

I had been using Parallels with Win XP for several months without problems when I got tempted to install the Beta of the latest release, Build 3176.

When I opened Windows, it started up fine, but then gave me a "New Hardware Found" window and asked me to install new video drivers. I used Browse and found drivers in Parallels and let it load them. The Windows continued to open, including the music Windows makes when it opens but the screen showed black. Nothing is visible. I am sure that Windows is running back there, and Parallels tells me it is, but I can see nothing.

When Build 3180 came out, I thought this might have a fix, so I installed it, but the symptoms remain.

To summarize: When I start Windows I get the usual XP startup screen in a small Parallels window. After a few moments, the Parallels window gets bigger and it goes black. The machine is running and soon I hear the Windows starting music. But the window shows nothing, and I can do nothing with it.

I presume it has something to do with the video driver that I have accidentally installed with this Parallels machine, but there is no obvious way to change that driver.

I have tried starting up an XP clone machine, and get the same "New Hardware Found Window" compounded by the fact that it wants me to phone in to activate my copy of Windows.

Fix for Parallels "black-screen" bug

March 8, 2007

Several readers have sent in a procedure that fixes the black-screen bug in the recent new version of Parallels Desktop. The freeze occurs when installing Windows in a new virtual machine as you install Parallels Tools.

Jose Goncalves described the fix:

F8 on windows startup_>VGA mode_>install Parallels Tools_>reboot

Laszlo Kardos describes it with a bit more detail:

I too had this occur on several different Parallels installs. The solution:

  1. Restart Parallels
  2. Hold down the F8 key (FN-F8 on MacBooks) and boot Windows into Safe Mod
  3. Install Parallels Tools
  4. Reboot Windows

It should work fine.

Sunil Punjabi has a slight variation:

There is a quick fix that worked for me.

  1. Restart the XP instance
  2. During the "BIOS" click on the window to activate it.
  3. Hold down the F8 key, this will bring up a Windows boot menu.
  4. Boot to "VGA" Mode.
  5. Ignore all the errors about screen size, etc.
  6. Install Parallels tools.
  7. Reboot XP
  8. 8. FIXED!

Readers Paul Happ Jaap van den Dries of the Netherlands also said that the procedure works.

Jim Adrig warned how not to get into the problem:

I had this problem after the Hardware Wizard asked me to install a new Video driver, and I selected a Parallels driver (I forget which one; there were two; but it does not matter); and I was hosed.

DO NOT continue the 'New Hardware' wizard! Cancel immediately and just install Parallels Tools the regular way! The wizard does not come up again.

I never did get the bad VM running again, but I did not need it; I had a backup and used this method when the Wizard appeared again.

Comment below

Parallels printing restarts Windows

March 8, 2007
Gregg Mackey has a problem where Windows restarts whenever he tries to print in Parallels Desktop:

I just bought a Macbook with Parallels and Windows XP Pro preinstalled. Every time I hit the Print command, Windows restarts and nothing prints. It does this on all my printers but they all work if connected to a PC. I spent over one hour with Microsoft Tech to no avail. I tried to email Parallels twice and no response.

March 14, 2007
Jim Guilkey:

I've got the exact same problem, like Mr. Mackey. Mine is on an iMac, and I did the installs myself.

March 14, 2007
Michel Joubert:

I have just experienced the same thing. Never been able to print on my Canon ip3000.

March 14, 2007
Steve Humiston fixed it by removing a third-party program that he had installed:

I have seen this. It was printing to an AppleTalk printer using a third party program called PC MacLAN. Once I added the printer directly as an IP printer and uninstalled MacLAN the problem was resolved.

March 14, 2007
John W. Grubb made a general comment:

USB printing is a known bug in Parallels. Network printing does work though in my experience. Hopefully, the next release of Parallels fixes the problem.

March 16, 2007
Jim Guilkey says that this problem stopped with an update:

FYI, this problem was resolved when I upgraded to build 3188.

Fix for Parallels freezing with USB

March 29, 2007

Carol Prentice learned of a fix for the problem of Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezing when a USB device is connected:

Parallels Support finally responded and sent me a fix that worked:

  1. Start Windows go to Device Manager and in a brunch Universal Serial Bus controllers uninstall all devices.
  2. Shut down your VM.
  3. In VM Configuration delete USB controller and then boot your Windows.
  4. Wait about 10 minutes till Windows finish driver setup.
  5. Shut down Windows.
  6. Add USB controller to your VM configuration and boot Windows again.

Aroon Dalamal has a similar sounding problem when attempting to sync a handheld in Parallels:

I have been trying to Sync my Blackberry 8100 with Windows XP under Parallels using a USB cable. On every attempt Mac OS X freezes and I need to force shut down the Parallels program.

I have successfully been able to sync the blackberry 8800.

I am presently using Parallels Build 3150.

If you've tried this fix for freezing with USB how well it worked.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

Comment below

Parallels 3188 build freezes when connecting USB devices

March 23, 2007

Several readers report that Windows running in Parallels Desktop Build 3188 freezes when a USB device is plugged into the Mac:

Matthias Radke in Germany reports that Windows restarts:

Since I have installed build 3188 over the previous 1970 I can't get to work any USB devices any longer. Any time I connect one device, Windows 2000 will restart. It doesn't matter if have the autoconnect of Parallels USB support on or if I try to connect manually.

We have previously reported cases where printing causes Windows to restart.

Carol Prentice says that Windows freezes with USB devices:

I upgraded to Parallels Build 3188; Windows will run just fine until I try to connect a USB storage device, at which point Windows freezes. There seems to be no way to communicate with any USB storage device, which was not a problem with the earlier build I was using. I'm running Windows XP on a 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro.

Comment below

Windows Hangs with Build 3188

March 14, 2007

Last week, Parallels released another update of Parallels Desktop called Build 3188, and update to Build 3186 released the previous week. Parallels has not indicated what changes are in the new build, either on its web site or in the download.

Monty Lee said that the new Build 3188 doesn't work:

Build 3188 does not work, at least with Vista on my MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz. Everything was working fine with the previous build, but I installed 3188 this morning and it still isn't working. The Parallel Tools installation has supposedly been going on now for 12 hours. I've even tried canceling, but then Windows hangs. You cannot launch any applications. I even tried booting in safe mode and then recovering, but that didn't work. I tried installing the tool in safe mode, but that didn't work. Nothing I do can cancel the installation or allow anything to work. No application will run. At best, it looks like it runs and then the windows screen turns translucent white and the spinning cursor. It is dead from this point on.

If you've tried Build 3188 if it causes or fixes any problems for you.

More reports of Windows freezing for Parallels Build 3188

March 16, 2006

Readers reacted to our report early this week about the new Parallels Desktop Build, 3188, where Windows freezes after installing the update.

Bradly Keller: The same thing happening to me with the new build.

Blue Ramsey also see the problem:

The new 3188 version is causing issues. Windows XP Pro freezes after a seemingly random length of time which seems to vary. The Parallels app still functions OK, just can't do anything in Windows. MacBook Pro 17in 2GB RAM, 2.16GHz, Mac OS X 10.4.8. A severe pain in the backside, as the pre-3186 version was very stable.

Jay Harris say a different problem:

I tried Build 3188 last weekend. It imported my Boot Camp partition and ran reasonably well for 2 days. However, when I installed Windows directly into a virtual machine, it failed to properly run Windows update and corrupted Internet Explorer which ultimately caused windows to become unstable and unusable.

As an aside...I was evaluating Parallels for use at our company and I found it to be essentially impossible to contact parallels technical support staff by phone to discuss the build. This was a big red flag for us.

Paquay Jean-Louis can't get Windows to boot:

I also tried 3188 with XP Pro. It doesn't work, Windows doesn't boot.

I deleted 3188 and reinstalled 3186, and Windows XP doesn't boot anymore. Moreover I have a message asking me to install Win XP.

Three readers wrote to say that they are not seeing the problem:

Ken Kitikoon:

I had no problems at all with any build, beta or not. My hardware is Macbook Pro 2.33 with 3 GB RAM allocating 768MB Ram to WIN XP

Adam L. Glick:

Works fine for me on my MB 13" under 10.4.8 and 10.4.9. Startup feels faster off Boot Camp volume but haven't come across anything dramatically different.

Ric Washer:

Have it installed on three machines, all are working flawlessly, installed it over 3186 without a problem. Vista works fine, and my XP Boot Camp drive boots up in Parallels with not problem.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

TIP: Keep Windows awake in Parallels

March 23, 2007

Adam Glick of HelpDesk, Inc. sent us a tip for preventing Parallels Desktop from locking up a Mac:

I just had a case where my entire system dragged to a crawl (2Ghz Core2 MacBook w/ 2GB RAM). I noticed that Windows XP in Parallels Build 3188 (via BootCamp) had gone to sleep. OS X apps became non-responsive, fans starting spinning up and I thought I was going to have to force a restart. I managed to get one click onto the Windows window and it woke up and I was able to recover control.

The Suggestion: Turn off any screen savers in Windows and modify the Power Settings control panel to *never* sleep or hibernate. Seems to have done the trick for me anyway.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

Comment below

More USB woes with Parallels

March 29, 2007

We've recieved more reports of USB devices that don't work work with Parallels Desktop. Mike Bentley recommended using the Mac's audio-out port rather than USB audio when running Windows Vista:

I noticed that listening to audio generated by Windows Vista running under Parallels while using a USB Plantronics headset is a painful experience. Using a headset that plugs into the regular audio jacks provides much smoother audio. I think Parallels is making excellent progress. On my MBP17, I can run World of Warcraft for Mac OS X while running Ventrilo client under Vista under Parallels on the same machine. I have to run the Windows version of Ventrilo client because the Ventrilo server I'm using is set to use the GSM codec, which the OS X Ventrilo client doesn't support.

Donal Harkin said that Parallels is not communicating with a weather station:

I too am having USB connectivity issues. I am using a Honeywell weather station with the ability to download my data to a PC-only program. The weather station connected via USB is not seen via Parallels. No problems when connected directly to a PC.

Comment below

Parallels update killing MacBook battery

March 29, 2007

Andy Grierson reports that after upgrading Parallels to Build 3188, his MacBook battery no longer seems to function:

I upgraded my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) to Parallels Build 3188 today, and now have the problem that my Mac switches off when the power cord is unplugged. It also fails to start unless connected to the mains. I tried resetting the PMU but to no avail.

I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.9.

This happens with Parallels running and when it's not running. I wondered if it might be to do with the way the virtual machine knows about battery/mains power, but since it happens when the virtual machine is not running I don't know.

More reports of Parallels disabling batteries

April 2, 2007

We've had more reports of the latest Parallels Desktop version disabling a MacBook battery. In both cases, the battery and Parallels were working before the user installed the update 3188.

Lisa Angstreich reported:

I too have experienced major battery problems with my Mac since I upgraded with the latest version of Parallels Desktop. I have a MacBook and the battery will only show an "X" and if I disconnect the power cord, the computer shuts off immediately.

Michel Pasquier:

I can't say for sure this is what's happening to me, but the facts are that:

  1. I have a MacBook, which has been working flawlessly so far.
  2. I have Parallels Desktop, updated it to the latest Build 3188, which is working great.
  3. When I work, the MacBook is plugged on power most of the time - maybe all the time when I use Parallels.
  4. I always sleep the MacBook, never shut down. I usually leave it unplugged with battery overnight.
  5. In the last few days, I often find the MacBook shut down itself while sleeping.

So my setup and observations are consistent with that reported. However, the cause could very well be another e.g., I also updated FireFox, iTunes, some other apps etc.

Rodney Lim doesn't see the problem with a Pro:

Loaded up the new build and I encountered no problem. Using MacBook Pro running at 2.33 GHz.

If you've seen this problem

More on Parallels disabling batteries

April 4, 2007

Readers continue to report instances where a MacBook or MacBook Pro battery stops working after upgrading Parallels Desktop to Build 3188. How the update could have an affect on a battery isn't known, but we can speculate that the update could be breaking the battery monitoring mechanism in MacBook's software. The Mac may shut down because it thinks the battery is empty (even if it isn't), because a damaged battery monitoring software entity told it to. The Parallels update could also be inflaming a problem with Apple's software or batteries.

Greg Bosse reported:

Same problem, very recently. MacBook with Parallels, almost always plugged in. I just noticed that battery icon has an X thru it. Unplugging immediately shuts down the MacBook.

Brad Allen sees the problem with the most recent Parallels build, and also with an older build:

Wow, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. I am having the same symptom as described on April 2. It has now happened to me four times; twice while running on Parallels build 1970, and twice right after upgrading to 3188 just a few days ago. I am running a MacBook 2GHz Core Duo with 2GB RAM on OS 10.4.8.

The power down only occurred after closing the laptop to put it to sleep--it never happened while I was working.

If you've seen this problem

More confirmations of Parallels disabling batteries; workarounds offered

April 6, 2007

In response to our previous reports, we are now receiving many reader reports of the latest Parallels Build 3188 disabling MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries. Several readers offered workarounds.

The latest Parallels Build appears to be affecting the motherboard's System Management Controller, or SMC (which was called the Power Management Unit, or PMU, in PowerPC notebooks), causing the battery to not charge or to believe that it is not charged. Removing Parallels does not fix the problem. Some readers reported that resetting the SMC cleared up the problem, although one reader said it didn't work.

A Parallels spokesperson said that the company was not aware of the problem but would look into it.

James Topoleski saw the problem on multiple Macs, and found that resetting the SMC helps:

Seems resetting the SMC fixed the issue. Not the greatest solution to the problem, but the battery isn't cutting out anymore.

I didn't realize the reason a few of our machines where getting funky with the battery was because of Parallels. I reset the SMC on my personal MacBook Pro and I'm going to see if this fixes the issue.

Even with Parallels removed, the issue will still remain. I only had Parallels beta builds installed for testing purposes for our district and even with it removed I continued to get battery dead issues and charging problems. After resetting PMU it has taken almost 4 hours to charge my battery.

Ken Sherman says resetting power management (the SMC) doesn't work:

After letting my MacBook go to sleep due to a discharged battery and not plugging in for 10 hours or so, I noticed the battery was not taking a charge. I reset parameter RAM and reset power management to no avail. The power cable is not showing a red light, the battery menu bar entry shows an 'x' and reads "no batteries available". The battery test light shows a fast flashing light on the lowest LED when the test button is pressed. I do have Parallels version 3188 installed but it was NOT running at the time. This happened 5 days ago, the problem still exists.

Matthew Gadd found a different workaround:

I got this problem on my MacBook, the X through the battery when I upgraded to 3188 build of Parallels. After rebooting the MacBook the X continued to appear and nothing I could do seemed to remove it. I tried running the MacBook without a battery in it, draining the battery to empty but the X remained.

I found that after doing a complete cycle of the battery (drain from full to empty and then charged up) out of desperation I shut the machine down and reset the PRAM by removing the battery and then holding the power button down for 10 seconds or more.

After that it seemed to fix the problem, I've got Parallels 3188 working fine with the battery monitor working perfectly for the MacBook.

Dale Cockrum says the problem could be either Parallels Build 3188 or Mac OS X 10.4.9, or both:

There were 3 or 4 times over six months when the MacBook would just die unexpectedly (and only while unplugged), but then it would work fine for weeks. But following the upgrades to 10.4.9 and 3188 it happened almost all the time. (Well, for a couple of days; then I took it to the shop--what good is a laptop that only works while plugged in!)

Parallels 3188 came out on March 7, and 10.4.9 came out on March 13, 2007, and I installed each of them on the day they came out. My computer began quiting crazily on March 18.

Heather Swan describes the problem:

I would like to add that I have also encountered this problem which was on your website. If I put my laptop to sleep while Parallels is running XP, when I come back I will find that my laptop has powered down. I don't have any problems when I quit Parallels before putting my computer to sleep. I'm running a MacBook Pro 2Ghz Core Duo with 2GB RAM and the current OS.

Another reader says resetting SMC is no help for Parallels disabling batteries

April 11, 2007

Like many readers, John Wild's MacBook battery stopped working after installing the Parallels Desktop Build 3188 update. He tried resetting the System Management Controller (as a previous report suggested), but found that it did not work.

I've also experienced the MacBook disabled battery issue after upgrading Parallels desktop. I can not say for sure that this caused the problem, but my experience does match others on your site.

My white MacBook had worked flawlessly for 9 months, with no battery issues whatsoever. Up until 3 or 4 days ago I would still get a good 4 hours or more out of it with the screen on low-brightness.

I upgraded to Build 3188 of Parallels a little over a week ago. 3 days ago I noticed that the charge light was flashing green and amber. I'm not sure if this is the first time it occurred but it was the first time I had noticed it, so I decided to calibrate the battery. I let it run to zero and let the computer sleep, in the morning when I attempted to turn the computer on it booted with an 'x' through the battery indicator and said 'no batteries available'. I've tried resetting all the ram's, smc's etc. Nothing worked.

I'm now off to the Apple store.

The Parallels update is the only thing that has changed on the computer over the past 3 months.

If you tried resetting the SMC to fix this problem

MacBook battery firmware update: related to the Parallels issue?

May 2, 2007

Adam Fields noted that Apple has a recently posted Battery Update 1.2 for MacBooks and MacBook Pros. We wondered if this has any relation to the issue of the most recent Parallels Desktop update trigging battery failure. That is, did the update play a role in causing the problem? Does the update fix the problem?

If you've installed this battery update if you think it had an effect on the Parallels battery issue.

Another type of hardware fix for MacBook battery

May 2, 2007

Several readers have previously reported that replacing the battery fixed the problem of battery failure triggered by Parallels Build 3188. Chris Smyrnos said that Apple replaced other hardware:

This seems to be a hardware issue with the Macbooks (at least it was in my case). I do have Parallels installed on my computer and had the same issues mentioned (battery not being recognized after discharge). I also had the problem of my computer not going to sleep when I closed the lid. I tried a fresh install of OS X to no avail. I sent my computer in the Apple and they replaced the DC-in board. That fixed both the battery issue and the lid-closing issue. Not sure if it's related, but that was my experience.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader says Parallels, Win 7, disable MacBook Pro battery

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sven G. reports that the latest build of Parallels Desktop 5 disables his MacBook Pro battery when running Windows 7. This is a problem that readers reported in 2007 with earlier builds of Parallels Desktop. Sven tried the suggestions on our Parallels Tips and reports page, and was able to get the battery working:

I was experimenting with creating a 32-bit Windows 7 virtual machine in my MacBook Pro 2009 with Parallels Desktop 5 build 9344 (the Italian localized version), and suddenly, incredibly, I found hat Parallels had disabled the battery indicator in the Mac OS X menu bar (and, thus, the battery itself): it had a cross on it instead of the battery symbol, and thus was also completely unavailable.

Well, after numerous tries at resetting the SMC, the PRAM, booting in Safe Mode, and after disconnecting all cables and leaving the computer at rest for some minutes, etc., I finally managed to revive the battery: but this is a quite serious bug, indeed, to say the least! For example, in the absurd "Parallels-modified-state" (battery disabled!), the MacBook Pro wouldn't even boot without a MagSafe power cable connected.

After reading all the similar comments on your site (those from 2007), the symptoms with the latest Parallels Desktop 5 build are exactly the same: first, a battery icon with an X, saying that no batteries are available; then, after some random restarting and resetting, the usual mains logo in the battery indicator, but saying that the battery isn't in charge; finally, when the problem has been fixed (I don't know exactly due to what: see SMC reset, PRAM zapping, restarting, shutting down, unplugging cables, etc. etc.), the same correct icon, but saying that the battery is fully charged (which it indeed is, as the computer is attached to a LED Cinema Display with its built-in MagSafe power connector).

And the same happens also if one simply tries to change the battery settings in the Parallels Windows 7 VM 's optimization settings: instant disabling of the battery - and subsequent "user panic" in order to try to restore its functioning state!

The system is a mid-2009 15" 2.53GHz MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.6.2. Nothing had changed in the previous hours, except that I had begun to run a newly created Windows 7 virtual machine with Parallels Desktop 5 build 9344: so the problem almost certainly depends on this software.

If you've seen this problem

Getting the MacBook Pro battery to work in Parallels 5

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sven Gustafsson in Milan, Italy updated his previous report about Parallels Desktop 5 disabling his MacBook Pro battery when running Windows 7. He found some Apple information that was helpful:

Regarding my previous post about Parallels Desktop 5 and MacBook Pro battery disconnection, today, I finally reinstalled a Windows 7 Parallels Desktop 5 VM, and everything worked well on the battery front.

So, why was the battery disabled some time ago, when running a similar VM? Who knows. Maybe the battery was in an "unstable" state, and Parallels just "exposed" this to Mac OS X?

Anyway, after that incident, the battery had disabled itself several times (without the Parallels Win7 VM running), so eventually I just followed Apple's official guidelines in this case (here is an Apple article about it; and also this related article). I simply let it remain with the X on the battery icon for some time - and, indeed, after about 5 minutes the battery began to work again by itself, and has worked perfectly since that.

Maybe it had remained too long connected to the mains after being calibrated (I tend to use the LED Cinema Display much more than the MacBook Pro by itself)?

Again, a mystery, but luckily now everything works well again!

If you've tried this approach

TIP: Reset MacBook Pro SMC for battery issues with Parallels 5

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kevin David reported that Parallels DesKtop 5 disabled his MacBook Pro's battery. We had reports of this with an earlier version of Parallels Desktop. David said:

Getting the MacBook Pro battery to work in Parallels 5, I got the same issues that Sven had and I tried the suggestions that he made. The last thing I did was an SMC reset and that worked. Hopefully Parallels fixes this, as this is not cool.

If you've seen this with Parallels Desktop 5 or post a note in our new Parallels Desktop forum.

(See also Parallels Tips and Reports.)

Current news on the MacWindows home page

Comment below

Running Windows Vista on Parallels 3186

March 29, 2007

Constable Odo reports on his experience with Windows Vista in the latest Parallels build. Other than audio issues, he's had a good experience:

I installed Vista Ultimate in Parallels when it was at 3186. Vista installation was a breeze. A few days later I upgraded to Parallels DT Desktop by installing directly over 3186 and I didn't notice any changes.

Vista continues to use a good amount of processor resources to run and the audio stuttering within Windows Media Player and to a lesser degree with WinAmp 5.33 still exists, but otherwise Vista runs OK. No problems browsing or downloading with Vista. No freezing or blue screens. It found network shares on my basement OSX Server and the Airport Disk very easily. I've installed all the critical updates on Vista with no problems.

Parallels and cursor issue with CAD-based software | Top of Page |

April 2, 2007

Stephen Wheat, a developer of Windows software, has a problem with Parallels Desktop that doesn't occur in Boot Camp:

We develop a CAD-based software for estimating floor covering materials. The drawing tools have unique cursors. In Parallels they do not show correctly in either Windows XP or Vista. It makes it almost impossible to draw accurately.

I have sent multiple emails to Parallels support with no response. I would gladly give a license of our software to them if they would just fix it. Indications are it is a driver issue. We cannot recommend Parallels at this time due to this matter. The only thing we can offer Mac Intel users is to run in Boot Camp, which handles the cursor correctly as designed.

TIP: How to use Nokia on a Mac with VPC, Parallels | Top of Page |

April 4, 2007

Sven G. sent us a link to a page that describes how to use the Nokia PC Suite on a Mac with in Parallels Desktop on a Mac. Sven G. tried it with Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac:

Here's a very interesting link that I recently found, which finally solves the Nokia PC Suite USB communication problem: I've tested it in VPC 7.0.2 on Mac OS X 10.4.9 and it works!

The correct OS X-like way to do this would, of course, be:

sudo sh

(Instead of logging in as root, which is quite unnecessary.)

Sadly, the Nokia PC Suite window still has distorted colours in VPC, especially on the icons: but maybe this has something to do with the old S3 emulated video card, I don't know.

Our Virtual PC 7 Reports page describes the problem.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

TIP: How to move Boot Camp Windows into a virtual machine | Top of Page |

May 7, 2007

Ed Welsh bought a MacBook Pro to use as a Windows machine in Boot Camp. After discovering Mac OS X, he moved his Boot Camp-installed copy of Windows into a virtual machine in VMware Fusion. He was then able to delete the Boot Camp drive partition: 

I have been using VMware Fusion for about a month and really like it. (I have never used Parallels.) I first started using Apple computers about 6 months after the Intel MacBook Pro came out. I've used Windows and Linux since the beginning of time.

Read the rest of this story on our VMware Fusion Beta Tips and Reports page.

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader's Win XP in Parallels won't ask for password | Top of Page |

June 11, 2007

Karl Olav Jaegtnes of Norway noticed that Windows XP Pro isn’t asking for a password in Parallels Build 3188 (the version previous to 3.0):

I am using a MacBook Pro with Parallels (Build 3188) and WIN XP Pro, SP2. When booting XP it starts up in administrator mode without asking for a password. I have set passwords for both admin and regular users in XP. If I log off Admin I end up with the normal log on window where I have to give the password and start XP as a regular user. All applications I have tried in XP work fine.

If you've seen this problem

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Fix for Boot Camp external projector will hinder Parallels

July 9, 2007

Charles Mcginley previously sent us a tip on how to use an external projector with Windows running in Boot Camp (listed on our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page). In this followup, Mcginley notes that while this fix is fine for starting up with Boot Camp, it also prevents Parallels Desktop from using the Boot Camp partition:

After seeing others have success with the fix I sent in it reminded me that I have another important piece of information about the Boot Camp External Projector Fix.

By installing the ATI drivers under boot camp as outlined in my earlier email, you will change the display driver setup enough so that the Boot Camp Partition will not work under Parallels. I have confirmed this by taking the time to recreate my Boot Camp partition from scratch with the Apple supplied drivers and it worked under Parallels 3.0. But when I apply the fix for the external projector Parallels boots up the Boot Camp partition but freezes every time shortly after displaying the desktop.

Removing the ATI drivers and restoring the Apple supplied driver will restore Parallels to a working state.

I have asked Parallels for any assistance they could give but do not hold out hope as this is an unsupported configuration. I also have alerted Apple to the external projector display issue but have not had any confirmation of receipt of the issue. So I have no idea if Apple even knows about it.

I figured that you might want to add the disclaimer to the fix.

Comment below

Parallels 3.0 Issues

Parallels 3.0 crashing Win XP when installing Parallels Tools | Top of Page |

June 11, 2007

Two readers shared their experiences about the new Parallels Desktop 3.0, one good, one not so good. Harry Erwin said the upgrade would not run:

Parallels 3.0 introduces a show-stopper. When I try to upgrade the Parallels Tools from within the Windows XP session, the session crashes reliably during the reboot. The XP crash then causes Parallels to crash. I’m using Mac OS X 10.4.9.

If you’ve seen this problem

Paul Lustgarten had an easy upgrade:

Just a quick note about Parallels 3.0. I just upgraded my Windows XP installation and everything went quite smoothly.

Back-grading from Parallels 3 reverses crashing issues | Top of Page |

June 26, 2007

A large number of readers confirmed our previous reports of problems with Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing when installing Parallels Tools, with both Windows XP and with Vista. Sometimes Mac OS X also freezes as well. Other readers experienced crashes latter, when running applications. Many readers found that they could replace version 3.0 with an older version of Parallels Desktop to eliminate the problem with no other ill effects. Today’s reports describe these problems with advice on how to go back to an older version.

But first, at least one reader, Joel Elkins had no problems:

I just upgraded to Parallels v3.0 from v2.x (running XP). It went flawlessly, no problems at all so far.

Bette Piacente describes his success in back-grading and what he found:

I experienced the same situation and finally gave up after three attempts (using backed up images each time). Everything works great in Parallels Build 3188, which I had been using successfully since March.

With version 3.0, the installation goes smoothly until the automatic Parallels Tools installation. The Tools installer goes along until the very end, and then crashes out of Windows and Parallels. Going back into Windows, there is much damage done to the HDD image and the Tools installation starts all over again with the same non-results.

Terrence Yung:

I upgraded to 3.0. It always crashed, and I can't see any significant speed improvement. So, I changed back to the previous version last night.

Tony Gott:

I upgraded to version 3 and when I tried to upgrade Parallels Tools from within the Windows XP session it crashed the Windows environment completely. Now I am stuck with no cursor when I restart XP which is a real pain. I am running Mac OS X 10.4.10

Steve Gregson had problems with Windows and Mac OS X freezing when running a DirectX application:

I just updated my copy of Parallels to version 3.0 and enabled DirectX 3D. I went into XP to run a demo of FarCry. It opened, but when I quit the program, XP and OS X both froze. I restarted OS X, and tried relaunching XP in parallels -- only to receive the gray Mac OS X system failure/crash screen. This is basically the same issue as the report that you received on June 11th, 2007.

I uninstalled Parallels 3.0 and reinstalled Parallels 2.5 -- I have never been so glad I backed up!

Chris Lawson downloaded the Parallels Desktop 3.0 update, but hadn’t backed up:

I have had insurmountable nightmares with three laptops in a row using Windows XP and Vista. Parallels hads jammed up my $4,000 Mac and I think I have lost about 5 years of research articles.

I finally got through to a MacMall rep [where I bought my Mac and Parallels] and he guided me through the whole thing. He said they get 10-15 call a day from people who are having MAJOR problems with Parallels.

And, this was my only option: delete, uninstall, and reinstall both Parallels and Windows XP.

John Miller reported a number of problems:

The new features look great on paper, but I have yet to see them work right, and it's still just as crash-prone as ever.

* My VMs crashed consistently with BSOD when installing Parallels tools, which it does when booting with 3.0 for the first time. I got it to work by disabling USB, Sound, and Network devices first, then installing.

* I cannot get OpenGL to work. Running glView utility shows that it cannot get the GL driver capabilities

* I *still* cannot get Parallels to wrap my Boot Camp partition! As soon as the first Windows screen come up, Windows pops up a dialog forcing reauthorization - but the kbd and mouse do not respond, so it's impossible to ok or cancel the dialog. Chicken and egg.

* Coherence *still* doesn't work on my multi-monitor setup, even though they claim it does. If I enable multi-monitor in Parallels Coherence settings, it will not go into Coherence mode, period.

What's all the more maddening is that I have sent numerous emails to Parallels for their so-called "free email support" - which just means that they don't charge you to send your email into a black hole.

Great concept, not well executed, IMHO. The bugs are highly problematic.

Possible fix for problem of Windows crashing with Parallels Tools 3.0 installation | Top of Page |

July 9, 2007

We found a suggestion at that claims to solve the problem of Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing Windows while installing Parallel Tools. Previously, many readers told us that back-grading to the previousl version stopped the problem. John Steele is onle of many who described the problem:

I upgraded to Parallels 3.0 and ever since, the Parallels Tools installer comes up when I restart Windows. If I try to do the install, Parallels crashes every time.

The VersionTracker fix, by Desmond Foulger, includes this suggestion:

I have definitely tracked it down to that part of the installation that is contained within the installation of Shared Applications. I cured it by booting into safe mode with networking (Press F8 at start-up) and navigating into /Program Files/Parallels/Parallels Tools and removing to the Recycle Bin, the whole contents of that folder. Next restarting normally, Win XP comes up normally. Next Install Parallels Tools using a custom install. By a process of elimination I found that installing everything EXCEPT Shared Applications provided the fix.

If you’ve tried this fix

Another fix for Parallels 3.0 crashing with Windows XP with Tools: Faulty video drivers | Top of Page |

July 11, 2007

Matthew Levy has a fix for the problem of Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3.0 while installing Parallels Tools. He blames bad video drivers, and recommends installing the WinNT video drivers. Levy sent us step-by-step directions:

I was experiencing the same problems described by others where the latest version of Parallels was crashing during the installation of the Parallels Tools and also during the use of Coherence. Windows XP was reporting a problematic video driver, and the installation of Parallels Tools always crashed when installing the video driver files. The fix for this is to install the WinNT drivers instead of the Win XP drivers. This can be done from the Device Manager in Windows.


  1. Boot Windows XP in Parallels.
  2. In the Parallels menu, click "Devices", "CD/DVD ROM 1", "Connect Image"
  3. Navigate to "Macintosh HD\Library\Parallels\Tools\vmtools.iso"
  4. In Windows, right click on "My Computer" and click "Properties"
  5. Select the "Hardware" tab and click "Device Manager"
  6. Under Display adapters, right-click and select "Update Driver..."
  7. In the wizard, select "No not this time" and click "Next"
  8. Select "Install from a list or specific location" and click "Next"
  9. Select "Don't search..." and click "Next"
  10. Click "Have Disk", "Browse" and navigate to "Parallels Tools setup disk (D:)\Drivers\Video\WinNT\PrlVideo.inf"
  11. Click "Next"
  12. Click "Continue Installation" in the warning box.
  13. Click "Finish"

Following a Windows restart, you should have an error-free video setup that works with Coherence.

If you’ve tried this procedure if it solved the problem.

August 8, 2007

John Shenk reported success with this fix:

That worked! I had to work my way through the instructions carefully, but I did it and it worked. I don't know how he figured that out - but it worked! Thank's so much Matthew Levy: you are a genius!

Reminder: Check out the fix for Parallels Tools crashes | Top of Page |

We’ve received more reports Parallels Desktop crashing with the 3.0 upgrade when installing Parallels Tools. However, the readers who have written have not tried the suggested fixes we’ve previously reported. Two readers tried two other approaches that didn't work, but didn't try our reported fixes.

Tony Gott tried something new, including the most recent bug-fix Build 4560, to no avail:

Regrettably Build 4560 of Parallels did not fix the problem with Parallel Tools, as even though I uninstalled the previous version of Parallels, then installed 4560. It still did not give me either keyboard or mouse control within the Windows environment.

Richard Tamesis:

After updating to Parallels 3.0 and its Tools, both Vista and XP crash all the time as soon as I reboot them. I've tried uninstalling Parallels and repairing permissions without any success in getting Parallels 3.0 to work.

We encourage you to try out the suggested fixes and if they worked for you.

Readers verify fix for Parallels Tools crash

August 1, 2007

Several readers reported success with the previously reported fix for the problem of Parallels Desktop 3.0 crashing when installing Parallels Tools.

Kevin Dougherty:

Your fix worked, thank you. On the upgrade to 4560 the tools installation crashed XP every time. Booted in Safe Mode uninstalled Tools, rebooted, reinstalled Tools except for shared apps. No more crashes.

Richard Tamesis

I isolated and solved the problem by unchecking the button "Share Mac applications to Windows" in the Shared Applications resource in the configuration editor.

Brad Schrick:

I tried the fix for Parallels crashing: Safe Mode, F8, in Windows XP. This fixed the very deterministic 'Parallels Crashing' problem I was having on my MacBook.

I removed all of the Parallels Tools. Parallels Tools installation had stalled and crashed many times before, but Win XP would still start.

Then I tried Custom Install, not choosing Shared Applications, and then on restart Parallels would crash every time.Looking in the Parallels Tools folder, it seemed that Shared Applications or some part of it had been installed already. Befuddled and not amused, but it seems to be operational again.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Graphics issues with Parallels Desktop 3.o | Top of Page |

June 26, 2007

Nathan Bowen did not have the problem with Windows crashing in Parallels Desktop 3. But he did report some graphics problems. He was able to back-grade to the previous Build 3188. His report:

I installed Parallels 3 on my Mac Book Pro Core 2 running 10.4.9 and everything went smoothly, except for some strange graphics issues. Windows screen refreshes were periodically clunky and had strange artifacts. Also, I found that a very expensive professional design program I use (Cabinet Vision) was unable to render some critical CAD elements. I tried several restarts and configuration changes to no avail. That was the major killer since I specifically need Windows to run this program.

I emailed Parallels about the issue and reverted to build 3188, which has been very stable and pleasant to use so far. I'm looking forward to a fix (hopefully soon). I hope this is related to some other issue because I'm probably the only person in the entire world running CV in a virtual machine on a Mac.

Fair warning, I think the new version has some GREAT features, but please do BACK UP your entire virtual machine and MAKE SURE you have an installer for 3188 before trying the upgrade. If you experience problems in the upgrade without a backup you might be up the creek without a paddle. You also cannot just drag and drop the application to revert, you need to uninstall and completely reinstall to clear out the updated application extensions from version 3.0 or it will not run.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

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Endless Win boot cycle seen with Boot Camp and Parallels | Top of Page |

July 13, 2007

Two readers report a problem where Windows on a Mac goes into an endless cycle of blue screening then rebooting. It sounds like a Windows problem to us, since one reader is using Parallels Desktop and the other is using Boot Camp.

David Lewis is using Parallels:

I updated a few days ago and Parallels 3.0 worked smoothly for a couple of days. Once it crashed from hibernation and a restart solved that. But today (of course, on a business trip) Windows has crashed and enters an endless cycle. It boots, shows a blue screen with two lines but I can’t read it because it immediately boots again for a second and again the blue screen.

Mike Montgomery sees the same with Boot Camp:

I successfully installed Windows XP SP2 and Boot Camp Beta 1.2 on my MacBook with Mac OS X 10.4.10. I added Firefox and some games with downloaded patches. Now every time I startup in Windows, it stalls, shows me GMT, then automatically reboots. The next time it shows me the correct local time, but goes to a blue screen for about 1-1.5 seconds and reboots again—endlessly.

If you’ve seen this, either on a Mac or a PC,

We have more reports on this issue, including suggested workarounds, on our Boot Camp Beta Tips and Reports page.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

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USB devices that don't work with Parallels | Top of Page |

July 16, 2007

Two readers reported problems with different USB devices running in Windows XP in Parallels Desktop. Eugene Dadlani reports that Parallels doesn't recognize a flash drive and also restarts Windows when he tries to print:

First, a USB flash drive is not being recognized on connection when it was working fine previously.

Second, when connecting USB printers to USB port and trying to print, Windows restarts every time. Windows printing on the network is working fine but not with USB.

I am running Windows XP SP2 on Parallels Desktop 2.5 Build 3214, Mac OS X 10.4.10. Macbook 13.3" 1,1 (1.86GHz Core Duo w/ 1GB RAM and.

Andrew Gurney’s TonePort music-computer interface isn’t working with Parallels Desktop 3.0:

USB device Line 6 TonePort kb37 is not being recognized.

Line 6's update utility, "Line 6 Monkey" will not load the appropriate drivers or even connect to the device at all. It gives a Code 10 error. It all works well with Boot Camp but not with Parallels Desktop.

I’m running Parallels Desktop 3.0.4128 on Mac OS X 10.4.10. This is on a Mac Book Pro Core2 Duo 2GB RAM running Windows XP Pro as a virtual machine.

If you've seen these problems

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

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A Parallels success story:
Using a USB security dongle and medical software and hardware
| Top of Page |

July 23, 2007

Andrew McKenzie reports that Parallels Desktop can do something that Virtual PC could not do: use a USB security dongle in Windows. His medical office scans eye retinas and uses a retinal camera. McKenzie says it all works in Parallels despite being told otherwise by the medical software and hardware manufacturers:

Our office is an optometric office - we do vision exams, glasses, etc. I've always preferred using Macs as much as possible.

I'm running two Windows-only programs on our Intel Macs through Parallels, in spite of being assured in both cases that it would NOT be possible to do so. Both of these programs access data over the network (the data is captured & stored on a computer in one part of the building, and accessed via a client computer elsewhere).

First is a proprietary software program distributed with our Optomap retinal scanner (a Panoramic200 model). While the company supplies a PC with specialized SCSI hardware to interface with the scanner using the "Capture" software, the "Review" software (used by the doctors in the exam rooms) can indeed be installed and run just fine under Parallels (to the amazement of the techs who installed the system).

Second is a software package put out by Canon Medical (called EyeQ), which interfaces our Canon EOS 20D digital camera back (attached to a Canon CR6-45NM retinal camera) to a computer via USB. The interesting thing about this software is that each copy of the software requires a USB "dongle" or hasp key be present and plugged in for the software to operate. Although the "capture" PC is indeed an HP PC, I suspect that I could have used a Mac there, too. The EyeQ "Review" software is running with the hasp key on Parallels in our exam rooms with no problems.

Yes, the dongle works under Parallels, and allows the Canon software to run. We’re using Win XP SP2.

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

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Latest Parallels Build fixes OS X 10.4.10, Mac mini issue | Top of Page |

August 21, 2007

Harald Herchen reports that the lastest Parallels Desktop beta version, Build 5060, fixed a problem he had with Parallels, the recent Mac OS X 10.4.10 update, and a Mac Mini:

I have a Mac Mini, 2GByte RAM, OSX 10.4.10, and I yesterday I downloaded Parallels from their web site. Everything went per their documentation, but when I got to the point of saying "Ok" after entering the Windows activation code, then my Mac froze. Not Windows, not Parallels, my Mac. (I had a multilingual kernel panic come up).

I found relevant documentation on the Parallel's forum. On a Mac mini and 10.410, you need to use the next build, 5060.

If you've seen this problem on a Mac mini and have seen this build fix the issue

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TIP: A fix for Parallels blue-screening with Boot Camp partition | Top of Page |

Monday, September 17, 2007

Alberto Macías found a fix for a Parallels problem with a Boot Camp partition:

I have found the solution for a bug with Parallels working with the Boot Camp partition. The error is a Blue Screen of Death when you try to load Windows. With a number ending in 7b.

The easy solution is to open Windows natively (in Boot Camp) and click in START/execute REGEDIT



DELETE THE FOLDER PARALLELS (is a program with an incorrect Parallels Tools installation).

Then you can start Boot Camp through Parallels and update the Parallels Tools.

A lot of people have this problem and don't know the solution.

If you've seen this

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Parallels Build 5160 uses less processor power

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wil Nelson reports that the new version of Parallels Desktop 3, Build 5160, uses less of the Mac's processor than previous versions:

I downloaded Parallels Build 5160 and noticed that idle CPU usage generally is in the single digits spiking to mid teens and sometimes twenty percent or higher. Overall, this appears to be down from the constant mid-20 to mid-30 percent range. With one browser running, usage is about the same. My download, upgrade and installation required two reboots to get it all working but was not a big deal. I no longer use Boot Camp due to Parallel's performance increases since Parallels 2.x.

If you've tried Parallels Desktop Build 5160

Suggestion for Parallels Build 5160 upgrade and another report of lower system resources usage

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Volker Laska had some trouble updating Parallels Desktop to the lastest Build 5160, until he received some advice from Parallels:

I had a bad start with this version, as it wouldn't update but required an uninstall. I then got an important hint from Parallels support: uninstall Parallel Tools first, then uninstall old Parallels version, install the new release, reinstall Parallel Tools, and voila, everything works!

Fred Plautz agreed with Parallels claim that the new Build 5160 uses fewer hardware resources in the Mac:

I upgraded to build 5160. It does use fewer resources. iStat Pro numbers have gone from the mid 40's to the mid 20's on average. It also feels quicker and is very stable.

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Parallels Build 5160: wireless mouse disconnects in Coherence mode

Friday, October 5, 2007

Earl Peel notes a problem with the latest build of Parallels Desktop:

I've noticed with a wireless mouse, specifically the MS wireless laser mouse 6000, you lose the ability to see and control the mouse properly in Coherence mode.

If you’ve seen this problem

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Success using Parallels with a USB-serial adaptor

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jean-Philippe Borel is using the lastest release version of Parallels Desktop to connect to equipment through a USB-to-serial adapter:

The installation of Parallels 3 Build 5160 was practically without problems. Parallels runs well with Windows software, and with USB and serial cables to different measuring and control equipment through Lindy serial adapter.

My Laptop: MacBook 2 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.10.

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Reader problem: Windows won't boot in Parallels

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Curt Hinkle can't get Windows XP to boot in Parallels Desktop:

Windows XP won't launch at all. Parallels Build 5160 opens, but when I try to start Windows, it look like its going launch, then a blue screen appears with a series of messages, the last being "The system has shut down." Then Windows tries to launch again with the same outcome. This is with Mac Software OS X 10.4.10.

If you've seen this problem

Recent news on the MacWindows home page.

Comment below

First reports of Vista SP1 on Macs mixed

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Several readers reported their experiences with the new Vista Service Pack 1 running on Macs with Boot Camp and with Parallels Desktop.

Glenn Josephson had a good experience updating Vista in Parallels Desktop:

I installed SP1 on Vista from a CD on my MacBook Pro 2.33 Core 2 Duo 17" and had no problems with the install or with operation so far. I'm running OS X 10.5.2 with all updates, and Parallels 3.0 build 5584. Happily, I don't use any Symantec software on it. The update took around two hours and required several reboots of the virtual machine. Because I'm using Parallels I was able to continue working on the Mac side while Vista updated, so that was a plus.

Michael Kennard updated Vista to SP1 in Parallels but had problems:

I have to now restore from backup. It said it would take an hour and I didn't believe it. Anyway it tried installing and failed, next it was removing the update and rebooting then it tries again. After the third time I realizeds this was an endless loop.

Jeff Julian runs Vista SPI in Boot Camp and is happy with it:

I have been running SP1 for a month now (Microsoft Developer Network subscription) on two different MacBook Pros (17-inch) and have had no issues at all. In fact, I believe it performs better than before, but I have no statistics to back it up.

about your experiences running Vista SP1 on a Mac with Boot Camp, Parallels, or VMware.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

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Reader has Parallels Transporter problem with Virtual PC's Win 2000 (endless boot cycle)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bob Gregg is having a problem migrating his Virtual PC copy of Windows 2000 to Parallels Desktop:

Using Parallels Transporter and Transporter Assistant, I transported my Windows 2000 VPC disk from my G4 desktop to my new MacBook Pro Intel. When I attempt to boot the transported Win 2000 in Parallels Desktop, it goes into this endless loop, attempting to boot Win 2000, ending with a flashed blue screen, and then restarting the cycle. I was able to see what the blue screen of death said by taking a picture of the screen (timing is critical, as it isn't there very long). The basic error is "+++ STOP: (several alpha-numeric items) KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED +++ Address (followed by some more alpha- numerics). Beginning dump or physical memory. Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or technical support group."

We found a blog that stated that the old Virtual PC Additions had to be manually removed from Windows 2000.

If you've seen this problem or a fix

For more on Parallels, see our Parallels Desktop Tips and Reports page.

Problem with Parallels Win reboot loop also seen in VPC

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Luis Antezana said that a continual rebooting problem with reported for Parallels Desktop also occurs with Virtual PC:

This looping restart thing with the KMODE_EXCEPTION error is a problem I've seen in Virtual PC with Windows 2000. I am not sure what causes it or how to fix it, unfortunately. The problem is related to telling Windows 2000 to restart. The simple workaround is to perform a shutdown instead of a restart. VPC will shutdown Windows 2000 gracefully and you can then start up the virtual machine successfully from VPC's machine list. Not sure how this will translate to Parallels but I would hope the process is analogous.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Parallels Build 5600, XP SP3: Manual update works, auto doesn't

Friday, May 23, 2008

Robert Donaldson found that a manual installation of the most recent Parallels Desktop Build 5600 for Windows XP SP3 works fine. However, the automatic installation of the upgrade gave him some problems:

I have Parallels Desktop 3 with Windows XP SP 3 installed. Applying the Parallels update Build 5600 hangs Windows on my MacBook Pro (running Leopard 10.5.2). I would advise caution applying this update.

Manual installation of Build 5600 works fine. But allowing the Parallels automatic update when XP has started within Parallels hangs. (At least on my MacBook Pro running XP from a Boot Camp partition.)

eopard 10.5.2 SP3 was already installed on my XP Boot Camp partition. So Build 5600 was installed after SP3. The Boot Camp updates required for XP SP3 were previously installed.L

The hang occurred when installing from the Parallels automatic update after Parallels starts up. It pops a message that tells you a newer version is available, do you want to download and install it. The installation starts and then CPU utilization hits max and stays there with Windows hung. I did a force shutdown and tried again and got the same behavior with Parallels no longer responding (hung).

Next thing I did was to manually run the Parallels update from the Build 5600 disk image (when Parallels was not running.) That installed fine. Started Parallels where it popped the menu to install the latest Parallels tools. I clicked Continue to install the tools then restarted Parallels as the dialog requested. Everything worked fine that way.

If you've seen this issue

Readers verify that Parallels Build 5600 Manual update works, autoupdate doesn't

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two readers verified that a problem with Parallels Desktop Build 5600 autoupdates, and that manual updates work.

Emad Almassalkhi wrote:

What happen to Robert Donaldson happened exactly to me under Leopard 10.5.3 and Windows XP SP2.

Paul McNaughton had the problem with his MacBook Pro:

This was the same problem I had. I too did the same workaround with manual install. About three days later, I began to have intermittent problems with parts of my Windows screen flickering and losing mouse control.

We also have another report that a newer Parallels Build 5604 fixes the flicker problem.

More news on the MacWindows home page.

Win XP SP3 problem in Boot Camp 2.1 and Parallels

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harry Erwin had a problem upgrading Windows XP to Service Pack 3 in a Boot Camp partition:

I first installed Boot Camp 2.1 and today I installed Parallels 5600 and let the SP3 installation take place under Parallels. Now I can't boot into XP native, and when I try to run under Parallels, the boot process takes forever. All I want to do now is restore to my working configuration.

If you've seen this problem

Reader says Leopard 10.5.3 fixes Parallels "Unable to Allocate Memory" problem

Friday, May 30, 2008

Kevin David reports that the Leopard 10.5.3 update fixed a problem with Parallels Desktop, in which an error message would state that Parallels was unable to allocate the specified amount of memory. David said:

It appears that the OS X 10.5.3 update fixes the problems that are reported in these threads on the Parallels forums (here, here, and here). I was a victim of this problem and it disappeared after installing 10.5.3.

If you've seen this problem whether or not the 10.5.3 affects it.

Reader says Parallels and AutoCAD file locking not working

Friday, June 20, 2008

Larry Martin has a problem with Parallels Desktop and AutoCAD and file locking:

We are using multiple copies of Parallels Desktop 3.0 Build 5600 (with Win XP SP2) on Leopard 10.5.3 to run AutoCAD, latest release. The problem is that users can open and edit files that other users currently have open. It appears that the file locking that is part of the Windows OS is not functional under Parallels. AutoCAD relies on the OS and not the application to lock the files. From what I understand, the Mac OS requires the application to do that.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: Workaround for AutoCAD, Parallels file locking issue

Friday, July 18, 2008

Larry Martin sent an update to his previous report AutoCAD in Parallels Desktop and a file locking problem. He said that using Bridged Networking instead of Shared Networking gets around the problem:

I have an update on this issue. If you use Parallels Shared Networking and share your Mac shares with Win XP, the file locking does not function as expected with other Parallels users using the same networking configuration. You MUST use native Windows file sharing on all installations and not use the Mac shares.

In the case of AutoCAD, when you open an AutoCAD file, it creates a .dwl file which tells other AutoCAD installations that the file is in use and locks others from opening the file with write privileges. AutoCAD will create the .dwl from a standalone PC as well as from the Parallels installation. If you try and open the same AutoCAD file (the .dwg, not the ..dwl) from a standalone PC, it recognizes the .dwl file and gives you the standard "file in use" message. If you try and open that same file from a Parallels installation sharing the Mac shares, it does not recognize the ..dwl file and allows you to open the file with write privileges. However, as long as Parallels is using direct Windows file sharing, it does recognize the .dwl file.

In order to browse your network and configure the Windows shares, use "Bridged Networking" with the default adapter. Shared Networking does not allow you to Browse the Windows network and requires that you type in the exact name of the share.

If you've tried this

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Reader has printing problem with Leopard, Parallels, Bonjour for Windows

Monday, July 7, 2008

Although several readers have reported that the Leopard Mac OS X 10.5.3 update cleared up printing problems, Tamara Apgar is having problems printing with Parallels Desktop:

I am running OS X 10.5.4 and Parallels Build 5608 and can either print on my HP PSC 1315 from Mac or from virtual Windows programs such as Quicken Home and Business, Franklin Covey, etc. but cannot print from both Mac and Windows. When I get one application to print, the other will not. Even if I shut down Windows, Mac will not print.

I downloaded Bonjour from Apple as a way to address the problem, but then I get this message when trying to run Bonjour "< \\.PSF.\.Mac\Users\Tamara\Dpwnloads\Bonjour64Setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application.>

I have spent hours reading various entries and instructions on how to resolve this, tried out several fixes, and also emailed the Parallels support people, all to no avail.

I then bought a newer HP printer, but still cannot print from all my Windows applications. Now I can print from Mac, but not from most of my Windows applications.

If you've seen this problem or have a suggestion

TIP: For Parallels printing get the 32-bit version of Bonjour for Windows

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mike Pasquale suggested a fix for a reader's problem printing from Windows with Bonjour in Parallels Desktop on a Mac:

From the error message Tamara received in attempting to run Bonjour, it appears she downloaded the Bonjour setup for 64-Bit Windows instead of the version for 32-bit Windows. On the Apple Bonjour for Windows page, she should click on the link next to "File Size" for the 32-bit version.

If this helps you

Reader suggestion for printing from Parallels

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kyle Anderson adds to our reports about printing from Parallels Desktop with a suggestion for people printing from Windows in Parallels Desktop:

I was also having problems printing on both the Mac and through Parallels. I thought I needed to have the printers set up through Windows since that was where I used them the most. I was terribly wrong. For some reason, it just didn't seem to be stable enough. It hardly worked. I then deleted all of the printers from the PC side and installed them on the Mac side. I made sure I had the latest version of Parallels and I downloaded Bonjour to run on Windows. I have not had a single problem since, even through the networked computers.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

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Windows XP SP3 problem with Bonjour

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Apple's Bonjour for Windows appears to have compatibility problems with Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). Reports at the Apple Discussion Forums and from a MacWindows reader are saying that Windows XP SP3 can no longer print to printers using Bonjour. The problem occurs with Windows XP SP3 running on PC hardware as well as in a virtual machine with Parallels Desktop. We've had reports of printing problems with Windows, Bonjour, and Parallels before, and a suggestion (directly above).

Zacharias Beckman reported seeing the problem with Parallels Desktop:

If I attempt to set up a printer port for my LaserJet, Parallels will only print to the correct printer intermittently. It is possible to make Parallels print to the correct printer, but only if you delete every other printer profile from the Mac. This because tedious, as I use four different printers -- so, when I absolutely must print from Windows, I have to delete all of my Mac printer profiles, print, and then put my printers back. Hideous.

Now, the bad news is that in Parallels 3.0 you could work around this problem using Bonjour. Unfortunately, Bonjour no longer seems to work in Parallels 4.0 with Windows XP SP3. I have heard some reports that Bonjour is broken in XP SP3, although this is unconfirmed -- there is an Apple forum thread on it. Either way, I can't get Bonjour to work -- and, I have downloaded the latest Bonjour, installed it and set up printers. It appears to print, but nothing arrives at the printer.

If you've seen a problem with Windows XP SP3 and Bonjour on a PC or in virtualization on a Mac

Parallels VRAM limitations and dual 30" displays

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Robert James points out that Parallels Desktop doesn't have enough video RAM support for two big monitors:

What build 5608 does NOT fix: Because Parallels only provides 64MB of video RAM we are unable to run Vista 64 and Leopard in coherence mode on two Apple Cinema 30" monitors. The problem arises when attempting to stretch a Vista window onto the second monitor: apparently the number of pixels needed exceeds the video memory's limit.

If you can add anything useful to this

Parallels VRAM limitations on 30" display an Coherence mode

Friday, July 18, 2008

A reader reports that the 64 MB of video RAM is not enough to run Parallels coherence mode on a 30" display:

With only one 30" monitor, I am unable to run Parallels in Coherence mode. It appears that on my system, 64MB of VRAM is insufficient for only one 30" monitor. I've reverted to Single Window mode and have had no additional problems.

System: Mac Pro (early 2008) Leopard 10.5.4 - 10GB RAM, Parallels 5608, Win XP Pro SP2 w/ 2GB RAM allocation and 64MB VRAM.

64 MB of VRAM is the most that Parallels Desktop will support. Earlier this week, another reader reported that Parallels Desktop doesn't have enough video RAM support to run two 30" Apple displays.

If you can verify this

(Related story: tip for using 30-inch display in Boot Camp.)

Reader says Parallels work just fine with dual 30" displays

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gary Stahara responded to previous reports that Parallels desktop didn't support enough graphics RAM to support two 30" displays. It works just fine for him:

I've got two Apple 30" displays and can run Parallels (Windows XP Pro SP2) in Coherence mode with both screens working just fine on my Mac Pro with nVidia 8800GT. Maybe the people having problems with this haven't updated Boot camp to 2.1 or have the most current video drivers. Everything works great for me.

If you can verify this Comment below

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader: Running Word for Mac kills Parallels 3, Word, and Mac OS X

Friday, April 24, 2009

Geoff Saulnier finds that launching Word for Mac has a negative effect on an older version of Parallels Desktop, version 3:

I am running Parallels Desktop 3, latest version, and Mac OS X 10.5 latest update. Parallels works like a dream, running XP SP 3 faster than my machine at work does. This is true for my MacBook Pro 15" as well as for my Mac Pro 8-core.

If I have Parallels up running XP and I start Word for Mac from Office 2004, Word fails to start right, then Parallels stops working (freezes or hangs), and even force-quitting both apps, the Mac is left in a terrible state. Apps will fail to start, can't reboot - basically, I have to hold the power switch down to power off. On powering back on, box boots fine and all is well.

The same happens on both the MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro, whether running Windows from Boot Camp or from a separate install.

Also, today, it my OCR driver on my scanner decided to start the old Internet Explorer for Mac that I just never got round to uninstalling. That produced the exact same effects. I have not tried other Microsoft products to see what happens then.

Oddly, if I have Parallels running on my account with XP up, and my wife fast-switches to her account, she can run all the Office stuff she wants with no problems, and my XP is still working fine when I switch back to my account.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: fix for Mac Office crashing Parallels 3

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Brian shared a fix for a problem of Word for Mac causing Parallels Desktop 3.0 to freeze. (Parallels 4 is the current version.) Brian said:

I had a similar issue where by after using Parallels 3, apps may crash, including Parallels with XP. Restarting the Mac would take 10-15 minutes.

The fix was to make sure that the user account that installed Mac Office ran the MS Auto Updater and applied the updates. Give it a try as each user on the Mac if need be. After the MS updates, check OS X updates and then Adobe updates.

If you've seen this problem and tried this approach

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader asks how to install Snow Leopard Server in a VM

Monday, December 15, 2008

A reader (name withheld by request) is unable to install the (non-public) developer preview of Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in a virtual machine in Parallels or VMware. Now released to developers, Apple expects to ship the new server in 2009. The reader reported:

I'm a member of the Apple Developer Connection and have a legal copy of the developer preview of Snow Leopard Server (10.6) Build 10a222. I can't install it in either Parallels Desktop 4 or VMware Fusion 3 on a new MacBook Pro (4 GB RAM). Both companies say they support the preview 10.6 server in a virtual machine.

I tried using the DMG image, a CDR image, and converting to an ISO image (as recommended at some web sites). I also tried installing the image on a DVD+R DL. With both Parallels and VMware, the installation stops.

Then I installed Leopard Server in Parallels, and tried to upgrade with the Snow Leopard Server. The DVD mounts, I can launch the installer. The Leopard reboots, but instead of rebooting from the DVD, it just comes back to the Leopard Server signon screen.

I'm out of ideas and can't find any help on the web.

We don't want you to violate your NDA agreement by telling us anything about Mac OS X 10.6 Server that Apple hasn't announced. But if you've successfully installed the Snow Leopard Server preview in either Parallels or VMware how.

Reader Parallels 4 printing issue: Apple Security update the problem?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Roger Rodrigues believe that the Apple Security Update 2009-001 is causing a printing problem with Parallels Desktop 4:

I installed Parallels 4 on the Mac. However I cannot install a printer. VMware Fusion has an update which fixes this problem, apparently caused by Apple security update 2009-001.

Yesterday, VMware released an update to deal with a printing issue, which we reported today. If you've seen this problem on Parallels Desktop if you think it's related to Apple Security Update. Comment below

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Windows Repair fixed reader's Vista upgrade problem in Parallels

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nicholas Greksouk fixed a problem with a Windows Vista update in Parallels Desktop, but is having performance problems:

I let Vista try to upgrade itself in Parallels 4.0, and after the reboot I got a black screen that said I had a corrupt file, and to insert my installation disk. I restored my virtual machine from Time Machine, went through the update process, and exactly the same thing happened. Parallels had been running very slowly, both before and after the upgrade to 4.0. I am a long time MS Money user and don't want to give that up.

I had some help from Parallels support. We needed to run Windows Repair, so I needed to boot from my installation disk. The very helpful support person showed me how to bring up the Parallels configure screen, and we got Windows to boot from the DVD drive. (Note: after changing this configuration we had to restart Parallels for the change to take effect.)

Once Windows Repair ran, I was able to reboot and get Microsoft Money to work again.

Now that a few days have passed, I still have the extreme slowness issue when running my virtual machine. I am using an early '07 MacBook Pro with 2 GB RAM, which otherwise works beautifully.

If you've seen this problem

Parallels 4 fixes reader's problem with accounting software

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lee Spalding reports that Parallels Desktop 4 fixed a problem he had with version 3 and Sage Business Vision accounting software. Upgrading to version 4 fixed the problem:

I have a MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM and I use Parallels. At work we use accounting software called Sage Business Vision and we are on Version 7.23. While using Parallels Desktop 3.0 I would get errors in BV. It would be a user error and it would kick me out of BV. Once I logged back in, BV would work fine until I let it sit for a few minutes. When I went back to access something, like inventory for example, it would produce another error and kick me out. Our local BV specialist was looking into it for me and could not come up with any solution. He checked with the BV people direct and nobody knew anything.

I recently upgraded my Parallels to version 4 and the problem has magically disappeared! It works and I am happy.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader says 10.5.7 update causes blue-screening Windows in Parallels

Monday, June 15, 2009

Alisa Kerr reports that updating to Leopard 10.5.7 causes Windows in Parallels Desktop to crash:

After installing the Mac OS X 10.5.7 update, the Mac hangs on a Windows blue screen. I'm running Parallels using Windows XP. I uninstalled application enhancer but it did not fix the problem. I had to reinstall OSX 10.5.4

If you've seen this problem

More on 10.5.7 update blue-screening windows in Parallels

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two readers commented on a previous report of the Mac OS X 10.5.7 update causing Windows to crash in Parallels Desktop.

Steve Smith sees the problem:

I have recently experienced the same issue, although haven't downgraded Leopard to try and fix it. The machine worked fine for a couple of weeks after the 10.5.7 update, but now whenever it boots, it gets as far as loading the default apps, but then a short time later, blue screens. I haven't yet tried anything to remedy the problem, but will probably create a new XP VM and give that a go!

Dave Scott does not see the problem:

I ouldn't say that the above is a general case. I use Parallels every day with MAcbook, 10.5.7, dual monitors, "coherence", sometimes running X-Windows and CrossoVer at same time as Parallels & OSX. Me thinks - maybe an issue with the VM.

If you've seen this issue with the 10.5.7 update

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Conflict with Carbonite and Parallels Desktop

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chris Phelps says that Carbonite makes Parallels Desktop run poorly:

I installed Carbonite 1.0 for the Macintosh a couple of months ago and have found that Parallels 4.0.3844 runs exceptionally slowly and crashes frequently. Pausing Carbonite or lowering its priority does nothing to alleviate the issue. Disabling Carbonite permits Parallels to function normally.

I'm running a 2.4Ghz MacBook Pro with 4 GB RAM. I'm running OSX 10.5.7 and Windows XP Pro SP3. I've adjusted Parallels settings with little or no change in the behavior. Everything is fully patched. I adjusted memory everywhere from 384MB up to 2048MB.

Carbonite is an online backup application that has been around for windows for a number of years and they just released a Mac product at the end of May. The initial backup took me about three weeks but now it runs in the background and is completely transparent, except for Parallels.

If you've seen this issue

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader printing problems on Mac host and Win XP VM in Parallels 4

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sarah Townsend in Hawaii was having problems printing from both Mac OS X and from Parallels Desktop 4. She found some information that helped on the Mac side:

It worked for a while, sort of, using the workaround of turning off the printer between each time I'd switch printing from the Mac to the VM. The Mac side would just sit, saying it's printing, then stopping the print job for no reason. Sometimes if I open the print queue and select that print job and hit Pause Printer then hit Resume, it will jolt it into printing. Even when it does finally print, the job stays in the queue, which gets confusing.

This happened with a MacBook Pro (4 GB RAM) OS X 10.5.8, Parallels 4.0.3846 HP LaserJet P1505, Canon Pixma MP830, Acrobat .pdf printing, and a network printer (HP LaserJet 1200).

I have since gotten the Mac side to print, though still not consistently.

This page helped:

Other articles I've found this and this Parallels page.

And from your site, there's this and this page.

I tried downloading and installing Bounjour to the XP side but it didn't work, and then I read somewhere that it worked fine in Parallels v 3.x but no longer in v 4.x. Have since uninstalled that. As for Parallels Tools - I believe it's installed.

If you've seen this problem

Current news on the MacWindows home page.


Snow Leopard won't run older Parallels builds | Top of Page |

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mac OS X 10.6 won't run versions of Parallels Desktop earlier than 4.0. Snow Leopard prevents Parallels Desktop 3 from opening, and moves version 2.5 into an "Incompatible Software" folder when you install the OS.

If you've used Snow Leopard with the current version of Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or Sun VirtualBox

Problems installing Parallels 4.0.3846 in Snow Leopard | Top of Page |

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two readers reported problems installing the Parallels Desktop 4.0.3846 update in Snow Leopard. The update fixes some bugs when running on Snow Hosts, among other issues. George Palfi describes the symptoms:

First, I should say that I have used the latest versions of Parallels, Fusion, and Virtual Box on my new install of Snow Leopard and they all seem to work fine.

However, an update arrived yesterday for Parallels 4 that I downloaded and tried to install. The installer gets to the stage where it appears to be starting the install, then disappears from the screen and nothing happens. It would appear that the installer has a conflict with Snow Leopard.

Peter Wordsworth also reported the problem. He was eventually able to install the update, but it wasn't easy:

In Parallels, I got a message the 3846 upgrade was correct, but for some unexplained reason it was difficult to click through the installation process - each screen would disappear after only a few seconds. I had to significantly increase my input speed to match the disappearing screens. When I finally got to the end of the process I found the virtual PC was corrupt. A restart of the Mac seems to have fixed this though. Perhaps the 3846 upgrade is intended to be installed before installing Snow Leopard?

If you've seen this problem

TIP: Workaround for installing Parallels 4.0.3846 in Snow Leopard

Monday, September 21, 2009

Several readers responded to the reports of not being able to install the Parallels Desktop 4.0.3846 update in Snow Leopard. The update downloads, but the installer program quits. Martin van-Eerde found a workaround:

I had the exact same install problem in that the installer seemed to immediately quit. The update check and download had run while I had Parallels Desktop open (but no virtual machine running). Quitting Parallels and then mounting the downloaded update and running the install process without Parallels running fixed the problem.

Peter Wordsworth found a Parallels article with a similar recommendation:

Support article 6637 is relevant in my case. It says: "Updater downloads application, but fails to install PD4 updates (workaround - close autoupdater and run installer manually)."

Ali Bangura's description of the problem is typical of what readers have been reporting.

I had exactly the same problem described on your page. I am running parallels 4.0 successfully. I try to install the update, I get past the password request and then the install seems to trip over. I wouldn't have noticed if it wasn't for the fact the update regularly keeps on trying to re-install.

If you've tried the workaround

TIP: Variation on Parallels install workaround for Snow Leopard

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Joe Chinn found another way to get around the problem of not being able to install the Parallels Desktop 4.0.3846 update in Snow Leopard. Previously, we reported that readers (and Parallels) recommended using the updater software to download the update, then quiting the updater software, then double-click the downloaded update. Chinn said that didn't work, but going to the Parallels web site to download the full Parallels Desktop package did:

I was having the same problem as described at your site: "The installer gets to the stage where it appears to be starting the install, then disappears from the screen and nothing happens."

Parallels automatically downloaded the update, which did not install as described in the post. However, I received a message from Parallels Team with a link to the download center. After downloading the full program directly from the website, the new version installed.

The problem was that the update that automatically downloaded apparently does not run in Snow Leopard. I suspect that it would have worked had I been running Leopard.

Here's what Parallels said: To download Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac, please visit Parallels Download Center at .


Reader reports smooth sailing with Parallels 5 upgrade | Top of Page |

Monday, November 9, 2009

Randy Simon had a good upgrade experience with the new Parallels Desktop 5:

Upgraded from Parallels 4. Upgrade is easy and automatic. Takes very little time. Implementing the new features is either automatic or one-click easy. This includes the Mac Look for the Windows apps, the new Crystal interface, the Windows app folder on the doc, etc. All the features on my Magic Mouse now work in Windows applications. No problems whatsoever so far.

If you've tried Parallels 5 or VMware Fusion 3

Reader gets around an issue with Parallels 5 activation key | Top of Page |

Monday, November 16, 2009

David Higgins solved a problem with the new Parallels Desktop 5 and its activation key:

Initial install of Parallels 5 went smoothly, but I was having issues with my Windows install inside Parallels (failure of the Windows disk). So, I decided to 'clean' thing sup and uninstalled Parallels. I then did a reinstall and Parallels 5 Activation key would not longer work. I typed it, I cut and pasted it - always returned invalid yet just hours earlier it was valid.

I uninstalled Parallels again then reinstalled Parallels 4, entered my activation codes for 4 -- all good. I then installed Parallels 5 again and this time it worked, but it didn't ask for an activation key - it just ran. With version 4 (and upgrade) it asked for both the version 3 and version 4 activation keys. Parallels 5 was also an upgrade but its install did not behave in the same way. I am only assuming that the latest version 5 install is a full install and not an evaluation (it didn't tell me it was an evaluation - I guess I'll find out in 30 days).

I installed Win 7 64-bit inside Parallels 5 and it went smoothly on my 27" iMac. A shame I couldn't do this via Boot Camp.

If you've seen this activation key problem

Reader sees long Parallels 5 launch times | Top of Page |

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ralph in Bonn, Germany is having a problem launching Parallels Desktop 5, where it takes almost two minutes:

Running OS X 10.6.2, Parallels 5.0 is incredibly slow to start. So slow that OS X says that it is not responding and asks whether you want to force it to quit. The icon bounces along for a long time then stops and shows no dot or anything and then - after you have given up all hope - it will finally start. The times look like this:

Parallels 5.0: 1 minute of bouncing icon + 50 seconds of simply sitting there doing nothing before a menu appears so that you could actually start a virtual machine. In other words 1 minute 50 seconds (nearly 2 minutes) wait. Fusion 3.0 is 15 seconds from the time that you click on the icon to the time that Virtual Machine Library is displayed.

I am not comparing the operation speeds. I am simply talking about how long it takes before you can even select a virtual machine to work with. I am not using a Boot Camp partition.

We haven't seen this problem, but if you have,

More reports of slow launch of Parallels Desktop 5

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two readers commented on last week's report on slow launch times for Parallels Desktop 5. Richard Wilson had the same problem:

The Parallels 4 on the install disk worked fine. But since the version 5 update I've had a very similar problem to Ralph from Germany. It takes about 3 minutes to launch for me, though.

So did Garfield Southall in the United Kingdom

I too have this problem. It can take up to 10 minutes to launch, before I can select the virtual machine. I have tried the support line but they have only suggested removing and reinstalling Parallels 5, which I've done to no benefit.

If you've seen this problem

Force quitting Parallels 5 has effect on slow launch

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thorsten Kling is seeing the problem of long Parallels 5 launch times, but found that it launched quicker after force-quitting.

After a couple minutes of the virtual machine not coming up and nothing happening with Parallels being unresponsive, I force closed it. When restarting Parallels, the virtual machine window came up immediately. And I really do mean immediately, not that it started quickly.

So even though I force quit Parallels, the actual VM must have still kept running. After re-launching Parallels, it must have just hooked back into the already running VM. This happened twice so far in the last couple weeks. Am not able to identify under what conditions this happens.

Though don't recommend force-quitting on a regular basis, we are interested in hearing if you've seen this phenomenon.

Michael von der Horst also reported the problem:

I also have the slow boot issue for Parallels 5.0 and Windows 7 (Boot Camp partition). My system is a 2.8 GHZ iMac 2008 with 4GB RAM. Using Parallels 5.0 demo on 10.6.2 with Win 7. It takes 6-7 minutes to launch Windows 7.

Reader confirms Parallels Build 9308 fixes Coherence/Crystal issues | Top of Page |

Monday, December 28, 2009

A reader named Chazz reports that the new Parallels Desktop 5 Build 9308 fixes some problems with the Coherence and Crystal modes:

Not sure if it speeds up the launch but it did clear up problems I had with using Coherence/Crystal on my iMac. It runs great now. Plus I am running a very memory resource intensive XP trading program in Crystal that I had to boot up in Boot Camp to run at all. So I think it is doing something with speed and capacity. However I do get a message that says I don't have enough video memory but won't let me add more video memory however I don't notice anything. As a matter of fact I can't change any video settings. But am happy because I can run my trading software without having to close out Snow Leopard.

The new build is also supposed to fix the problem of slow launches that readers have reported. If you've tried Build 9308

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader reports Parallels Build 9308 didn't fixes slow launch issues | Top of Page |

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lawrence Devonport said that he is still seeing long launch times of Parallels Desktop 5, even after installing the recent Build 9308, which is supposed to have fixed the issue. Devonport reports:

I have installed the update and I can safely say that the slow launch problem is not fixed. I have completely removed the Parallels files and re-installed from scratch only to find the same result. Also there are significant delays in launching the configuration and menu options for the Desktop. That said, once the Desktop and VM are started the performance does improve. Incidentally I run Windows XP in the VM. I have a MacBook 1.07 GHz with 4 GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.6.2.

If you were seeing long Parallels launch times and have applied Build 9308

Differing experiences on Parallels Build 9308, slow launch in Snow Leopard

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sigmund Wohl found the Parallels Desktop 5 Build 9308 fixed the problem of long launch times, contrary to a few other reports:

It now takes less than 4 seconds to launch. Don't know what the others' problem is.

However, Lawrence Devonport updated his previous report:

The update has definitely not solved the slow response and startup problem. After visiting the Parallels Forum Site I can safely say that I'm not an isolated case.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

TIP: Fix for AutoCAD licensing error in virtual machine | Top of Page |

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jonathan Bailey had success with an AutoDesk tip for getting around AutoCAD licensing issues with Boot Camp. Bailey was using a Boot Camp partition in a virtual machine with Parallels Desktop:

I have been trying to get AutoCAD working on my MacBook Pro. I am using a Boot Camp partition and also Parallels set up to use the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine. This is hopefully the best of both worlds. I had issues with the licensing of AutoCAD and came across your site while trying to find a fix. I wanted to update you with what helped for me, which is a suggestion from the AutoDesk site.

I was getting a license error message that never mentioned the fact that my serial never changed from 000, etc. I probably would have known to try this if I had been familiar with Vista or Windows 7. Thankfully I had not used up all of the online activation requests and was able to change the serial and re-activate the software successfully.

If you've tried this

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Parallels beats VMware in MacTech gaming demo | Top of Page |

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MacTech Magazine has posted a video showing a side-by-side comparison of Parallels Desktop 5 and VMware Fusion 3 running gaming benchmark tests in Windows virtual machines running on two Apple notebooks. Parallels Desktop is shown as fully rendering several games, with VMware Fusion only partially rendering several scenes. The YouTube video also shows Parallels Desktop 5 running Windows games at a higher frame rate than VMware Fusion 3.

MacTech used the 3DMark06 benchmarks from FutureMark. The video shows Windows virtual machines running Firefly Forest, Canyon Flight, and Deep Freeze.

Last month, MacTech published benchmark tests results of the two virtualization products for Mac that showed that Parallels Desktop 5 was the faster of the two for most tasks in both Windows XP and Windows 7 virtual machines.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader reports Parallels 6 networking problem

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greg Eaton reports that upgrading to Parallels Desktop version 6 knocked out networking in a Windows 7 virtual machine. He said that Parallels has acknowledged that there is an issue. However, a second reader is not having a problem with networking First, Eaton's report:

I upgraded to Parallels 6 from 5 this weekend from the download. When I came into work Monday morning and tried to log-on to our campus network, nuthin'! I have a MacBook Pro, 10.6.4, the Mac side connects as usual, but I cannot connect from the Windows 7 virtual machine. My email/contact/calander world is maintained by Outlook from our Microsoft Exchange Server. I am thrown into a tizzy. Our IT department had the computer for 2 hours this afternoon and they can't figure out how to connect either.

I decided to call Parallels tech support and a technician worked with me for about 1/2 hour. He had no luck either. He checked with the next level of support and then informed me that this is a known issue with Parallels 6. A "second level' trouble ticket was issued and a technician will (presumably) get in touch with me by email and phone. This technician is supposed to offer me a temporary fix, but the issue will apparently not be resolved until a rebuild of Parallels 6 can be made available.

However, Shigeru Iwamoto is not having problems with networking and is using Internet Explorer 8:

I upgraded Parallels to version 6, and only notice a slight speed increase, since I do not use that many multimedia applications. Now I'm running IE 8 more often because it has all my apps like Roboform Pro, which do not run on the Safari browser.

If you've tried the Parallels Desktop update

TIP: Fix for Parallels Desktop 6 networking issue

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yesterday, Parallels posted a simple procedure intended to fix a problem with Windows networking after upgrading to Parallels Desktop 6, a problem that MacWindows readers have been reporting. The fix is to delete the Network driver from within Windows and reinstall it. The article states that this can happen if Windows doesn't correctly install the driver.

If you've tried this suggestion

Here are some more reports of the problem from readers who were not aware of yesterday's fix. Scott Buchart saw it in Windows 7:

I upgraded to Version 6 (from version 5) today on a MacBook Pro 4GB machine. Now the networking in Windows 7 does not work at all. It was working fine before running the upgrade.

Andre Fabien sees it with Vista:

I have recently upgraded to Parallels 6 and I am also having network issues in that I am no longer able to log on to the Internet in my virtual machine from Windows Vista.

Reader reports success with Parallels 6 networking fix

Monday, September 27, 2010

Scott Buchart reports success with the fix for Parallels Desktop 6 networking issue:

I upgraded to Version 6 (from version 5) today on a MacBook Pro 4GB machine. Networking in Windows 7 would not work at all. It was working fine before running the upgrade. [The fix] worked, than you.

Another fix for Parallels 6 Upgrade networking problem: reinstall Tools

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Phil Brown, Parallels' fix for Parallels 6 networking problems did not work. Another simple fix did:

The solution provided did not work. I had to re-install the Parallels Tools and that enabled the network card to be recognised and used to connect to the LAN and Internet.

If you've tried this approach

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader says Parallels 6 good for CAD software

Monday, September 27, 2010

Eric Scheuermann reports success using the new Parallels Desktop 6 upgrade with CAD and graphics mapping software:

Just wanted to let you know that I upgraded to Parallels Desktop 6 this past weekend and all is well. I'm using Windows XP Pro on a MacBook to run Microstation V8 (Select Series 1) and ArcMap 9.2 mainly.

what you think of the new Parallels Desktop 6 upgrade, or post a note in our Parallels Desktop Forum.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader says Parallels Mobile "Win-on-iPad" has kinks

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Olivier Jacobs has not had a good experience with Parallels Mobile running Windows from an iPad:

I just installed the Parallels iPad app. However, the calibration is off. The cursor showing what I click on is about 1 inch off where I actually touch. It would be nice to have such a product, but now for me it's a big disappointment.

If you've tried Parallels Mobile with us.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

TIP: Reader speeds up Parallels by replacing virus software

Monday, May 9, 2011

François La Roche solved a problem with slow performance of Windows in Parallels Desktop by replacing Kaspersky Internet Security with Norton:

Quick note of great relief that I want to share with you guys and that you could decide to share somehow with many whom may have been caught with the same issue: a super slow virtual machine.

I'm running the latest version of Parallels Desktop on the latest version of Mac OS X on a recent MacBook Pro to run Vista (don't ask--client still running that system). I've been complaining and searching the web for a solution to the slowness of Vista under Parallels 6. It was just unbearable and unacceptable.

Until this morning: I uninstalled Kaspersky Internet Security as my client installed its Norton client license on my VM. Well, well, well! An humongous, amazing, fabulous, formidable increase in performance happened. Applications react instantly, virtually no delays anymore when switching from VM to Mac apps. Wow. I can now enjoy what I've been reading about Parallels and how great it is. Indeed.

If you've seen this issue

Reader verifies Parallels and Karpersky anti-virus issue

Sunday, May 15, 2011

John Protopapas confirmed last week's report that replacing Kaspersky Internet Security with another Windows anti-virus speeds up Parallels desktop:

I ran across this problem also. Fixed it by using McAfee. I am using Windows XP Pro.

Wil Nelson avoids anti-virus software in Windows with some other tools:

I use Opera and its built-in mail client or Thunderbird for mail and MS Security Essentials in Windows and in Windows on Parallels to avoid the drag caused by various anti-virus software. I read an article some time ago where a Windows user had used Opera and Thunderbird exclusively for 7 years and only had one malware infection in that time.

Kaspersky slows Windows 7 in Parallel Desktop

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Christopher Valenti confirmed two previous reports that the Kaspersky virus projection software is slowing down Windows 7 running in a Parallels Desktop virtual machine, and also slowing the Mac side:

I have been using Parallels Desktop for a few months, installed the free Kaspersky Internet Security on the Windows 7 Boot Camp partition and it is painfully slow. In fact, I got to your website trting to find out why my computer has become a MacBook Slow. I am going to uninstall Kaspersky and use the Windows anti-virus. I will let you know if that will help me to and if I can turn my MacBook Slow back to McBook Pro!

I did remove Kasperski and had a substantial and immediate improvement in speed both on the Mac side and the Windows side. I turned on Windows Defender to take care of security. Simple and free!

If you've seen this issue with Parallels or other virtualization software for Mac OS X

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader gets "Invalid network path" error in Parallels 6

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dan Allard reports a problem with Windows 7 the last update of Parallels Desktop 6. (He is not using Parallels 7, which was released yesterday.) Allard sees an error message if he tries to select multiple files:

I have been running Mac OS X version 10.6.8 and running Textpad in Windows 7 using Parallels 6 without any trouble. About a week ago there was a new update to Parallels 6. After updating Parallels, the file open box in Windows will not allow me to select more than one file at a time. If I try to select more then one file I get an "invalid network path” error. This was never the case before the update.

I was wondering if there is any help for this or if it is a know bug because before the update the Windows 7 tools work fine and now they are broken. I tried reinstalling the Parallel Tools in Windows 7 with out any change in the problem.

If you've seen this problem

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader says Lion slowed Parallels 6, and some help

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Steven Nagle had a problem with the previous version of Parallels Desktop, v6, and Lion. (Version 7 is the current release, optimized for Lion.) Parallels provided some help, which:

On my computer as soon as I installed Lion, my Parallels Desktop 6 slowed down the whole computer, drastically. I have Windows 7. I have 4 GB of Mac memory and right now I have 1536 MB for the virtual machine using two processors. I also have Performance set to "Faster Mac"(no Hypervisor and no Tune Windows for Speed) and Power set to "Better performance."

The Parallels people had me follow the following procedure. It has made the system usable, but overall things are still much slower than pre-Lion:

  1. UN-install the Parallel Desktop 6 using the .dmg file. (For a download of Parallel Desktop 6 refer this link
  2. Please check the Mac performance without Parallel Desktop. If you are facing the issue with slow performance we suggest you to contact Apple Technical Support. If the Mac is performing without any problem then procede to the next step.
  3. Using the Finder, search for the .pvm file.
  4. Right click on the .pvm file click on show package contents.
  5. If you find any .mem or .sav file please delete it.
  6. Install the Parallel Desktop 6 using the .dmg file
  7. Click on Virtual Machine -> Configure -> sharing -> Disable the "smart mount"

If you've seen this problem

Readers report Parallels slowing with Lion upgrade

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Several readers responded to "Reader says Lion slowed Parallels 6, and some help," but reporting that Parallels Desktop slowed, to varying degrees, after updating to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Will Mowat London reported:

I have Parallels 6 (with Windows 7) under Lion. I find there's now a delay, sometimes of 2 seconds, when switching between apps in Parallels.

Daryl Fortney sees a Lion problem with Parallels Desktop 7 instead of 6:

I too have noticed a considerable slowdown of Windows 7 running under Parallels 7 for Lion. It seems to be a memory management issue even though I have 8GB RAM and 4GB given to the VM as suggested in the Parallels configuration.

Dan Parker reported a different problem with Lion, after upgrading Parallels from version 6 to 7:

Performance was quite good with Parallels 6 but is awful with Parallels 7. Launching is very slow as is IE response. Outlook 2010 hangs continually.

If you've seen this

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader can't cut and paste with Parallels 6, Lion

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jim Halcro can't cut between Windows and Mac with Parallels Desktop 6 and OS X 10.7.3 Lion. (The latest version of Parallels is version 6.) Halcro reports: I am having an issue cutting and pasting from my Mac to Parallels 6. I have Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3, with Windows 7 in Parallels 6. I reinstalled Tools and with no resolution. The problem still exists. If you've seen this problem

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Parallels Desktop 7 Issues:

Reader's Win 7 wants new key after update to Parallels 7, Lion

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mark Carter has a problem with Parallels 7 and Lion, where Windows 7 no longer recognizes the product key as valid:

I installed the Parallels 7 update I purchased on 2 September. Since then, Windows 7 believes it's a pirate copy. I'm not happy about it at all. Parallels 6 ran Windows 7 just fine! I certainly don't want to purchase a new key, but the original key is no longer valid. Windows 7 was installed when I upgraded Parallels in 10.7 Lion.

If you've seen this issue or have a suggestion .

TIP: Getting Windows activation to work in a virtual machine

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Peter Duniho sent a suggestion for yesterday's reader problem with Windows product activation after upgrading Parallels Desktop to version 7. Duniho has seen similar problems and has found a way to deal with it:

Is Mr. Carter absolutely positive that his current key isn't valid? I use Parallels 6 with Boot Camp (and have used previous versions as well), and Windows does on a semi-regular basis accuse me of running a "non-genuine" version of Windows. It usually happens after various configuration changes, such as running the same OS installation under Boot Camp versus Parallels versus Fusion, or a hardware change.......Read entire story here

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader reports slow Windows performance with Lion and Parallels 7

Friday, October 21, 2011

A reader reports that upgrading to Lion and to Parallels Desktop 7 has slowed down Windows 7 in a virtual machine:

I was running Windows 7 Ultimate in Parallels 6 and Snow Leopard (MacBook Pro i7, 8GB RAM), and it was great. Then I upgraded the Mac to Lion and Parallels to version 7, and Windows is running slower. Also, the network connection disappears after waking from sleep, and I have to reboot the Windows virtual machine.

If you've seen this problem .

Reader sees Parallels/Lion wake from sleep issue

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jo-Ann Cook is another reader reporting slow performance of Windows application in Parallels Desktop 7 under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. She also reports a new problem after the Mac wakes from sleep:

I am just adding to this thread that I was working with Parallels Desktop 6 and Snow Leopard. When I upgraded to Parallels 7 and Lion OS, the Windows applications are painfully slow and hang a great deal. Also virtual machine will not wake up after MacBook Pro has been closed (asleep).

If you've seen either of these problems

Current news on the MacWindows home page

Workaround for Parallels/Boot Camp Windows activation problem

Monday, February 27, 2012

Parallels has posted a workaround for a problem with Parallels Desktop using a virtual machine on a Boot Camp partition. The issue is that Windows ask to be activated every time the virtual machine starts up.

The article applies to both versions 6 and 7 of Parallels Desktop. The workaround involved reinstalling the latest version, re-installing Parallels Tools in Windows, activating Windows in the Virtual Machine (and verifying after restart), then booting the Mac from Windows and activating Windows from there.

This workaround will prevent the reactivation request in Boot Camp and in the virtual machine run from Parallels Desktop.

If you've seen this problem

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

TIP: Fix for Parallels VM after Lion upgrade

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Parallels support site has an article about fixing a virtual machine after updating Mac OS X from Snow Leopard to Lion. For virtual machines based on a Boot Camp partition, the upgrade to Lion may cause the VM to start with an error message, "The Boot Camp partition "/dev/disk0s3" used by Hard Disk 1 is not supported."

The fix is to re-register the Boot Camp partition in the virtual machine configuration:

  1. Select the Virtual Machine menu and choose Configure, go to Hardware and select Hard Disk 1.
  2. Remove Hard Disk 1 by pressing the "-" sign and save the changes.
  3. Then add the Hard Disk by pressing the "+" sign and choose the Boot Camp partition hard disk.
  4. Save the changes, close the configuration window and try to start the virtual machine.

If you've seen this problem and tried this fix

Reader seeks scanner for Parallels Windows 7 VM

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Canon told Kathy Hiller that her Canon MX870 scanner won't work with a Parallels Desktop 7 Windows 7 virtual machine. She asks if anyone knows of a scanner that will work with Parallels. We suggested the Fujitstu SnapScan feed-through line, or the Epson 3170 flatbed scanner.

Here is Hiller's report:

I spent over 5 hours trying to get my Canon MX870 scanner to work on my Windows program that I am running through Parallels Desktop 7 on my Mac computer. I bought the Parallels program so I could have access to edible cake images from I am now able to download and print off all the normal pictures they have on their website, but I cannot do any of the ones that incorporate a photograph that a customer brings in as it will not recognize the photo I scanned off. After 5 hours of doing everything under the sun to try to download the Canon MX870 onto the Windows based program, I finally called Canon support and was told that it is not compatible with the Parallels program. Is there any scanner that I can purchase that will work with the Parallels Window 7 program?

If you can recommend a scanner that works with Parallels Desktop 7 please

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reader server error message with Parallels Desktop

Robin Fried gets an error message from Windows running in Parallels Desktop when trying to open a local file. Windows thinks that the file is located on a file server: I have a new MacBook Air with Parallels installed (10.8.4). Every so often when I try to access a file saved in the Windows part of my system I get the following error "there was a problem connecting to the server" followed by the user name of my Parallels installation. (The file is on the hard drive <ETH> not on a server.) The problem seems to go away when I restart, but I haven't fully verified under what conditions it goes away. This is a very annoying problem, since it seems unpredictable when it will happen and it does happen frequently.

If you've seen this problem or have a suggestion

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Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Run Windows apps and Mac apps side-by-side, without restarting! Now supports Windows 8 on your Mac. Integrates Mountain Lion and Windows 8 features, such as centralized notifications, and Mission Control and Launchpad for Windows apps. Also runs Lion as a guest OS.

"I found Parallels faster at every common task, like starting and restarting Windows, and resuming Windows from a suspended state."
--Walt Mossberg, New York Times

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