I'm posting this here because it's not always possible to get something into a Parallels forum. A lot of people are are finding Parallels Desktop is causing the Mac dock to disappear and to hog the cpu. It may be that OS X 10.6.8 has conflicted with something that PD was doing to monitor my system. I spent many hours yesterday, reinstalling OS X and waiting/talking to Parallels Indian support people, but they were struggling. Solution: I couldn't get in via Esc-Alt-Cmd, but I found that briefly pressing the power on/off button a few times was enough to stop the "kiddie windmill" and allow me to get in. Then at the bottom of the Virtual Machine menu > Configure, I unchecked Share Profile: Share Mac user folders with Windows. I also unchecked Access Windows folders from Mac. Possibly one of these wasn't necessary but I also ensured the VM was stopped before quitting PD. It may be inconvenient, but it has allowed me to work until the Parallels guys get a fix out. Next time I launched Firefox on the Mac it had suffered from Dock non-availability, but starting a new FF session cured things. In Windows I now work with disks X: Y: or Z: which allows me access files from either OS X or Windows. Then I don't need anything from Parallels in the OS X Dock. The Dock problem seemed to strike after I'd declined a special offer for a Kapersky product (I don't allow the Windows VM to have a network adapter), but that may be coincidence. May not work for you, but good luck!