VMware fusion and windows 7 64bit - Too slow to use?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thesmoth, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    I have windows 7 dual booted with bootcamp on my new bottom end 13" mbp, and when I try and load windows 7 using VMware fusion it is so slow it basically is not usable. Just now I left it to load for 5 minutes and it didn't even boot up windows properly and just got frozen at the with a black screen trying to boot.

    Is there anything I need to do to make it run properly? If I just want to run a single program do I need to boot up the virtual machine and load a virtual copy of windows, login, etc... or can I just virtualize the one program?
  2. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    I am running VMware Fusion 2 and Vista Ultimate 64-bit without a problem on my 15" 2.66/4gb/9600M Macbook Pro. Rather zippy, even with the default 1gb RAM allocation.

    Try allocating more RAM (2gb) and see what happens.
  3. akauppi macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2009
    Me, too...

    I am having the same symptomps. It's definately not the lack of memory.

    Within Windows 7, the CPU meters seem to be at 100% all the time (on OS X side, CPU load is hardly at 5%!). Anything is sluggish to say the least (actually - like dead - clicks take a minute to get through).

    This may be some background indexing thingy or such. Given enough time (say - 20 mins) the UI actually becomes responsive again.

    If anyone finds a cure to this - I'll be glad to know. Currently, Ubuntu is 100x more usable via virtualization than Windows 7 is. I don't see any reason why it needs to be that way. This is bug - but who's?

    Fusion 2.0.5
    Windows 7 build 7100

    The hard disk icon (or VMWare Fusion) remains blue most of the time - that looks strange.

    Also, the network icon (of Windows 7) shows not connected, and trouble, but browsing works just fine!?!

    ps. One thing worth doing is disable all sleep modes from Windows 7. One does not want it to start hybernating or anything as a guest OS.

    pps. Another thing to try is placing the VM image on an external (USB) disk; or a second partition. Some people seem to say, running from the OS X startup disk causes problems. I still need to try this out - get a USB drive for it.
  4. macDonalds macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
    Hmm, the icon is blue? Do you notice a little timer on it? Is it maybe making a snapshot and causing the slowdown?
  5. Lounge Deluxe macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2009
    Is Fusion accessing the Bootcamp partition or did you create a virtual machine for Win 7?

    And how about if you'd create a virtual machine with Win 7 32-bit instead of 64-bit? I'm running a 32-bit virtual machine and it's very responsive and all.
  6. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    It was a bit choppy here until i upgraded to 4gb of ram, it works flawless now no lag or slowdown or anything. Running the 2 oses side by side blazingly fast.
  7. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    You burn it to a blank DVD using disk utility. It will fit just fine on a blank DVD. If you're trying to use a blank CD, then of course it won't fit.
  8. axPoindexter macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2009
    I'm finding that when I run W7 with VMware on my 15" MBP (4GB RAM) that I only have anywhere from 40-15 MB of RAM left. I have 1GB allocated to W7 and when I'm only using Leopard I have about 1.8-2GB of free RAM. Performance is fine, but I'm just curious where that extra couple 100 MB's of RAM is being used.

    I've definitely been scratching my head on this one.
  9. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Its Superfetch that uses that ram. Its actually a good thing. It caches programs you use most so they launch faster. If your programs need that ram it will give it to them. This was introduced in vista and is what made a lot of people falsely believe that vista needs like 2gb of ram when it actually does not.
  10. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2009
    VMware takes a little longer to load windows compared to booting it natively, but it works very well for me. A very slight lag, but def usable (more than so).

    I set the RAM at the standard settings.
  11. akauppi macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2009
    More info on my setup

    There's no timer on it, and I'm not using snapshots.

    Looking at the Windows side task manager, I wasn't able to figure out who drinks all the juice, either.

    The hardware is Mac Mini (current model, with NVidia 9400GT), 2GB memory

    As to the other person's enquiry:

    >Is Fusion accessing the Bootcamp partition or did you create a virtual machine for Win 7?

    No Bootcamp. Virtual image file. Autoexpanding, I think.

    >And how about if you'd create a virtual machine with Win 7 32-bit instead of 64-bit? I'm running a 32-bit virtual machine and it's very responsive and all.

    I don't really want to try 32-bit. I use Windows only occasionally and the current solution works fine enough. When the slowdown hits, it's unusable though.

    I shall keep an eye on this issue, and maybe try moving the image to an external USB drive. Can work as a test bunny, if anyone has good ideas.

    - it's actually expanded to above 20GB, which is alarming. There's basically nothing in there but Win7 RC.
    - moving the image to an external USB disk speeds things up. Using the image from regular OS X boot disk slows down. That's it. Why this does not affect Linux (Ubuntu 9) client is not known. Maybe a Win7 or VMWare update will solve this, eventually.
  12. Greatbam macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2009

    Have you resolved any of those issues you mentioned because I am experiencing the same issues.

    I am running a white macbook, I don't remember the processor speed but I bought it a year ago and I have 4 gb of ram. The sound is rather choppy.
  13. Farplaner macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2008
    No problems running VMWare Fusion + Windows 7 64bit here on the 2008 unibody MBP...
  14. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    How did you resolve this?

    I upgraded to 4 gigs of ram, but it is still quite slow.

    I installed windows 7 64 bit on a boot camp partition, and am running VMware fusion and I think windows 7 as a virtual machine. Isn't that the only way to do it? is there a better way?
  15. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    One question. Why 64bit? Everything requires a bit more RAM to run, most Windows applications are native 32bit and it's a virtual machine so the advantage of additional memory allocation is not utilised.

    Not saying that it's normal for it to be slow, but to me 32bit is the reasonable choise.
  16. walshlink macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    I use VMware and Win 7 64-bit...can run OSX and two virtual Win 7/64-bit at same time...on one virtual Win7 I'm ripping a Blu-ray; on other virtual Win7 I'm watching streaming video....no hiccups or problems.

    Could run more vms, but run out of memory (only have 4GB installed).
  17. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    Not if you are running Bootcamp. It is nice to have all your RAM when you boot into Windows natively.
  18. akauppi macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2009
    If all one wants is run general Windows software, then 32-bit is quite okay.

    Theoretically, 64-bit offers way more than the added memory. The amd-64 processor mode has more registers to use, which should speed up software. This is one benefit OS X is having in Snow Leopard, moving to more 64-bit code.
  19. Grayer macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009
    This is a bit off topic but...
    what temperature is your CPU's while using vmware with windows and mac at the same time?
  20. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Yes but we are talking about installation in a virtual machine here.

    Isn't the leopard kernel 32 bit? So even if a 64bit OS runs in the host, it communicates with the hardware through Leopard which is 32bit. I could be wrong here.
  21. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    On Vista, (native hardware), I disabled the Superfetch service.

    A couple hundred MB was released, but Task Manager was still reporting 1.6GB in use. On a 8GB machine, meaning that "unused RAM is wasted RAM" was allowing 6.4GB RAM to be wasted.

    Vista really was an oinker, pure and simple.
  22. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    Anyone have any recommended settings for VMWare Fusion 3 and Windows 7? I have the MBP 13" with Snow Leopard. 4GB and 2.53ghz. Right now I was using 2 cores + 2gb of RAM. What settings do you guys use?
  23. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Dec 11, 2008
    Not here
    Like Gabriel GR, I'm also curious why 64 bit Windows as a guest OS on VMware. Unless you're using it to test compatibility of 32 bit code in WoW, I don't think there'd be any benefit.

    Since this was posted in the Macbook forum, I'm going to guess that the host machine has <= 8 gigs. Unless you're running the 64 bit OSX kernel and giving the guest OS > 4 gigs, there'd really be not benefit.

    It's my understanding that even if a machine has 4 gigs of physical ram (around 3 or whatever is addressable under x86 Windows), that the additional overhead of WoW in combination with the actual 64 bit system absorbs that extra memory for a net zero benefit. So, if an x64 guest OS is only being allocated 1 or 2 gigs of memory, then I can see how performance would suffer.

    On my PC, which has 8 gigs of physical RAM, I dual boot Win7 x64 and XP x86. XP 32 bit outperforms Win7 handily both in empirical benchmark results and in perceivable system responsiveness. Based on this, all of my VM guest OSs are XP x86, because I'm looking for maximum performance and not maximum eye candy.

    Just my 2 cents... I know that many disagree with my views on x64 vs x86 and I'm ok with that.

  24. fintler macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2003
    I've noticed that a Win 7 x64 VM under VMWare Fusion 3 will be unusably slow if you set the VM type to "Windows 7" instead of "Windows 7 x64". Once I had it properly set to x64, it seems to work fine.

    This is on a black Macbook with 1G RAM (2G total) and 1 core allocated to the VM.

    On another note, a PICKit 3 with MPLAB work great in this setup. I've already reprogrammed a few chips via ICSP. :D

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