vmware fusion & XP = ...not so impressed

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by bob2131, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i put windows xp on my brand new macbook. via vmware fusion.

    and it reminded me of the exact reasons i bought a mac in the first place.
    when i was installing windows apps, the constant rebooting, waiting, slow response, ......ive been using it for a few hours now.....and now to top it all off, its not recognising my cd drive.

    it was just generally slow, when i was using music production app.
    i wasnt doing anything intensive, absolutely nothing, just opeing the app and resizing windows and going through menus....and it was just weak and kept freezing and taking its time.

    i increased the memory allocation to 1gb....and then even tried the full 2gb of the mac....that just crashed it.......i had many crashes in windows xp, i had to restart the mac coupla times to be sure it was all resetting.

    then i gave up with the music app and just tried to work with an audio editor, sound forge and wavelab. they seem to be ok, but when i put a cd in my drive, the cd is not recognised by windows xp. but i tried putting cds in few hours ago, and it DID read some cds. the cd drive settings are all ok.

    this all reminds me of my 3 years of hell with my desktop pc. that pc too once just vanished all my hard drives and cd drives, only after system restore they came back.

    is this just windows xp? or have i just got bad luck?

    i didnt want to go the bootcamp way cause i dont plan to do anything intensive with windows anyway, so virtualising seems the best way.

    how have other peoples experience with vmware fusion been on a mac??

    i mean it looks good and it seems to work, but it doesnt fill me with great confidence.....

    and also many weird things happened too, like when i just suspended, or just changed a setting, the whole vmware application was shutting down, but it wasnt before, ..... just general unpredictability.

    and the macbook was running real hot and the fans were going balistick, i thougght to myself, if i dont shut this laptop down soon its gonna blow.
    something was vibrating inside loud and the fans were on full blast and windows was shutting down but kina frozen in one state.....so i was force quitting and shutting down the mac to ease pressure on the computer.

    and when you load up a package in windows xp, im quitly hoping and praying that its gonna work and i have fear inside me that its gonna not work....this is exactly how i am with my desktop pc, or used to be, living in fear like "is this gonna crash now, is this gonna work? i hope this works, here we go again, et etc etc"....all just an unhappy stressful experience.

    shall i try parallels instead??

    any thoughts most welcome.

    oh and when i shut down an application in windows xp, and then i tried to load it up agian later, it said its already running. but it wasnt in my system tray, and i checked the tast manager too, it wasnt running, but it said "already running" ,, so that called for another reboot = time consuming and frustrating.
  2. 617arg macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm running Vista-64 on my Mac Pro and XP on my Macbook Pro (both through Fusion) and for the most part it works pretty good. The only things I haven't figured out yet is how to print from Windows through Fusion, and how to get XP on the Macbook Pro to read my shared disk on the Mac Pro.

    You probably already know this, but for the cd drive to work in Windows you have to be in Windows while your cd is loading. Same goes for any usb devices you might be trying to access.

    Your issue might be ram. I use Windows primarily for Autocad and 1gb for Windows / 1gb for OS X is fine for XP on the Macbook Pro. On the Mac Pro running Vista-64 trying 1gb/1gb was very, very, slow. I probably went a bit overboard but I now split it with an even 9gb per side and it runs smoothly.

    I will be a happy man once I get the printing and Windows network to work.

    Hope everything works out for you.
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008

    yeah i put the cd in with windows xp open and chose, its just vanished.
    i have 2gb ram, and assigned 1gb to windows, still not good. (im running 32bit windows)

    9gb per side? what , ram or hard drive space?
  4. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Try reinstalling. I'm running Windows XP Home just fine. And I'm using it to rip DVDs.
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I'm running 32 bit windows xp here (not keen on 64 bit xp) with no problems. I log into it when I need to use visual studio (sorry I havent found an IDE as nice as VS) I was actually amazed how fast it ran through VM. I use VM to hide the fact that I'm on a mac all the time. People dont know the difference :D
  6. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    reinstalling windows xp or vmware fusion??
    the hard drive was partitioned and formated via vmware.....
  7. 617arg macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2008
    that would be ram. but like I said, I'm also running xp-32bit just fine with 1gb per side.
  8. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    With only 2 GB or RAM you will be slow...
    I increased to 4 GB and allocated 2 and it made world of difference

    Parallels performance is about the same as Fusion
    You won't gain by changing

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  9. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    9gb ram each side?
    so you have 18gb ram?

  10. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Windows. Is VMWare giving you the issues? I thought it was Windows?
  11. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    so maybe i should get more ram......so more ram would mean windows xp would run better and faster with vmware fusion???????/ is this a fact???

    i though 2gb would be good.
    so would i have to get 4gb brand new ram? or just get 2gb more?
    but i think ive only got 2 slot spaces in total, so i would have to sell these and get 2 x 2gb sticks right?

    4gb ram is my limit. would windows xp 32bit be ok with 4gb ram??

    yeah ill stick with fusion then.........might even try bootcamp...if i got nothing to lose right? bootcamp and fusion will use the same windows xp installation right? so i just have the choise of running bootcamp or both OP systems at same time with VMware,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    life is very complicated.
  12. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    XP works decently with 512MB on my original 1.83GHz Core Duo iMac with 2GB RAM. But then I don't run anything more RAM intensive than IE. In fact, in the past 3-4 months I've only run Windows Update on it.

    Don't assign any more than 1/4 - 1/3 of your Mac's RAM to the VM. The RAM you assign to the VM is no longer available to apps running on the host machine, including VMWare Fusion itself. Too much RAM assigned to the VM slows everything down. Although, you say you increased the RAM to 1GB ... what did you have before?

    Also, did you install VMWare Tools?

    Edit: Don't forget the option to optimize for guest OS performance over host OS performance in Fusion's prefs. And if you're using the Fusion 2.0 Beta debugging will be on.
  13. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008

    i thought vmware and windows is ONE and the same thing, in this situation.
    i dont know whats made the cd drive vanish.

    but , so i can just uninstall windows xp?? and leave vmware on?

    what about the fact that vmware formatted a partion for windows xp?
    will this be an issue when uninstalling and re-installing?

    if i uninstall windows xp....and wmware fusion..... what happens the partitioned and formatted section of my hard drive? would it go back to its former macbook state?
  14. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    either way, the cd drive is not being recognised, this has or should not have anything to do with ram assignment.
    it was 512mb for vmware, then i changed it to 1gb, then to 2gb.

    2gb is my total ram. that just crashed it.
    1gb should be nice.
    yeah i installed vmware tools.
    im not using beta new one.

    its working, but one music package is unusable. freezing up.
    and general slow operation.

    im gonna try uninstallling windows xp and reinstalling.

    is this a simple affair? just uninstalling windows from vmware?
    what happens to the partition/formattting of hard drive?
  15. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Fusion doesn't create any partition. It creates a virtual disk in your home directory Documents/Virtual Machines and it installs the OS on that disk.

    It doesn't have anything directly to do with Windows - it's just program that creates a virtual computer. You can install pretty much any OS you want. I have XP, Vista, Ubuntu and Fedora 9 VMs.

    As for the CD, if you look in the bottom right of the window in which Windows is running, there's a CD symbol. If your VM isn't seeing an inserted CD, click on that and select the "Connect CD/DVD"

    Edit: I've been running VMWare products on various OSs for several years, and believe me, you shouldn't have any more than 768MB assigned to Windows if you have 2GB in your Mac. Assigning the full 2GB is just crazy since that means there's zero RAM left for any other application.
  16. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    2GB really isn't enough total RAM for good performance... and, like everyone else here says, you shouldn't assign more than 768MB to the Windows side. In addition to its own memory, the VM will also eat a couple hundred megabytes on the Mac side, so if you assign 1GB of 2GB to the VM, you'll only have about 800MB left for your Mac.

    I have one Mac with 2GB (because it won't take more) and one mac with 4GB. The 4GB Mac is *much* happier running Windows via VMWare. It runs Vista with 1.5GB of RAM and everything works great.
  17. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    guys guys guys

    youre saying assign 768mb for windows xp...

    yet youre saying 2gb for total mac ram is not good for performance.

    but what good would 4gb ram be if im only assigning 768mb to windows xp??
    the 4gb would onnly be good for osx....not vmware right?

    if i get 4gb ram, should i still assign 768mb to windows??

    why random figure such as 768? why not 799? or 862? or 888?
  18. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    when i installed windows with vmware, it asked me what format to partion the drive for, and size....it said it was partioning and formatiing....ntfs i chose. so....is this a lie? its not really partioning or formatting??

    yeah i noticed the cd setting on bottom right, it was set up correctly. ill check again.

  19. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Okay, you're getting the users here confused.

    You stated you have 2GB Ram, that way, dedicate only 512MB to VMWare running XP. Why, because you still have OSX running in the background. If you don't dedicate any memory to OSX, it won't run. Thats why you get extreme slow downs in 1GB dedication or 2GB in which you crash.

    OSX right now is the Host and Windows XP is the guest. The host HAS to be running for the Guest to work. Since you're not using Boot Camp, that is what you have to do.

    VMWare Fusion is a virtualization product. What this means is that it can virtualize a 2nd OS. It is similar to running 2 computers but you're only using 1 physical system.

    When you create a VIRTUAL MACHINE, you're creating also a VIRTUAL HARD DISK. This hard disk is not a physical partition, it is basically just a single file that looks like a hard disk to VMWare Fusion. Whatever format you do during the install, it'll make changes ONLY to the virtual hard disk, leaving your actual drive utterly unchanged except for the virtual hard disk file.

    Whats good with 4GB if you can't use all 4GB to windows? If you're going to use all 4GB to windows, don't run a virtual machine. Virtual Machines are meant to be run with both the HOST and the GUEST at the same time. Running 2 operating systems require the SHARING of the main ram. The more you have physically, the more you can allocate to your GUEST. Allocating too much and you'll notice a VERY LARGE slow down in your HOST.
  20. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    right right right, im gettting it.

    so when windows was intalling, and it asked me which type i want to format etc, this is all being done to the virtual thing, and so its not really NOT REALLY reformating or partioning my macbook harddrive, right?

    so say if i just delete the windows virtual machine file, will my macbook hard drive be perfectly fine, as it was at the beginning, before the formatting/partitioning.....?

    ive just read the deleting virtual machine section on the manual on vmware website. im gonna re-install windows. its just not recognising my cd/dvd superdrive. ive tried all the options, adding, etc. im getting stuff like this:

    thanks guys for all the support.

    Attached Files:

  21. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Anything you do in VMWare would not affect changes to your hard drive.

    If you delete the virtual machine file, you lose the virtual machine but nothing else on the hard drive. You will gain back the space used however, but it will NOT damage the drive whatsoever.

    Create a image (CDR) using Disk Utility for your Windows XP disk and install using "Use Image File" in VMWare.
  22. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003
    Exactly. Max your ram out. There is no excuse not to. It's dirt cheap, and with the money you're talking about throwing around already, buying ram should not be a problem for you. You'll be much happier that you did. Trust me.
  23. pwn247 macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2008
    West Virginia, USA
    I run Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit). I've got 3GB of RAM, and it runs fine. :) (Of course, my memory usage shoots to the sky, but that's typical.)

    I used to be a primary VMWare Fusion user- but decided to give Parallels a try as of lately. They're both pretty much the same- but I prefer VMWare; it just seems a bit more stable in all areas- especially booting up the VM. Parallels seems very clunky- and I've gotten aplenty of boot errors.

    The idea of running Windows in a window on OS X is still fresh- so it will need time to be perfected. But for now, this is the best we have. VM's are NOT for gaming, and they're NOT for high system-intensive tasks (like video editing). If you want to play your precious Call of Duty 4, then boot with boot camp. It's just not worth it to try and play your games in a buggy 3D interface inside of a virtual machine. It just doesn't work.
  24. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi agian.
    well, i uninstalled my virtual windows xp file, and reinstalled windows xp on vmware....and my cd drive was recognised. so now ive been adding applications sparingly and checking if everthings ok and taking SNAPSHOTS.

    when i installed windows xp, i allocated a 10gb hard drive partition to it.
    now its full, and when i try to install something, it says hard drive full, free up some space.

    can i increase the size of the virtual windows xp hard drive??
    the setting is greyed out in settings in vmware.
    a friend told me it would be dynamic and grow as and when needed, so i just allocated it to 10gb size....under the impression it would just grow beyond this....

    am i stuck with 10gb? ive checked the vmware manual and theres no mention of increasing the hard drive allocation.

    thanks for any input.
  25. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    im on fusion 2 now.

    are you guys getting good sound?

    im using maudio fast track pro...ASIO drivers...and sound is crackling and horrible and distorted big time.... ive tried everything....
    all the same : windows media player, soundforge, wavelab, cubase....

    audio is horrible.

    is this a vmware problem? or a windows xp problem? or an m-audio problem?

    im gonna try bootcamp....ive heard its better for audio performance.

    anybody using music producition packages on windowz xp on vmware fusion??? good audio? good latency?


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