VMware or Parallels useless on RevB Air???

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by billgatesceo, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. billgatesceo macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2009
    I figured I'd post this in the air forum first since it pertains strictly to an air. i have a RevB 1.6, and have tried on multiple occasions to run windows 7 through vmware only to get fed up with how slow it is and then just decide to reboot into 7.

    The only reason that I ever need to use 7 is to use a decisiontree software plugin that runs through excel under windows only.

    Can anyone give me tips on what settings they use for (cpu, ram, etc), to make using virtualization usuable on their Air?

    Or, am I just wasting my time trying because of the lack of ram?

    Many thanks!
  2. buddhahacker macrumors member

    May 6, 2006
    Should work fine

    I can't speak to Windows 7 but I run XP under VMware just fine. I am also running 7 on a Dell Mini10v and an old HP tc1100 tablet and they run great. I mention this because these last two machines have no CPU power at all comparied to an Air even under VMware.

    Look at what is chewing up your processor or if you don't have an ssd see if the bottleneck is your disk. I really doubt memory would be your problem.
  3. financeguy macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Out of curiosity are you running the 32bit or 64bit version of Windows 7? I have the same laptop as you and wanted to upgrade to Windows 7, but now this worries me.
  4. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I run Windows 7 under boot camp, but have Parallels 5 and VMWare Fusion 3 linked. Performance under virtual machine will be a bit slower then native. However, if you were to turn off all the eye candy and disable search, it will speed through provided you give enough ram (896MB for me)
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    This isn't a RAM issue because my uMBP has 2 and I run Adobe CS3 in Parallels 4.
  6. reid-o macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2009
    I use VMWARE on my MBA rev A.
    It's not very snappy, but it's tolerable.

    I would say that coolbookcontroller is sort of required to prevent slow downs from the processor getting hot, though.
    I know it really helped on mine.
  7. billgatesceo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2009
    Thanks guys. I was using 32-bit, but just switched over to x64 windows 7 last night. I haven't had a chance to fire it up today though.

    My main issues is just getting it powered on to a usable state. It seems to spin the pinwheels to death and sometimes just sits there for a few minutes. If I do the full screen mode, it seems to speed up considerably.

    Ideally, I'd like to figure it out to where I just run excel in it's own window and looks like a osx app.

    Also, I can never get to a point to save a machine state. it is always grayed out. I would assume that this would speed up the powering on time.

    Do you guys have a preference on Parallels vs VMware for the app only mode?
  8. tigres macrumors 601


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    I have been running VMware for months on my Rev B. SSD as my primary work computer with an external HP 2009m. I have had limited issues if any with regards to speed or performance.

    I run a wireless networked environment, with SBS2003 server and exchange. I utilize Entourage, Safari and Mail all day with VMWare (3 now) on all day with excel, Calyx PDS, Network printing, Adobe writer, scanning software etc. The machine is more than capable for my needs.

    Keep in mind, I am not streaming video, graphics, watching Youtube etc; but for my business needs it is more than ample.

    My other 3 iMacs my employees are using, and yes I miss the 20" but I will upgrade this in time as well. It has become a real road warrior for me, and I would not even consider changing it now (except for the next model should it show blazing colors.)
  9. billgatesceo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2009
    So the saga continues....

    I loaded up the latest parallels. I must say that it is pretty nice. I got it up and running, it actually loaded up my special excel software and ran in coherance mode. Looks pretty slick and preformed reasonable well. Then I booted back into windows..........

    Crap. I know you have to do some reactivation stuff when you do the virtualization stuff. I've never had a problem with office reactivating and solidworks, but my decision tree software completely crashed out. Apparently it uses the Macrovision Flex licensing scheme and it's trusted source got completely hosed from parallels. I did numerous installs and uninstalls and could never get it to work again. I'm in contact with software vendor for help. But as it looks right now, I'm stuck with once again reloading 7 for the umpteenth time, and am NOT going to try vmware or parallels for a while.
  10. jrabbit macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2008
    St. Louis, MO
    Try VirtualBox

    I just switched to VirtualBox (after using Fusion and Parallels both for more than a year and a half).

    See here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=816607


    1. It's free
    2. It performs much better (at least with XP in the VM, in my experience)

    Whatever it is that Fusion and Parallels are doing that causes the slowdowns, VirtualBox does not seem to share the problem.

    Since it's free, it would seem worth a try; I wonder about virtualizing Win7 on an MBA, though, since 2GB of real RAM doesn't leave a lot to share with the VM guest...

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