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nick.pell
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Advice for More Stability Running Frame in a VM

Jun 18, 2013 9:03 AM

Hi,

 

I am running Frame in a Win 7 Parallels VM. I have had several Parallels crashes, one of which corrupted my VM. I had to spend 2 hours with Parallels tech support to sort out the problem.

 

Then, during a time-crunch deadline, I started experiencing mulitple Parallels crashes (spinning beach balls, freezes, etc, then weird failure to launch errors) in the middle of updating a 300 page .book file. I decided to try VMWare instead on trial. But it's kind of slow and a bit buggy, and not really any more stable.

 

So, I am willing to go back to Parallels, but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for more stability. For example, would moving my VM to an external FireWire drive improve stability?

 

I am running a brand new 8-core Mac Mini, OS X 10.8.4, 8 GB RAM (with about 3 GB of Ram dedicated to the VM).

 

Basically, has anyone done any optimizations to their host or VM that has improved stability of the Frame in a VM?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 9:07 AM   in reply to nick.pell

    What OS are you using within the VM? Only 3GBs in there may be crimping FM – BTW, what version of FM?

     
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    Jun 18, 2013 9:38 AM   in reply to nick.pell

    Yes, in that case 3GB isn’t going to cut it – I’d invest in more RAM (assuming it’s the 64 bit version of Win7)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 10:29 AM   in reply to nick.pell

    Quite possibly – any processes running outside (or for that matter, inside) the VM will impact memory use.

     
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    Jun 18, 2013 10:37 AM   in reply to nick.pell

    For what it is worth, I run Windows 7 in VMware Fusion. My MacBook Pro is over two years old. It has been awhile since I have run FrameMaker, and it was FrameMaker 7.1. But I cannot recall crashes of the VM, or Windows. On the other hand, I do not use Windows a lot, definitely not day to day.

     

    Van

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 12:21 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    I believe I've never run TCS on a "normal" machine...I've had issues with installers and peripherals, but every issue I've had with *running* the software was the same as if I were on a dedicated Win box. That is, Windows takes lots of resources, so more RAM, more disk, more processor power dedicated to the VM (I use Fusion, but have used Bootcamp and Parallels as well) fixes the issue.

     


    -Matt

    Matt R. Sullivan
    co-author Publishing Fundamentals: Unstructured FrameMaker 11

     
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    Jun 18, 2013 12:32 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    Just because your Mac Mini is brand new doesn't rule out some kind of hardware problem. With external cables and peripherals it would be easy to suspect a bad connection, and straightforward to test with substituting known good components.

     

    If your mini is completely self-contained except for keyboard, monitor, printer, and network cable, if the externals test OK, it's still possible there's an issue inside the case. Perhaps installed RAM boards aren't seated perfectly, have corroded connectors, or one or more are defective. Have you run diagnostics? It's new enough to have free tech support at an Apple store or third-party vendor, so don't overlook a diagnosis.

     

    With 8GB Mini RAM, you could devote more to Parallels, to see if that helps. Depending on the FM task, you may need more RAM for Parallels than the Mini's 8GB allows, so consider adding more RAM.

     

    I've used VMware Fusion and Parallels 6, 7, and now 8, on a 2008 MacBook Pro that's got its maximum 6GB RAM. No matter how I divide my 6GB between Parallels with its Windows XP SP3, and the Mac, sometimes everything is slow - working in an application on either or both OSs, or switching between applications or OSs - sometimes things are smooth. I don't use Parallels often enough to have a good idea what the bottleneck comes from.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 12:38 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    Nope, but more RAM does

     
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    Jun 18, 2013 12:47 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    Apple's H/W test is as good as any to start a diagnosis. If it reveals defective RAM, try removing/reseating the RAM chips.

     

    And/or confer with techs at your closest Apple store.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

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    Peter Gold

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 12:47 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    Overheating can definitely cause RAM issues

     
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    Jun 18, 2013 1:10 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    I suspect you'd see a difference with multiple processors enabled, but as Jeff mentioned, RAM is a general cure-all

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 20, 2013 7:16 PM   in reply to nick.pell

    I use Frame 10 under Parallels using 2 GB of RAM dedicated to the virtual machine with no issues under OS X.8.4 running 32-bit Windows 7. If you are running Win 7 64-bit, I'd recommend using at least 4 GB of RAM. It could be a hardware issue as mentioned. What version of Parallels? Is your Win 7 a new install or an upgrade from a previous OS? I have run Parallels about 6 years, never had any issues with a corrupt machine. Have you tried creating a new VM or have you been going back to a backup of your VM. I generally keeps about 6 backups of my virtual machine on a backup drive, so I can go back far enough if I have to, but fortunately I haven't really had to because of a VM problem.

     
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    Jun 20, 2013 8:01 PM   in reply to MichaelKazlow

    MichaelKazlow wrote:

     

    I use Frame 10 under Parallels using 2 GB of RAM dedicated to the virtual machine with no issues under OS X.8.4 running 32-bit Windows 7. If you are running Win 7 64-bit, I'd recommend using at least 4 GB of RAM. It could be a hardware issue as mentioned. What version of Parallels? Is your Win 7 a new install or an upgrade from a previous OS? I have run Parallels about 6 years, never had any issues with a corrupt machine. Have you tried creating a new VM or have you been going back to a backup of your VM. I generally keeps about 6 backups of my virtual machine on a backup drive, so I can go back far enough if I have to, but fortunately I haven't really had to because of a VM problem.

    Michael:

     

    I've not been using FM on my MacBook Pro, early 2008, 6GB RAM, with Parallels 8 much recently. I haven't upgraded Windows beyond XP SP3 yet.

     

    Can you clarify "6 backups?" Are you saving snapshots, cloning the drive the VM is on, or just making backup copies of the VM with Parallels itself, and copying them off?

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter Gold

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