News Archive for: Friday, September 8th, 2006
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Feedback/Tip on Parallels Desktop (RC1) Update for Mac Pros
Yesterday Parallels released an update (RC1) for Desktop for Mac (adding Mac Pro, Leopard, vista beta support). Several Mac Pro owners reported problems with the RC1 update. Here's a few notes on the update from readers:

" I'm installing Windows XP right now on my Parallels Desktop VM, but when I started up Parallels, I got a message telling me that my CPU supports Intel VT-X mode (or whatever), but it is disabled because it is locked in firmware. Some Googling discovered that some Mac Minis had this problem a while back (first came up when they released their Workstation beta for mac earlier this year, workaround posted in Parallels forum), but it is showing up on my Mac Pro (Quad 2.6).
-LV "

A reader reply to the above post:

" Parallels With MacPro Now working thread (Apple forum thread, includes other notes from users)

  • Quit Parallels.
  • Put your computer to sleep for about 30 seconds.
  • Wake it up, start Parallels, and load the VM again.
  • Now it should work with VT-x enabled (but as always, YMMV).
    -Gregory "
  • " Just to let you know that Release Candidate of Windows Vista (build 5600) doesn't seem to be working for anyone using the new version of Parallels (build 1884). Some discussion over at the Parallels forums:
    Assumed to be an ACPI issue at present, stop dead within moments of the "Windows is loading files..." screen.
    I cannot get Vista RC1 working, but Vista Beta 2 works just fine - inline with the experiences of others.
    I am using a Macbook w/2gb ram and 100GB disk
    -Regards, Scott"

    " Keep in mind most people I have read on the forums on various sites have not been able to get their Mac Pros working at all with this new Parallels build. Most (if not all) people who have over 2GB are getting Kernel Panics (myself included). Those who can actually boot are having all kinds of other issues such as Intel VT not working right, networking failing, shared folders failing.

    Parallels is aware of the problems, according to their own forum. This build is most definitely NOT a fix and I am surprised they sent out press releases on it. (the posted a press release on their site yesterday.)

    There is a funny parallel (pardon the pun) between these KPs and those I see on Second Life. They are identical. They are identically related as to how much RAM one has installed (over 2GB = KPs). Both programs run in under 2GB but with a lot of other problems. (And the whole OS seems to run a bit slower in that mode as well).

    XCode graphic developer apps like OpenGL Shader Builder also crash in 4GB mode (albeit, just a crash, not a KP) for me. I wonder if this is a NVidia driver bug.

    That said, a new Mac Pro user who has a ATI X1900 card has reported similar problems with Parallels so I am thinking this is more of a core OS problem.
    -Paul "

    I welcome other feedback or tips on this update via email.

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    Apple Kbase doc on new iMac models Memory Limits
    " iMac (Late 2006): Memory Specifications:

    This article outlines the memory specifications for the following products:

    • iMac (17-inch Late 2006)
    • iMac (20-inch Late 2006)
    • iMac (24-inch)

      This article does NOT refer to the iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD), which is addressed in article 303085, "iMac (Early 2006), iMac (Mid 2006), iMac (17-inch Late 2006 CD): Memory Specifications".

      These iMac (Late 2006) computers have two SDRAM slots in the bottom of the computer, and comes with at least 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM installed into the top slot.

      Although these iMacs will accept up to a 2 GB SO-DIMM in each of the two memory slots, the iMac will only support 3 GB total memory. If you want to maximize the amount of SDRAM in your computer, install a 2 GB SO-DIMM in one slot and a 1GB SO-DIMM in the other."

    A question came up earlier this week if MacBooks/MacBook Pros could use 2GB SO-DIMMs but Apple dev docs says 1GB dimms are the max size supported. (FYI - The price I saw on 2GB PC2-5300 SO-DIMMs was jawdropping - $1500+ each at Crucial.)

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    Reader Request: Source for PCI-e USB 2.0 and Firewire cards in UK
    " I have a Mac Pro 2.66 & wish to add extra USB2 & Firewire ports. However I simply cannot find anywhere in the UK that supplies these cards. I find it amazing that even though PCI Express has been around since the Quad G5, adding something as simple as USB2 Ports & firewire ports is all but impossible. Belkin announced a PCIe USB2 card in October '05 & it STILL isn't yet available in the UK. (I assume he didn't want to use a USB hub and/or Firewire hub-Mike)
    I did find a supplier in the USA, but the international shipping costs made it ridiculously expensive. My last quote for a 2 port USB2 card came to over 130.00 (approx $200.00), which is just ridiculous when a standard 5 port USB2 PCI card can be purchased in the UK for 10.00 ($18.50).
    If anyone knows where I could obtain such a card I'd be very grateful if they'd let me know.
    Many thanks,
    (Nottingham, England )"

    If any reader has a suggestion for Geoff, let me know. Thanks.
    Update: I sent Geoff a note that a reader from the UK replied he had ordered a PCI-e USB 2.0 (5 port) card from OWC for less than $30 shipping (from US to UK), and he's ordered a USB 2.0 and Firewire card from them. (After the reader mail I searched their site and found a USB 2.0 4+1 Port PCI Express Card, Firewire 400 2 port PCI Express card, FireWire 400/800 4 port PCI Express Card and USB 2.0/FireWire 800 Combo PCI Express Card listed as PCI-e G5 and Mac Pro compatible.)

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