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Windows 7: Kinda-slow?

02 Sep 2009   #1
bjrichus

 
Kinda-slow?

I have allocated 2Gb RAM to my VM (Virtual PC and XP as D/L from microsoft), but it still limps along when I start up an app.

This isn't too terrible really, just annoying.

If I start a virtual XP mode application (without starting the full XP client), it says "Preparing to launch application..." in the message box for what feels like ages (but is probably a little less than a minute), before it actually launches the thing.

Someone who knows more about this 'under the hood' might be able to confirm if it's starting up the full VM in the background, even if the user interface (the window session itself) isn't visible?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
02 Sep 2009   #2
huisinro

windows 7
 
 

yes, when you start an app, the full vm has to be booted and fully started. Since the app is running inside the vm, it requires XP to be running.

Individual apps are launched using RemoteApp technology that is available to Windows 2008 server. The virtual xp mode contains a simple implementation of RemoteApp. RemoteApp requires some patches to the terminal server inside XP. The reason is slow is due to RDP connections.

If you hibernate the vm, instead of shuting it down, it will save you the vm start time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2009   #3
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjrichus View Post
I have allocated 2Gb RAM to my VM (Virtual PC and XP as D/L from microsoft), but it still limps along when I start up an app.

This isn't too terrible really, just annoying.

If I start a virtual XP mode application (without starting the full XP client), it says "Preparing to launch application..." in the message box for what feels like ages (but is probably a little less than a minute), before it actually launches the thing.

Someone who knows more about this 'under the hood' might be able to confirm if it's starting up the full VM in the background, even if the user interface (the window session itself) isn't visible?
Hello, bjrichus. Welcome to the SevenForums.

Starting a Virtual XP Mode Application from Win7 start menu is exactly the same as starting Virtual XP and launching the application from there. Virtual XP is kind a slow, though there are some things you can do to finetune your system.

Short finetune checklist:
  • Use full screen modus. I have been testing with some software, detecting about 5% faster launch times using Virtual XP in full screen. Not much but everything counts
  • Disable Aero from your host machine
  • Change performance settings on Virtual XP to Adjust for best performance (right click My Computer > Properties > Advance > Performance)
  • Do not turn your Virtual XP off, let it hibernate
This is not so much but at least you should notice something.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Sep 2009   #4
bjrichus

 

Kari,

Thanks for the tip about performance settings. I'll see what changing that does.

huisinro,

Thanks too. I have been hibernating my XP, not doing a full shut down.


Virtual PC is new after all, and once it comes out of beta, I hope it'll be a bit faster, but then like all VM stuff, it's never as good as having an entire machine dedicated to the "guest", now is it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2009   #5
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My advice, for performance you cannot use the Virtual XP mode. It just stinks in terms of performance. I use VMWare Server 2.0 (free) and Sun VirtualBox (free as well) and performance in both of these apps is far better than XP Mode.

See my recent thread here for some quantifiable timings that I did to demonstrate the slow performance;
XP Mode is slow--any way to improve

And it's not just me doing something wrong, here is a forum post from technet that I have posted in and others have seen the same slow performance.
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/...-80747bbb0688/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2009   #6
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjrichus View Post
...
...
Virtual PC is new after all, and once it comes out of beta, I hope it'll be a bit faster, but then like all VM stuff, it's never as good as having an entire machine dedicated to the "guest", now is it?

It's been out of beta quite a while now. You can download Virtual PC and Virtual XP Mode Release Candidates here.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2009   #7
bjrichus

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
My advice, for performance you cannot use the Virtual XP mode. It just stinks in terms of performance. I use VMWare Server 2.0 (free) and Sun VirtualBox (free as well) and performance in both of these apps is far better than XP Mode.
I use VMWare Server on an XP 64bit PC at work too (not my Windows 7 machine). I get about 90% of what I'd like for app speed, apart from guest VM boot time, where it is really SLOW (on a par with Windows 7 VPC), but then I've got all sorts of specialist drivers loaded in that VM. If it wasn't for the need to keep running one last 32 bit app that we won't spend the cash on to update some infrastructure to accomodate the 64 bit version, I doubt I'd bother with VMWare on the desktop, apart from playing with a couple of Linux distros as well that is...

VirtualBox was 'almost there' about a year ago the last time I looked at it, perhaps once this Oracle purchase of Sun mess is resolved the thing will be worth looking at again?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2009   #8
Kari

 

Just tested a tip a colleague told me today, and it really boosts the virtual machine! Do this:
  • Turn off / Hibernate all running virtual machines
  • Open C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Options.xml with Notepad
  • Add this somewhere between the Preferences tags:
    • <virtual_machines>
      <enable_idle_thread type="boolean">true</enable_idle_thread>
      </virtual_machines><br/>
  • Save the file
This allows your virtual machine to use more of the hosts resources, thus increasing the performance. A very clear difference!

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2009   #9
bjrichus

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Just tested a tip a colleague told me today, and it really boosts the virtual machine!
Kari,

The file is in a slighlty different location on the retail build:

c:\Users\Your-user\AppData\local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Options.xml

There is an existing pair of <virtual_machines> </virtual_machines> tags.

I slid the suggested "enable_idle_....." entry in there, but after the other entry..

All I can say is that this gives the VPC.EXE process a turbo boost.

With it, vpc.exe uses up to 80% of my CPU (Core 2 Duo @ 2.5Ghz), when something is happening in the VPC and about nothing when the VPC is hibernated!

Without it, there is a lot more switching between other processes and stuff like vpc.exe uses much less CPU to start and run - a maximum of about 50% is usual.

An interesting tip.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2009   #10
Kari

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bjrichus View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Just tested a tip a colleague told me today, and it really boosts the virtual machine!
Kari,

The file is in a slighlty different location on the retail build:

c:\Users\Your-user\AppData\local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Options.xml
...
Same place, I just had a typo. I've edited my post now to give the right address. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm happy to hear you also noticed the boost. It is almost incredible to see what these couple lines of XML have done to my Virtual PC.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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