100 reasons to NOT use Parallels

Yesterday afternoon I installed the trial version of Parallels to test the vaunted virtualization feature of the Boot Camp partition, ie: use the real version of Windows inside a window in OS X. I was surprised at how, in the beginning, everything was running fine; even if the partition was not a real Windows Boot Camp partition, but a common PC disk, everything seemed to work perfectly.

Then I decided to restart to Windows, and I noticed the first odd thing: instead of the Windows 7 boot animation, there was the Windows Vista one ... what???

Is that possible??

I open Chrome to look for some solution on the internet and here is the second horror that I see: the taskbar is no longer visible. Parallels had changed some setting to not to keep it on top. Probably they did it to give Windows programs a nicer look under OS X, but now Windows is unusable, not to mention that Windows 7 does not have that setting anymore, and can not restore it to its original state (unless you use an unofficial patch).

As angry as an hungry monkey, I continued to search a solution to restore the Windows 7 animation instead of the Vista one. It seems to happen when the bootloader does not have a default language setting. Just type in as an administrator:

bcdboot %WinDir% /l it-IT

and it should work! It should, because iI get an error that "Windows can not find a Windows installation". What? In fact, from the control panel, in the boot options, there is no operating system!

Enraged like a gorilla, I immediately uninstall the Parallels Tools, but on reboot I still get see the same problem. So, I open the system restore to revert to a working state. Too bad! I got this error:

(This version of system recovery is not compatible with the Windows version that you are trying to recover)

That error appears even before Windows starts, so there is no way to continue or ignore it...

I took the installation DVD and... surprise? I can not even reinstall! I have to format the disk and start over!

Moral: here are 100 (or less) reasons for not using Parallels

  1. The "trial" version does not access internet
  2. It installs the boot loader for Vista on Windows 7
  3. For installing the Parallels tools I haven't been asked for the administrator password. They used an undocumented and risky way to install them
  4. The taskbar is hidden without an option to restore it to its original state
  5. The startup time for Windows increases considerably
  6. The Mac startup time increases considerably
  7. In the Windows start menu you will find all the Mac applications
  8. They made heavy changes to the system without asking or at least explain what they will do
  9. In Windows, files are associated with Mac programs (eg: Windows tries to open a JPG with Mac Photoshop)
  10. The hard drive is littered with all those hateful resource forks (.dsstore)
  11. It gives 1GB RAM to Windows x64: not enough
  12. Uninstalling on Mac leaves a lot of leftover files
  13. In the end it is better to reboot and have a decent speed than using it slower and virtualized
  14. Thanks to its permanent changes, you'll have to reformat Windows, losing all data

I cannot think of other reasons, is enough for now