After reading all the rave reviews of how much faster Parallels 4.0 is than its predecessor, I dropped $50 to upgrade about two weeks ago. I went from having a Parallels installation that could boot nicely from my nicely working Boot Camp partition to a version that simply went into an endless cycle of reboots. I’ve reported the problem multiple times to Parallel’s customer support with no response whatsoever. I have not tried to go the paid phone call route with them since that is entirely ridiculous. I searched through their forums and the only advice they provided was to uninstall and reinstall, or it was advice for their last version of the software which actually had an advanced feature in the hard drive setup controls where you could remove the files that Parallels installs on your Boot Camp partition. They neglected to add this feature to the newer version of the software. After following one of the pieces of bad advice on their forums, which I must add was left by one of their support staff, I was left not only with a non-functioning Parallels installation, but also with a Boot Camp installation that would not boot properly.
So, I began the horribly time consuming process of uninstalling Boot Camp to do a full reinstall. The only problem? All Boot Camp installations now fail with a “Disk error” after the first stage of Windows installation reboot. I never had this problem before. I’ve tried erasing the Boot Camp partition and starting from scratch with two different Windows XP disks that I own, one Windows XP Professional and the other Windows XP Home, and nothing works. Even though both of these disks have worked flawlessly in the past (so I really don’t think it’s the same problem outlined here; even though I’m going to give it another shot after this post is up).
There is 200MBs of unexplained partitioned space on the hard drive that I haven’t noticed before. I think that space was most likely created by Parallels and is the root of all these problems, but I have no idea if that’s a correct hunch or if I risk rendering my MacBook inoperable by fiddling with this. I am beyond frustrated and no one from Parallels has replied to any of my questions through the appropriate, provided channels for complaining about problems, so I’m left with no choice but to complain publicly here.
I need a solution and I’m hoping someone from Parallels sees this post and reacts appropriately. If your incompetent support staff cannot provide me with a solution, then I want a full refund for not only the upgrade that I just purchased, but also for the previous copy of the software that I owned, since the new version ruined the working solution I had in place.
If anyone from VMware wants to offer me a deal on an alternative solution that will allow me to fix my Boot Camp installation and run a virtual machine off of that partition and it works, I will gladly publicize on this blog that your product works, that your support staff is helpful in cleaning up Parallel’s bungled messes, and I will recommend that everyone using or considering using Parallels use your products instead.
UPDATE: After multiple attempts, I finally got Boot Camp to reinstall, and then I was finally able to get Parallels to work. This doesn’t change the fact that Parallels destroyed the previous Boot Camp installation, I now have to spend hours reinstalling programs, and Parallels support still hasn’t contacted me about either of my two open tickets that I submitted over two weeks ago.