Parallels releases VM Compactor 1.0 Beta

Parallels has announced the beta release of Parallels VM Compactor 1.0, the company’s virtual hard disk management tool that optimizes performance of any Parallels, VMware or Microsoft virtual machine running Windows 2000, 2003, or XP by compacting its hard drive by up to 80%. Compacted hard disks help optimize virtual machine performance and more efficiently use real disk space.

Users can download Parallels VM Compactor 1.0 Beta and try it free for 30 days.

No matter which virtualization solution you use, Parallels VM Compactor 1.0 can help you improve the performance of Windows virtual machines and better manage physical and virtual disk space. The product works seamlessly with any Windows 2000, 2003 or XP virtual machine built with:
• Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X
• VMware Workstation
• VMware GSX Server
• VMware Server
• Microsoft Virtual PC
• Microsoft Virtual Server

Features and benefits:
• Effectively cleans up disk space Windows virtual machines, resulting in better performance and faster disk access
• Significantly reduces the size of expanding virtual hard disks to more effectively use real hard disk space
• Creates smaller virtual machine images that are easier to share. Compacted images can easily be burned to a CD or DVD, or quickly transferred over network

More info and download link here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
Washington Times: Parallels Workstation 2.1 ran Windows XP ‘quite nicely’ on an Apple Macintosh – April 18, 2006
Parallels Workstation 2.1b4 released; run Mac OS X, Windows & Linux concurrently on Intel-based Macs – April 18, 2006
Apple’s Boot Camp vs. Parallels Workstation for running Windows on Intel-based Macs – April 14, 2006
Video of Parallels running Windows XP on Mac OS X showing real time clock – April 11, 2006
Video of Parallels running Windows XP on Mac OS X – April 07, 2006
Parallels releases first virtualization solution for Intel-powered Apple Intel-based Macs – April 06, 2006
Parallels to intro virtualization software for Intel-based Macs – April 04, 2006


  1. iDon’t,

    This probably wasn’t explained very well. Maybe this will help…

    First, you do know that Parallels VM is that fancy new (but still in beta) software for Intel based Macs which allow you to run Windows at the same time as OS X. It’s like Virtual PC, but instead of emulating Windows, it’s running code that directly accesses the Intel CPU…thus it’s *much* faster.

    Parallels doesn’t let you install Windows (or other OS) on a separate partition and use that as a system disk. Instead it uses a disk image (like a .dmg file). This is simply a large file that can grow as you increase stuff within Windows by adding applications and files.

    Whenever you add stuff in Windows, Parallels VM software increases the size of the disk image file. This is nice because it means you don’t have to use a fixed size file. The file grows with need.

    The bad news is that (until now with this software), when you delete things in Windows, Parallels VM software does not decrease the file size. Those data blocks still exist. This isn’t unique here, pretty much all database software (even things like Entourage) have this problem, though many are capable of compacting the database files themselves.

    Having these unused blocks and increased file size, slows down Windows in Parallels VM because it’s like disk fragmentation and the Parallels software has to scan the full image instead of a smaller image.

    Parallels VM Compactor simply reduces the size of disk image file, saving disk space and increasing speed.

  2. Sounds like a good idea. Anyone using Parallels virtualization software out there? I’ve heard bad things about it in general. It apparently runs really slowly on a fairly new Mac.

    Basically this new software makes a smaller “virtual” disc when you run their Winblows virtualization software so it you have more of your “real” hard drive left over.

  3. No, this is a far better solution than Boot Camp. Nowhere near as slow as Virtual PC was. I have a MacBook Pro 2.0, 2gb ram. This is nearly as fast as a Pentium 3.0 ghz machine I have here. There is no longer a need to purchase a seperate Windows machine with this software. I imagine games will run fairly well on the VM also. Install is easy as long as you have an OEM Windows cd. It Networks well with Macs and PC’s. Totally rocks! I have not tried Boot Camp, but the idea of having to boot in and out of an operating systems, seems like a drag. I’m sure Boot Camp allows Windows to run faster than Parallels, (because there is some emualation going on in Parallels) and not with Boot Camp. The minimal hit in speed is well worth it before going crazy and partitioning your hard drive with Boot Camp. This seems to be a better solution than Boot Camp, until someone figures out how to get Boot Camp to run alongside OSX rather than rebooting.

  4. Cubert, I don’t know where you’re hearing your crap from, but generally every review I’ve seen, and my own personal experience state that Parallels is an amazing solution that works as advertised (beta limitations notwithstanding) and exceeds people’s expectations.

    Can’t complain about the price either. $39 as a pre-order, or $49 regular price. Parallels makes us Intel Mac owners wonder how we managed to put up with the shitty performance of VirtualPC for all these years…

    VirtualPC is dead. RIP.

  5. I have a MacBook Pro 2GHz with 2GB of RAM. I first did the OnMac hack to do Windows in a bootable partition, and then did Boot Camp, and also have Parallels VM installed and running fine.

    Boot Camp is amazing. It’s about 98% there…the real things missing being things like a driver for iSight and other minor stuff. It runs *fast*. Fast, as in not just P4 fast, but the fastest PC I’ve ever used.

    Parallels VM seems to have been released a bit early. I’m fine with that, I understand “beta” and can deal with it, but whereas Boot Camp was a working solution from day one with pretty much anyone’s Windows based requirements, Parallels VM was not completed and had some significant bugs (kernal panic type bugs). Again, understand this is *beta*

    I’ve been amazed at how fast Parallels VM has developed. Significant bugs have been eliminated and new features added. And of course the promised price is right.

    There who will want Parallels, others will want Boot Camp and some people will want both. I fall into the last category.

    Unless something significantly changes, Parallels will be significantly slower than Boot Camp in some areas (albeit much faster than what we’ve experienced with Virtual PC so far). Parallels offers no video hardware acceleration. My understanding is that this is something inherent in the hardware that Parallels can’t do anything about (this could be untrue, but it’s my humble understanding). Also Parallels has to share resources with all that is OS X.

    This means people like me will run Parallels with a minimal Windows install in order to do things like test cross-platform web development stuff or perhaps run the occasional (non-heavy video requirement) application. However, I’ll use Boot Camp for things like Adobe Audition, TiVo To Go, and various games.

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