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Making my MacBook + Windows 7 on Parallels Feel Zippy

A few months back, I replaced my wicked-fast Dell E6500 with a new MacBook Pro. It was a bit of an impulse move, but we were also down a laptop at the office, so I took the opportunity to get a new one for myself and then hand-me-down the Dell (although, it’s far from a hand-me-down machine – 8GB of RAM and a solid-state hard drive).

Anyway, when I moved to the Mac, I imaged my Dell’s hard drive and copied it to my MacBook to use as a virtual machine. It’s kinda funny to have a Windows virtual machine on my Mac with a bunch of Dell crapware installed on it.

The problem is that I kept feeling like the Windows VM was slow. I use Parallels as my VM host, and, especially when I’m running the machine in Coherence, it’s just terribly slow.

It turns out that the speed problems are almost all caused by Windows 7’s cool “Aero” looks. I disabled all the extra fluff interface stuff, an it’s been way faster, now.

Here’s how to do it:

Within the Windows software, visit the Start menu, navigate to Control Panel, and open theĀ Performance Information and Tools panel.

From that panel, choose the Custom option and enable only the features you want (in my screenshot, you can see that I picked just a couple). Click Okay, wait for the effects to be applied, and voila – fast Windows!

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