Sunday, November 22, 2009

Parallels Desktop: Garbled or no sound problem

Last week I decided that I wanted to try Parallels Desktop on OS X. I wanted to test playing games in a VM on OS X. So I created a virtual machine with windows XP installed on it. I used a install CD I still had form the time I still had a PC.

Everything worked out pretty, and the machine was up and kicking in no time, except for one thing, the sound. I search for quite some time on internet, including on Parallels forum before figuring it out.

The problem I had was, I had either no sound at all, or some all garbled up sound. The multimedia wasn't detected properly. I tried different drivers, installed Realtek AC'97 Driver, and a couple of other, but nothing wotked. I kept getting crappy sound or nothing at all. If you ask me I prefered no sound at all to garbled sound. That's just terrible.

Now the solution to my problem, and other in the past it seems is quite simple. The source of the problem is that Parallels Desktop (I'm using version 4) is emulating an Intel onboard sound card (Intel 82801BA/BAM AC'97 Audio Controller to be precise). And the Windows XP installation CD I used happens to be missing that particular driver (probably because it was an OEM cd from an old computer). So I just reinstalled my Parallels Desktop VM using a proper retail Windows XP installation CD, and it worked like a charm.

Everything is now detected properly:

Now everything is working properly and I was able to try out playing games inside a VM. And let me tell you it works just fine. So far i've tried playing Eve Online and DDO inside a VM and with decent details its quite fluid.