I bought an E-MU 0204 USB sound card to go with my Softrock Lite II (built for 20 meters). I wanted to get 96 kHz sampling, in order to expand the tunable range on my Softrock. I wanted USB because I’m running my SDR software in a VM, so I can run it in Windows XP or Ubuntu 12. (Few SDR packages work on Windows with a sound card based SDR.)

I installed the E-MU drivers, rebooted the VM and boom - it crashed. I removed, reinstalled, rebooted several times. The VM is just unstable when the E-MU is connected to it and the E-MU software is installed. When the VM crashes, Parallels recognizes that it was a Parallels problem, and it goes into its let’s-report-a-Parallels-crash routine. (This is with Parallels Desktop 7.0.15104, Revision 778994; July 10, 2012 and Windows XP Pro with all patches applied through July 27.)

I did a little Googling, and found someone else who had a problem with an E-MU 0202 USB causing Parallels to crash with Windows (Win 7 and Win XP in his case). He found happiness by using VMware Fusion. I installed VMware Fusion 4.1.3 (730298) and imported my Parallels VM. E-MU 0202 works just fine in Fusion.

In general, I like the feel and performance of Parallels, but this is not the first incompatibility I’ve found with Parallels. VMware does a more trouble-free VM, in my experience.