I've dug myself into a bit of a hole here - before I upgraded my Boot Camp XP install to Vista, I used Disk Utility to make a DMG image of XP's NTFS partition because I actually needed to do a clean install and increase the size of the Windows partition.
I've verified that the partition inside the DMG is indeed NTFS formatted, and should be bootable - so what I'd like to do is somehow clone/convert the DMG into an image that Parallels can boot from, but how??
What's very odd is that running the unix utility file on the DMG says:
Which would indicate that it's not a DMG - but actually a raw clone of the partition (which is actually quite clever - Windows by itself can't do that!). Mac OS X must be simply acting on the file extension and the disk image stuff handling that so I can mount the image. It's really rather frustrating that Windows has no notion of disk images - if it all worked the same way as on Mac then I'd just boot from the install CD and restore the image from another drive!
./WinXP rwDUt.dmg: x86 boot sector, code offset 0x52, OEM-ID "NTFS ", sectors/cluster 8, reserved sectors 0, Media descriptor 0xf8, heads 255, hidden sectors 90849320, dos < 4.0 BootSector (0x80)
So I suppose the real question is: how can I make Parallels boot from a raw partition image? I can't select it as a drive to add to a VM with either a .dmg or .img extension.
The only way I can think of, that should work (network drivers permitting, that is), is to set up a partimage server and clone across the virtual network - but that's a level of complexity I'd really rather not get into!