Parallels 8 eating up space

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by shakazulu89, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Hi

    Been wondering:

    I noticed that every file or program i install takes up space not only on the parallels VM hdd but also on my actuall mac hdd .. now correct me if im wrong but i thought the 60gb i allocated to the vm was supposed to hold all this data. now it feels that i have both a 60gb file (the .vm file) and every program i install on my VM takes up additional space... am i missing something here?

    also as a side question .. where does parallels keep the snapshots folder? ( i wanna know how much space they take)

  2. Hi shakazulu89,

    The virtual machine file is the .pvm file which locates by default in your /Documents/Parallels folder (or Users/Shared/Parallels folder).
    The .pvm file is a bundle so if you right-click and choose Show package content you will see bunch of files that make your virtual machie work, including the virtual .hdd file that includes your date stored in Windows installed programs.
    So to check how much space does your Windows consume check the size of the .pvm file.

    About snapshots:
    The virtual hard drive is also bundle so when right-click and choose Show package content you see its files. Snapshots are the .hds files (except one of the them, which is the basically your disk, named usually as Windows-0.hdd.0.{5fbaabe3-6958-40ff-92a7-860e329aab41} ).
    NOTE that you SHOULD NOT delete .hds files, if you do so the next time you wont be able to start your virtual machine.
    To delete a snapshot go to Virtual machine menu -> Manage snapshots or you can merge all your snapshots using the instructions from here:
  3. yes i understand how the pvm file works what i dont understand why it grows when i install things even though it is not yet full? i started at 65gb now its getting near 90 ...

    when i go into configuration it says its an exapnding disc and that the size is 64 gb .. but when i look at the .pvm file its 90gb ... what gives?

    thanks for the reply
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  4. If you use an expanding virtual hard disk in your virtual machine, its image file size on the physical hard disk increases as you add new data to the virtual hard disk. When you delete some data from this virtual hard disk, free unused space appears on the disk, but the amount of space your virtual machine occupies on the hard disk of your Mac does not reduce.

    To free the unused space back to Mac, you need to compress .hdd. When the virtual hard disk will be compressed the hard disk image file size will be decreased. As a result, there will be more free space on your Mac hard disk.
    To compress shut down VM -> go to Virtual Machine menu and choose Configure -> in the Virtual Machine Configuration dialog, click Hardware and select this Hard Disk in the sidebar -> click the Compress button
    Note: Compressing can be performed for virtual machines without snapshots and with the Undo disks option disabled.

    You probably have some snapshots, I believe they 'ate' additional space.
    Merge snapshots using the instruction from the following kb (section "Advanced Troubleshooting"):
    to free some space
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  5. ok i will have a look .. thats probly it .. thanks for the info
  6. Actually there is a design issue; incident #1563780 was created back in January but Parallels Support was not receptive of the opportunity to re-examine why disk files are taking up way more space than they were with Parallels Desktop 3 (they also said the formula is "(size of hard drive) times (number of snapshots)" but didn't offer to have the developers provide the formula).

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