Backing up Parallels with Time Machine

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by CalebR, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. CalebR


    Hey Guys,

    I've been reading up on a few of these threads but can't quite find the exact answer.

    We've got a 20" iMac 2.66Ghz, Parallels Desktop & we're using a Time Capsule to back everything up on through Time Machine. We're using this computer for business purposes so we've got to chop & change between OS for all the programs.

    Question is - How do I backup a certain program including all files etc on Parallels without backing up the entire Parallels Virtual Machine again (7GB worth) ??

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. CalebR


    Hey guys, anyone got any advice??


    Facing same's what I'm trying

    I've got what sounds like a similar problem. Not quite the same because 1) I've got a somewhat different setup and 2) I don't have to worry about the applications, which I can reinstall if need be, but the data files change daily.

    What follows is rudimentary, because I'm not very familiar yet with Parallels. And the lack of posts on this topic has me troubled - am I overlooking something basic, some feature of Parallels File Sharing say?

    Our setup is relatively simple: we've got Windows Vista Business (yeah, we hit that rock) installed on a Boot Camp partition that can be accessed via a Parallels VM from within Mac OS X. The problem as i see it is that from Mac OS X I can read the NTFS filesystem in the Windows partition, and thus, can back it up via Time Machine, but Mac OS X can't write to an NTFS filesystem, so a restore isn't possible. Yes, I'm aware of 3rd party products that allow Mac OS X to write to NTFS, but I'm not sure I trust them.

    So, I'm going to leverage the fact that both Windows Vista (and XP) and Mac OS X can read from and write to FAT32 filesystems. I'm going to create a 3rd partition on the drive and put the FAT32 filesystem there. Then I'm going to attempt to move all the data files to that partition. It might be a bit tricky, because I'm not sure how Windows is going to react; I'm hoping it will be able to map the partition as a letter drive (I'd love "D:" for data, but will settle for any letter I can get). And I'm not sure all the applications will let me select where the data files live.

    But if it all works out, I will have a data volume (/Volumes/Data on Mac OS X) which can be backed up and restored from Time Machine and is a data drive (D: to Windows Vista) that can be read from and written to by the Windows applications.

  4. Peter Mutsaers

    Peter Mutsaers

    Time machine only sees the parallels disk file(s), which are large and backed up in full.

    For the windows virtual machine, you should use a backup/imaging solution inside windows, such as true image (an older version of which is free for parallels customers). I have been using true image (bought my own version) in windows for years and I'm happy with it, I use it to packup 1 parallels virtual machines and 3 physical windows machines (all on the disk of my time capsule).
  5. talmy


    I use both SuperDuper! for weekly backups and TimeMachine as a crude version control system. The Library folder for Parallels is excluded from TimeMachine, for reasons previously mentioned. I don't keep Windows data files on the Windows virtual drive, but save them on the "networked" Mac drive. That way TimeMachine will handle the data files and I can use the SuperDuper! backup image to restore the virtual drive, with the Windows OS and applications, if necessary.

    This has worked great for me for 2.5 years now.
  6. Olivier

    Olivier Kilo Poster

    That will get you nowhere, as Parallels virtual machines can NOT mount physical partitions. Except the very special case of the Bootcamp partition.
  7. MarkChicago


    I backup all my MacBook Pro files, EXCLUDING the Vista.vpm file, using Time Machine. That gives me incremental backups of my Mac files. I back up Vista using the free Acronis software that Parallels provides. I backup both to the same, but separate drive. I hope I am doing it right.

Share This Page