Can I install Parallels on an external drive?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by MikeFromMesa, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

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    I have a Mac Mini with a relatively small main ssd. Because of the size of the ssd I keep most of my temporary files (mostly digital photos) on an external usb 3 ssd, and that works well for me. I also keep some of the larger apps on that external ssd and run them from there instead of installing them on my main drive. I was wondering if it was possible to install Parallels and Windows on that external ssd as well.

    Before I bought the Mini I had a MacBook Pro with 512GB main ssd, and had an earlier version of Parallels installed directly on that drive, but the space taken up by the package in Documents was something on the order of 60GB and that would mostly eat up the remaining space on my current drive. Using an external usb 3 ssd would solve my problem, if it is possible.

    I am currently running High Sierra and would install Windows 10, if possible.
     
  2. alexg

    alexg Parallels Developers

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    Hi Mike, yes you can install Windows on the external drive. Parallels uses just file images for any guest operating systems and it can be placed on any external drives. USB 3 SDD is good enough for that. But make sure you do not disconnect it while Windows is running. Suspend or Shutdown Windows first and them disconnect your external drive from Mac.
     
  3. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

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    Thank you. That is very helpful.

    I have not used Parallels since I switched to the Mac Mini so my licensed Parallels version is a bit old at version 10. Will that work with High Sierra and Windows 10? Or do I need to upgrade?
     
  4. alexg

    alexg Parallels Developers

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    It is not guaranteed, but you can try first.
     
  5. MikeFromMesa

    MikeFromMesa Bit Poster

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    Thank you. I will give it a try and see if it works. If not, then I can upgrade.
     
  6. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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    Please, could you explain "how" install Windows on the external drive?
    Freire
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  7. Hi freire. You can follow the steps from this article to create a Windows virtual machine using Parallels Desktop for Mac. In Step 7, you can specify the installation location and complete the process.
    Note: You can also create the virtual machine using Parallels Desktop for Mac in the default location and then move the '.pvm' file to an external drive.
     
  8. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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  9. freire

    freire Bit Poster

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    Thank you very much. It worked perfectly.
     
  10. Ajith1

    Ajith1 Parallels Support

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    We are happy to hear that. Feel free to reach out to us anytime for support.
     
  11. GuyT5

    GuyT5 Bit Poster

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    I would like to install both Parallels and the Win10 VM to an external SSD, so I can use it on a different computer when I'm traveling. Can that be done?
     
  12. Ajith1

    Ajith1 Parallels Support

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    2,720
    It is not possible to install Parallels Desktop on an external drive as the setup is designed to install Parallels Desktop in the Application folder.
     
  13. DaviesT

    DaviesT

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    You can definitely move Windows to an external drive however Windows won't boot directly from an external drive. If you're running Windows in Parallels (See this link 24hwritemyessays ) you'll be able to have Parallels put in on the Mac' drive so have your Windows virtual machine on the external drive.
     
  14. MatthiasS9

    MatthiasS9 Bit Poster

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    I think what the user wants is to have the VMs hosted on the external drive, not the app itself. Hosting VMs on external works fine, I do that on several Macs. Apple internal SSD is very expensive, an external SSD is much cheaper and realy fine to host the VMs.
     
  15. GuyT5

    GuyT5 Bit Poster

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    Actually Ajith@Parallels is 100% correct. Sometimes I need to get to Win10 from my MB Air and sometimes from my iMac, but it's pretty intermittent. I hate to buy two licenses for Parallels only to use it 1-4 times each month per computer. However, my understanding is that in order to install Parallels on two Macs I'd have to buy two licenses, even though I'm running the same Win10 VM from the same external SSD that I'm running between machines.
     
  16. MatthiasS9

    MatthiasS9 Bit Poster

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    OK, so I misunderstood your intentions, I should have paid more attention to post #11. Anyhow, thanks for the clarification, and apologies for any potential confusion.
     
  17. Maria@Parallels

    Maria@Parallels Parallels Team

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    Hi, please let us know if you have any additional questions
     
  18. MatthiasS9

    MatthiasS9 Bit Poster

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    Hi Maria,
    thanks for asking, I have no further questions concerning this topic.
    Cheers,
    Matthias
     
    Maria@Parallels likes this.
  19. BrownB

    BrownB Bit Poster

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    Sometimes what we think is not the same as what we think of the real thing. And I don't same that opinion with you.
     

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