Conversion to Parallels

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by stuartbh, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. stuartbh

    stuartbh

    Messages:
    8
    Thread was moved from "General Discussions > User Solutions and Workarounds" to "Parallels Desktop for Mac > General Questions".
    Stacey M


    To whom it shall concern:

    I have several customers that are interested in the installation of Parallels on their Mac systems, and wanted to get information on how to convert to Parallels.

    Indeed, it was quite instructive that today, when I contacted Parallels, I got what clearly was an unprofessional and unknowledgeable support technician after spending almost 1 hour on hold awaiting his getting the time to pick up the phone. Although, to the credit of Parallels they did accurately predict (while I was on hold) that it would take almost 56 minutes before I would talk to a technician, so that was good at least.

    Scenario 1:

    I have a customer that has MacOS installed, and additionally, uses Boot Camp to startup Windows XP as well in a separate Boot Camp partition.

    This customer is interested in purchasing and installing Parallels, but wants to do so only if there is a way to convert his Boot Camp partition to a flat file virtual drive, and then be able deinstall the Boot Camp and return the disk space to MacOS.

    Oddly the technician I spoke to at Parallels was completely clueless as to what his own transporter product did as well as how it would function with Parallels, so I am reduced to using this forum to get an answer.

    Scenario 2:

    A second customer has a hard drive that he did a "DD" image of and moved the "DD" image to the Mac.

    How can this image be converted to a flat file for use with Parallels as a virtual disk?

    A few other questions:

    One of my customers has an opportunity to purchase a "new in the box" copy of a 2.x version of Parallels, would he receive a free upgrade to 3.x, and for how long or how many upgrades would he get?

    Stuart
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2007
  2. jmstacey

    jmstacey

    Messages:
    14
    I can only answer your last question and the answer is no. They will have to pay to upgrade to 3.x and upgrades include any minor version changes. So, all of the 2.x upgrades would be free and all the 3.x upgrades but not 2 to 3 or 4.

    Edit: I did find this thread which may be helpful for scenario 1: http://forum.parallels.com/thread3261.html

    Taking a quick look at the process it would probably be more beneficial to start fresh since you'll get the major benefit of having a clean windows setup to begin with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2007
  3. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    415
    They will need to first run their Boot Camp partition through Parallels, and they then need to install Parallels Transporter on it. Open the Parallels Transporter application on Mac OS X and select to migrate "From another computer" while Parallels is still open and Transporter Agent is open in Windows to transfer their Boot Camp drive into a virtual machine.

    I think a dd image is the same as the old plain disk format that Parallels used to use, so all that will probably be necessary is renaming the file to have a hdd extension.
     
  4. stuartbh

    stuartbh

    Messages:
    8
    Indeed this seems like it might work, and would be worthy of perhaps indicating to one of my customers that a trial installation of Parallels for the purpose of trying this would seem appropriate.

    However, let us be presumptive that after the trial (and attempted assertion of the above entitled solution), the solution presented above is fully functional; if the customer wished to then purchase Parallels, would they need to reinstall the software, or would just the substitution of a more persistent installation key provided after the sale due the trick?

    I am unfamiliar with the "old plan disk format that Parallels used to use", but would be quite appreciative if you were to elaborate somewhat on the musings of this solution.


    V/R,

    Stuart
     
  5. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    415
    The trial version of Parallels is also the full version, so you can purchase Parallels and just enter the serial number in the trial version to upgrade to the full version.


    All right, to be more clear, there are two different types of virtual disks; expanding and plain. The older versions of Parallels had a slightly different disk format for both types than the newest version does. With the older disk format the plain disks were no more than the equivalent of a "DD" image. This means that by changing the extension of a "DD" image to hdd, it will cause Parallels to recognize the disk image format and request to upgrade it to the Parallels 3.0 disk image format. It would be a good idea to keep a backup of the original image though, just in case something goes wrong during the conversion process.
     
  6. brians

    brians

    Messages:
    2
    Dual Boot Scenario...

    Parallel Desktop Beta through the latest version has been hit and miss for me and my clients. I have about 7 PC to Mac conversions and the list is growing...thankfully...but I also have many of my clients interested in switching between Mac OSx and Win XP.

    I've gotten to the point where I recommend these Dual Boot andor Virtual interface setups only If Necessary...simply because Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop for Mac do not always mix.

    One of my clients purchased the early beta version last year and now has a system that WILL NOT run Parallels software with a nice chunky bug. I've sent multiple messages to PD and tried uninstalling and reinstalling PD4M, but nothing has fixed her problem and she's now out $79, plus all the work I did for her and work I had to do after the problems cropped up I provided for free.

    Basically, she's been left with Windows XP running in Boot Camp and Mac OS x, but not both at the same time.

    The last thing I would like is for any other technician having the same problems we had. Also keep in mind, I have over 18 years of support experience on Mac, PC or otherwise; so these problems were not caused by lack of experience or simply not following directions.

    Hope this helps and look forward to how you work things out.

    Brian...

     
  7. stuartbh

    stuartbh

    Messages:
    8
    Well, I did try this but it failed miserably! Each time I tried to run the transporter from under MacOS with the agent running under Windows XP from the boot camp partition booted up under Parallels it failed.

    However, what did work was sharing a folder from the MacOS partition to the Windows XP partition, and then running the transporter under Windows XP and telling the transporter to write the virtual drive to the shared MacOS folder, while having the boot camp partition booted up under Parallels.

    Once this completed I was able to then shutdown the Parallels booted Boot Camp partition.

    I then tried to boot up from the new virtual hard disk image, and followed Parallels instructions for doing the conversion to "3.0 format", and installation of Parallels Tools under Windows XP.

    When all was said and done I was able to boot up from the virtual hard drive and now will be testing this installation.

    If all of this works out, then the customer will be licensing Parallels and I will then redact the Boot Camp partition per Apple's Boot Camp manual's instructions.



    Yesterday night a friend had "DD"ed an entire PC hard disk to a flat file and showed me he was able to mount the partitions under MacOS for reading from them (though he does not have Parallels, or an Intel Mac).

    Thus, I am going to try to create such a DD image, and see if I can get it to boot up under Parallels. If so, then I will be able to use the technique I tried above to get it sucked into a virtual parallels drive.

    Now, concerning Linux...:

    It appears that Parallels runs under Linux, however, it appears to me that if you buy the Windows version you get the Linux version of Parallels with it, is this correct?

    V/R,

    Stuart
     
  8. stuartbh

    stuartbh

    Messages:
    8
    Some success!

    To whom it shall concern:

    Indeed the conversion process spoken of in my previous post seems to have run quite well and with great stability. Thus, the customer has now purchased Parallels, and is quite happy with it.

    Now onto the 80GB HD image I was trying to convert...

    This turned out to be quite a hard thing to do, and I tried a myriad of different things from using hdiutil attach imagename -readonly (and trying to trick Parallels or Transporter into thinking it was a Boot Camp drive, but Parallels was way too smart for that!) to qemu-img to try to convert it, all failed, as well as several other ideas too.

    However, I decided to embark trying the following:

    (1) I dd'ed the entire 80GB HD onto a blank (500GB) HD I just ordered, and was able to mount the Windows XP Pro partition under MacOS read only

    (2) I am installing Windows XP Pro into a Parallels virtual machine

    (3) Once I see the new Windows XP Pro booting up under Parallels, I will then try to use Parallels Explorer to allow me to delete all the files in the new XP Pro Parallels virtual machine, followed by a "drag and drop" of the contents of the Windows XP Pro partition (from the 500GB HD) into the Parallels virtual machine using Parallels Explorer.

    (5) Finally, if it does not boot up when restarted (the Parallels virtual machine) then I will do a "repair install" of Windows XP Pro against the Parallels Virtual Machine, and hopefully that will get it up and running.

    NOTE TO PARALLELS DEVELOPERS: ADD THE CAPABILITY TO CONVERT A DD IMAGE TO INTO THE MACOS PARALLELS TRANSPORTER PLEASE!!!

    V/R,

    Stuart
    Beverly Hills, CA / Las Vegas, NV / Washington, DC / Philadelphia, PA
     
  9. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    415
    Out of curiosity, what happened when you tried to get Parallels to use the dd image file after renaming it with a hdd extension?
     
  10. stuartbh

    stuartbh

    Messages:
    8
    Sir:

    Let me just remark, that Parallels (for MacOS) is an extremely robust and functional product despite its low age in terms of years. Having been a VMware user at many installations through the course of my consulting practice, it seems to perform as well as VMware does in the Windows and Linux markets with VMware's full maturity (I am not asserting that VMware Fusion is mature, as I have not yet played with it extensively).

    If I recall (a lot of this work was done after midnight!), it was unable to read it.

    What did work in finality?

    I took the dd image and ran it through qemu-img and created a VMware "vmdk" type image, which, after an elongated time (due perhaps to the fact that both the dd image and the vmdk to be created were located on a 500GB HD connected via USB 2.0), was converted to Parallels format by Parallels Transporter.

    Additionally, my Windows XP media turned out to be bad as well, so once I got a good piece of media, I repeated the above process and got back to trying to do a repair install, unfurtunately before I realized that no partition was marked active!

    However, it is particularly instructive that this might have all worked earlier when it was tried, but that I did not realize that Parallels Transporter does not prompt to, or alert you to the fact that no partition is currently marked active (or wasnt in my converted dd image)!

    NOTE TO PARALLELS TRANSPORTER PROGRAMMERS: FIX THIS! ALERT THE USER THERE IS NO PARTITION MARKED "ACTIVE" OR PROMPT TO MAKE SURE THEY WANT THE ONE THAT IS TO REMAIN AS SUCH!

    Eventually I was able to get the partition booted up, and functioning.

    Since both the Linux, and Solaris partitions are older versions of those OSes I am planning to do a fresh installation into two new virtual hdd's (one for Linux, one for Solaris), and then simply mount the other hdd (the multi-partition Windows/Linux/Solaris that I just got booting up under Windows) so that I can copy out the Linux and Solaris data, delete those partitions, and then try to run parallels compressor against the Windows virtual hdd.

    NOTE TO PARALLELS COMPRESSOR PROGRAMMERS: WE NEED A VERSION OF COMPRESSOR (SEPARATE FROM PARALLELS) THAT CAN RUN IN A MACOS ENVIRONMENT!

    PARALLELS EXPLORER PROGRAMMERS: IT SEEMS INCAPABLE OF DRAGGING AND DROPPING FILES FROM MACOS INTO THE PARALLELS EXPLORER "EXPLORED" VIRTUAL HDD.

    I do hope that my consternation with this project yields some helpfulness to others, and if so, I'd love to hear from you or see it posted into this thread, especially if you agree with any of my requests to Parallels for feature enhancements (placed in all CAPS throughout my postings).


    V/R,

    Stuart
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2007

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