External HDD w/Parallels

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by Cymru, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Cymru

    Cymru

    Messages:
    11
    Can i install Mac Parallels on an external HDD? If so can i also install Vista on the external aswell using paralells? What i want is for my iMac's HDD to be UNTOUCHED by anything windose related. I dont want a new partition, i dont want to have any files put on it and i dont want to have to reinstall OSX after a cock-up.

    Cheers
     
  2. palter

    palter

    Messages:
    243
    Parallels, the application, must be installed on your OS X partition. It installs kernel extensions which need to be on the boot drive.

    You can, however, place the virtual machines anywhere you want.
     
  3. misterjangles

    misterjangles

    Messages:
    97
    Parallels installs some low-level OS stuff - including network drivers that are necessary to make the virtual machine work. Though I have not found it to "cock up" anything by simply being installed on the machine and it doesn't take up much space. However Parallels is just a hardware emulator and it doesn't contain any files from Windows or any other guest OS you might install.

    If you choose to install Windows, Linux or whatever, you create a virtual hard drive, which in reality is just a single disk-image file. The guest OS files are all contained within this image file and don't "intermingle" with your OSX files. All of the Windows files will be inside this image file. The Windows system is running inside a virtual sandbox, if you will, and cannot "see" your OSX system at all so you don't have to worry about it spreading some nasty Windows virus or whatever if that's what you're concerned about.

    You can store your guest OS image files on an external drive if you don't want them to take up space. I do this myself for some specialized installs that I only use occasionally. You can even run them from a network drive if you like - but the performance will depend on the speed of your connection to the external drive.
     
  4. Cymru

    Cymru

    Messages:
    11
    Ahh okay. So installing parallels wont do anything really to effect OS X. And installing, say Vista, will make a .dmg (or something) of a set size where it will store files...etc...

    So basically on my Mac HDD i will have the parallels app and on my external a single set sized image which contains Vista and some storage space for files?

    No damage can be inflicted on my Mac harddrive can it from this setup?
     
  5. misterjangles

    misterjangles

    Messages:
    97
    yep that's pretty much it. if you want to get completely technical, parallels creates a few other files as well as the image - the machine settings file, etc. but the windows filesystem is all within the image (which is actually a .hdd file)

    basically bootcamp is everything that you described *not* wanting. Parallels pretty much fits all your requirements.
     
  6. Cymru

    Cymru

    Messages:
    11
    Sorry one last query.

    I have the brand new iMac (Intel Core 2 Duo) so which version of Vista do i need to get?
    32bit or 64 bit?

    Ive not idea. Thanks again
     
  7. palter

    palter

    Messages:
    243
    Get the 32-bit version. Parallels does not yet virtualize a 64-bit processor. (That feature is scheduled for version 3.0 due some time later this year. They're currently beta testing version 2.5 so it's clear that 3.0 won't be happening anytime soon.)
     
  8. mholmes

    mholmes

    Messages:
    5
    My build number is 3188.

    I'm trying to build a VM for Ubuntu with its files located on a network drive (a Maxtor 1TB drive on a Gigabit ethernet connection), but Parallels doesn't seem to be able to create the HDD file. I get error messages about being unable to create the file, or read the disk geometry. Does Parallels require that the HDD file be located on a drive on the Mac itself?

    This is important to me, because my Mac HD is only 100GB and I don't have much space on it; I'm hoping to run VMs from the NAS drive.

    I tried to post this as an email support request through the Parallels Website, but although my Parallels is Activated (I bought it nearly a year ago), I can't find any trace of the activation key, so I can't post a message to the tech support folks. Does anyone know whether there's a way to retrieve the activation key from a working activated installation of Parallels?

    Cheers,
    Martin
     
  9. tomservo291

    tomservo291

    Messages:
    90
    What filesystem is the external drive? I have not yet tried to run a VM from an external drive (which I am going to try soon,) but I have tried to back one up. It is a regular Seagate external USB 2.0 drive that came formatted as FAT32.

    Well... FAT32 doesn't support large files (I forget already what the maximum for a single was, but it was less then 10GB.) So it required splitting the file and storing it in chunks. I will be burning whatever information I need to save to DVD and format that external drive to some other filesystem (HFS+ probably... may as well match my MBP.)

    Not sure if that is your issue, but I would check into it.
     
  10. mholmes

    mholmes

    Messages:
    5
    Hi there,

    I'm not absolutely sure what the filesystem on the NAS drive is, but it does allow large files; my XP HDD file is about 25GB and I can back it up to the NAS. I think it's running embedded Linux, so maybe the FS is ext3. I'll try to find out. I think you're right that the problem is the file system, though. Post again when you've reformatted yours, if you have better results.

    Cheers,
    Martin
     
  11. sarre9

    sarre9 Bit Poster

    Messages:
    6
    External HD with Infrant NAS

    I'm running into the same problem with an external NAS array - Infrant NV. I copied a Windows XP Image File over to the NAS without any problem. However, Parallels gives me an error message saying it can not read the disk geometry. If I try to defragment that same virtual disk with Parallels Image Tool I get a message "Image Tool cannot open the hard disk image file for reading in order to determine its parameters". The permissions and ownership on the image is the same as on my local copy.

    Any ideas out there?


     

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