How do I back up my virtual machine??

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by owenkc, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. owenkc


    I wanted to enlarge the disc space available to my Windows XP virtual machine, running under Parallels on a dual core Mac Mini.

    I thought I should back it up before I made radical changes. So I stuck a blank DVD+RW in the drive and fired up the backup program.

    "Windows cannot read this device ..."

    I went back to the documentation, and found that Parallels can't write to a CD or DVD, but that I should use an image file. So I created an image of same blank DVD (using Image Tools) and tried again.

    Same result.

    So how the *?*?*?*?*? *?*?*?* am I supposed to back up the VM?


  2. dkp


    Back up your virtual machines in OS X. I use a DVD as a backup media and it works fine. You can also copy the virtual machine files to another location on your Mac hard drive.
  3. dd55


    I was instructed to back up the VM files located in the Home/Library/Parallels folder. However, these files do not exist in that location (nor does a Parallels folder) but are to be found in my Home/Documents/Parallels folder. So I presume that the location of these files is not as important as backing up the right ones? And, if I needed to use the backup files to restore the VM, would I restore them to the Documents folder (where they currently reside) or the Library folder (where they "should" be)?

  4. Howard Brazee

    Howard Brazee

    You have a couple of choices.

    Copy your whole VM - which doesn't let you recreate anything on a real machine, but allows you to back-up your Parallels files.

    Or back-up what you like into a shared directory on the Mac, and save that.

    I've read that Parallels is still doing considerable research and improvement of their system - and I expect that this limitation won't last.
  5. Clalron


    You can download a utility (I'll post a new version this evening) called VM2Go that has the ability to create backups for you--it will locate the files that are all a part of the virtual machine and burn a DVD for you.

    Don't download the version that is there--it is expired. I'll post a new one tonight.
  6. hhoffmeister


    Moving a VM


    I have to entirely redo my Mac (feels like windose). In the process, I would like to move the winXP.hdd to an external drive and the reformat my Mac and move it back onto the same machine where it was originally. Will I have any problems in doing it this way. The machine will be the same, ie. hardward. I will also be recreating all my accounts with the same names and passwords.

    The only reason I think this might work is that I have moved the location of the VM before without problems. Just wondered if there are any other file associated to the VM that make it work.

    Thanks in advance,
  7. Clalron


    There will be a problem because the paths in the PVS file will point to the old location for the hard drive. Not to beat a dead horse--but VM2Go deals with this as well. Go to tonight and pick up the latest version.

    With "Fix Paths" option enabled it will update the PVS file properly.
  8. Clalron


    Let me ammend this comment.. you MAY have a problem. :) The later builds of Parallels use a reference path instead of an absolute path to a virtual hard disk.

    Your mileage may vary.. etc. :)

    You can also fix the problem yourself by editing the PVS file and fixing the paths should there be a problem.
  9. jkneen


    All good here

    3150 installed fine, tools update was fine and Have iSight working after following the instructions above (i installed the Bootcamp driver pack in XP and then as it wrote to the folder in program files, I copied out the iSight drivers and cancelled the install). The most annoying bit was having to have the XP2 CD for loads of additional device installs but downloaded this from MSDN and now everything is working! When I say everything I mean iSight, Mic etc so I can use Skype now!

  10. buzzdat


    Slightly OT, but I believe still relevant...

    I create a new Disk Image using Disk Utility to copy over clean, "virgin" guest OS installs so I'll have a clean version to roll back to. For XP, this means installing all relevant service packs, patches, etc. first, and installing critical system software (virus scan, office, etc). I then burn these disk images to DVD for safe keeping.

    Works for me, anyhow...

    BTW, Clalron - VM2Go looks awesome - I'll have to try it out. May replace my DMG method entirely :).
  11. hhoffmeister


    Moving a VM

    It was not clear if your response was to my question. If I change the location of where the winxp.hdd is in Parallels I should not have a problem, correct? I really do not want to spend an afternoon re-installing windows and all the other applications configuration ect.. Thanks
  12. joem


    If you restore the VM to the same location, you won't have a problem. If you restore it to a different location, you will have to edit the configuration to point to the new location for the .hdd file(s). the .hdd file itself will be fine anywhere you put it, including an external disk.
  13. Clalron


    The Transfer feature in VM2Go deals with the path issue in moving Virtual Machines. If you simply your virtual machine in the list and point it to a new folder (removable media, hard disk, iPod whatever) it will do the edits for you.

    When you are convinced the VM works in the new location--go to the utuility tab and you can delete the old VM.

    BTW: The new version is up... :)


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