Real Partition instead of disk image as virtual disk

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by Karsten, May 10, 2006.

  1. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Team


    This feature will not be in upcoming GA. It will be implemented in next version.
  2. cetuma

    cetuma Member

    That was my understanding. Released in 3.x sometime toward the end of the year.

    Raw devices will be wonderful though! Any chance you can incorporate vmdk2raw (GPL at so we can easily convert our existing vmware images to raw that can be read by the raw disk abilities in 3.0?

    That would be so amazing!!
  3. omero

    omero Member

    Thanks andrew for letting us now.

    Any planned schedule for GA and the next version?

    GA: July 06
    Next version: End of 06


    THanks again =)
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  5. biggles

    biggles Bit poster

  6. rsivan

    rsivan Bit poster

    if you make this feature I will buy sure!

    if you make this feature I will buy sure! i need because I want to use osx and windows but some case when working on hardware interfacing with my embedded systems windows run faster than parallel but i want to use single installation of windows
    Thanks to all
  7. tgrogan

    tgrogan Pro

    On most computers the speed of network software is multitudes faster than any disk can handle. There should be no overhead associated with networked access of disk vs. direct access - except for the way that the host OS handles networking. If your OS is time-slicing network access, then you have a problem with your choice of OS. I don't see any speed problems with my choice of OS.
  8. ccparallels

    ccparallels Member

    This is "another vote" for booting off real partitions.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2006
  10. TDI

    TDI Member


    Make sure you map a network drive within Win XP to your OS X shared folder.
    This speeds up access considerably.
  11. Anthony Medici

    Anthony Medici Bit poster

    I'd want this feature for speed. Photoshop is dog slow in the virtual machine because of two reasons. Having to share ram which is tolerable. And having it's disk cache on a virtual drive. With direct access to a hard drive, like an sata drive, then photoshop would be much faster.
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  13. mrmkirsch

    mrmkirsch Bit poster

    External drive support is a feature that I crave. I've got lots of FireWire and USB drives, and I'd love to have a dedicated drive for Parallels.

    That said, if and when this feature becomes available, there should be software included that can transfer the virtual drive I currently have onto the physical drive so that everything doesn't have to be reinstalled.
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  15. Rachel Faith

    Rachel Faith Hunter

    Yes, what he said....


    Cause its been a while since anyone posted any kind of update.

    So I am just adding my name to the list in support of this goal.
  16. cpl593h

    cpl593h Junior Member

    Just a 'me too'post. An ETA (or a beta version to test :) ) would be very helpful to me too. All my VM aren't running Windows, so I can't use the shared folders.
  17. itsdapead

    itsdapead Hunter

    There seem to be 3 slightly different goals here:

    1. To be able to "mount" disk partitions in the same way as virtual drives. If this comes to fruition then I will be impressed.

    2. As a faster alternative to "shared folders". Don't wait up - that would involve two operating systems having simultaneous access to the "bare metal" of the same disk drive, with all the potential for conflict and corruption that entails. If they pull that off I will be very impressed.

    3. To be able to use the same Windows installation in Bootcamp and Parallels. I suspect this will confuse the hell out of windows and (for most people) screw up product activation. If parallels can fool windows into thinking its still running on the "real" machine and avoid this then I will do a Wayne's World "I'm Not Worthy" cowtow routine.

    Simply being able to mount the partitions from parallels read/write would be great (even if they were non-bootable and had to be dismounted from OSX first) as it would be a way to get data off NTFS and EXT2 drives without rebooting. (3) I suspect will be thwarted by Windows itself, while (2) might be a can of worms - looking at ways of speeding up shared folders and virtual networking would be time better spent (...but bear in mind that some of the slow-down is the overhead of managing multi-user access to the same data).
  18. cpl593h

    cpl593h Junior Member

    I couldn't have said it better. Not only NTFS and ext2, but virtually any filesystem from any OS.

    I'd just install a minimal version of, say, Gentoo Linux, which is able to mount ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, even NTFS (thanks to the new user-mode driver) or even more exotic FS's (say AmigaFS). I'd install it on a tiny disk image, with Samba as a fileserver. The complete virtual server would be tiny (as in a few megs, basically a kernel loaded with various file systems support, a Samba server and some basic tools). Then, I'd just mount the (real) partition and access it through SMB from any host (be it Mac OS X, Windows, Linux). The memory and CPU footprint should be minimal. (*)

    The two other scenarios are IMHO far less interesting: (3) using a real Windows from a real partition on the same machine will eventually go wrong in the long run. My personal advice to people wanting to use their bootcamp partition is to put Windows and its apps on a tiny partition and their data on another one so that they can use their Windows applications in a virtual machine and access their files on their real partition. A VM with Windows and whatever Windows-only app you need will take, what, 2 gigs, which is nothing, even on a notebook.

    (2) Mounting the same partition at the same time from two OS's won't go wrong in the long run: it will go wrong in the first minute you'll try that (except maybe if you mount them read-only, but that's asking for trouble anyway).

    (*) I just though of something that the Parallels team could distribute with Workstation/Desktop: a virtual machine file with just what I've described: a tiny Linux distro with support for various filesystems and a pre-configured Samba server. It would be easy to do, incredibly useful and wouldn't cost Parallels a buck, since it's all free software. Add a front-end for mounting these filesystem from the host machine through http and you've got a winner: start the VM, type its local IP in IE/Firefox/Safari, whatever, you get a list of mountable partitions, check the box corresponding to the partition(s) you want and voilà, instant, read-write and secure access to virtually any filesystem. Wow.

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