Time Machine and Parallels

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by ptmccain, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. David5000

    David5000 Pro

    What version of Parallels are you running? What guest OS?

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  2. loper9

    loper9 Bit poster

    Related question: if I prefer not to have all of Parallels (3.0, v. 5160.0 w/ XP) backed up on a continuous basis, is there one single data file of Parallels that I can archive and easily restore the Windows environment if something gets corrupted? Is this user>library>parallels folder sufficient or do I need to archive something more?

    If the Parallels (Macintosh) program gets corrupted, can I just download the latest version, install it and use it to open my archive user>library>parallels folder?

    I don't need sequential backups of my Parallels and XP environment. Once it's working the way I want, I would like one quick and easy way to restore it back to the way it was if something goes wrong.

    Thank you.
  3. nonnoumenon

    nonnoumenon Bit poster

    and what about backing up windows docs?

    no doubt, even those with tiny windows VMs will probably have to exclude them from Time Machine eventually. normal VM sized users have no choice. so: what workarounds have people found for backing up Windows documents?

    The most primitive is forcing the user to drag their windows folders over manually to the Mac and let time machine backup again and handle the time separations. Another solution is a Windows or Mac backup program or script that automates that process, assuming folder/volume mapping/sharing between windows & mac is working properly. have not tried either yet, both seem kind of crap, i mean what's the point of time machine if it doesn't do everything itself?

    The third solution is for Parallels to provide a way to divide the VM, perhaps complete system+apps on one side, all user folders on the other. but i'm not holding my breath on that...
  4. MrMacHead

    MrMacHead Member

    Save Windows Files to Mac User Folder

    nonnoumenon -

    I know it isn't elegant or zero-effort, but I have setup Parallels to Share my Mac's Home Folder and assign a drive letter (see Picture 3). When I wish to save a Windows created file and have it archived by Time Machine, I simply save it into the Mac's shared folder.

    When I do the Save As from a Windows application, I click on My Computer, then the Network Drive (see Picture 2). Or, even faster, create a shortcut on the Desktop to the specific Mac folders.

    There may be better methods built into Parallels. Have you looked at the manual?

    Attached Files:

  5. nonnoumenon

    nonnoumenon Bit poster

    that is the best method available right now i think, thanks. as long as windows can be forced to save everything from every app into the networked folder by default. i tried it initially but although i have the sharing and drive mapping turned on, but they aren't working so i have to debug that.
  6. soundevolution

    soundevolution Member

    Time Machine backs up entire files. Unlike Subversion. But it uses hard links for files that have not changed. Therefore, when an entirely new backup is made, the only additional disk space required is for new/changed files since the last backup. (And of course, some overhead for the volumes catalog file).

    This works very well for small files, but a large file, like an 8GB image is going to take up a whole new 8GB for each small change.

    A better way might be for Time Machine to backup the mounted image and not the image file itself. Then Time Machine can "see" each individual file in the image, and incremental backups will be much more efficient. I'm sure that this will be difficult given users and permissions on an NTFS volume being backed up to a HFS+ volume, though... :(

  7. ttalleur

    ttalleur Bit poster

    Time Machine Issues


    I just lost my .pvs and .hdd files (corrupted). All of this has happened since I installed Leopard and started using Time Machine while running the VM. My situation is a bit more complicated since the crash occurred while I was trying to run a Windows Mobile update for my T-Mobile Dash cell phone on the VM.

    All of this notwithstanding, I have found issues with Time Machine. I notice that it does not back up my home folder. I also notice that it has not backed up my .pvs and .hdd files.

    In short, it appears to me that Time Machine just "skips over" things and I am not certain about a complete backup. I'm getting ready to make a .dmg of my entire machine just in case s.h.

  8. Alicia

    Alicia Parallels Team


    ttalleur, are you sure that your Home Folder (and .hdd as well) was not excluded from the Time Machine?
    And yes, it is better to always backup, at least just copy the .hdd file and keep it somewhere safe.
  9. ttalleur

    ttalleur Bit poster



    Yes, I am sure Time Machine is not backing up MY home folder. Ironically, it is backing up those of other users. And no, I do not have File Vault on.

    I was keeping a Backup copy of the drive under Tiger along with a separate copy of the .hdd and .pvs files. But these were overwritten when I installed Leopard. The first thing I did was make a Time Machine backup of the drive upon installation of Leopard. Ironically, the Parallels .pvs and .hdd files were corrupted in this backup. I never would have suspected TM would be a problem Backup on the Mac always worked well. And let's face it, a backup is a backup in Unix, generally. I'm going back to the command line and not trusting these GUI tools any more. I've gotten complacent in my old age in this respect.
  10. Alicia

    Alicia Parallels Team


    ttalleur, I'm sorry for your lost backups.
    You still have an .hdd file which is corrupted, am I right?
    If I am, please, try to perform the following:

    in the Finder, browse to the virtual machine folder (the default path is: Documents-Parallels-Virtual Machine).
    Find and delete the ".sav" and ".mem" files in the virtual machine folder.

    And then, try to follow the steps from this article, please.

    Will it help?
  11. TucsonTom

    TucsonTom Member

    Can't exclude parallels partition from Time Machine

    My parallels image file is in /Users/tom/Library/Parallels. On my system Time Machine has all of the /tom/ directories grayed out. From this thread it sounds like you guys don't have this problem. Any idea why I do?
  12. jackybe67

    jackybe67 Pro

    Look in the documents folder for parallels winxp.hdd
  13. Alicia

    Alicia Parallels Team


    TucsonTom, you can move Parallels virtual hard disk file to another folder which can be excluded from the Time Machine list.

    However, could you please make a screenshot of the Time Machine window with those "grayed out" folders list and attach it to your reply here?
  14. TucsonTom

    TucsonTom Member

    I was able to get access to the folder. But I'm curious to know if moving the Parallels .hdd file to a drive other than the drive where the Parallels desktop application resides would improve performance. I am running a Mac Pro and have an internal RAID array with some free space.
  15. mrmac

    mrmac Bit poster

    Does it make any difference to using Time Machine if I've got my drive image setup to use the smaller files?
  16. grimslade

    grimslade Bit poster

    Excluding the disk image

    Is it necessary to exclude the entire parallels folder, or can I exclude only the .hdd file?


  17. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels Forum Maven

    I suggest to exclude the whole folder
  18. make money

    make money Bit poster

    That means very large TM backups every hour and it also means that TM backups will very quickly eat up the hard drive space on the backup drive. It is therefore recommended that you exclude your parallels virtual machine from TM backups.
    TM only backs up modified and new files. If you don't install new applications or update Leopard, they won't be copied again after the first time. The reason one should exclude VMWare Fusion or Parallels VMs is that they are huge files which are modified basically every time VMWare or Parallels runs. That doesn't happen to normal applications or
    system files This keeps the free space on my TM drive extremely stable. It only decreases when I install new applications, system updates or add/modify documents, and the decrease is of course the same size as the new application or whatever the change was...
  19. alexg

    alexg Parallels Developers


    You can control backup by two ways:

    1. Setup Time Machine do not backup your VMs. See Time Machine preferences.
    2. Disable backup directly from VM configuration. Open VM configuration then General tab and click "Do not backup with Time Machine" option.

    Parallels Desktop fully integrated with advanced Apple's technologies.

    Best regards,
  20. Carlos

    Carlos Bit poster

    Hi Alex,

    could you please explain the difference between methode 1 and 2?

    I would expect to see a change in the time machine settings (exclude options) even when using the option within the vm setting, right?

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