What are multiple .hds files in huge .pvm file?

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by bobito, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. bobito

    bobito Bit Poster


    I have a 60 GB Parallels VM -- that is, Windows 7 thinks it has 60 GB -- but my .pvm file is 170 GB! I looked inside and the Windows 7-0.hdd file is the big one. Inside that are several files with similar names like Windows 7-0.hdd.0.{1c098f7e-238a-49bb-b764-df7b6e90b99b}.hds with varying dates and sizes, like 25 GB, 35 GB, 40GB, and 65GB.

    What are these and why does it need them? How can I reduce their size?
  2. mmika

    mmika Kilo Poster

    These are virtual machine data, i.e data reside on virtual HDD.
    Also there are several instance of that data because you have some snapshots.
    Review your virtual machine snapshot list and delete those that do not actual for you anymore.
    Most likely you want to delete the oldest ones. But do not select "revert to snapshot" without making a a snapshot of a current state (the state you currently use).
  3. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Kilo Poster

    I have the same problem as Bobito, but it is not snapshots.

    The bar diagram in the Parallels->Configuration->General window shows:
    Total size: 121.2 Gb
    Hard disks: 115.9 Gb
    Snapshots: 5.3 Gb
    Miscellaneous: 13.8 Mb
    Reclaimable: 0 Kb

    Parallels->Configuration->Hardware->Hard Disk 1 shows "Expanding disk 86.0 Gb"

    Within Windows the C drive is 85.1 Gb

    Show Package Contents on the .pvm, then again on the .hdd file shows five .hds files, 81.1 Gb, 20.5 Gb, 20.4 Gb, 1.7 Gb, and 535 Mb

    Is there any way to resolve this?

  4. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Kilo Poster

    UPDATE: Just found solution in this thread. Worked a charm!

    46.7 Gb recovered. This is slightly more than might be deduced from above but is what Finder is reporting before and after.

    So it was indeed a Snapshot problem, but not one that could be resolved by simply deleting snapshots in Snapshot manager.

    I just used it on another VM and recovered 10Gb that I had not noticed was missing.

    Seems like this ought to be a maintenance activity form time to time.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  5. Hi,
    A snapshot is a saved state of the virtual machine. Snapshots can be created manually or automatically when the virtual machine is running. After you make a snapshot, you can continue working with the virtual machine and revert to the created snapshot at any time of your work.
    If you would like to manage your snapshots please refer this article.
  6. Mike Boreham

    Mike Boreham Kilo Poster

    Pradeep, I think you probably missed the point of my posts #3 and 4, as the problem was not solvable by normal snapshot management, as described in the link you gave, and with which I am very familiar. I solved the problem by finding this thread:
    ...which describes a Terminal based process, also described in this Parallels KB:
    This completely solved my problem, and I did not have to delete any of my snapshots which are all still in place.
    The problem arises when deleting old snapshots does not give up the space. I think in my case snapshots from when it was Windows 7 were involved, and the machine is now upgraded to Windows 10. The old snapshots were not appearing in Snapshot manager but the .hds files were still using up substantial space.
  7. TonyC9

    TonyC9 Bit Poster

    Did nothing for me: 200G hdd file, no snapshots. Any way to reduce the hdd file itself?
  8. Hemnath@Parallels

    Hemnath@Parallels Parallels Support

    Hello TonyC9. Let's try and shrink the virtual machine as much as possible:
    1.) Free up disk space in Windows (use this article as a reference), shut Windows down and then reclaim disk space.
    2.) Disable 'SmartGuard'.
    3.) Launch Terminal (from the Finder menu, navigate to Go -> Utilities -> Terminal.app).
    4.) Copy the following command and paste it in Terminal as it is (do not hit 'Enter' yet): prl_disk_tool merge --hdd
    5.) Find your virtual machine on your Mac and ensure that there is a backup of this file available.
    6.) Drag the .hdd file and drop it inside the Terminal window (do not close the screen in which you see the .hdd file yet; keep it open).
    7.) In Terminal, you will now see an outcome similar to the following example (please note there should be a space between --hdd and /Users/Username...): prl_disk_tool merge --hdd /Users/Username/Documents/Parallels/Windows\ 7.pvm/Windows\ 7-0.hdd
    8.) Press 'Return' to start merging Snapshots (this process removes all snapshots, including hidden ones). (Important: Please wait till the operation completes; do NOT close the Terminal window before then.)
    9.) Once the operation finishes, close Terminal.
    10.) Now, go back to the window in which you saw the .hdd file. Move the folder 'Snapshots' and the file 'Snapshots.xml' to the Trash. Then close this window.

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