5 Ask Ben Anything – Questions about the new beta build

I’ve received a number of questions about the beta update that we released last week, so I wanted to devote this column to explaining what’s new:

Coherence: Run Windows without seeing Windows.
Coherence is a great new view mode that allows you to run any Windows application without seeing the Windows desktop! Each app sits in a self-contained window on your OS X desktop giving the illusion that the VM isn’t even there.

Its wicked cool. Check out Coherence in action:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and Microsoft Outlook running alongside
iPhoto and Safari via Parallels Dekstop’s Coherence

Prefer working with a full Windows desktop? You can still do that, but we’ve made it even easier with a fully resizable window. Now you can just drag the corner of the Parallels window and your VM will automatically resize, without losing resolution.

Run your Boot Camp install in a Parallels virtual machine.
Load your Boot Camp partition in Parallels without losing data, reinstalling applications, or re-loading Windows. A much requested feature that’s finally here!

File sharing just got easier with true “drag and drop”
In addition to a more powerful Shared Folder utility (you can now configure Shared Folders on the fly, while your VM is running), we’ve included true “drag and drop” functionality. Just drag a file from one OS to another and boost productivity even more!

All in all, this beta build has a ton of great stuff…and when its ready to go “live”, it’ll be COMPLETELY FREE to all registered users!

Ready to check it out? Get it now, and learn about how others are using the beta update’s great new features, at the Parallels Technical Forum.

Become a friend of Parallels on MySpace!
Join us at!

0 vThere 2.0 – powered by Parallels Workstation – is now available

A few weeks ago I talked about our relationship with Sentillion, in which Parallels Workstation replaced VMware’s player as the virtualization engine powering their class-leading serverless remote access solution, vThere.

Today, vThere version 2.0, powered by Parallels Workstation, is generally available and ready for sale. Check out the release and learn more about how our technologies work together at the vThere homepage.

Become a friend of Parallels on MySpace!
Join us at!

4 Parallels is now on MySpace

Due to many, many, many user requests, I’ve set up a Parallels profile on MySpace! This profile is going to be “home base” for user networking, and will hopefully be a great way for you to meet other Parallels users, stay up to date on trade shows, conferences and news, share ideas, and make some great friends in the process.

If you’re on MySpace (who’s not?), you can find the profile at Just make a friend request and you’ll be approved within the day.

6 Ask Ben Anything – VM location, Resizing a VM, Multiple Shared Folders

Anyway, I’m curious why, on Mac Pro, the VM needs to be setup on the OS X volume. I was all setup to create an XP VM on it’s own partition when I ran into this restriction. Now I’ll need to repartition a larger OS X volume so I have room for an XP VM as well (I’m using Parallels build 1970).

Thanks for your informative blog!
Clinton W.

While the Parallels application needs to be installed on the main OS X volume, you can you your actual VM file anywhere – on your main hard drive, on a separate partition (although no partitioning is necessary), on an external drive, or even on a network drive if you have enough bandwidth. Just make sure that you set the VM path in your configuration screen to the custom location.

All of the sudden, my Windows XP VM window got HUGE, and I can’t shrink it down to get to the toolbar on the side of the Parallels window. So, I’m stuck. How do I shrink it down so I can use it in windowed mode?

– Anonymous

You’ve actually bumped into a Windows issue, not a Parallels issue. Fortunately, fixing this is easy. Just right click in your Windows VM and select “properties”, then click “settings”. From there, you can change the Windows resoution with the slider bar. Click OK and you’ll be ready to go.

Can I safely create more than one shared folder?

Diana B.

Absolutely. Just click the Shared Folder icon in your configuration screen to bring up the Shared Folder pane. Click the “+” on the right side to set up a second shared folder just like you did the first time. When you reboot Windows, you’ll see both in the Parallels Shared Folder.

4 Run Vista in a VM, or run VMs on Vista, with the new Parallels Workstation update

As most of you know, Microsoft announced its RTM (“release to market”) version of Vista last week. In response to this, we’re releasing a new version of Parallels Workstation 2.2 that allow you to either run Vista – with a full Parallels Tools package – in a virtual machine, or run virtual machines on a machine using Vista as a primary OS.

In addition to primary OS support for Vista, and a complete Parallels Tools package for Vista VMs, we’ve also substantially improved performance for Vista running in a virtual machine. Internal testing shows that Vista under the Workstation update is up to 200% faster than under pervious versions!

XP running virtually in Parallels Workstation on a Vista-powered PC

So, What’s this all mean? It means that migrating to Vista just became less of a headache. If you’re a power user, you can upgrade your “real” box to Vista, and still have XP in a virtual machine to deal with any lagging hardware or software compatibility issues. If you’re looking to give Vista a try, but aren’t sure that you’re ready to make the plunge, you can run Vista in a Parallels virtual machine, kick it’s proverbial tires, and see if its the right OS for you. All without compromising your XP box.

As always, this update is FREE to registered customers, and new customers can get a free 15-day trial. If you have auto-update enabled, you’ll get the update automatically as the name implies. If not, you can get the update, or your free 15-day trial, at the Parallels Workstation Download Page.

Remember that upgrading to the new version of Workstation won’t require you to re-install any operating systems or applications, but that you will need to upgrade Parallels Tools once you’ve completed the upgrade.

If anyone has screenshots or stories of how they’re using Parallels to migrate to Vista, email them to me at, and I’ll post them, along with my thanks and your URL (if you want) on the blog.

Happy Vista-ing!

32 Using Bonjour to print in a Windows VM

If you’d like to print in your Windows VM using Parallels Desktop for Mac, without having to connect/disconnect your printer manually (or if you’re having trouble connecting a printer to a VM via straight plug-and-play), I recommend you try Bonjour for Windows, a free Apple-developed networking tool that effectively lets you share a printer between Windows and OS X.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make it work are below. All of the Windows screenshots you see here were taken in Parallels full-screen mode, with me switching back and forth between OSes using Virtue Desktops.

On your Mac, open System Preferences, then click “Sharing” and enable printer sharing by checking the “Printer Sharing” box.

Download Bonjour for Windows here. It’s a 14.2 MB file. Use the Parallels Shared Folder utility to share the file between OS X and Windows, or enable Shared Networking and download it straight in Windows.

Install Bonjour for Windows on your XP virtual machine.

Select the printer you want to share from the list of available devices.

Bonjour will ask you to configure this device from a drop down list of devices; I’ve always had good success with “generic postscript”, but you can also try to find your specific printer.

Open a document and hit print. You’ll see the printer appear in the drop down list.

This is a very easy process that shouldn’t take you more than 5-10 minutes. Good luck!

2 Ask Ben Anything – multiple NICs, sending keys, cloning VMs

Will you possibly be supporting multiple ethernet interfaces?

– Lasse Kim C.

We sure will. It’s been on our roadmap for the next version for a while now. Support for multiple NICs means tha you can pass a LAN line straight into a VM, giving it direct access to the ‘net with no bridging. Great for heavy VM users!

Hey Ben –

I needed to reboot my Windows virtual machine the other day, but couldn’t hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete to do it. So, I had to do a hard restart. How do I Ctrl+Alt+Delete in a virtual machine so I don’t have to do a hard restart?

Caroline B.

Click “VM” in the menu bar, then go to “send keys”. You’ll see a number of common keystroke combinations there; just click the one you want and you’ll be good to go.

Do I have to use the “Clone VM” function if I want to copy a VM?

– Anoynmous

No, but it makes your life easier, as it will let you copy the .pvs and .hdd file directly from within Parallels. Doing it manually by going into your library will accomplish the same thing, but will take more clicks.

I recommend cloning or copying your VM before expanding your hard drive and before running Compressor. It’ll give you a back-up copy in case there’s an error with either process.

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