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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