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!

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