back up parallels

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by lardin, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. lardin macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    I just installed xp in parallels, I allocated 20g to the vm, so the .hdd file is pretty big. what is the best way to back up the xp system so in case xp crashes, I dont have to do the installation again? If I just copy the .hdd file to an external drive, would that be sufficient? It seems that if i do it that way, i am backing up a lot of empty spaces(I only used about 10g).

    I tried to copy the .hdd file to a fat32 external hd, it doesnt work cause fat32 has a limit of 4g, or sth like that. so i guess I have to format the external drive to a mac format, if so, what format do u guys recommend.

    thank you so much. i am a newbie of mac, apologize if the questions are dumb.......
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    You'll need to use a drive with a different file system then FAT32 and that's writable by OS X.

    In "~/Library/Parallels/" the virtual machine is stored in a neat folder. It should be hard to drag it instead of the individual configuration and disk image onto a different drive.
  3. lardin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    thank you for ur response. it was fast.

    but like I said, my xp is 20g with 10g empty space. so the .hdd file is a little less than 20g. fat32 cant take a single file more than 4g.

    also i felt it is really inefficient to backup a lot of empty spaces. please comment on this too. thanks.

  4. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    actually, FAT32 can't handle files bigger than 2gb, not 4gb.
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    What do you want me to do? Magically make FAT32 able to handle files larger then 4 GB? Sadly I can't.

    You're going to have to format your backup drive to something OTHER then FAT32. More then likely HFS+ would be the best option.
  6. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Actually, the OP is right, FAT32 has a file limitation of 4GB, FAT16 is 2GB.

    OP, you will want to reformat your external drive as HFS+, this can be done with Disk Utility. Keep in mind, you will lose anything you have on it already and won't be able to use this drive with Windows with third party software.
  7. lardin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    I was hoping to someone to say sth like: you can somehow compress the actual data under 4g and back it up.

  8. lardin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    thank you. can u also address my second question: how to only back up the 'actual' data, not the empty space?

  9. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    When you created the VM, did you make the virtual disk image expanding or did you assign the full 20 GB to it?

    If you use an expanding disk image it will only take up as much space as needed, so if you're using an non-expanding disk image you will need to use Parallels Image Tool to make a copy of it as an expanding disk.

    Then use Parallels Compressor to defrag and compress the disk image to it's smallest size possible, and you can zip to maybe gain a few more MBytes (although I'm not sure if the result of Compressor is any more compressible)
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Reference FAT32:

    - File size is limited to 4GB.

    - Partition size is limited to 2TB

    Reference backing up, the easiest way is to back up the Parallels HD file.

    As for the smallest size HD image file, you could do what the poster above suggested.
  11. lardin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    I expanded the xp harddrive from the default size 8g to 20g. so now it is a single 20g partition and I used 10g of it. I guess I will just copy the whole damn 20g .hdd file to an external HFS+ partition since there is no simple solution.. thanks.

  12. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    You could consider just using a file splitter (split/cat), or better still archiver (ZIP, RAR) into smaller chunks (say 700 MB) so you could put 'em on FAT32 or even CD-Rs...

  13. Romulus macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2006
    Why is your XP 20Gb? I used dynamic allocation for parallels, with a maximum HD at 10Gb. After installing XP Pro with SP2, updating all necessary software, installing Office 2003, Photoshop 6 (I just don't need the latest, I used it for basic picture editing), Winamp, and other small software,...

    and then using Parallels VM compressor (included under one of the menus at the top), my VM folder is only 2.7Gb or so...

    Try to use compressor... and then, drag the entire folder to an external drive... That's what I did, but then I'm dealing with only 2.7Gb. And yes, my installed XP is really fast. 100Mb powerpoint file took seconds to open (compared to minutes in Office 2004)...

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