Flip from BootCamp to Parallels


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 25, 2010
I have been using parallels w XP but, I also have bootcamp (never used) w win 7, is it possible to dump bootcamp and move the win 7 to my parallels or, do I have to buy a new windows. If it is, could you tell me how?
I have tried this question on parallels forum with the usual, no response.
Any help would be appreciated
thank you

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Yes, and no you don't have to buy Windows again.

Here are their instructions on how to do it (it's for migrating Boot Camp to another Mac, but the first steps show you how to convert it to a VM):

How to transfer Boot Camp installation to your new Mac using Parallels Desktop for Mac

Stop at "Transfer the imported Boot Camp partition to your new Mac", you don't need to do that bit or anything afterwards.
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macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
I believe Parallels will allow you to access your BootCamp Windows installation as a VM from within OS X (I use VMware Fusion and it does this and I think Parallels does as well).

You would not have to "dump BootCamp" or import your existing Windows into Parallels and you have a very flexible resulting system.

This allows you to access a single Windows installation from either OS X as a VM, or directly bootable. Since they are the same image, only one block of disk space is consumed, and any work or installations in one environment are also available in the other environment.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2014
or you could just make a new windows install in parallels. Microsoft gives a few activations before you have to call them. They do this as they know with their system checking technologies its easily tripped. If on a new system build diy style for example if you get to tweaking bios settings this can and will have it report post change as a potentially new system if you activated on first start.

In the old days you at least had the option to do windows updates unactivated jsut in case it hosed your install with the updates. IIRC with my 8.0 install windows update would not work untill activated.

Also worth noting if you have to call them this can be quick and relatively painless process. They are not concerned with say 4-5 activations on your license (I have hit these easily doing the bio tweaks mentioned above). Its when when your key has 100 activation requests on it for whatever reason they get concerned.