Help with Parallels and Time Machine Backup

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hungx, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. hungx, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

    hungx macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #1
    My virtual machine recently became corrupt and wouldn't open (not sure why) so I decided to restore the VM from a Time Machine backup. I restored the entire Parallels folder (where the VM was located). However, after the restore, I noticed that the folder was empty. I entered Time Machine again and the Parallels folder was empty for all backups. Apparently Time Machine didn't backup my VM. I'm super annoyed not only because I lost all my data but also because I can't find the original installation disc/product key. Does Time Machine backup Parallels VM? I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a new installation disc.

    Edit: I'm running the latest version of Mavericks and Parallels. The VM is not present in any of my backups starting from the earliest backup I have (2012).
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    It may be because TM never backed up the VM, probably because you may have excluded it at one time. Many people typically exclude the VM directory because it causes TM to back up many many gigabytes every time it runs.

    The bottom line is you don't have a backup :(
     
  3. tech3475 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #3
    Unfortunately I'm not familiar with parallels (I use VMWare), but is there a separate config file and virtual HDD?

    If so have you tried creating a new configuration but using the old virtual HDD?

    Or have you tried mounting the virtual image (if you can at all)? If it mounts it may be possible to recover the product key from the registry even if it wont boot (but I think this requires windows, get a W7 iso (they're legally downloadable if you can find a direct link from MS (digitalriver IIRC)) and install this using a 30 day trial).
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    In the VM settings in Parallels under Security there is a setting

    Time Machine: Do not back up virtual machine

    Is this checked?

    I do keep this checked because I personally prefer to use snapshots in Parallels to locally back up my VMs as well as a backup of the snapshots in the cloud with CrashPlan. Besides the greater amount of HD space required, Time Machine is not a good backup option for Parallels VMs that are running since the files are constantly changing.

    I can't remember if this setting is on by default in Parallels. It may be because as Parallels warns in the documentation:

    Warning: Time Machine backups can guarantee safety only when your Parallels virtual machines were stopped or suspended during the backup.
     
  5. hungx thread starter macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #5
    I did not exclude the VM for Time Machine backups. When I entered Time Machine the first time, the VM was initially there, but then disappeared when I tried to restore it.
     
  6. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #6
    Just checking, but, when you first entered Time Machine are you sure you weren't looking at the default "Today (Now)" view? Even if the VM was somehow not backed up in Time Machine it will always appear in the Time Machine Finder window when you first enter TM in the default view, and then disappear as soon as you cycle back to any earlier dates.

    When you say you didn't exclude the VM from TM backups do you mean in TM preferences, the Parallels VM configuration page I mentioned above or both?
     
  7. hungx thread starter macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #7
    No, I forgot to mention that this was after I navigated to a previous backup. The VM was initially there, but disappeared when I tried to restore it. The VM is also not in any of my previous backups even though I had used one of the previous backups to transfer data to my new computer.

    Both. Time Machine used to backup the VM, but it was not there when I tried to restore it.
     
  8. hungx, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014

    hungx thread starter macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #8
    I may have good news! I used a data recovery program and located the pvm file. The size of the VM is the same as the one that was overwritten. I am restoring it now and will let you all know the result.

    Edit: I have the hdd file. What should I do now?
     
  9. Kubaton macrumors member

    Kubaton

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    #9
    Within Parallels, you should be able to select File|Open... and navigate to the .pvm file.
     
  10. hungx thread starter macrumors 6502

    hungx

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #10
    This is the .hdd file, not the .pvm. It won't let me mount the drive using Parallels disk mounter.
     
  11. Kubaton macrumors member

    Kubaton

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    #11
    Ah, sorry about that. If you're not able to recover your current VM, you may be able to recover the data by creating a new VM and adding your old .hdd file as a 2nd hard disk in the hardware options for your new VM. It's basically what I did in the past with Windows drives that I couldn't get to boot. I'd mount them in Linux and recover the data.
     

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