Transferring my Parallels virtual machine over to new Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sossity, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have a new macbook air running mavericks & an older mac, of which has parallels installed on it with windows xp and windows 7.

    I would like to be able to transfer this from my older mac to my macbook air. Can I do this with time machine? and can I pick out what items I want to migrate from my time machine backup when I am using migration assistant on my macbook air?
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    I don't think you can be super granular when using MA from a TM backup.

    If I were you and you still have the old Mac, just have both machines on the same network and browse the other Mac from Finder. Look for the Folder which contains the VM and copy it to the new Mac.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The easiest way is to just copy the VM's disk image file. You can use Time Machine, but the level of control is at the OSX file level. I'm not sure if you're asking if you want to pick and choose what's in your VM to copy. For that, its all or nothing. With Time Machine you can selectively restore what files/folders but for OSX not within a proprietary file structure like a VM disk image
  4. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    When I used MA during my SSD upgrade, it was all or nothing. I was migrating from my old OS disk rather than TM but I imagine it's similar. I was able to select what I wanted to bring over but only to the point of selecting data, apps, music, pictures but nothing more granular than that.

    Actually, see here for more info on MA in Mavericks:
  5. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    where would I find this? and how would I copy? could I copy the vm disc image to external hard drive and then copy to my laptop?
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    That should work just fine.

    As an aside, you might want to exclude the VM folder from your Time Machine backups. The Mac OS sees the VM as a single file, of course, and if you make any changes (or just open Windows) the VM file is Machine will want to backup the entire, new VM image file. You can see where this is going...Time Machine will be copying this huge image file every hour if you're running Windows. This can be a system slowdown and/or it can fill your Time Machine disk way too quickly.

    You can back it up manually every so often.

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