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Browse Virtual Hard Disks in Mac OS X

For easy access to Windows files, you can mount the virtual hard disk (on which Windows is installed) in Mac OS X.

Mount a Virtual Hard Disk to the Mac OS X Desktop

If you need the virtual hard disk (on which Windows is installed) to be mounted to the Mac OS X desktop when Windows is running, open Finder, choose Finder > Preferences > General and select the Connected servers option.

For easy access to your virtual machines files, you can mount their hard disks in Mac OS X Finder together with other disks and storage devices.

If you want your virtual hard disks to be mounted to the Mac OS X desktop when the virtual machine is running, perform the following actions:

  1. Open the Sharing pane of the Virtual Machine Configuration dialog and enable the Mount virtual disks to Mac desktop option.

    Note: To be able to edit the settings in the Sharing pane, you must have Parallels Tools installed in the virtual machine and the Isolate Mac from Windows option disabled in the Security pane.

  2. Open the Finder Preferences, click the General tab and select the Connected servers option in the list of items displayed on the desktop.

If you want to manage the virtual machine content without starting the virtual machine, you can mount the virtual hard disks manually using Parallels Mounter:

  1. Browse the virtual machine files in Finder. For Parallels virtual machines, right-click the virtual machine name in Parallels Desktop Control Center (or in the virtual machine window if it is shut down) and select Show in Finder from the context menu.

    The default paths for storing Parallels virtual machines are /Users/<UserName>/Documents/Parallels/ and /Users/Shared.

  2. To mount the hard disk of a particular virtual machine, right-click this virtual machine's file and choose Open With > Parallels Mounter or Open With > Other > Library > Parallels > Parallels Mounter from the shortcut menu. You can mount the following virtual machines and hard disks:
    • Parallels bundle (.pvm) or configuration file (.pvs) or virtual hard disk file (.hdd).
    • VMware configuration file (.vmx, .vmwarevm) or virtual hard disk file (.vmdk).
    • Virtual PC configuration file (.vmc, .vpc7) or virtual hard disk file (.vhd).
    • VirtualBox configuration file (.xml) or virtual hard disk file (.vdi).

    If you choose the PVM file of a Parallels virtual machine or the configuration file of a third-party virtual machine that has several virtual hard disks, all its volumes will appear as mounted in Finder.

    If you want to mount a single virtual hard disk, double-click the virtual hard disk file to mount it with Parallels Mounter. The icon for the selected hard disk appears in the sidebar of the Finder window, together with other Mac OS X icons.

  3. To browse the contents of a volume, click its icon in the sidebar of the Finder window.

    You can manage the virtual machine files just as you manage your Mac OS X files in Finder windows.

    Note: If you are browsing the contents of a suspended virtual machine in Finder, you cannot delete, move, or otherwise modify its files.

  4. To unmount the volume, use the Eject button EjectButton_Explorer next to the disk icon.

    Note: If a hard disk that has several volumes was mounted and you want to open it or the virtual machine using it in Parallels Desktop, you should disconnect its volumes one by one by clicking the Eject button.