In the current version of Parallels Desktop, you can use your Boot Camp Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 7 partition as a bootable disk or as a data disk in virtual machines.
Warning: If your Boot Camp partition does not have the Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 operating system installed, you may damage the Boot Camp partition trying to use it via Parallels Desktop virtual machine.
Using the Boot Camp Partition as a Data Disk
To use the Boot Camp Windows partition as a data disk, add it as a hard disk to an existing Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 virtual machine. The Windows operating system will automatically recognize it as a new disk. For detailed information on adding hard disks to Virtual Machine Configuration, see Adding and Removing Devices.
Using the Boot Camp Partition as a Bootable Disk
If you install Parallels Desktop on a Mac computer with a Boot Camp Windows partition, and Parallels Desktop detects that there are no virtual machines on the computer, it automatically creates a new virtual machine for this Boot Camp partition and places it to the following location:
You can create a virtual machine for Boot Camp with the help of New Virtual Machine Assistant. For detailed information, see Creating a Virtual Machine for the Boot Camp Partition.
Alternatively, you can simply substitute the bootable virtual disk of an existing Windows virtual machine with the Boot Camp partition. To do that, add the Boot Camp partition as a hard disk to the virtual machine and change the boot order to make the virtual machine boot from the Boot Camp disk.
Note: It is important to specify the type of the guest OS in the virtual machine correctly, in accordance with the operating system installed on the Boot Camp partition.
When you boot into Boot Camp Windows through Parallels Desktop for the first time, Parallels Desktop installs Parallels Tools.
Note: Using Boot Camp Windows via virtual machine may require to re-activate the guest operating system.
Limitations for Parallels Virtual Machines Using the Boot Camp Partition
There is a number of limitations for a Parallels virtual machine that uses the Boot Camp Windows partition either as a bootable volume or as a data disk:
Note: There are no limitations on types of users who can access the Boot Camp Windows partition from a virtual machine. You can log into Windows even if you don't have administrator rights.