Mac OS forum

General discussion

How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels

by chris4819 / October 18, 2010 7:46 PM PDT

How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels on a Mac?
Friday, 15 days before, I worked in Windows 7 using Parellels 5 on a Mac (Snow Leopard) desktop computer.
I don?t know what happened, but when next Monday I tried to get into Windows, I couldn?t do it. It gives the ?setup is starting?? on the Windows 7 wallpaper, and in the taskbar says that Parallels tools are not installed.
When I try to install the Parallel Tools I have to put some GB on the HDD, which is 64 GB, but I?m afraid that perhaps I lose some data, even if I don?t know for the time being, where is located this data.
Can somebody tell me where is my C:\ disk? And how I can find all my Windows partition, to copy what I don?t like to lose? Please!
I tried to put a new VM, with a new version of Windows 7 and as key I wrote xxxxx.xxxx?., and on the Windows desktop opens a window where is: ?The unattend answer file contains an invalid product key. Either remove the invalid key or provide a valid product key in the unattend answer file to proceed with Windows installation.?
I don?t know where these files are to change them. Also the old VM, does not open, and gives the same ?unattend answer? error.
iMac configuration :
21.5-inch: 3.06GHz
1920-by-1080 resolution
4GB (two 2GB) memory
500GB hard drive
8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB

Please Help.?Thank You.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Parallels version 5
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 18, 2010 9:55 PM PDT

This software uses a file that is stored somewhere on your computer. It is located wherever you told it to go when Parallels and Windows was first installed.
It is a very large file.
The problem is that without Parallels running correctly, access to this file is pretty much not going to happen.

The file is not something that you can just open up, take a look inside and find the C:\ drive.

Possibly you best bet would be to call Parallels Tech Support and tell them what the problem is and how to cure it.


Collapse -
How can I find C:\ and retrieve Windows files from Parallels
by chris4819 / October 19, 2010 2:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Parallels version 5

Thanks for the answer.

Contacting Parallels was the first thing. But no reply yet...

I'm wondering if I uninstall Parallels and install them again, will solve the situation...

What do you think?

Thanks again.


Collapse -
Parallels issue

The problem is that Parallels is a software program that runs a operating system like Windows over OSX. When you create a Virtual Machine boot. Parallels creates a File to load the operating system in on OS X. It then knows to look their for files. If your going to start all over and create a new Virtual Machine. You still will not see any files from the old one. It is possible the old one is corrupt. If you tend to go the direction of creating a new Virtual Machine then I would delete the old one. If however you want to try and save some files I would try and find the Parallels folder created.
Even though the Parallels forums are sometimes slow to respond I think they an better answer your question. I tried Parallels a couple of times and then went back to just using BootCamp. I find booting into Windows natively works much better then any Virtual Machine could ever do.

Collapse -
Also note
by sturner--2008 / October 26, 2010 1:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Parallels issue

that you can use an NTFS formatted partition or drive as the C:/ drive for your Parallels installation. You can do the same with VMWare Fusion. This means that your files actually reside on a physical location that you can access outside of Parallels. If you go this route, I recommend that you invest in a program like Paragon's NTFS for Mac, which allows you to read and WRITE to an NTFS formatted partition. There is a freeware version of this available, but I find it easier to trade $30 or so for a program that will work without me getting all techinical.

Collapse -
Find File containng image of Win 7 VM in Parallels 8
by jtyler2gator / January 27, 2013 12:38 AM PST

The file that Parallels 8 uses to store a Windows OS image is a PVM file. ( Win7ImageName.pvm)
This file is stored by Parallels on your Mac OSX 10.7 or later system in a user folder. The default folder is in your Documents, i.e.,


Note -- "UserName" above must be replaced with your Mac OS username, and "Win7ImageName" must be replaced with the actual name of the PVM file on your Mac.

The problem here is that this PVM file has been moved out of it's normal location (or possibly deleted).

1. Check Trash for a PVM file.

2. Find the PVM file. The quickest way to locate the PVM file is with the OSX Spotlight search from the desktop, enter ".pvm" (without quotes!) and then select "Show All in Finder" at the top of the list, then select the PVM file from that list, and the full pathway will appear at the bottom of the Finder window.

3. Move this PVM file back to the default location:

Restart Parallels, you should be good to go. Have Fun.

Collapse -
other way
by ZenOFF / September 7, 2015 8:00 AM PDT
Collapse -
Nice try but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 7, 2015 2:11 PM PDT
In reply to: other way

this fix applies to Parallels 6, 7, 8 & 9 and this user have V5.


Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,224 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,453 discussions
Laptops 20,090 discussions
Security 30,722 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,937 discussions
Windows 10 1,295 discussions
Phones 16,252 discussions
Windows 7 7,684 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,215 discussions


What do the color stripes mean on your tires?

Brian Cooley tells you why you might see various color lines on the wheels of your automobile.