Leopard Upgrade: Parallels VMs Restored

Due to the time and hassle of rebuilding my Parallels Desktop VMs I wanted to use the VMs I had already created. This was simple to accomplish. I didn’t do anything special to prepare but all my VMs were shut down the last time I used them, not just suspended. I also didn’t have any snapshots to be saved.

I did a complete erase and fresh install of Leopard. I’d cloned my disk so I’d be using the clone as a backup to restore from. After installing Leopard I installed Parallels and ran it once to make sure it created all the directories it needed then shut it down. Then I dragged the ~/Library/Parallels folder from my backup to my Leopard drive and put it in the same location.

To load the VMs it was simply a matter of picking “Choose” from the new VM dialog.

Then browsing for the VM and selecting it.


Once it’s loaded Parallels will remember it and you can open it as you would any other VM in the future.


That’s it.

One thing I like about Leopard is Spaces. I have one space set up just to run Parallels in Coherence mode without mucking up the rest of my desktops.

Also, I did have a problem adding Boot Camp as a VM although the problem seems to pre-date Leopard.

If the large size if the VMs causes performance problems when Time Machine backs them up you may want to read about what I did.

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