Parallels ate my virtual machine

Parallels ate my virtual machine

Summary: Must be a bad night. Shortly after I determined that Firefox 3.


Must be a bad night. Shortly after I determined that Firefox 3.0.5 is unusable on my Mac, Parallels ate my virtual machine.

The back story is that I use Parallels Desktop primarily for one task: accounting. The Windows version of QuickBooks is light years ahead of the Mac version – at least in QB 2008 – which can't do something as simple as download bank transactions. Instead I have to go to my bank's Web site, download my transactions then import them into QB for Mac. It sounds trivial but when once you've done this the automated way in QB Windows (which remembers which accounts to apply to which vendors, etc.) there's just no going back.

(I wonder if QuickBooks 2009 for the Mac is any better?)

Tonight in an attempt to do a little end-of-year accounting I was greeted by this message when I launched Parallels 4.0:

Parallels: The virtual machine cannot be used because its files are corrupted


Notice how the offending dialog doesn't say, "Would you like to attempt to salvage your data?"

Or, "Would you like to repair the file?"

Or, "Would you like to save the virtual machine for diagnosis?"

Or even, "Here are some guesses about what may have happened."

Just "your files are corrupted - we'll throw them away for you."

Parallels could use a little work on their messaging. I wonder if VMWare Fusion does this?

Topics: Virtualization, Apple, Banking, Hardware

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  • This Will Probably Be Useless.

    I use VMWare, but I haven't had any corruption situation with it
    and I use it for my Linux guests. I use Parallels for a Vista
    Business Professional vm and when the 3.0 guest got converted to
    the 4.0 guest, it made a backup copy that could not be moved
    because it had a file length problem. I ended up tossing it.

    Have you tried Time Machining back a day or two?
  • RE: Parallels ate my virtual machine

    Jason, I think you may have a bigger issue present in view of these two problems appearing back to back. In my other post, I simply suggested repairing permissions. Something big is awry and it would probably be prudent to run Disk Warrior against your startup disk, then repairing permissions. Keep us posted how you make out.
    • Sounds like the drive is going ...

      ... First guess would be bad sectors, second would be bad interface card (and possibly cables - if it's not a MacBook) ...

      Sorry Jason, panomedia is right, you've got bigger problems ... back up your data immediately.

  • Didn't you have the foresight to make an archived copy?

    Intelligence and a belief in 'Murphy's law'. That's what we expect IT journos to have.
  • It's your fault

    For putting that inferior OS even in VM on your Mac.
    OSX is perfectly capable and has the latest features
    and applications, more than Vista which sucks.
    • ROFL..... <nt>

    • Blase` "more than Vista which sucks."

      Take my advice son only talk about what you know about in the mean time children should be seen and not heard.
      Richard Turpin
  • I don't know if it will help...

    but have you ever tried running Quickbooks under CrossOver

    Quicken runs just fine with it, and I don't need a copy of
    Windows, or a separate partition.
    • Or he could just use the correct tool: Windows.

      Don't let religion get in the way of getting work done. If the correct tool for the job is Windows then use Windows. All these solutions of using alternatives to run Windows software on something else amuse me.

      Oh right...but OS X "just works"...oh the irony is rich isn't it?

      (I'm gonna catch it for this one!)
      • I second that motion...

        Our prepress department uses Mac, our accounting and shop runs Windows and the executives decided they wanted to do both because Imacs are more reliable (and smaller.) Now I've lost count of how many Parallels and Windows re-installs we've done because the virtual machine will not load, or has been corrupted, stopped, etc.
        • Would it be easier

          to just load Windows on the business
          imacs so the users can boot directly
          into that, as opposed to using the

          If they really don't need OSX, this might
          be more resistant to problems.
          • What a waste...

            of a good Mac machine. Mac boxes are meant to run Mac OS. You'll never hear me speak bad about them [i]in proper usage.[/i] I can't speak for other users, but at my company four people are running Windows XP on top of Parallels on top of OS X and not doing anything they weren't already doing with XP on a Pentium machine for a LOT less money. The decision was made because it was trendy - price was no object and performance was irrelevant.
      • He was using Windows..

        so I don't get your point. He was running Windows
        software on Windows.

        In my case, I've used Quicken since V2 for DOS, and I have
        decades of data in there. When I switched to the Mac in
        2005, I found that Quicken for Mac is a dreadful program,
        and not even file compatible with Quicken for Windows.

        Codeweavers recently gave away licenses to CrossOver,
        and I got one. Quicken for Windows works just fine. I
        don't use it anymore, I just tried it as an experiment. I use
        no Windows programs, except at work, and I run separate
        computers for each piece of software I run there -
        Windows computers for required Windows software, and
        Macs for required OS X software.

        But what does this have to do with OS X?
        • I meant natively and not in a VM on top of another OS. (nt)

          • You didn't say that.

            He was using Windows. Are you saying that using a VM, even
            on a Windows machine, is not good?
          • I thought it was obvious when I wrote the following:

            "All these solutions of using alternatives to run Windows software on something else amuse me."

            But I guess there are some people who need things specifically spelled out for them.

            [i]Are you saying that using a VM, even
            on a Windows machine, is not good?[/i]

            I'm saying that one should let the applications define the OS they use and not some religious belief. Apparently the blogger requires a program only available on Windows. Thus, IMO, it doesn't make sense to use an alternative and then run Windows on top of it.

            Of course we've all heard the reasons for using this particular alternative: It "just works". Which is why I made the comment about the irony.
          • I guess you're saying...

            that the whole point of a VM is invalid, then.

            The underlying OS should make not difference. If he's
            running Windows on a VM, he's running Windows. If this
            isn't reliable, then perhaps no one should use a VM with
            one OS over another. Have you informed VMWare and
            Parallels of that? They may disagree.

            If you're referring to my reference to CrossOver, in my case
            it was a simple expendient. They gave out licenses, and I
            found that Quicken works just fine. I still don't use it, but
            it was an interesting experiment, and I can recommend it
            to others.

            I do, however, [b]agree with you 100%.[/b] I run apps, not
            OSs. I prefer the interface that OS X gives me, but I use it
            to run applications. I've stated many times before that I
            use mostly cross-platform apps, so that I can maintain file
            compatibility with those few people I work with who use
            Windows. Filemaker, Vectorworks, Excel, Word. At work I
            have apps that are Windows only, and apps that are OS X
            only, and for that reason I have six computers; two run OS
            X, and four run Windows. One app per computer. I don't
            think you could accuse me of using a Mac because of some
            'religious belief.' These are applications that I have a say
            in choosing. I use the tools I need to get the job done.
            And, again, I fully agree with you; no one should choose
            their tools based on the toolbox.

            As for your OS X comment, well, I expect non sequiturs
            like that from the Zealot, not from you. I can't run
            Figure53's QLab on a Windows machine. Does that mean
            that Windows "doesn't work?" The fact that he's having
            possible hard drive problems, and that he's having trouble
            running a Windows app on top of OS X has nothing to do
            with OS X, and it was silly of you to make comments
            implying that it did. You know better than that.

            But, to end on a positive note, I will once again agree with
            you: Anyone who chooses their apps based on the OS is
  • RE: Parallels ate my virtual machine

    I don't I'll ever post a question at this site. Out of eight replies, only one is useful. The other replies are either criticisms or OS arguments. Very helpful...
    • What's wrong with OS arguments?

      Some of us don't agree with what the author is doing and offered our two pennies worth. A Mac computer doesn't magically cleanse Windows and make it run flawlessly. You end up playing the blame game between Mac, Parallels, and Windows whereas if something goes wrong with a Mac only machine we know where to look, with a Windows only machine we know where to look, instead of figuring out which of three OS's burped. (Yes, I count Parallels as an OS.)

      PS- He may or may not have hard drive problems. We have had Parallels crash with no evidence of hard drive errors. It's apparently such a common problem that one of their error messages says to re-install Parallels.
  • RE: Parallels ate my virtual machine

    Sounds like your hard drive is having issues. Firefox and Parallels both having problems at the same time?

    I'm sure Parallels appreciates your bad publicty on this, and your request for them so somehow magically diagnose and repair your problem. If the hardware is failing, you blame the software? I don't really think that's fair Jason.

    As a side note - I prefer VMware Fusion if only because it uses standard vmware images that can be run on everything from their free "Player" up to the free "Server" and even an ESX farm if that's how you roll. It just provides more flexibility.

    While I'm on the topic, it must be annoying for Mac users to have to pay for VMware. I mean, VMware player is free for Windows. VMware Server is free for Linux and Windows. It seems that VMware decided that Mac users are used to paying more for stuff so they figured they can milk the Mac users for $60.