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Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive

 

At a recent conference for Mac® IT admins, I was asked, “Can you run a VM from an external drive?”

  1. Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive On Windows 10
  2. Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive On My Computer
  3. Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive
Win

Scenario 2: You have Parallels Desktop on your Mac, and you want to add a Windows 10 VM. Adding Windows 10 as an additional VM in Parallels Desktop is also easy. To start the process, either choose “New” in the File menu of Parallels Desktop, or click on the “+” sign in the top right corner of the Control Center window.

Short answer: “Yes, absolutely. I do this all the time.”

  1. Neither of my external hard drives (USB) show up in windows 'my computer', although they do seem to be recognized by windows ('You can get better.
  2. Running a Parallels Desktop virtual machine from an external drive (yes, for real!) With the rising trend of cloud storage, computer users are seeing a gradual increase in file size foreverything! Would you have imagined holding a 1 TB thumb drive 10 years ago? Not only is it available nowadays, but you can get it at a reasonable price!
  3. Shut down your virtual machine, quit Parallels Desktop and disconnect your USB device from your Mac. Connect your USB device to your Mac. Make sure the device is detected on the Mac side: In case of an external storage device it should appear in Finder.

Longer answer: You have always been able to run a Parallels Desktop® for Mac virtual machine from an external drive. In Parallels Desktop 13, this performance has been significantly improved, if your external drive is an SSD drive connected to your Mac by Thunderbolt.

So that you can see what it’s like to run a VM from an external drive, I made a short video. (See video 1). I have deliberately not changed the video playback speed, or deleted any portion of it, in order for you to get an accurate “feel” of the VM’s performance.

Video 1: Running a Windows 10 VM from an external drive Talk to text for mac.

While this is subjective, I think you’ll agree that this VM’s performance looks the same as a VM on the Mac internal storage. For the definitive word on virtual machine performance on a Mac, see this comprehensive MacTech report.

As you can see in the video (at 00:22), Parallels Desktop does alert you when you boot up a VM stored on an external drive. This is so you do not inadvertently disconnect the external drive while the VM is running. (See figure 1.)

Here are the details about the setup for this video:

Parallels Desktop 13.2.0

Touch Bar™ MacBook Pro® with 16 GB RAM running High Sierra 10.13.1 (with all patches)

External Drive: SSD2go PKT (1 TB, with USB-C connection)

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) with all patches

Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive On Windows 10

Drives

Microsoft Office 2016 Version 1710 (Build 8625.2127) with all patches

Microsoft Edge 41.16299.15.0

The easiest way to build a VM that can be used on an external drive is to create that VM in your shared VM folder. Then just move the VM’s pvm file to the external drive, as detailed in this Knowledge Base (KB) article, How to run a virtual machine from network or external mass storage. (If you want to move a VM from your personal VM folder to an external drive, you may need to adjust the VM’s permissions as detailed in the KB article, How to share virtual machine with several user accounts on a Mac.)

Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive On My Computer

I hope this helps you manage the limited storage on your Mac, since you can move an infrequently used VM to an external drive and still use it without a noticeable performance penalty.

Let us know in the comments if you store some VMs on an external drive and what your experiences have been.

Parallels For Mac Win 10 Can't Find External Hard Drive

If you want to try running a VM from an external drive with Parallels Desktop 13, feel free to get started with our free, full-featured 14-day trial.