Search

Language:  
Search for:

Available article translations:

How to assign the Windows host computer's primary video adapter to virtual machines.

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Workstation 6.x Extreme

Introduction

Parallels Workstation Extreme allows you to assign PCI devices of the host computer directly to virtual machines. For example, if you have two video adapters, you can assign one of them to virtual machines. The other will be used by the host computer and won't be available to Parallels Workstation. If you have only one video adapter, it is used by the host computer and not available to Parallels Workstation. However, you can still make it invisible to the host operating system and available to virtual machines. This article describes how to assign the primary video adapter to virtual machines running on Windows host computers.

Guidelines

The way to assign the primary video adapter to virtual machines depends on the Windows version. In our example, we will show how to do it in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. You can use these general guidelines to assign the primary video adapter to virtual machines also in Windows XP.
 
  1. Enable remote desktop connections to your Windows host computer and write down its IP address. You will need it later.
  2. Make sure the host computer has a USB mouse and keyboard connected. You will need them later to be able to work with the virtual machine with the primary video adapter assigned.
  3. Enable remote desktop connections to the virtual machine to which you're going to connect the primary video adapter. Write down this virtual machine's IP address. You will need it later.
  4. Start Parallels Workstation and click File > Preferences > Intel VT-d. If you don't see any video adapter, it means that there is only one video adapter on your host computer. If you see a video adapter, remeber its name. It is your secondary video adapter. The primary will appear in this pane in step 10.
  5. Stop the Parallels Virtualization Service. To stop it, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools and double-click Services. Right-click the Parallels Virtualization Service and select Stop.
  6. Now you need to make the primary video adapter visible to Parallels Workstation by editing the dispatcher.workstation.xml file. This file is hidden by default and located in the C:/Program Data/Parallels directory. To make the file visible, click Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options. In the Folder Options window, click the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and click OK. After that, click Start > All Programs > Accessories, right-click WordPad and select Run as administrator. In WordPad open the dispatcher.workstation.xml file  for editing and change the <PrimaryVgaAllowed>0</PrimaryVgaAllowed> line to <PrimaryVgaAllowed>1</PrimaryVgaAllowed>.
  7. Start the Parallels Virtualization Service. To start it, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools and double-click Services. Right-click the Parallels Virtualization Service and select Start. 
  8. Make the primary video adapter invisible to the host operating system. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. In the displayed window, execute the following command:
sc config vgasave start= disabled
  1. Open Parallels Workstation, click File > PreferencesGeneral, and select Manage remotely with Parallels Management Console. You will need it if you later decide to manage the host computer and its virtual machines using Parallels Management Console. 
  2. In Parallels Workstation Preferences, select the Intel VT-d pane and assign the newly appeared primary video adapter to virtual machines. For more detailed information on how to do it, please refer to Parallels Workstation User's Guide.
  3. Restart the host computer. After restart, the host OS will display the Starting Windows screen and won't be able to use the primary video adapter. From this time you can work with this host computer only remotely.
  4. Go to the computer from which you're going to remotely manage the host computer and connect to the host computer using remote desktop.
  5. On the host computer, open Parallels Workstation and add the primary video adapter to the virtual machine. For detailed information on how to do it, please refer to Parallels Workstation User's Guide.
  6. Start the virtual machine and connect the host computer's USB mouse and keyboard to it using the USB Controller icon available in the status bar. For more detailed information on how to use the status bar icons, please refer to Parallels Workstation User's Guide .
  7. After that, you can turn on the host computer's monitor and start working with the virtual machine. Please note that you may see some Windows host operating system video artefacts in the guest operating system.
  8. In the very last step, you need to install the latest primary video adapter driver in the guest operating system. The driver is available at the NVIDIA web site.

How to return the primary video adapter back to the Windows host computer

If you need to return the primary video adapter back to the host computer, do the following:
  1. Connect to the host computer using remote desktop and stop all running virtual machines.
  2. In Parallels Workstation, select the virtual machine with the primary video adapter assigned, click Virtual Machine > Configure, select the Hardware tab, and remove the primary video adapter from the virtual machine configuration.
  3. In Parallels Workstation, click File > Preferences > Intel VT-d and assign the primary video adapter to the host computer. For detailed information on how to do it, please refer to Parallels Workstation User's Guide. 
  4. Make the primary video adapter available to the host operating system. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. In the displayed window, execute the following command:
sc config vgasave start= system
  1. Restart the host computer. After restart, the host operating system will be able to use the primary video adapter.
  2. If you want to make the primary video adapter invisible to Parallels Workstation, you need to stop the Parallels Virtualization Service. To learn how to do it, see step 5 in the Guidelines section.
  3. After that, change the <PrimaryVgaAllowed>1</PrimaryVgaAllowed> line to <PrimaryVgaAllowed>0</PrimaryVgaAllowed> in the dispatcher.workstation.xml file. To learn how to do it, see step 6 in the Guidelines section.
  4. And in the very last step, you need to start the Parallels Virtualization Service again. To learn how to do it, see step 7 in the Guidelines section.



ba5e5f45418176e248ce4e6944a9768b f7e98a499afbac57211faff7cc433d12 147b9e14b9c9ab8c2e7cd2a7443fe1f8

FEEDBACK
Was this article helpful?
Tell us how we may improve it.
Yes No
 
 
 
 
 
 
Desktop Virtualization
- Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac
- Parallels Transporter
- Parallels Desktop Switch to Mac Edition
- Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition
- Parallels Management-Mac for Microsoft SCCM
Server Virtualization
- Parallels Cloud Server
- Parallels Containers for Windows 6.0 Beta
- Parallels Virtuozzo Containers
Automation
- Parallels Automation
- Parallels Automation for Cloud Infrastructure
- Parallels Business Automation Standard
- Parallels Virtual Automation
- Parallels Plesk Panel Suite
- Web Presence Builder
- Parallels Plesk Automation
- Parallels Small Business Panel
- Value-added Services for Hosters
- Parallels Partner Storefront
Services & Resources
- Cloud Acceleration Services
- Professional Services
- Support Services
- Training & Certification