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I cannot install an operating system in my virtual machine

  • Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac


  • A virtual machine installation fails with an error message.
  • Virtual machine installation is stuck or there is a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) occurring during the installation process.


  • Corrupted installation media (CD/DVD, .iso image file).
  • Not supported or customized Operating System image or distributive.
  • Parallels Desktop or virtual machine misconfiguration.


Before checking solutions to the most frequent virtual machine installation issues, please make sure the operating system installation media is suitable for virtual machine installation:

  1. If you use CD/DVD to install a Virtual Machine, make sure it is bootable and is in working condition. Working condition means that you can install this Operating System using this disk on any other physical PC

  2. Try another installation CD/DVD or use .iso image to install a Virtual machine. To learn more about .iso disk images check this article: 4917 How to create .iso image of Windows installation CD?

  3. If you install a Windows Virtual Machine, make sure you owe a valid license to activate the Virtual Machine. A Windows Virtual Machine is considered as Windows installation and requires valid license key as a physical Windows PC

If the steps above did not help you to solve the issue, check the solutions below.

I cannot install a Windows virtual machine: possible issues and solutions

  • You get the following error while installing Windows in a virtual machine:

    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.

    Visit KB 6955 for a solution.

  • You cannot install Windows 7 from Boot Camp due to the error:

    The disk partitions in Windows Boot Camp are not the same as in Mac OS

    Visit KB 11244 for a solution.

  • You purchased Windows 7 from Parallels, but you could not download it or download was interrupted:

    Visit KB 113282 and 112008 to see what solution might work.

  • After Windows 2000 installation you get BSOD 0x0000001E STOP error message at the first start:

    Visit KB 113434.

I cannot install a Mac OS X or Linux virtual machine

  • I cannot install neither Leopard nor Snow Leopard to my virtual machine.

    An invalid Mac OS version is installed. Mac OS X virtual machines can have only the Mac OS X Server Leopard or Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard operating system installed. Check KB 112323.

  • I cannot install Mac OS X Lion Virtual Machine.

    Visit KB 112121.

  • I have an issue installing Ubuntu.

    Visit KB 113614.

I cannot install OS downloaded from Parallels Desktop

  • If you get an error message about failed connection, click Retry to continue downloading.
  • Abort current download and start it from scratch.
  • Make sure you have enough disk space on Mac HD for download.
  • Try to download desired OS from Parallels Desktop a bit later

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