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Unable to access external hard drive in Windows virtual machine

  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Standard Edition


  • I am unable to access my external hard drive in Windows virtual machine. When I connect the drive to Mac, a pop-up window prompts if I want to connect the drive whether to Mac or to Windows - I choose Windows.

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Several hard drives are formatted to HFS+ file system by default, which is supported only by Mac OS X (e.g. FREECOM MOBILE DRIVE). Windows does not support HFS+ file system.


In this case you have two ways of how to solve this issue:

  1. While pop-up wizard prompts if I want to connect the drive whether to Mac or to Windows - choose Mac. Then the drive will be accessible in Windows File Explorer via Parallels Shared Folders tool.

    NOTE: Parallels Tools have to be installed and up-to-date to make sure Parallels Shared Folders tool is working.

  2. You may format your drive to NTFS file system if you want to connect the drive directly (as a device) to Windows (choose Windows on the pop-up wizard). In order to format the drive please open Mac OS X Utilities -> Disk Utility -> choose the drive -> Partition tab -> 'Format:' field.

    NOTE: While formatting the drive all data will be lost from the hard drive. Please make sure you save your data in another location.

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