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How to repair Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation in a VM in both normal and Boot Camp Windows VMs.

  • Parallels Desktop


This article applies to Windows Vista and Windows 7 only. If you have Windows XP or Windows 8 please check these articles:

Windows XP repairhttp://kb.parallels.com/5138

Windows 8 repair: http://kb.parallels.com/en/114987

For Windows Vista virtual machine that uses a virtual hard disk:

1. Open the Virtual Machine configuration.

2. Click on CD/DVD option in Hardware section.

3. Make sure the source is set to "CD/DVD".

4. Click on the "Boot order" settings.

5. Set "Boot order" to "CD/DVD, Hard Disk, Floppy".

6. Click "OK" to save and close configuration.

7. Insert Windows Vista/7 installation disk into your Mac DVD drive.

8. Start the Virtual Machine.

9. Windows will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD, click inside the VM window to capture input and press any key.

10. Windows Setup will start loading till language and location selection screen appears.

11. Adjust  Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method options, click Next,

12. Main Windows Vista/7 setup screen appears, click on the Repair your computer option,

13. This will bring you to a new screen where the repair process will look for all Windows Vista installations on your computer,

14. When Windows Vista/7 detects OS installed  you will be presented with the System Recovery Options dialog box,

15. Select the Vista installation you would like to repair (usually only one is shown)  press the Next button to continue,

16. Repair process will start, please note that if repair process detects any problem it will automatically starts Startup Repair (see short description below),

17. If the repair process does not detect any problems starting Vista, it will display a list of recovery tools, and you need to continue with advanced option:
   - Startup Repair: is an automated repair process that scans your Vista installation for problems and attempts to automatically fix them, usually we need to use this option to repair Windows Vista,
   - System Restore:  allows you to restore your computer's configuration, driver information, and programs to a previous state while leaving your existing data intact,
   - Windows Complete PC Restore:  a feature that allows you to restore your entire computing environment from a backup image that you created previously,
   - Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool: Windows Vista comes with a diagnostic tool that allows you to check the memory installed in your computer for errors. (This option is not used during Virtual Machine Troubleshooting),
   - Command Prompt: is a repair tool that allows you to open a command prompt that you can use to access the files and registry information on your computer,

For additional information please refer to

For VM that uses Boot Camp partition as a hard disk (Parallels Desktop for Mac only):

1. Launch Macintosh HD > Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp Assistant,

2. Choose to "Start Windows Installation",

3. Insert Windows Installation Disk into your Mac DVD Drive and restart the Mac,

4. Make sure that you are booting from Windows installation DVD,

5. When prompted press any key to boot from the Windows DVD,

6. Follow step 10-17 in previous section.

Additional Information


Problems during the repair procedure (corrupted files, unable to copy file) - clean your Windows installation disk with some soft cloth, make sure there are no scratches on its surface,

Windows Setup does not find any existing Windows installation and prompts to install Windows, this means your system is seriously damaged and repair is impossible. Windows re-installation is recommended in this case. Please mind that it may lead to the loss of data on the Windows disk.

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