Available article translations:

I cannot install an operating system in my virtual machine

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition


  • 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)
  • Unsupported or uncustomized operating system image or distributive
  • Parallels Desktop or virtual machine misconfiguration


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

  1. If you are using a CD/DVD to install a virtual machine, make sure it is bootable and in working condition. Working condition means that you can use the disk to install the operating system on any other physical PC.

  2. Try another installation CD/DVD, or use an .iso image to install a virtual machine. To learn more about .iso disk images, see KB 4917.

  3. If you are installing a Windows virtual machine, make sure you own a valid license to activate the virtual machine. A Windows virtual machine is considered a Windows installation and requires a valid license key just as a physical Windows PC does.

If the steps above don't resolve the issue, see the solutions below.

I can't install a Windows virtual machine: possible issues and solutions

  • You get the following error message 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.

    See KB 6955 for a solution.

  • You get the following error message when you try to install Windows 7 from Boot Camp®:

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

    See KB 11244 for a solution.

  • You purchased Windows 7 from Parallels, but you can't download it or download was interrupted:

    See KB 113282 and KB 112008 for a solution.

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

    See KB 113434.

I can't install a Mac OS X or Linux virtual machine

  • I can't 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. See KB 112323.

  • I can't install a Mac OS X Lion virtual machine.

    See KB 112121.

  • I have an issue installing Ubuntu.

    See KB 113614.

I can't install an operating system downloaded from Parallels Desktop

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

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