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Windows virtual machine starts with a Black screen

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


Windows cannot start in any mode (neither normal no safe mode), all you see on the start is a black screen


Corrupted or missing system file prevents Windows from booting normally.


Run System File Checker (sfc.exe) offline using two additional parameters, via the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE). Note: you will need Windows installation disk or .iso image.

1.Configure the virtual machine boot order such that the first boot device is your CD/DVD drive. - Without starting your virtual machine go to Virtual Machine menu ► choose Configure... ► select Hardware tab. - Highlight CD/DVD 1, make sure that Connected option is enabled and set Connect to to your physical CD/DVD drive (if you have an installation disk) or specify the path to corresponding .iso image.

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  • Highlight Boot order ► on the right side of the window choose CD/DVD and using the up arrow move it to the first place.

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2.If you use a Windows installation disk please insert it to CD-ROM, start your virtual machine.

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3.When prompted, press a key to boot from the DVD. In the Install Windows screen, click Repair your computer.

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4.Select TroubleshootAdvanced Options.

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5.Click Command Prompt.

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6.First use the command line to identify all drives attached to the system and their current mount point in Windows PE. This is done with the diskpart utility and the list volumes subcommand. C:\ is the boot volume (labeled "System Reserved") and D:\ is the system volume (where the operating system and user data are stored).

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7.Run a chkdsk, this will verify/repair the filesystem and mark any bad sectors on the disk so that they are not used again.

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8.Perform a sfc /scannow using the offline settings for the boot directory and windows directory. If you use the incorrect options, two errors are common:

    "Windows Resource Protection could not start the Repair service."


    "There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again."

The first error indicates an invalid boot or system partition path. The second indicates that incorrect arguments wre given, or there is a file that needs to be removed or renamed in the \Windows\winsxs\pending.xml path. For this installation, this is D:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml.

For this particular system, this is the correct command to run based on the output of diskpart above


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9.This process takes some time to complete. WindowsResourceProtection shouldfind corrupt files andrepaire them.Detailsare included inthe CBS.log

10.When it completes type ‘exit’ (without quotations) and restart your system.

11.Go to Virtual Machine menu ► choose Configure...Hardware tab ► highlight Boot Order and change the order back (make Hard disk to be the in first place).

12.If the system is still unbootable, it may be necessary to perform an in place upgrade or rescue the files and create a new virtual machine.

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