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Cannot start virtual machine: PRL_ERR_VM_GUESTMEM_FAIL error

  • Parallels Desktop
  • Parallels Access


  • I am unable to start Windows virtual machine. It fails with an error message: PRL_ERR_VM_GUESTMEM_FAIL

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Inability to create the .mem file inside the .pvm package (this file is needed to provide swap space to the virtual machine so it could store part of its memory on disk).

This can be caused by:


To fix permissions:

  1. Launch

  2. Execute the following commands:

    sudo su

    (you will be prompted to enter your Mac OS X password)

    chmod -R -N _path-to-VM_

    where path-to-VM is a destination to your virtual machine, e.g. /Users/parallels/Documents/Parallels/Windows 7.pvm . In order to paste destination to terminal, please drag&drop virtual machine's *.pvm file into Terminal window.


    chmod -R -N /Users/parallels/Documents/Parallels/Windows\ 7.pvm
  3. Launch the virtual machine.

To free up disk space:

  1. Open 'Disk Utility' on your Mac.
  2. Check the available space on you main disk. It should be above 10GB for normal operation. If it is lower, delete the unnecessary files to make sure that the requrement is met.


  3. Additionally, to make sure that permissions are not involved, click Repair Disk Permissions as shown above.

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