Starting a virtual machine gives notification "Virtual machine doesn’t support hard disks of this type."

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Symptoms

Cause

Virtual machine misconfiguration: legacy BIOS and a presence of a disk with 4K logical sector size.

Resolution

As a matter of fact, Legacy BIOS doesn't support using disks with 4K logical sector size, either guest OS will not boot or data from the disk will not be accessible.

Visit the KB115815 to check the type of BIOS your virtual machine is using.

The instructions below allow avoiding such notifications and use a virtual machine successfully with any type of disks.

For Boot Camp based virtual machine

You just simply need to re-create the virtual machine by following the steps below as by default all modern virtual machines have EFI BIOS set by the default, thus can use disks even with 4K logical sector size:

NOTE: Re-creating the virtual machine will no affect files located on the Boot Camp partition or on your Mac. Only virtual machine settings will be reset to the default ones.

  1. Open Parallels Desktop.
  2. Right-click on the virtual machine's name and select Remove, then Move to Thrash.
  3. Click the plus button in the right-upper cornet of the Control Center to open the Installation Assistant.
  4. Select your Boot Camp partition and proceed further with the virtual machine creation.

For other virtual machines

To use 4K logical sector size disks with Parallels Desktop, a virtual machine must have a modern EFI BIOS. Follow the steps below to use such disk with Parallels Desktop virtual machines:

  1. If a new disk has been added to the existing virtual machine configuration, remove it:
    • Go to the virtual machine configuration > Hardware > select the disk in question and press the minus button below the list of hardware, then click Keep Files.
  2. Create a new virtual machine. Be default all modern virtual machines have EFI BIOS set by the default. Then add the disk with 4K logical sectors to its configuration to access the data from it or move the data from it to the new virtual hard disk.
  3. If you have another virtual machine and its BIOS is EFI, just add the disk to its configuration and use it. Visit KB115815 to find out the type of BIOS the virtual machine is using.

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