Available article translations:

How do I convert a Parallels Desktop 3.0 virtual machine to a Parallels Desktop 2.x virtual machine?

  • Parallels Desktop 3 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 2.x for Mac Standard Edition


Follow these steps:

1. Create a backup of your <Hard Disk Name>.hdd file stored in the /Users/<Your User Name>/Documents/Parallels/<Virtual Machine Name> folder.

2. Delete all the snapshots you have created for the virtual machine so far. Open the Snapshot Manager and consecutively choose each one and click Delete.

3. Uninstall Parallels Tools. Start your Windows VM, go to Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs. Select Parallels Tools and click Remove.

4. If your virtual hard disk is a split disk, reduce its size, i.e. remove all the data from the virtual machine until the total size of the virtual hard disk doesn’t exceed 2 gigabytes. After that compact the disk in Configuration Editor (Hard Disk>Advanced tab>Compact button).

5. Close Parallels Desktop. Locate the <HDD’s Name>.hdd file. Usually it is stored in the followong folder: /Users/<YourUserName>/Documents/Parallels/<NameOfTheVirtualMachine>. Right-click the .hdd package and choose Show Package Contents from the shortcut menu. You will see exactly 2 files: One of them is DiskDescriptor.xml and the other one is <HDD’s Name>.hdd.0.{5fbaabe3-6958-40ff-92a7-860e329aab41}.hds. In case you see some other files like <HDD’s Name>.hdd.0.{895f212d-cab4-40bd-9c34-5f2fb7ac91ae}.hds (different code), it means that some of the snapshots haven't been deleted. In that case go to the step 1.

6. Move <HDD’s Name>.hdd.0.{5fbaabe3-6958-40ff-92a7-860e329aab41}.hds. file from the content of the .hdd package, for example, to Mac OS desktop and rename it to <HDD’s Name>.hdd. Right-click the <HDD’s Name>.hdd file and choose Get info from the shortcut menu. Type <HDD’s Name>.hdd into the "Name & Extension" field. Then move <HDD’s Name> from Mac Desktop to /Users/<YourUserName>/Documents/Parallels/<NameOfTheVirtualMachine> and replace the original <HDD’s Name>.hdd file by it.

7. Uninstall Parallels Desktop version 3.0  using Uninstall Parallels Desktop application from Parallels Desktop 3.0 package. Reboot your Mac and install Parallels Desktop 2.x from the retail CD and then update its version to the latest 2.5 GA (start Parallels Desktop, choose Help menu > Check for Updates).

You can  download US version of Parallels Desktop 2.x from here:  (2.5 version 3214 build)

8. Start the VM. If everything is fine, the guest OS should boot up. Once it is up, install Parallels Tools in it.

Troubleshooting: When the VM starts the message “No boot device available" is displayed on a black screen. This means that you have either transferred the wrong .hds file, or have set a non-matching names for .pvs and .hdd files, or have not deleted all snapshots in Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0.

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