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Bob Cook
Bob Cook, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 618
Experience:  I have sold Macintosh Computers since 1984. I started Sun Remarketing in 1983 and sold over 25,000.
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I cant open Parallels and get an error message - Virtual

Resolved Question:

I can't open Parallels and get an error message -

Virtual machine cannot be started because of the following problem:

Parallels Desktop is unable to access the virtual hard disk image file /Users/atidanaphtali/Documents/Parallels/Microsoft Windows XP/winxp.hdd. The file is used by other application.

Can you help me sort this out?
Atida Naphtali
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Bob Cook replied 8 years ago.
Perform a backup of Virtual Machine using one of the suggestions in Parallels Desktop for Mac user guide from http://www.parallels.com/en/download/file/doc/Parallels_Desktop_for_Mac_User_Guide.pdf
on page 243, e.g cloning Virtual Machine, or simply copying Virtual machine folder (when Parallels Desktop is in stopped state), such operations if incorrectly performed can lead to data loss.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't have anything I need to back up. I'm trying to start using Parallels after having had it for some time. The only thing I've done up till now was play Free Cell. Now I have to load a data base, but the virtual machine is stopped and when I try to start it, this error message comes up:


Virtual machine cannot be started because of the following problem:

Parallels Desktop is unable to access the virtual hard disk image file /Users/atidanaphtali/Documents/Parallels/Microsoft Windows XP/winxp.hdd. The file is used by other application.

I have no idea what other application that could be or how to change it so that it's not used by another application.
Expert:  Bob Cook replied 8 years ago.
Make sure you back up winxp.hdd before doing this!

1. Create a new VM. Configure it any way you want, and get it to the point where you are ready to install the guest OS (presumably Windows).
2. Before installing the guest OS, edit the VM by clicking on the edit button, then click "Add..." beneath the property table.
3. Click "Next", then select "Hard Disk", then "Use an existing hard disk image".
4. Browse to your previous virtual hard disk (the one with the data you want to recover) and choose "Finish".
5. Install the guest OS. Be careful not to install it on the virtual hard disk that you are trying to recover.
6. When you boot into your new installation of Windows, open Explorer, and notice that your old virtual hard disk is mounted and that all your old data is accessible.


You should be able to find .Doc's, .Xsl's etc ie word excel .... back them up (in fact backup everything to external hard drive just in case)

and if you use MS Outlook C: (slash) Documents and Settings (slash) Username (slash) Local Settings (slash) Application Data (slash) Microsoft (slash) Outlook (slash) Outlook.pst

(slashes have been removed when posted in ecademy, c: should be the drive of the mounted old data and username is XXXXX XXXXX name ) should be easy to find in explorer, however, turn view hidden files and system files on (explorer window tools->folder options ->view). This PST file will contain your emails, backup and copy to new outlook installation (or file open in outlook) and all your emails will be there.
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