How do I install Parallels Tools on my Mac OS X Intel system?
I've been running with Parallels for a while on my new Mac Intel system, and am really happy with it. But I really wish I could cut and paste between the Windows apps and the Mac apps, wish it would sync to the correct time, and so on. Is there some sort of Parallels equivalent to the old VMware "helper apps" that you'd install within the guest operating system? I'm running Windows XP.
There is indeed a helper application that you really do need to install if you're running Parallels Desktop on your Intel Mac system, called, ingeniously enough, Parallels Tools.
To install it, start up Parallels Desktop on your Mac OS X system (if you don't yet have this Intel Mac only tool, you can get a working demo copy of Parallels online: download the Parallels demo). You'll need to have configured your virtual OS to include support for a CD/DVD drive, then log in to Windows XP as an administrator. If you don't know what I mean, you probably are the admin for the WinXP system!
Now you'll want to select "Install Parallels Tools..." from the VM toolbar that's part of the Mac side of Parallels Desktop (that is, it's not part of your guest OS):
As I indicated, you definitely need to be logged in to your guest OS. Parallels reaffirms that with its warning message:
Just "OK" past that -- since you are already logged in to WinXP, aren't you? -- and the next thing you'll see is the Installer running within Windows for this particular application:
At this point you'll be clicking Next a few times to let it tell you about the installation options, etc. The first time you click it'll warn you that they haven't gone through the Microsoft verification process for the extensions so you'll possibly see some warnings, but they're safely ignored:
I didn't find that anything needed to be changed along the way. You'll be asked if you want to install "complete" or "custom": I recommend you install the complete Parallels Tools package.
Finally, installation complete, you'll want to restart your guest operating system (e.g., Windows XP, not your Mac):
Once it starts up again, you'll have a new icon in the clock tray, right next to the time display itself:
That's the shortcut for Parallels Tools. Click on it and you'll be able to configure and modify all of the many utilities included in this useful package:
Without a doubt, if you're running Parallels Desktop you want to also install Parallels Tools too!
Note: If you haven't yet delved into the world of virtualization on Intel-based Macs, please read How to install Parallels Desktop and Windows XP on your Intel Mac OS X System.
More Useful Mac OS X Help Articles:
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Mac OS X Help
Written by Dave Taylor
mac os x, parallels, virtualization, windows xp
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Reader Comments To Date: 37
I cannot load Tools??
I get the Parallels Warning screen then nothing?
When i check Task Mgr nothing loading?
All I can do is "Cancel Parallels Tools Installation"?
Tried reinstalling everything from scratch Windows XP, Parallels v2.1 licenced copy.
Can you help?
Thanks for the help, I got it working on my MacBook Pro and sharing files with my Win 2003 VM on the MBP.
Just wanted to let you know - in the new release of Parallels, they have gotten rid of the VM menu. Instead, installing Parallels Tools is under an Actions menu.
Thanks for the advice! Parallels still has the wrong menu name under the error message saying Parallels Tools is out of synch and needs to be reinstalled - UGH!
How can I start up Windows XP in Parallels? It won't let me get beyond the startup page where it says "Press shift + alt + delete". I press it on my MacBook Pro and nothing happens! I haven't been able to find out anything about this.
I do not have sufficient disk space to run Parallels and need to reduce my Boot Camp partition. How do I do that and will I lose my software on the Boot Camp partition?
First time here . . . Dave is great - and generous.
Great! Thank you very much for this tips, everything works perfectly.
Gar asked how to get beyond Crtl-Alt-Del in you virtual machine when running parallels on your Mac. It's stupid but the Delete button on your keyboard is really a 'backspace' button, so Windows won't recognize the Ctrl-Alt-Del combo. To make it work, press Fn-Ctrl-Atl-Del. The function key turns the backspace butten (labeled 'Delete') into a real Delete key! (I can't take credit for figuring this out, a friend helped me.)
How do I install Parallels Tools on my Mac OS X Intel system?
u described a precise way how to do for a windows guest-os...
but could u answer the same question for a linux guest-os (e.g. UBUNTU 7.10)?
I'm having troubles making my windows full screen on my mac osx - it says it's full screen however, it isn't really "full screen" as there are black edges on either side and the Internet Explorer page isn't fully viewable without using the side scrolls... do you know if there is a way to make windows using parallels a true "full screen" ?? THank you !!!
Hi! I am setting up my new Intel Macbook, and have not yet set up Bootcamp to run various PC applications.
What is the difference between FAT and NTFS format partitions?
I want to be able to copy files from Mac to PC and back again, and use the Mac (rather than PC antivirus/spyware software) to protect the PC partition from PC viruses/spyware. Which partition format should I use? Can I still use Parallels, or will that make the PC vulnerable to PC viruses?
Many thanks, Alastair
so i have the parallels version that says "action" menu rather then "vm" menu. the "install parallels tools..." option is GREYED OUT!
is there another way to download the tools or anyone know how i can get this selection.... UN-grey?
I have had Parallels installed since it came out - running on my MacBook Pro and until a couple of weeks ago it worked famously. I have it using my Boot Camp disk.
But now Windows won't run from Parallels. It runs just fine if I boot straight into XP from Boot Camp, but if I try to run Windows in Parallels it says it (using Parallels configuration in Windows) "autochk not found - skipping AUTOCHECK" then it goes to a blue screen that says,
'STOP: c000021a (Fatal System Error)
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectely with a status of 0xc00003a (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has been shut down.'
Then it restarts at using Parallels configuration and is stuck in a continuous loop and never launches into Windows. But, like I said, I can use Windows XP just fine if I boot straight into it by holding down the option key when booting my Mac and choosing the Windows drive.
Can I reinstall Parallels, or reinstall it over top of what's there now, or is this a problem totally on the Windows side (presumably with the Parallels configuration since the regular Windows configuration seems to be working just fine?
I really want to be able to use Windows with Parallels without having to reboot during work if I can and would like to get this fixed as easily and quickly as possible.
(thanks in advance!)
Hello Friend, thanks very much for this tip. Save my life!
From Brazil, André
Many thanks - loading tools in windows sorted out the problem. Great!
I'm trying to install parallels tools but I get a warning, windows is in safe mode, I know how to get out of safe mode on a pc, how do I get out of safe mode in vm on my mac?
A 'Goofy' question, please? While I got my feet wet on a MAC IIpci, I've been on a PC for ever and I often get asked questions or advice on problem areas. A friend asked about her G4 Powerbook and specifically about clearing the hard drive and I don't know. Will a wipe Drive or Clean type software work in either atmosphere? I think she is about to get into a train wreck with her plan of selective deletes because the MAC is her part time computer. Her PC knowledge is limited at best but I agreed to help her to find the answer. Any Help? Many Thanks.
doug, I haven't seen that one, but it should be the same: let Windows run through its diagnostics, reboot again, and you should be out of safe mode.
Attaboy, that makes me very anxious, actually. You don't want to just randomly delete files on any computer. Instead, tell her to focus on the files in her "home" directory and leave everything else alone. That should be safe.
I just upgraded to Snow Leopard. Prior to doing so, I asked in the Apple store if Parallels 3 was compatible and I was told it was. However, after installing Snow Leopard, I found out that it WAS NOT compatible and need to upgrade to 4.0. Since I was already looking for an excuse to do this, I went ahead and purchased the upgrade disk. However, when I try to install the disk it tells me that I need to stop the version of Windows Vista I had running in 3.0. Apparently, it was suspended when it was last shut down. Unfortunately, I can't access the windows software anymore because I cannot run Parallels 3 in Snow Leopard. What do I do?
Andrew, unfortunately I don't know how you can work around that one. Try going to the Parallels site and asking their tech support people. If they have a solution, do post it here too for others to read. Good luck.
Great post, really helpful. Thanks so much.
I have a new intel Mac with XP loaded. I want to switch to Parallels and I am not sure what I need to do. I have been using Boot Camp. Do I need to re-install my Mac OS? How do you uninstall XP?
Leonard, what do you mean by "with XP loaded"? You mean it's set up for Boot Camp? There are ways you can import your Boot Camp partition into Parallels (see http://www.parallels.com/ ) but I would suggest that you just start from scratch and let Parallels itself do the work of configuring your XP installation for maximum performance.
I purchased the Mac with XP already loaded from Macmall. I had them partition 85gb of hard drive space for the XP. So to start clean, I would have to remove XP and eliminate the partition, correct? How do you do that?
Hi Dave, I wonder if you can help me. I run an IMAC with the latest Parallels installed. I have XP and Ubuntu 9.10 installed as virtual machines and all works great. Tools is loaded for both. I have just upgraded Ubuntu to v 10.4 and cannot get tools to load. Any thoughts?
Tony, I'd check on the Parallels site to ensure that they are supporting Ubuntu 10.x and if they are, see if you can download a new version of the tools for installation? If not, check their help forums. Good luck!
wil windows xp sp2 work with parallel 5 on the new intel imac?
@Ducktape or anyone else, I just downloaded the upgrade for Parallels 5 for Mac - the parallels tools doesn't seem to come with the download and I didn't get a disk, is there another way to install parallels tools? Thanks.
I have been running Parallels just fine with Parellels and through the upgrade to 5. On todays start up, an update appeared and I proceeded through the installation. On the "Setup wizard is installing. This could take a few minutes," the system seems to freeze. The 'cancel.' 'next,' or 'back' buttons are not highlighted and nothing happens. When I canceled the installation, the next time I opened Parallels the screen was small and nothing worked.
What to do!!
I recently installed the Parallels 5 Build 9370. Before that Parallels 5 was working great. Since the update I cannot reinstall Parallels Tools. I get the messages "Failed to uninstall Parallels Memdev Driver" and then "An error occurred while installing Parallels Tools. Click OK to restart your virtual machine, and then try to install Parallels Tools again." I tried & got the same results. And now I just have my virtual machine Windows XP in a small little box--quite useless. Can you help?
I tried to follow this thread, but still it wont work out for me.
I have install Ubuntu 10. 04 from an iso image onto Parallels 4.
When I click Install Parallels tool from the "mac side" I also get the warning box, and then after that nothing happens.
Maybe it ubunto 10.04 simply is not supported? Parallels Tools help page, just mention som prereqs for various linux system, that dont tell me much seems I not all new this stuff.
Anybody knows what to do?
Having a lot of trouble with Parallels 6 installation. I installed a fully certified copy of Windows 7. It shows it up there but it then tells me there is no operating system. It doesn't seem to want to boot either. Then it tells me to find the operating system from a CD. Well, I have Windows ticked. Then it tells me to add Parallel tools by ticking on the add button under Configure under Virtual machine. There is no add button under any of the icons in Virtual machine. Then it suggests I hit the setup exe within windows 7. That won't work as its PC based. So so far have what looks like an exciting beginning but certainly no Parallels. I bought Parallels 4 ages ago as a CD but have just upgraded it to Parallels 6 via the net and bought Windows 7 and have finally risked it only to find it doesn't work. No idea what could solve the problem. None of those promising boxes you show above are coming up either. The only other possibility is that i may have typed out the product key slightly wrong with Windows 7 (though I checked it). Any ideas? Much appreciated.
I having problems installing the parallel tools. And I can't open the my windows in vm so I can open the CD/DVD drive in windows and double click "setup.exe." As I got a window pop up saying "If installation does not start automatically, open your CD/DVD drive in windows and double click "setup.exe".
As soon as I get my parallels setup and running I'm going to install these tools. The copy and paste sync is what excites me the most, but the other things that sync up are great too.
A while back you had an article on how to install Parallels on an iMac. Is there a place I can go to re-read this piece? Thanks
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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