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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Windows VM backup


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margaret438

 
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dumb question - when time machine does a backup, does it automatically back up vm partition as well? if not, how do i backup the vm side? can i have it write to time capsule where time machine backs up mac side to? thanks
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vansmith

 
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The VM HD is simply a file. For instance, I use Virtualbox and the HD for my Debian Virtual Machine is located at ~/Library/Virtualbox/DebianTesting.vdi and it's just more than 5GB. What virtualization product do you use?

You should find a different way of backing them up IMHO because as you will learn, any slight change to the the VM will cause it to be backed up again. In other words, if I changed the wallpaper in my VM right now and nothing else, the 5GB VM would have to be backed up in its entirety, which would take a while and take up more space.

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margaret438

 
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i use parallels, but honestly not sure how it works - i had a difficult time putting it on (user error prolly), but its on and i can get into IE (work requirement) and use the windows products i need.

it/parallels does do this 'snapshot' thing and i think i have it set for a total of 25 snapshots before overwriting the oldest ones. i wonder/wish it worked like time machine where i could just go in and bring back a specific file like time machine. that got me wondering if time machine did a backup of the vm side. my tinkering days on a computer are over, but i'd like to make sure my stuff is backedup since i've had pcs stolen, replaced hard disks - all without a backup.

thanks so much.
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chscag

 
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Why 25 snapshots? Each one is taking up considerable space and it would seem to me that the latest iteration of the VM is the one you would need to keep and restore.

As Van has said, Time Machine will make a backup of the VM file and keep making backups if it changes. If that's OK with you and space on your external hard drive is not a problem, continue with that method.

Regards.
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margaret438

 
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Why 25 snapshots?...because i'm an idiot and i've lost soooo much data over the last 24 months. my livelihood resides in the computer. i'll prolly change it once i get more comfortable with vm stuff.

can u 'restore' vm data using time machine like you can on the mac side?

thanks
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Yes, you can restore it because, as I mentioned earlier, the "hard drive" for a virtual machine is simply a file/set of files. As long as the directory where the VMs are stored is included in your TM backup, you should be fine.

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margaret438

 
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trying to figure this out, i 'think' i discovered that parallel tools was not installed (now it is)

how do i check if vm files are being backed up by tm? thanks
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vansmith

 
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TM backs up everything unless you explicitly exclude a directory in System Preferences > Time Machine > Options > "Do not back up". For instance, I have explicitly excluded my VM directory simply because of the size.

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hi - it sounds logical but it doesn't appear that time machine backups vm without doing some tweaking on your own. see this thread. VMware Communities: Time Machine Backups of Virtual Machines

meanwhile i still can't find where my parallels vm files are on the imac. everyplace parallels says to look, they're empty folders.
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what software exists that permit me to clone a copy of my vm partition?

i'd like to just be able to go into this cloned backup and pick off a document to restore. (like time machine). i don't want to only have the option of doing a total restore.

thanks anyone.
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According to this thread on the Parallels forums, they are either in ~/Documents/Parallels or ~/Library/parallels/<vm name> (~ is shorthand for your home directory). Have you checked these directories?

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margaret438

 
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yep vansmith...there's a parallels folder, but they're empty (nothing, nada). i've been to their forums more times than i care to remember and posted several times, but either no response from mods or the same answers. i'm kinda worried if i need to restore my work data. my windows laptop, still in repair, just had hdd replaced...no backup. i'll never earn a living this way...just frustrated

p.s. vansmith, can't get your snow leopard compatibility link in siggy to work.
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After a quick search, I have discovered that Paralells virtual HDs are files with the HDD extension (second result). With that, we can begin a search. Open up Terminal (/Application/Utilities), type in the following and press enter:
Code:
sudo find / -name *.hdd
Enter your password and wait (it might take a while). Essentially, the command I gave you searches your whole computer for any file with the hdd extension. What does this command print to the Terminal?

There might be an easier way to find the location within Parallels itself but since I don't use Parallels, I'm doing this the way I'm comfortable with.

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this is what i get returned.... doesn't sound good.

find: /private/tmp/7669/C/System Volume Information: No such file or directory

spoke too soon
/Users/margaret/.Trash/Windows XP (1) 20-25-49.pvm/harddisk0.hdd
/Users/margaret/.Trash/Windows XP (1) 20-25-49.pvm/harddisk0.hdd/harddisk0.hdd
/Users/margaret/.Trash/Windows XP (2).pvm/harddisk0.hdd
/Users/margaret/.Trash/Windows XP (2).pvm/harddisk0.hdd/harddisk0.hdd
/Users/margaret/Documents/Parallels/Windows XP (3).pvm/Windows XP-0.hdd
/Users/margaret/Documents/Parallels/Windows XP (3).pvm/Windows XP-0.hdd/Windows XP-0.hdd
/Users/margaretspicer/.Trash/Parallels/Windows XP (3).pvm/Windows XP-0.hdd
/Users/margaretspicer/.Trash/Parallels/Windows XP (3).pvm/Windows XP-0.hdd/Windows XP-0.hdd

ok, i only use the XP (3).pvm...--deleted those others that happened during install. when i go into docs/parallels/windows xp (3).pvm and do a quick look - it only shows it's running. no files.
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