How to Zen a Parallels VM

This process was discovered researching how to Zen a Boot Camp partition. Those instructions can be found here.

One of the concerns when trying to deploy a Zen image is the HAL. Our base image has a standard single processor ACPI. However some of our new machines are dual-core, and as such need the ACPI updated. Corey Webb, our Zen guru, created an add-on image to swap out this ACPI to Multiprocessor. I stumbled across this when I was having an issue with an IBM T60 that wouldn’t wake from sleep. Thinking this might help our success with imaging the Intel Macs I applied the add-on and was met with great success.

Taking this one step further, I noticed that my Parallels VM of just a standard Windows XP install had a ‘Standard PC” HAL. I asked Corey to create an add-on image that would swap out the HAL with ‘Standard PC’. That’s it!


Just boot your VM off the zen imaging CD, pull down your base image and an add-on to replace the HAL. You’re done. Once you’re up and running you can send ctrl+alt+del to login from the VM menu in Parallels. After installing the Parallels Tools (an MSI that could be deployed to the maching via Zenworks) you can press (in this order, holding each one until they are all depressed) alt then ctrl then fn then delete.

3 thoughts on “How to Zen a Parallels VM”

  1. That Corey Webb is one smart guy!

    Seriously, Chris, it’s great that you’re putting this out on the ether. Hope we’re helping someone somewhere.

  2. You are ( helping ). Seriously, this is great stuff, guys. I just started looking into getting more Mac to run on our network and we have got Zenworks which we are very happy with – using it with Windows desktops only for now.

    Future did look pretty bleak as I did not think Zen would even look at Macs ( Intel Macs running Windows that’s it; I just wish it could do OSX as well ). Now I know it can be done, I guess. Still have no idea about PXE boot, though.

  3. I work in a K12 District and we have had success deploying Zen images to iMacs and MacBooks. However, not dual boot. WinXP is the only installed OS. The MacBooks required a settings.txt file with all commands included because support for keyboard is not available. The key is capturing the image. Select only the XP partition. Then push it back down to target machine. Zenwork 7.1 HP6, although I think we first did this with Zen 7.0.

    However, I have been unsuccessful Zen imaging a Parallels VM. I read your blog, but could you send me a few more details. Image being pulled is a Sysprepped WinXP Pro SP2 to a fixed Virtual Hard Disk. (20GB) – Thanks.

    BTW, Cool posts.

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