“Unable to get the geometry of the virtual hard disk” – what tosh

Parallels logoI use Parallels a lot, running Windows to check that web pages work in Internet Explorer and play around on my corporate intranet (Mac-supported VPN software? Ha!). Most of the time it’s on my desktop Mac, but today I installed it on my laptop and copied the virtual images across.

I received this error message when trying to run a copied image:

“Unable to get the geometry of the virtual hard disk – perhaps file winxp.hdd is not a valid virtual hard disk image file.”

After calming down and not throwing the laptop through the window, I came across this wonderfully simple blog post that sorted me out.

The problem: FILE PERMISSIONS – make sure the .hdd file is not READ-ONLY.

I was going to say the error message was useless, but it is actively misleading. It has anti-use. Parallels, sort yourselves out!

Thanks Kimbro Staken, you saved me some serious headache.