How can I use Parallels to boot from an old Windows hard drive via my MacBook Pro?

Randall D May 17, 2012
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My PC laptop died and I replaced it with a MacBook Pro. I want to boot and/or use Parallels to boot the existing Windows install on the PC laptop hard drive which I now have connected to the Macbook. I thought I saw something in the Parallels forum about this, but I can’t seem to relocate it.

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  1. Andy Wells
    October 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Parallels runs virtual desktop environments, when using the software you install the operating system of your choice using Parallels. Parallels runs the operating system.

  2. Windowsisbettr
    May 20, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Hi Randall,
    When you say you've seen someone booting from a hard drive on a post on the Parallels forum, are you sure that you haven't seen someone talking about booting from a *Virtual* Hard Drive? VHDs are, as the name suggests, hard drives on the hard drive, which are not actually physical, but instead virtual. I haven't seen any instance of booting from an extracted hard drive, unless you're speaking of an external hard drive.
    If you're talking about an external hard drive, it should be as simple as selecting that hard drive as the virtual machine hard drive in the Parallels new machine setup.