Parallels Sharing Files

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Here is how I'm accessing my USB external drives from within Parallels running XP Pro.

This technique would also work to access any part of your Mac disk, not just your home directory (which is what Windows File Sharing on the Mac ususally gives you). It will even allow you to access disk-image files (*.dmg) that are mounted on your Mac.

There may well be more efficient techniques than this, but this is working fine for me until Parallels supports USB connections.

This technique uses Windows File Sharing (WFS). If you don't already have WFS enabled on your Mac and Parallels->XP, then you need to set that up and get it working. Just Google Windows File Sharing and OS X or Mac, and there will be lots of info. on how to do that. Here is a brief description of setting up WFS between your Mac and Parallels->XP, but if it doesn't work, seek help elsewhere - I probably can't troubleshoot it for you:


[edit] On the Mac:

[edit] On the PC:

This procedure should make sure that both the Mac and XP are members of a common workgroup on the same physical network, and that they are able to share files over that network.

This will give you folder and file level access to all items in your home directory on the Mac from XP. Now for the fun part.

[edit] Other Areas

In order to get access to other areas on your Mac (including USB or other disk drives) you can create Unix-style symbolic links anywhere in your home directory that point to these locations. Note that Mac-style aliases or shortcuts will *not* work with Windows File Sharing. You must create a true Unix-style symbolic link, and the easiest way to do that is from the Terminal on the Mac.

ln -s /TOP-LEVEL-DIRECTORY/SUBDIRECTORY/SUBDIRECTORY... DESIRED-LINK-NAME

(Obviously, replace the first path after the "-s" with the directory on your disk you wish to link to, and use whatever name you want as the DESIRED-LINK-NAME.)

ln -s /Volumes/EXISING-DISK-VOLUME-NAME DESIRED-LINK-NAME

(Again, replace EXISTING-DISK-VOLUME above with the exact volume name of your external or other disk drive.)

PLEASE NOTE: Step 4 will NOT work for you unless the disk is mounted and available on your Mac.

Another tip: Step 4 will work even for disk-image files (*.dmg) on your Mac. Just make sure the image is mounted before creating the symbolic link.

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