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I have Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac. Does the upgrade to Parallels Desktop 6 means that I have to reinstall Windows 7 and all the other programs?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

No, your Windows VM and all the programs installed on it are stored on a virtual hard drive file. Upgrading Parallels won't affect the VM.

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But it does have to upgrade the vm, which can take a little while. Once you've upgraded you can't open it on the previous version of parallels anymore. – glenstorey Jan 26 '11 at 19:12

To extend @Kyle's answer, which is correct by the way, you have to consider the fact that after the upgrade, you might have to re-authorize Windows. I really don't know what Windows is thinking or what Parallels is doing, but I've seen two people who had to re-authorize their Windows 7 Home Premium inside a VM after that upgrade from Parallels 5 to 6.

This was not a problem and is generally performed "automatically", but just have your product key handy just in case.

I haven't personally upgraded to 6 yet (and probably won't). Paying 40 dollars a year to Parallels is more expensive than having Windows dedicated machines…

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Their upgrade cycle is crazy! It feels like they come out with a new version every tuesday! – glenstorey Jan 26 '11 at 19:13

I had not trouble upgrading from 5 to 6 with Win 7 Enterprise.

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