I have a case where my Parallels .PVM file appears to become corrupt. This has happened 3 times over the past 9 months. I’m wondering if this is possibly a hardware issue.

Here is the normal course of events:

  • While working in Parallels the VM freezes and becomes unresponsive. I get the spinning beach ball of death. Eventually the Mac becomes unresponsive and a forced shutdown must be performed.
  • After rebooting the Mac, Parallels does not start. It keeps spinning but the VM window never opens. Any attempt to do anything in Parallels makes the Mac unresponsive.
  • After another Mac reboot, attempting to copy the .PVM file to an external hard disk results in “The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code 100034).”
  • To fix the problem I have to delete the .PVM file and restore a backup of the file.

After this initially happened I did a complete reformat of the Mac SSD and reinstall of the OS. But the problem has resurfaced 2 times since. I now regularly back up my .PVM file to an external SSD so I don’t lose everything. I do regular backups with Time Machine but the .PVM file is excluded.

Running Disk First Aid shows this error: “invalid file extent (id 0x….) logical address 193… (expected 192….). It does not provide an option to repair the disk.

This has happened with multiple Parallels versions and multiple Mac OS versions.

I have contacted Parallels support but they have not provided any help. I’ve searched for answers regarding the 100034 error code when copying the file but can’t determine anything definitive.

Does this sound like a hardware issue with the SSD? Any other ideas of what might be causing this issue?

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017), 16 GB, 500 GB SSD
macOS Mojave 10.14.1
Parallels Desktop v14.1
Guest OS: Windows 10.

  • Does this happen when running any virtualization software or just Parallels? – JMY1000 Dec 20 '18 at 16:54
  • I've only used Parallels, so I don't have any other point of reference. – SkipHarris Dec 20 '18 at 17:02
  • There is an option in parallels to save or not save pvm files in time machine. kb.parallels.com/en/8827 – historystamp Dec 20 '18 at 20:54
  • I'd recommend trying something like VirtualBox just as a test to see. – JMY1000 Dec 21 '18 at 16:13

I have seen the exact same issue, just happened again this week, Disk Utility sees an issue in that file (and a file copy isn't able to complete once it's in that state) but Disk Utility isn't able to repair (even when Mac booted to Repair mode), only fix I've seen is to kill/restore the PVM, I also do a reformat of the SSD but don't think it's necessary.

My guess is that it's an edgecase Mac filesystem bug exposed through how Parallels does PVM, perhaps related to Win10 disk mgmt that does interesting things under the covers (defrag etc. is now all hidden and happens behind the scenes).

Similar specs (Parallels 14.1.2, Win10, Mojave (currently 10.14.3), also 500G 16GB Macbook Pro Retina 15 but mine is a late 2013.

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I have encountered this issue several times over the years. Sometimes, it can be fixed by right-clicking on the PVM file and selecting “Show Package Contents,” then right-clicking the .hdd file and selecting “Get Info.” Scroll down to ”Sharing & Permissions.”

If the staff permission is “No Access”, change it to “Read & Write”. All users who should have access to the Windows file should be “Read & Write”.

You may need to enter an Admin password to authenticate. (Parallels should of course not be running when you do this, and you should reboot afterwards)

This doesn’t always work for me, but it has helped enough to be a good tip.

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