PXE booting into Parallels


Has anyone had any success getting Parallels to use PXE boot so we can use an SCCM image?


Valued Contributor

This seems like a wrong place to post something about windows, but I have been able to do this before with SCCM.


can you share details how you accomplished this? we have several mac users that use parallels because some of their engineering apps are only windows based. this would allow us to handle licensing much easier than a manual windows install. 

I would recommend using VMWare Fusion as they have formal support for all of this. Though keep in mind you can only run Windows in a VM on Intel Macs. Microsoft does not sell product keys or licensing beyond that of OEM for Windows for ARM. 


In my environment I actually pulled the plug on Windows VM's early last year. Way too much hassle and the Windows team never wants to support them. If someone who has a Mac needs a Windows instance we point them to our VDI solutions. Local VM's are not used a frequently as they should be and are off most of the time, they love to have problems with SCCM. Nothing like a "urgent" ticket for a VM that has not been turned on in 6 months that the person needs now for some "critical" issue they are working on.

Contributor III

I'd be interested to see if anyone has a good work flow for this, especially since so many of us also manage Windows Environments I'm sure someone has done it. 


Looks like Parallels does not offer network boot by default, you have to change settings for it. I wonder what would happen if you tossed the boot media on a flash drive and told Parallels to boot off of that. It should point to the PXE server when the installer loads to get everything. Technically this is not network boot. I do know you cannot used shared networking as PXE will not work with that, you need bridged. 


This link has a promising guide, I am kinda interested to try but I am on the VPN and our PXE servers are not accessible through our VPN gateways. 


Contributor II


Yes but it took a bit of messing about. It was about 2 years ago so an older version of Parallels. I was only able to get it to work if I wiped an existing windows VM or clone one and rename it. In other words I could not create a new VM just pxe booting.

Parallels part

     1.The main point is you need an existing VM so the Mac address can be to imported into SCCM. I did try to create a blank VM but it never worked until I tried to wipe a working VM or clone.

  1. In the  VM set network to Bridged – Default Adapter. The Shared option, despite being listed as recommend will not allow you to pxe boot.
  2. You can Generate a MAC address, which is ideal if the host computer is already in Active Directory.

SCCM part

  1. Use the new Mac address to import into SCCM with an asset name.
  2. Set Boot order, so network boot is both turned on and move to top.
  1. Add your Imported Device to the Windows OS Deployment.
  2. Start the Vm and it should pxe boot and find the deployment and start imaging.


New Contributor III

pxe booting will work if you give parallels vm a real ip  (not shared). Otherwise what I do is just create a sccm pxe boot iso and have parallels boot that.