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Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac by Joe Kissell

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Virtual Disks

When you set up a new virtual machine, your virtualization software also creates a special disk image file. When you run Windows, it will see this file as a separate disk. All your Windows files are installed in this virtual disk, but when you're running Mac OS X you won't see the individual files inside; it looks and acts like a single file.

By default, virtualization software gives the virtual disk capacities ranging from 8 to 20 GB (although the disk image file starts out much smaller). In Parallels and Fusion, the disk size can grow to accommodate more files (up to a maximum you can specify).

If you choose to make a backup of the disk image, be sure to back up the entire folder containing the image; see Back Up Virtual Machine ...

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