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transition to apple silicon, what to do with parallels/windows


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I am preparing to transition from an Intel Mac to apple silicon. I plan to largely build the Mac fresh rather than transfer users. Obviously iCloud will sync. But aside from that, I'll install everything fresh. What does this mean for parallels and my VM? I admit I don't understand the windows/microsoft way of doing things. I know that my current windows 10 home won't work on ARM. But I can't seem to google a straightforward answer on how to transition from windows 10x86 to windows 10/11 ARM. Will parallels do that for me using my existing windows product key? 

 

Also, I should say I've got windows 10 home. And it seems like the ARM version of windows 10 and 11 are only for pro and enterprise? This is what I mean by not really understanding how the windows world works.  

Edited by A. Smith
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@A. Smith

 

The purpose of a VM is to run an OS on non-native hardware.

So long as Parallels itself runs properly on the new computer, the VM ought to just work.

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1 hour ago, Lawrence said:

@A. Smith

 

The purpose of a VM is to run an OS on non-native hardware.

So long as Parallels itself runs properly on the new computer, the VM ought to just work.

It doesn’t though. Arm machines require a different os than x86. So the vm doesn't transfer. Parallels actually says this explicitly. But what I’m asking is how to switch from x86 windows to arm windows. 

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I recently moved from a Mac with an Intel chip to one with the ARM architecture. I use Parallels. I had to start a totally new VM in Parallels for Windows (I got Win11 from www.mrkeyshop.com for a reasonable price). I had to install all my Windows programs anew – the old Parallels VM that worked on Intel is dead in the water once the host is ARM.

Edited by EricC
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2 hours ago, EricC said:

I recently moved from a Mac with an Intel chip to one with the ARM architecture. I use Parallels. I had to start a totally new VM in Parallels for Windows (I got Win11 from www.mrkeyshop.com for a reasonable price). I had to install all my Windows programs anew – the old Parallels VM that worked on Intel is dead in the water once the host is ARM.

 

perfect. Thank you.

So your saying that you didn't upgrade windows to ARM but rather got a new license? 

Edited by A. Smith
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@A. Smith

 

1. Transfer your Parallels license to your new Apple silicone machine.

 

2. In Parallels Control Center, click the top right plus sign > Create New > Get Windows 11 from Microsoft.

 

This downloads and installs Win11 ARM for you.

 

3. Windows works without activation, with that watermark on the bottom right.

 

4. If you want to activate Windows, which I would recommend (for personalization, scaling, etc.), you need to enter a retail license number or buy a digital license direct from Microsoft. If you don't have a retail license, I would recommend buying one because it is easier to transfer Win 11 from machine to machine or virtual machine to virtual machine with it, even years down the road.

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

Edit: And in case you're wondering, Paratext installs in Windows ARM. I don't know how to use it, but I attached a screenshot.

 

ParatextinWin11ARMinAppleSilicone.png.9c4c5d3738c2855736ff53d3668a5fb5.png

Edited by Michel Gilbert
Added Paratext screenshot
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@Michel Gilbert's instructions should work. I think as long as you install Parallels and re-build the VM as a Windows on ARM VM, you should be set. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking of trying it sometime.

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9 hours ago, Michel Gilbert said:

@A. Smith

 

1. Transfer your Parallels license to your new Apple silicone machine.

 

2. In Parallels Control Center, click the top right plus sign > Create New > Get Windows 11 from Microsoft.

 

This downloads and installs Win11 ARM for you.

 

3. Windows works without activation, with that watermark on the bottom right.

 

4. If you want to activate Windows, which I would recommend (for personalization, scaling, etc.), you need to enter a retail license number or buy a digital license direct from Microsoft. If you don't have a retail license, I would recommend buying one because it is easier to transfer Win 11 from machine to machine or virtual machine to virtual machine with it, even years down the road.

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

Edit: And in case you're wondering, Paratext installs in Windows ARM. I don't know how to use it, but I attached a screenshot.

 

ParatextinWin11ARMinAppleSilicone.png.9c4c5d3738c2855736ff53d3668a5fb5.png

So I’ll need a new windows license, my current windows 10 home license won’t transfer? That’s what I’m trying to get at. 

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Since Microsoft treats Windows VMs as PCs, I followed the instructions at a site similar to “How to Transfer a Windows 10 or 11 License to Another PC.” The instructions at the bottom of that page, “How to Transfer Your Windows Product Key (Non-Digital License)” are the same ones I followed over a year ago.

 

I think you already activated Windows 10 in Parallels so you must have a transferable license. I’ve never transferred a digital license, but the instructions for that are there too.

 

I installed W11 ARM in Parallels and used my W10 retail license to activate it. Parallels gives you the choice to install W10 ARM. But W11 ARM supports 64-bit programs and W10 ARM doesn't. I don't know if Paratext is 32 or 64-bit.

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On 1/19/2024 at 1:38 PM, A. Smith said:

It doesn’t though. Arm machines require a different os than x86. So the vm doesn't transfer. Parallels actually says this explicitly. But what I’m asking is how to switch from x86 windows to arm windows. 

 

In brief: Install new Windows for ARM on Parallels, migrate the old Windows (Intel) activation code, reinstall all your Windows apps and data, and it should work.

 

Longer answer:

 

Oops, I should have looked more carefully before posting; apologies. Old school VMs emulated different target CPUs using the host CPU. It wouldn't have mattered if it was ARM running on Intel or vice versa because the target CPU was just an emulated device.

 

What Parallels now offers is a virtual PC that is (only) "of the same type as the host's physical processor". So as others have said, you'll need to install an ARM version of Windows to use Windows at all via ARM-based Parallels.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallels_Desktop_for_Mac#Technical

 

The following link indicates that although before about mid 2022 there wasn't permanent success in migrating Win (Intel) activation code to Parallels (ARM), this has since changed, and people have now successfully done this migration using an activation code from an Intel installation.

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-wont-let-me-activate-windows-11-pro-on-an/9c7497ce-4560-4e61-8185-b121bd2a6427?page=2

 

However, as this is only an activation of a new Windows (ARM) installation, you will probably need to reinstall all your apps from scratch on the new VM - as if you bought a new ARM PC and installed Windows on it from scratch. Grab all your data from the old installation before migrating the activation code, just in case.

 

If you want to play around with old-style virtual machines, UTM (QEMU) looks promising but messy - see the following link. UTM's iOS install notes indicate that you will need to either jailbreak the host device or else periodically revalidate stuff, neither of which is ideal if you just want to run Accordance on the new installation. Another of the answers on the same link below alleges that Apple is actively resisting old-style VM development, with Parallels getting caught in the lurch when it tried; I have no idea whether that's the case in reality.

https://superuser.com/a/1719017

 

All the best with your Intel-ARM migration.

Edited by Lawrence
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@Michel Gilbert, @Lawrence thanks to both of you. I wish this was more straightforward like. . . . well . . . like apple. But I guess that's why I don't use windows as my primary machine. Thanks again. I feel confident to figure it out from here. 

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23 hours ago, A. Smith said:

So your saying that you didn't upgrade windows to ARM but rather got a new license? 

 

I had Win10 on the old Intel Windows VM in Parallels. I don't know if the license would have transferred, so I'm not much help to you there.

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@A. Smith You don't think Microsoft is going to make it that easy, do you? :-) 

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