Parallels Desktop Error: Trying to boot from SATA optical drive 2

Parallels Desktop failed to boot

Today my reader Ludwig wrote to me, who runs the "Parallels Desktop" emulator with Windows 7 Pro on his MacBook Air. As of recently, this error always appears when starting the virtual machine:

Trying to boot from SATA optical drive 2 ... SATA optical drive 2 failed ...

The problem has already been modified in the Parallels Forum discussed. There someone is using Windows 10 on an iMac Pro 2017 with macOS High Sierra. His Mac throws the message "Trying to boot from SATA drive 1" and then nothing more happens.

If the Windows installation does not want to start under Parallels Desktop, you often have to change something in the boot flags.

If the Windows installation does not want to start under Parallels Desktop, you often have to change something in the boot flags.

Answer from Parallels Support

In the forum you can find a small guide from Parallels that works as follows:

  1. Select "Stop" from the "Actions" menu to stop the virtual machine.
  2. Click on the gear under the name of the virtual machine to get to the settings.
  3. Click on the item "Hardware" and select the settings for "Boot sequence" in the bar
  4. In any case, the "hard disk" should be in position 1 and have a tick.
  5. Click on the arrow to open "Advanced Settings".
  6. Use this for boot flags: vm.bios.efi = 1
  7. Restart the virtual machine. If this fails with boot flags, try this: vm.bios.efi = 0

How it can happen that such settings are necessary overnight is a mystery to me. Sometimes you really believe that computers have a life of their own and spend the night making funny mistakes.

If you want to fix the error, you have to make the settings for the EFI boot in the boot sequence.

If you want to fix the error, you have to make the settings for the EFI boot in the boot sequence.

EFI Boot prevents the virtual machine from starting

In the Parallels support area, for the entry "vm.bios.efi = 0", there is another reason why the VM does not want to start. According to Parallels, this may also be due to an EFI boot sequence being started. This then results in such output on the screen and the start of Windows is aborted.

The virtual machine loads with EFI Shell commands and prevents Windows from booting (source: Parallels).

The virtual machine loads with EFI Shell commands and prevents Windows from booting (source: Parallels).

This can be deactivated with the boot flags "vm.bios.efi = 0". Windows should then start up normally again.

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