How to end your Parallels problems with Mavericks and break free from parallels forever.

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(Parallels, do not show again)
If you purchased parallels and have been disappointed that you are forced to upgrade in order to use parallels with Apples latest OS, Mavericks you might want to do what I did, get rid of Parallels forever. Don't get me wrong, I love Parallels and I don't even mind an upgrade or two, but because I don't want to be forced to upgrade every year with each OS X version I moved my virtual machines to oracles virtual box.
Bonus thought: The cost of the upgrade for Parallels is about the same as 16gb of RAM (currently), again I don't begrudge the cost of Paralles, but I don't like paying over and over, I'd rather buy more RAM.
This will help if:
  • You wan't to move your parallels virtual machines to Mavericks.
  • You wan't an alternative solution to the Parallels upgrade cycle
  • You simply want to know how to get parallels 7 or 8 working in Mavericks (you can't but this is a pretty good alternative)
Here's how to get your virtual machines into Mavericks:
Note: This was all done BEFORE I updated to Mavericks but I have checked that it also works after you install the new OS X version, the only thing that might not work (I never tired it) was step one (becaue you might not be able to open the virtual machine using Mavericks with an older version of Paralles like 7 or 8). On with the show:
Step 1: Shut your virtual Machines down.
Fire up parallels on your Mac and make sure none of the virtual machine you need are hibernating/suspended. If they are, wake them up and shut 'em down.
Step 2: Download Parallels closest competitor for a bit help.
You may have heard of Parallels closest competitor, no, not virtualbox, VMware fusion. We are going to use the trial version of VMware fusion to help us convert the parallels virtual machines. Go here to find the download page for VMware fusion trial version: Download VMware fusion free trial here.
Step 3: Install VM ware fusion and convert your parallels virtual machine.
Install VMware fusion, run it and from the file menu and choose import. Browse to the folder where your parallels virtual machines are kept (you can search for .pvs or .pvm if you want). Import the .pvs or .pvm file into VMware fusion. Once it has imported, you can close VMware fusion, you don't need it anymore because the import process of VMware fusion converts the parallels virtual machine for us to use in the next step.
Step 4: Extract the virtual machine files
using spotlight to find VMware fusion virtual machines
Find the .vmwarevm file that VM ware fusion just created. The easiest way is to use spotlight and just search for .vmwarevm. Comand click the top result to open the folder which contain the .vmwarevm file. Now right click the file and click "show package contents". Copy the files into a new folder.
Step 5: Download Virtual Box and Install it.
Install virtual box, you can download virtual box here.
Step 6: Create a new virtual machine using the files you just extracted.
Click on the "New" icon in Virtual Box and give your new virtual machine a name and match the settings to the operation system of the virtual machine you are about to import. NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE 64 BIT VERSION if the operating system of the virtual machine you are bringing over from Parallels was 64 bit! Choose an amount of RAM suitable of the virtual machine. On the "Hard Drive" screen, click "Use an existing virtual hard drive file" and locate the files (click the little folder icon with the green up arrow) you just extracted form the VMware fusion package into a new folder. Look for the file .vmdk file with no number added to it's file name (e.g. Windows_7.vmdk not Windows_7-01..vmdk). Click this file and click create.  Boom you're free from parallels forever. 
Step 7: One last thing you may need to do is to enable drag and drop and clipboard sharing which you can do by clicking the virtual machine from within Virtual Box and then clicking settings. Enable drag and clipboard sharing under general>advanced.
Trouble shooting:
If the Paralles virtual machine doesn't connect to the internet. Check it's setting and make sure the network adapter is set to "bridged adapter".