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Loading projects in Visual Studio using the Shared Profile feature in Parallels

I recently came across a strange problem when setting up my Windows machine using Parallels on my Macbook. I recently bought a Macbook and do all my development stuff using Parallels to host a virtual windows machine. I have 2 virtual machines running, one Windows XP box and one Windows 2008 Server box which is my main develeopment machine. However, the problem occurred on both machines


As I said, the set-up was fine and installing all necessary tools like Visual Studio 2008 and the rest of my development stack was no problem at all. The problem was to get my “dev” folder with all my projects and source code libraries on to the virtual machine. The first choice for me was to use the “Shared Profile” feature in Parallels. I hate having file on multiple locations and I haven’t found a free subversion client for Mac OSx so far.

If you enable Shared Profile in the Parallels settings, your existing profile on the Mac gets mapped to the virtual windows machine (same works for normal folders on the mac via Shared Folders), allowing you to have just one folder where you store all your stuff like photos, documents and yes, source code as well. I wanted to be able to have my projects available on my Mac as well so I could use for example Espresso to do some of the html/css work on my Mac while all the hardcore C# coding happens on my virtual machine in Visual Studio. Now the problem was when I tried to open one of my Projects, I got the following error message:

Basically the problem is, that the source folder is effectively on a network share aka my Macbook. Now this network share by default is a not trusted location so Visual Studio won’t load my solution. Every folder on that share was marked as being in the “Internet” zone thus a not trusted location.


Well, there is already a great posts about how to solve the trusted location problem and after reading it and also reading some in depth stuff about Caspol.exe (Code Access Security Policy Tool) and how to fully trust a share, guess what: It didn’t work. Same error message, same problem. After hours and hours of fiddling around with caspol and the security settings I finally found the solution.

The trick is to simply add the share on my Macbook to the trusted sites in the “Local intranet” zone. This can be done in the Internet Explorer settings:

After I’ve added my share to the local intranet zone my share and the content appeared as being in the “Local intranet” zone. Loading projects from my Macbook share in Visual Studio works like charm! 🙂

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