Being a C# .NET Windows Forms developer, some customers are running our applications on an Apple OS X Mac inside a Parallels virtual machine.

Parallels presents host folders to the guest Windows as UNC paths with a leading dot like


Now an application of us cannot handle the leading dot correctly when accessing files from these kind of shares ("Invalid URI, cannot analyze host name" exception).

I want to debug and fix this issue, unfortunately I do have no Mac and Parallels around here to test it.

My question is:

Is there a way to "simulate" this kind of share on a normal Windows server or client so that I'll be able to debug my application with Visual Studio?

What I tried so far:

I already tried to edit my HOSTS file to contain an entry like

# ...       .psf
# ...

but Windows just seems to not recognize the share at all.


Since it seems it is not possible, what I want to achieve, I solved my issue by installing the Windows Version of Parallels and thus enabling me to remote-debug the issue.

Thanks for your time and your comments!


You cannot do it the way you are trying, at least per Microsoft. I quote: "Names can contain a period (.). However, the name cannot start with a period." It is probably hardcoded to work that way.


  • Thanks, @KCotreau. So probably getting a Mac and Parallels and doing some VS.NET Remote Debugging is the only way to go? – Uwe Keim Jun 21 '11 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Uwe Keim I am not really proficient with MACs...more of a Windows Guru, so I answered that part. – KCotreau Jun 21 '11 at 16:06

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