Sunday, November 17, 2013

Windows Virtual PC Resolution

This specifically applies to Windows XP guest on Windows 7 host running Windows Virtual PC. It may also apply to other configurations.

When Windows XP is run as a guest without Integration Features, guest desktop resolution can be changed with Properties, but when Integration Features are enabled, that won't work -- the guest starts with a resolution of 896 x 600; resolution can be changed only by resizing the guest window; and when the guest is restarted any change is lost.

To start the Windows XP guest at a specific resolution (e.g., 1024 x 768) with Integration Features enabled, the settings file for the virtual machine must first be edited manually:
  1. Log off host and then back on to make sure virtual machines are shut down
  2. Click Start and enter "%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines"
    (without quotes)
  3. Locate the settings file (.vmc) with the same name as the virtual machine
    (You may want to make a backup copy of this file for safety)
  4. Right-click the settings file, choose Open with, and select Notepad
    (If Notepad is not an option, use Choose default program to associate it)
  5. Find the tag <resolution_height type="integer">
    and change to the desired value (e.g., 768)
  6. Find the tag <resolution_width type="integer">
    and change to the desired value (e.g., 1024)
  7. Close Notepad, saving the settings file
  8. Start the virtual machine

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