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Windows 7: Double the size of Video Ram for XPMode in Virtual Box OR VMLite

09 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium Enhanced
Double the size of Video Ram for XPMode in Virtual Box OR VMLite

Increase video (graphics) ram size in Virtual Box from 128 MB to 256 MB. Also works for VMLite XP mode and the VMLite XPMode Plugin for Virtual Box.

Default max video ram in XP Mode running it through either, Virtual Box using the VMLite Virtual Box XP Mode Plugin or running XP Mode through the VMLite XP Mode "VMLite workstation" Virtual Machines is 128 Megabytes.

Now you can double this value to 256 megabytes with the little tweak.

It should also work even if you not using XP Mode but running some other operating system in your virtual machine !!!

I am posting this here in favor of XP mode because I assume that's the kind of visualization many people here are looking to do with Windows 7. I have no clue if this is possible running XP Mode from Microsoft's Virtual PC application, my guess is a Big NO.

This tweak was found for Virtual Box initially but I tested it with VMLite's XP mode because VMLite Workstation (VMLite XP Mode) is based off of the open source version of Virtual Box. It works also on Virtual Box itself using the VMLite Virtual Box XP Mode Plugin. This plugin gives Virtual Box added functionality to run XP Mode with full XP Mode integration abilities. So you have 3 seperate ways to use this tweak.

This tweak works at least as far as the Virtual Box Console and the VMLite Workstation are concerned. Your slider value under Settings/Display, can be set to 256 max and the XP Mode guest machine video adapter will recognize this value.

To use for Virtual Box

by rpxmac 26. Mar 2011, 15:22
I do not know if this solution applies to all versions. I managed to raise 128M to 256M Video Ram changing the one simple line in the file ".VBOX", using a simple "Text Editor". The ".VBOX" file is the configuration file of virtual machine, on same name folder:

Change from:

<Display VRAMSize="126" monitorCount="1" accelerate3D="true" accelerate2DVideo="true"/>


<Display VRAMSize="256" monitorCount="1" accelerate3D="true" accelerate2DVideo="true"/>

Do not forget to make this change with the virtual machine off (not running), and the panel VirtualBox also closed the program (the program and the VirtualBox virtual machine can not be running).

Save the file ".VBOX" and open the control panel Virtualbox, go in display properties and the total 256M Ram available.

I tested these changes on a Windows XP and Windows 7 and the performance has improved dramatically ...

Also installed the add-ons to enable 3D support, but efficient surface to allow the system to run more lighter (particularly Windows 7). Performance in Windows XP is very good in my view. Simply install Windows and just after the installation is complete, enter in the Desktop, restart the computer holding the F8 key, activating the "safe mode". Upon entering the desktop screen now, activate the option of installing adons (on virtual machine menu "HOST+D"), initialize the installation and select "D3D". Proceed and after the installation, reboot the virtual machine. Now the 3D support is active. Do not abuse the resources, it is not possible to enable AERO but performance improves considerably.

Comparing the same OS's running in VirtualBox and VMWare, VirtualBox can say that in the performance exceeded my expectations, since the machine HOST not lost much performance as with machines running VMWare Fusion (Mac OSX).
Virtualbox please allow more video memory (View topic) &bull;

To use with the VMLite Virtual Box XP Mode Plugin

The same applies to the VMLite Virtual Box XP Mode plugin. Simply apply the above tweak after you install the plugin and set up XP Mode on Virtual Box.

To use with VMLite Workstation (VMLite XP Mode)

Here is what I did.

I found the VMLites folder under C:\Users\YourName\VMLites\VMLite XP Mode and opened the file " VMLite XP Mode.XML " in Wordpad. I changed the value 126 to 256 as stated above in the same line as above, "<Display VRAMSize="126" monitorCount="1" accelerate3D="true" accelerate2DVideo="true"/>" then saved it. I opened the VMLite Workstation and opened Settings/Display to see if the value was changed and sure enough, it now said 256 for the max video ram available. Next I wanted to test if XP Mode itself saw the same value so I started XP Mode and navigated to my video adapter page to check it and take the snapshot. This is found in, Control Panel/Display/Settings tab/Advanced/Adapter tab.

Now I can have fun playing games in XP mode I could not play before. (If it works good) Enjoy

Edit: I also tried to use a tool like SIW to double check it in XP Mode but it crashes when starting. I suppose some of those tools don't work very well in a VM. I just want more proof that this value of 256 MB's is really being used instead of this being falsely reported as some people fear. However if you read the link to the Virtual Box thread above you will see many people praise this tweak and confirm it's working.

Attached Thumbnails
Double the size of Video Ram for XPMode in Virtual Box OR VMLite-256-works.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium Enhanced

Still trying to find some way to prove or disprove this out for good. There is some school of thought that says when you enable 3d acceleration in the VM it is going to use up to all of your available Host ram for main system functions or video ram in the guest. Problem I have with this is I was taught it's all shared ram anyway and it's all main system ram - the VM software never accesses your GPU in your video card. If it were true that the VM could see and use all of your available ram, we would not have so many threads about people not being able to play games or any other limitations caused by not having a large amount of ram for video. We would have people using a windows VM in Linux and playing top games like all the high end 3d action games that came out in the last few years - yet people are still struggling to find a way to make games work in Linux even if they have 6 or 8 gigs of main system ram for the VM ( or even a 2 gig ddr5 high end ati card outside of the VM) We just don't see it.

So, does 3d acceleration cause the VM to see and use all your ram or will the added 128 MB's from my trick above really make some difference because it otherwise does not have access to that memory?

Perhaps we could test this by finding an app that will only run on 256 MB's and compare that to the 128 setting both with 3d enabled and with 3d off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Double the size of Video Ram for XPMode in Virtual Box OR VMLite

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