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The point is to play older games like Starcraft on Windows 7, but the general problem is:

Is there a utility which scales the content of any window to fullscreen?

I guess modern graphics card can easily do this in hardware, so it should be fast enough for games.


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do you mean when playing in windowed mode or is your fullscreen screen to small? in the latter case, most monitors (and graphic drivers) offer an option to rescale low-resolution content to full size – Tobias Kienzler Aug 24 '11 at 13:00
I mean windowed mode, there are a few ways to run starcraft in windowed mode (the most general way being to run it in virtualbox or virtualPC). I would like to scale that window into fullscreen (preserving aspect ratio) just like a video player does, like some kind of magnification software. – SemMike Aug 24 '11 at 14:12
Maybe virtualbox/pc has a zoom feature, but otherwise you could just use the windows magnifier – Tobias Kienzler Aug 24 '11 at 14:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For windowed mode, you might want to use the magnifier from windows' accessibility tools (or some freeware equivalent) in fullscreen mode. I don't know if you can set it to exactly zoom in on the game window though.

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Thanks, this is closest to the answer I was looking for. I had already tried windows magnifier in fullscreen, it's limited to 100%, 200% and 300% and it has other problems (screen moves with the mouse) but I'll try to find another magnfying program. – SemMike Aug 24 '11 at 20:51
I've been looking around and I am really surprised there isn't some utility which just scales any window in hardware, Aero uses hardware scaling on all the windows' contents constantly to generate the thumbnails, so why not apply that to scale a 640x480 window so it fills the screen? Arg! :) – SemMike Aug 24 '11 at 22:45
After a quick google search for "zoom window" I found this commercial tool claiming some more zoom levels, but I don't know about its hardware acceleration. But theoretically there musts be a tool that zooms a window exactly to full screen, hopefully even freeware... – Tobias Kienzler Aug 25 '11 at 5:06

For Starcraft, you can change its compatibility mode:

  • Right click on the program icon and then Select Properties...Compatibility.
  • Set the program to run in NT mode at 640x480 resolution BUT if that doesn't work, try XP mode and 256 colours. With many graphics drivers, the second option opens Starcraft into full screen mode.

Another tweak to use in conjunction with the above if they don't seem to work is to run msconfig and on the boot tab put a tick in 'base video' and set a timeout between 3-5 seconds. Your login screen may go low res after this but Starcraft and other low-res games may now drop into full screen mode.

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Thanks for the information. But constantly switching the monitor resolution is a relic from older times, it creates problems with multiple monitors and Aero, and is generally slow, inconvenient and buggy. I would like to run Starcraft in a window with something like virtualbox (it would also work with other games like Diablo etc.), and then fill the screen with that window, adding black bars on the sides if the aspect ratio is different, just like media player classic or any video player does. – SemMike Aug 24 '11 at 14:13

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