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I am new to VirtualBox and am trying to set up an instance of Windows 7 64.

I have the virtual machine instance running with Windows 7 now installed, but it only fills up a small portion of my screen. Even when I go full screen, the window stays the same size and the rest of the screen is filled with gray space.

I have installed VirtualBox Guest Additions, which allowed me to go from a resolution of 800x600 to 1024x768, but this still isn't satisfactory as my laptop display is 1600x900.

Any help on this would be most appreciated. Thanks.

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can you post a screenshot with VB at fullscreen mode? –  Sathya Apr 3 '12 at 16:45
    
I'm having a similar problem, though it cropped up out of nowhere after things had worked properly for about 2 years. Mountain Lion host, XP guest, VBox v4.2.6. I increased the VM's total memory and video memory to no avail. –  psoft Feb 6 '13 at 4:35
    
Just figured it out for myself - see answer. –  psoft Feb 6 '13 at 4:42

6 Answers 6

Try increasing the virtual graphics adapter's memory to 64 or 128M. That might help. You may also want to see if you can change the screen resolution from within the guest OS.

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You must install guest additions. In the "Devices" menu in the virtual machine's menu bar, VirtualBox has a handy menu item named "Install guest additions", which mounts the Guest Additions ISO file inside your virtual machine. A Windows guest should then automatically start the Guest Additions installer, which installs the Guest Additions into your Windows guest. After that your virtual OS scren will be automatically change resolution to fill entire screen.

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There is a menu option in VirtualBox GUI under Screen > Go to full screen; also accessible through Host + F by default. (you can configure the host key in VBox options).

During a fullscreen session you should have a hidden bar on the bottom of the screen with restore tools: just tap the bottom of the screen with the mouse pointer.

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Yes, I understand that, but what I'm trying to say is that once it is in full screen, the viewable portion of the virtual machine OS is still set to 1024x768 and all although the VirtualBox program is filling the whole screen, everything around the OS window at 1024x768 is just filled with gray. So I can't make the screen fill my entire display. –  jdavis Apr 3 '12 at 16:33
    
Sorry, I understood the question wrong: see my other answer –  PPC Apr 3 '12 at 18:27

There might be three causes as far as I know:

  • Either your video card doesn't support such high resolution: as BobTsaid you can try tuning your video card settings in the VM properties
  • Or it may be that the resize event is not interpreted correctly by VirtualBox: what happens if you resize the window by dragNDropping the corner to a resolution higher than 1027*768? If this works (allowing you to go higher than that), then you should try entering and leaving full screen several times
  • And if you are using an application that takes full control of the screen (eg. a game), and that application doesn't support your target resolution, then not much can be done.
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You need to reboot VM after installing guest additions, and then select options to auto-resize guest display etc to your liking.

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Auto-resize Guest Display

After leaving the comment on your original question, I figured out my problem. I had hit Command-G instead of Command-F. On Mac host, Command-G toggles an "Auto-resize Guest Display" setting. That fixed it.

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All that does is take you to full screen. –  Jayden Lawson May 27 at 13:27

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