Guide: How to get programs with fixed resolutions to scale to your monitor in VMplayer

Version 3

    Many users have posted questions regarding their inability to make some of the programs they run in VMplayer scale to fit their entire display, rather than look at a very small image surrounded by large black bars. Unlike some other VMware products, VMplayer itself lacks a scaling option. However, I have found a workaround that should help.


    1) Install VMplayer and create your virtual machine as normal. (If you've already done so, just skip to the next step.)

    2) Download and install 12noon's Display Changer program here, for free.

    3) Create a new shortcut to VMplayer on your desktop (or wherever you want). This is the only somewhat tricky part. I will use my own as an example:


    In the "Target" field, I entered "C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" -width=640 -height=480 -depth=32 -refresh=60 "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmplayer.exe"


    * The "C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" portion is the location of the Display Changer program on my system.


    * The -width=640 -height=480 -depth=32 -refresh=60 portion gives the width in pixels, height in pixels, color depth (eg 16 for 16-bit or 32 for 32-bit), and refresh rate. So, if the program you want to use is fixed at 640x480 resolution, you might use the same text as me, possibly adjusting the color depth to 8 or 16-bit if the program requires.


    * The "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player\vmplayer.exe" portion is the location of VMplayer on my machine.


    In the "Start In" field, I entered "C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer" because the Display Changer program executable is located there.


    4) Create additional shortcuts as needed, if you need to use this trick for additional programs with other fixed resolutions.

    5) Be sure to adjust you host computer's own display stretching settings if need be. Almost all video cards allow you to choose a scaling method. I prefer fixed aspect ratio scaling so my image isn't horizontally stretched on my widescreen display, but others might prefer to leave scaling off so the image fits the entire screen. Your video card should have a special configuration program that can be accessed by the Windows control panel or simply by right-clicking on your desktop.

    6) Run the shortcut. Your monitor will be fixed at the settings from your shortcut until you close VMplayer. Under the example I provided above, a program within VMplayer that runs only at 640x480 full-screen resolution will now be scaled to fit the monitor, instead of being tiny and surrounded by black bars.


    PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Using improper setting may damage your video card and/or monitor, so use this guide and the Display Changer program at your own risk.