Oracle recently released first beta version of their upcoming desktop desktop virtualization software, VirtualBox 4.2. Improved support for Windows 8 guest OS is one of the major change in this version.
I have tried the latest (leaked)Windows 8 Enterprise RTM version on VirtualBox 4.2 and really experienced the improved display support on guest OS. VirtualBox 4.2 guest additions works well inside Windows 8 to get multiple screen resolution, auto resize, full screen and seamless mode.
You can read our previous guide about how to install Windows 8 on VirtualBox and requirements for it. If you want to try Windows 8 Enterprise RTM (which was leaked to torrents sites recently), search for ‘MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.ENTERPRISE.RTM.X64.VOLUME.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT’ on your favorite torrent site. You may get two results, and do not download the ‘NON_BOOT’ DVD which requires additional work to make it bootable. Download the correct file which is bootable.
VirtualBox automatically detects and changes the settings while typing ‘Windows 8’ on name field of virtual machine, therefore you do not need to modify most of the settings before power on, except loading the download ISO file.
But there was a slight issue of default display settings. Here is the default display settings for Windows 8.
It Started Crashing!
Windows 8 virtual machine started to crash and close while exiting from full screen mode with above default display setting. That is really strange when Oracle claims that VB 4.2 fixed several 3D issues on Windows 8 guest OS.
I do not think I’m doing anything wrong here, but full screen mode is not working properly with enabled 3D acceleration. There could be only one reason for that, which is the built-in VGA display card on my physical computer. Because 3D acceleration may require good display card with dedicated display memory ( I’m not sure about this because on the same physical computer Windows 7 guest OS is working well)
Anyhow, in my case I had to remove ‘Enable 3D Acceleration’ from virtual machine’s display settings.That helps to work with Windows 8 guest OS smoothly by adjusting the screen sizes, minimize and maximize, full screen mode with proper exit.
The better display settings for Windows 8 virtual machine is working as below on my computer (which is having built-in display card)
Installing VirtualBox 4.2 guest additions tool is very easy, you can refer our pervious guide.
Restart the virtual machine after guest additions tool installed.
Normally it takes few seconds to load VirtualBox guest additions tools and adjust screen size after every start of virtual machine.
Here is the running Windows 8 RTM version on Oracle VirtualBox 4.2 in full screen mode, it was looking good and smooth as working directly on physical computer (for ordinary activities, not for games)