Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Force VMWare Fusion Windows 7.1 on Retina Mac to Reasonable Resolution

Running Windows 7.1 under VM Ware Fusion on a Retina MacBook Pro will cause each restart (whether shutdown or put into sleep mode) to start back up in the highest resolution available. Windows does not cater for this the same way that Mac OS does and the upshot is that everything on your screen will be tiny.

To force Windows into a reasonable resolution the VMWare VMX config file for the instance needs to be modified to set the max width and height. Finding the config file is the first step. Adding three lines is the second.

The long way is to follow the instructions on these two pages in order:
The short version of those is to shutdown your VM Windows (not suspend) and open the following menu:
  • Window -> Virtual Machine Library ->
  • Then, while holding alt / option, open the menu over the Windows instance in the left menu
  • "Show in Finder" will change to "Open Config in File Editor"
Then, in your text editor, paste these three lines to the bottom of the config file and save it over the original (make a backup):
svga.autodetect = "FALSE"
svga.maxWidth = 1920
svga.maxHeight = 1200
This will set the default resolution to 1920x1200. Choose whichever is best for you.

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