VirtualBox is an excellent tool for running different operating systems on your machine without the need for partitioning or dual-booting. However, users often encounter an issue where black bars appear on the sides of the screen when running Windows 7 in full-screen mode on Ubuntu. This article will guide you through the process of resolving this issue.
To fix black bars in VirtualBox full-screen mode for Windows 7 on Ubuntu, you need to install VirtualBox Guest Additions and adjust the screen resolution to match your host system’s resolution. Additionally, you can try changing the maximum guest screen size, enabling 3D acceleration, or increasing the video memory allocated to the virtual machine.
Understanding the Issue
The black bars on the sides of the screen are typically caused by a mismatch in the screen resolution between your host (Ubuntu) and guest (Windows 7) operating systems. VirtualBox tries to match the guest resolution with the host, but sometimes it fails, resulting in the black bars.
Before we start, ensure that you have the latest version of VirtualBox installed on your Ubuntu system. If not, you can download it from the official VirtualBox website.
Step 1: Install VirtualBox Guest Additions
The first step to resolve this issue is to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. These are a set of device drivers and system applications that optimize the guest operating system for better performance and usability.
How to Install Guest Additions
- Start your Windows 7 virtual machine.
- From the VirtualBox menu, select Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
- This action will mount the Guest Additions CD image inside your virtual machine.
- Open the File Explorer in Windows 7, navigate to the CD drive, and run the
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
- Restart your virtual machine after the installation.
The Guest Additions should now be installed. They will improve the integration between the host and guest systems, including the screen resolution.
Step 2: Adjust Screen Resolution
After installing the Guest Additions, you should be able to adjust the screen resolution to match your host system’s resolution, thereby eliminating the black bars.
- Go to the VirtualBox menu and select Devices > Display or Preferences > Display.
- Set the screen size to match your main system’s resolution.
If the above steps do not resolve the issue, you can try the following:
Change Maximum Guest Screen Size
- Go to the VirtualBox display settings.
- Change the “Maximum Guest Screen Size” option to “None”.
Enable 3D Acceleration
- Go to the VirtualBox settings.
- Enable 3D acceleration in the “Display” tab.
Increase Video Memory
- Go to the VirtualBox settings.
- Increase the video memory allocated to the virtual machine in the “Display” tab.
In this article, we discussed how to fix the issue of black bars appearing in VirtualBox full-screen mode when running Windows 7 on Ubuntu. By installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions and adjusting a few settings, you should be able to enjoy a seamless full-screen experience. If you still encounter issues, refer to the VirtualBox manual, especially the section on Guest Additions for Windows.
VirtualBox Guest Additions are a set of device drivers and system applications that enhance the performance and usability of the guest operating system running inside a VirtualBox virtual machine.
Black bars can appear in VirtualBox full-screen mode when there is a mismatch in the screen resolution between the host (Ubuntu) and guest (Windows 7) operating systems.
To install VirtualBox Guest Additions, start your Windows 7 virtual machine, go to the VirtualBox menu, select Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD Image, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
After installing Guest Additions, you can adjust the screen resolution by going to the VirtualBox menu, selecting Devices > Display or Preferences > Display, and setting the screen size to match your main system’s resolution.
If adjusting the screen resolution doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try changing the "Maximum Guest Screen Size" option to "None" in the VirtualBox display settings, enabling 3D acceleration in the VirtualBox settings, or increasing the video memory allocated to the virtual machine in the "Display" tab of the VirtualBox settings.
You can refer to the VirtualBox manual, specifically the section on Guest Additions for Windows, for more detailed information about VirtualBox and Guest Additions.