Before I get started today – I want to make one thing very clear: the content of this post is not officially supported by Microsoft. Feel free to try it out – but if you hit problems do not go contacting Microsoft Product support – as this is unsupported.
With that out of the way:
When using Windows XP Mode the display is limited to using 16-bit color. If you try to change this you will see that you cannot:
For most situations – 16-bit color works fine. However, there are some applications that require greater color depth.
It is possible to get 24-bit color support by doing the following:
- Start Windows XP Mode
- Run regedit
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services
- Create a new DWORD value with a name of ColorDepth and a value of 4
- Restart the virtual machine
After doing this you will see that you now have 24-bit color support. Now – to answer a couple of obvious questions:
- If this is unsupported – why is this option even there? Use of 24-bit color is supported on Windows Server 2003, but it is not supported on Windows XP. This is a case where you can enable this on Windows XP due to similar components being used.
- Why is it not supported – it seems to work? While it works in many cases, there are times (which I have seen myself) where programs that work correctly with 16-bit color do not work correctly with 24-bit color.
- 24-bit isn’t good enough, I need 32-bit color depth? Your best option here is to disable integration mode. This will put you back on our emulated video card – that can support 32-bit color depth (but you lose all of the nice integration features).