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Setting a Windows 98 virtual machine to 16-bit color results in an error about adapter type (1015122)

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  • In a Windows 98 or Windows 98SE virtual machine, setting the guest to 16-bit color fails
  • You see the error:

    There is a problem with your display settings. The adapter type is incorrect, or the current settings do not work with your hardware.

    Note: In this case, the Win9x driver is checking the host's color depth, which is 32bpp.


To resolve this issue in VMware Fusion 3.x and later, force the operating system to use 16bpp mode by adding a line to the virtual machine's configuration file (. vmx).
To edit the .vmx file:
  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Open the Virtual Machine Library by selecting Window > Virtual Machine Library from the Apple menu bar.
  3. While holding the Option key, right-click the virtual machine and select Open Config file in Editor.
  4. Add this line to the bottom of the text file:

    svga.spoof16bppHost = "TRUE"

  5. Select File > Save a version (Lion) / Save (not Save As) (Snow Leopard and earlier).
  6. Power on the virtual machine.
  7. You may also need to disable 3D-accelerated graphics.

    To disable 3D-accelerated graphics:
    1. Go to Virtual Machine > Settings.
    2. Click Display.
    3. Deselect Accelerate 3D Graphics.



Update History

08/13/2010 - Added note about 3D acceleration. 06/27/2011 - changed how to open the .vmx by right clicking on the VM in the virtual machine library and selecting "open config file with editor" - kadamson

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