VirtualBox (Windows XP, Windows 7): Video acceleration not running although enabled

Jul 14, 2018
This is my first post in this forum so please forgive me if there's any usual procedure I don't know of.

I played the 2001 game Microsoft Train Simulator (which was designed for Windows 2000) many times before. Years ago I played it on a Windows 7 PC in Windows XP compatibility mode and it worked just fine. It stopped working with any Windows releases after Windows 7 though.

Today I decided that I wanted to play it again. I'm using a brand new laptop running Windows 10, so my first idea was to install Windows 7 SP1 alongside Windows 10, which wasn't possible because I can't decrease the size of my partition. Therefore I created a virtual machine (in VirtualBox) running Windows 7 SP1. I worked with virtual machines before, even just recently. I installed Microsoft Train Simulator successfully. I installed the VirtualBox guest additions, including the D3D drivers. Microsoft Train Simulator didn't start initially (and it showed an error message saying that it requires hardware acceleration, which is of relevance in the next section), however it did after I increased the video memory to the maximum and enabled 3D acceleration and 2D video acceleration. When I tried to start the game it showed a black screen like it did every time I played it, but then it crashed. Using different compatibility modes doesn't fix this.

I didn't find any solution to this, so I installed the game in a virtual machine using Windows XP SP3 (after installing the VirtualBox guest additions) because I thought that the age of the game might have something to do with it and it might work with an older operating system. Upon starting the game the virtual machine showed the error message I initially received under Windows 7 SP1, saying that the game requires hardware acceleration. Unlike with Windows 7 SP1, adjusting the settings of the virtual machine did NOT fix this problem. I first updated DirectX in the XP machine, which didn't change anything. My internet research made me find out that the DirectX update overwrote the guest addition drivers, so I reinstalled the guest additions. Still, I kept on receiving the same error message. I ran dxdiag.exe which showed that DirectDraw acceleration and Direct3D acceleration are indeed enabled. The DirectDraw test didn't return any errors, but the Direct3D test did at step 40 when testing DirectX 7 and it returned an error code. Googling that error code showed that it seems to be a problem only occuring in VirtualBox machines due to the lack of support for DirectX 7.

But I do not think that DirectX 7 is the cause of the problem because a) It worked just fine under Windows 7 SP3. If the lack of support for DirectX 7 was the cause of the problem I wouldn't have been able to start the game under Windows 7 SP1 at all, but I did. It crashed after a few seconds, but no error message relating to DirectX showed up. and b) assuming that DirectX 7 is not required to run the game, DirectX 9 is running just fine according to dxdiag.exe.

I spent an entire day trying to install the game. Compatibility modes didn't fix my problem. I even wanted to install the game on Windows Vista, 2000 SP1 and 98 virtual machines, but they weren't bootable. I still have both virtual machines installed, those running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows XP SP3. I also saw an article saying that the game is only supported by Nvidia graphic cards and my brand new laptop is using an AMD graphic card, but so did my old laptop which I successfully played the game on years ago, so my host graphic card doesn't seem to have anything to do with it.

Please comment your suggestions on how to fix this.

Here's some screenshots of some of the information I just mentioned (the post preview didn't show the picture so I'm inserting a link just to go sure):


Aug 6, 2018
Depends on the requirements of the program. Some graphic programs don't work properly in VM no matter how well the host PC runs.
Did you already try it on Windows 10 in compatibility mode for Windows 7?