Monthly Archives: June 2015

Windows 10 in VirtualBox video driver crashes (fix)

I’ve been running a copy (actually 2) of Windows 10 insider preview (build 130 currently) and regularly experience the issue where the video driver provided by VirtualBox crashes and the resolution drops to a standard size using the default Windows 10 display driver. The issue is Oracle (makers of VirtualBox) has not created a new video driver for Windows 10 yet – it is still the default one for Windows 8.x so it probably hasn’t been tested and optimized properly for Windows 10.

To fix the video drive I used to restart the VM which then restores the video driver and restores the resolution prior to the crash. Fortunately I came across some forum posting about another issue I know about on Windows 8 on ATI GPUs where the mouse cursor becomes corrupt that suggests to simply go to Device Manager and disable and then enable the video driver itself to fix the problem. Turns out this also works for Windows 10 video driver crashes. Doing it should not ‘break’ anything since the video driver is in a crashed state anyway when you disable it. After enabling it again Windows 10 automatically restores the previous resolution and all is happy in Insider Preview land again…

Update: I found a way to automate this solution using PowerShell! Using device-management-powershell-cmdlets I created a script that disables and then re-enables the display driver. e.g.

Import-Module "C:\Program Files\Common Files\DeviceManagement\DeviceManagement.psd1"
$DisplayDevice = Get-Device | Where-Object -Property Name -like "VirtualBox Graphics Adapter for Windows 8*"
Disable-Device -TargetDevice $DisplayDevice
Enable-Device -TargetDevice $DisplayDevice

This is assuming you copied the downloaded module to “C:\Program Files\Common Files\DeviceManagement”

Update: I probably should say ‘Touch Wood’ but ever since I upgraded to VirtualBox 5.0 I haven’t had any Display driver crashes again (on Windows 10 build 10166)