Slow Mouse When Controlling a Virtual PC Through Remote Desktop

At my day job, I spend a good deal of time working with virtual machines, whether with Virtual PC 2007, Virtual Server 2005, or Hyper-V. All three seem to work fairly well when I’m logged into my machine locally. However, when I use Remote Desktop to connect to my work machine from home, I recently noticed that my Virtual PC machines suffered from some serious mouse lag. Moving the mouse would make the cursor teleport, rather than smoothly moving across the Virtual PC desktop. As you’ll see below, the faster I tried to move the mouse, the worse the effect became.

Hyper-V  had no such problems, so I began to wonder if I could do anything to solve the stuttering.

Solution

Thanks to a forum post, I discovered that this was caused by a  low Hardware acceleration setting in the virtual machine’s display properties. Here are the specific steps required to solve the problem within a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine:

  1. Right-click the Desktop, and select Properties.
  2. Move to the Settings tab in the Display Properties dialog.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Move to the Troubleshoot tab in the Monitor Properties dialog.
  5. Move the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to the right, so it is right next to Full.
  6. Click OK in the Monitor Properties dialog.
  7. Click OK in the Display Properties dialog.

…and you’re done. That’s all there is to it.

See Also

Mouse Slow and Jerky in Virtual PC 2007 running on Vista home premium