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Windows 7: Program Files and Program Files (x86) - any way to merge these?


20 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 
Program Files and Program Files (x86) - any way to merge these?

Hi, first off I know there has been discussion about this before - I'd like to ask something more specific.

I'm one of these people who just likes to keep applications on a separate partition (apart from those I consider as an integral part of the system, such as drivers etc...). Using this, I've found no problems installing applications such as Photoshop with x86 and x64 versions side-by-side to the same partition (Folder structure = P(rograms):\Adobe\Photoshop and P:\Adobe\Photoshop (64-Bit). By default, Photoshop would have installed x86 and x64 versions side-by-side in a similar structure in Program Files (x86) anyway.

What I'm saying is, I understand the idea in keeping x86 and x64 applications (and their resources) in separate directories for less confusion and cross-incompatibility issues, but do they have to be kept in entirely separate superdirectories? Wouldn't C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IE(x86) and C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IE(x64) work just as well for these dual versions as the standard layout?

I just like to be organised and keep things in one place.

On a side note, again I understand the needs to keep x86 and x64 separate, but seeing as I have a 64-bit machine, do I need x86 and x64 versions of apps like Sidebar and Defender? I know that IE x86 is there for compatibility with web standards (I'm looking at you, flash!) but it seems nonsense that I need two versions of, say, Windows Mail (just in case, you know, I happen to receive "32-bit E-Mail".


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2012   #2

7 Ultimate x64/7 Home Premium x64
 
 

For one thing, the x64 and x86 versions of iexplore.exe have the same name, as well as other files in the Internet Explorer folders.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Windows 7 uses separate directories for 32-bit and 64-bit applications to avoid conflicts with things like Active-X controls and personally, I wouldn't consider merging them.

You mention Internet Explorer in particular. As far as I'm aware, if you uninstall one version you do in fact lose both as both get uninstalled.

You also mention Flash. Adobe have released a 64-bit Flash version that also includes the 32-bit version when installed.

http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/...operating.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

@bbearren - I know, but I'm not talking about both .exes in one directory, more like one IE directory under program files, with two subdirectories - one each for the files, .exe etc for each version

{Such as
C:\
Program Files\
Internet Explorer\
IE\
IEx64 subdirs and files
IE(x86)\
IEx86 subdirs and files
etc for other dual architecture programs
}

@seavixen32 - I understand avoiding conflicts, just seems odd that none of these conflicts arise when using other applications with two versions, each in a subdirectory of a main directory for the program, like I mentioned with photoshop's default install location, and flash isn't the only part of the web unreachable by 64-bit browsers.

Also, things like Sidebar (The system is 64-bit, the OS is 64-bit, the desktop environment is 64-bit, if I ever really had the urge to use sidebar, why on earth would I use a 32-bit version. Similarly, to what extent is the usefulness of 32 and 64-bit e-mail apps. Even photoshop, I only ever use 64-bit (in fact I sometime install only 64-bit, and leave 32-bit out) and have no compatibility issues, nor missing any features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Not sure whether this is of use to you, but you might want to read through this article: Single Package Authoring

And this one too: http://www.samlogic.net/articles/32-...6-syswow64.htm

Although no help to you now, with the proliferation of 64-bit computers there'll come a time when all software is written for 64-bit systems, so the problem won't arise then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

@seavixen32 Thanks, looks useful. Way to knackered to actually put it to good use at the moment though. Bookmarked.

On a side note, my installing of x86 and x64 applications (totally separate applications that don't share names) on a separate partition under a single directory, shouldn't cause any problems?

Another, even more of a side note - You're in P'boro - I'm from near there (well, near enough - St. Ives)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The simple answer is: NO.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ozzy441 View Post
@seavixen32 Thanks, looks useful. Way to knackered to actually put it to good use at the moment though. Bookmarked.

On a side note, my installing of x86 and x64 applications (totally separate applications that don't share names) on a separate partition under a single directory, shouldn't cause any problems?

Another, even more of a side note - You're in P'boro - I'm from near there (well, near enough - St. Ives)
As whs points out, no.

I know St Ives well. We sometimes park up there and take the guided busway into Cambridge.

In fact, there's even talk of extending it through to Ramsey and Peterborough using the old railway trackbed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
As whs points out, no.
Good to know - I like to keep organised, thats my way of doing so

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
I know St Ives well. We sometimes park up there and take the guided busway into Cambridge.

In fact, there's even talk of extending it through to Ramsey and Peterborough using the old railway trackbed.
Really? I hadn't heard that. Seems like an okay idea, but I'm sure it will get mixed responses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Some installers give you the option of where to put software and others do not. I personally keep things the way they were designed by Microsoft. It keeps things simpler and less liable to problems. If you really want to move software around there are a lot of portable apps out there which don't need installing and can reside anywhere.
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 Program Files and Program Files (x86) - any way to merge these?




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