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Windows 7: 32 or 64 bit OS

04 Jan 2011   #1
roehrle

 
32 or 64 bit OS

I recently got a new computer with Win 7. I believe that it is running 64 bit but I am not sure. How does one determine which mode their computer is running ?
Is it possible to select 32 bit rather than 64 bit ?
I have a program that will only run in a 32Bit OS ,so I am told by the company offering the program. I would like to run this one program occasionally if it isn't too complicated to switch to 32 bit. I have been told by people on this forum that I should be able to run a program in either 32 or 64 bit but like I said the company that offers this said it will not run on my 64 bit OS. Any suggestions ??


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04 Jan 2011   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

to see which os you are running: start-menu >> right-click on computer >> properties - about half way down the page.

32 or 64 bit OS-64.png

most 32bit programs will run quite happily in a 64 bit os - 64bit operating systems wouldn't be very useful otherwise.

to revert to 32bit would mean a complete re-install. have you tried this 32bit only program yet?


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04 Jan 2011   #3
DefCon420

all of them
 
 

to see if you have 32-bit or 64-bit windows version, press the windows key and the pause|break key at the same time. (win + pause|break).

Just about any 32-bit program can run in a 64-bit windows OS thanks to a function called WoW (WindowsOnWindows). It emulates a 32-bit environment so 32-bit application can run. This is why you will see that you have two "Program Files" folders on your c:\ drive on a computer running a 64-bit OS. One of those folders contains the added text of "(x86)". All software in the (x86) folder will run in WoW mode, as they are 32-bit only.

To the best of my knowledge, there are 32-bit applications that will not run in WoW, and those would be applications that are not true 32-bit apps. They are 16-bit apps that can operate in a 32-bit operating system. These programs are typically very old, as the time frame of 16-bit apps needing tricks to run in a 32-bit OS stems from around windows 95 or 98?....

If your app flat out will not run on your x64 OS, you may try using a "virtual machine". Sun's Virtual Box is a piece of software that you do not need to buy. Pay software that does this is VMWare. Both softwares will probably require you to do a fair amount of web reading to understand terminology and techniques and methods.

You may also contact the company and see if using a "virtual machine" is a viable alternative. And if they give the go-ahead, ask them their recommendations as far as product to use, and recommended settings.
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04 Jan 2011   #4
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If it was me, I would rather virtualize XP to run the program than downgrade to x86. I call it a downgrade because I feel that it is a lesser platform than x64, and given today's systems where 4 GB is the normal (if not more), Windows 7 x64 should be the default platform.

What's the program in question? Chances are, someone else has tried to install it. There may be a workaround, but if not, it would likely run in any of the VM software apps.

What version of Windows 7 x86 do you have installed?
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05 Jan 2011   #5
roehrle

 

I definitely have a 64 bit OS. I am running Windows 7 Home Premium. The program I am trying to get to run is from a Federal Credit Union which is probably buying or leasing the program from another company. That's why it has been difficult trying to get this resolved. I was able to download the program and get all the necessary files and open the *.exe program which I believe is the main program. When I try to access the program the only icon's that works is the logoff icon.
Apparently the program has to communicate with the Credit union software but isn't doing it properly. The Tech at the Credit Union has been working with me to get the program working and I am not sure what his level of experience is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2011   #6
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Since the program isn't something that relies heavily, or at all, on 3D graphics, I'd definitely virtualize it. XP Mode isn't an option since you only have Home Premium, but VirtualBox is free, and would definitely do the trick. It's also very easy to setup.
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05 Jan 2011   #7
Dzomlija

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Since the program isn't something that relies heavily, or at all, on 3D graphics, I'd definitely virtualize it. XP Mode isn't an option since you only have Home Premium, but VirtualBox is free, and would definitely do the trick. It's also very easy to setup.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by roehrle View Post
I definitely have a 64 bit OS. I am running Windows 7 Home Premium. The program I am trying to get to run is from a Federal Credit Union which is probably buying or leasing the program from another company. That's why it has been difficult trying to get this resolved. I was able to download the program and get all the necessary files and open the *.exe program which I believe is the main program. When I try to access the program the only icon's that works is the logoff icon.
Apparently the program has to communicate with the Credit union software but isn't doing it properly. The Tech at the Credit Union has been working with me to get the program working and I am not sure what his level of experience is.
I'll agree with DeaconFrost on this one, and go the virtualization route.

It sounds to me as though the program installs a proprietary driver to use for communication, and therin lies the problem of why you cannot get a 32-bit app to work on 64-bit Windows. You cannot use 32-bit drivers on a 64-bit operating system.

Your only choices are to either downgrade to a 32-bit version of Windows, or to run the program in question within a virtual Windows XP environment. You can get Virtualbox here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #8
roehrle

 

Hi Guys:
I took your advice and D/L-ed the Virualbox. It appears to me that I would need a copy of Windows XP to install to get this to work. I think when I was running XP the OS was installed on the computer when I bought it. I don't think I got CD's with the OS. It seems to me that this is a lot of work and I am not sure the program will run after I go and install XP. Am I right in assuming that I need and OS like XP to have a chance of getting this thing to work ???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2011   #9
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yes, you'll need a copy of XP, or you'll need to upgrade your current Home Premium to Pro so you can use XP Mode. Do you have any friends with XP licenses sitting around?
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 32 or 64 bit OS




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