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Windows 7: Trying to get along with Win 7

06 Apr 2018   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Just a couple thoughts that may or may not be of any use:

For some hardware you can safely use the Vista x64 drivers and get full functionality - it goes for things like printers, cameras, mice, etc. For the computer's main components you must always have drivers made for the OS. But for certain older hardware using the Vista drivers is the only way to get it working with 7 and 8.

Whether you run the 32 bit or 64 bit version shouldn't matter (because the drivers are usually equally easy/hard to come by for both) unless the programs you use won't accept high-bit memory allocations (above the 3.5 GB range). 64 bit really is mainly about better memory usage and the ability to use a lot more memory. If you don't do anything that require more than 2 GB memory, then running 64 bit isn't strictly necessary. Most programs are 32 bit anyway, only when they run on a 64 bit system you can have a lot more of them running at the same time - provided they will accept a memory allocation that's outside the normal 32 bit range. With old software that's a real issue.

One problematic thing I've found is that some older 32 bit programs contain 16 bit components (like the installer on many older programs is actually 16 bit even though the program itself is 32 bit), which isn't supported on Windows 7. Unfortunately there's usually not much to do about that.

Sometimes just turning off the W7 window dressing can get older programs to work, esp if those programs were made for Windows 2000 or older. It's supposed to do it automatically when the programs don't support the skins, but it doesn't always work.

But if you're using really old programs, you may just be better off with WINE on Linux. It's a bit weird, but Linux has better backwards Windows compatibility than Windows itself.

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 Trying to get along with Win 7

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