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Can you install 32 bit drivers on a 64 bit Windows 7 system?

    Question

  • This may be a wierd question but here goes...  I have 4 older Dell computers that are running Windows XP 32 bit.  I have installed 4 GB of RAM in them and I would like to upgrade them to Windows 7 64 bit.  The problem is that I can't seem to find any drivers for Windows 7 64 bit on Dell's "Drivers and Support" page.  The only thing that they had listed were Vista 32 bit drivers.  I know that a lot of Vista drivers work with Windows 7 but, can I use the 32 bit drivers on the 64 bit OS? 

    I verified that all of the computers have processors that support 64 bit architecture and checked each of the systems with the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor provided by Microsoft.  The upgrade advisor said that they should all be compatible with the 64 bit version of Windows 7.  i jsut want to make sure that I can optain drivers before I decide to dive into the upgrades.  I want to use the 64 bit OS since all of our other machines are running that right now.

    Any thoughts?


    Nate

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:30 PM

Answers

  • Hi,


    At the current situation, we have two choices.


    First, find out the model of the each hardware device and go to the provider website to find the driver which is compatibility with Windows 7 64-bit.


    The other way, please contact to Dell Support team and ask for 64-bit drivers.


    Some hardware devices may not run properly under 64-bit system by using 32-bit driver.


    Kim Zhou

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:51 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • 32-bit software will usually install fine, but typically you need 64-bit drivers for hardware. It's interesting that Vista 32-bit was listed but not the 64-bit version of Vista.

    What is the Dell system model?

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:01 PM
  • I have two PC's that are the Dell Vostro 200, one that is an Optiplex 360, and one that is a Dimension 5150.  They are all the same scenario, only have the 32-bit Vista and XP drivers available on Dell's site.

    Nate

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:13 PM
  • You'd need 64 bit drivers. 32 bit drivers are not supposed to be installed on a 64 bit OS. I don't know why Dell chose not to support Windows 7 (including X64) on the machines. It may be simply that they only support configurations that they sold.

    The Windows 7 installer may include some of the drivers you'll need. Some of the others may be available through Windows Update. You may have to manually hunt some down, though. Just having the network interface card and video drivers on hand should be enough to get the installation working. The audio drivers might be a plus.

    The only peripheral that I see in the specs for the machines that looks potentially troublesome is the ADI onboard sound on the Optiplex. That's only because ADI (Analog Devices Inc.) doesn't offer drivers for download. Some quick searching shows drivers on the Web. I'd guess that it won't be a problem.

    As they are already working (XP) machines, that'll make it easy to identify all of the peripherals in the systems, to make sure that you get the right drivers.

    Speaking as an amateur, I say go for it.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:18 AM
  • Hi,


    At the current situation, we have two choices.


    First, find out the model of the each hardware device and go to the provider website to find the driver which is compatibility with Windows 7 64-bit.


    The other way, please contact to Dell Support team and ask for 64-bit drivers.


    Some hardware devices may not run properly under 64-bit system by using 32-bit driver.


    Kim Zhou

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:51 AM
    Moderator