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Win 7 32 and 64 bit versions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Can 32 bit programs be ran on 64 bit platforms?  I am still not finding full support when it comes to programs for 64bit.  My girl friend just purchased a 64 bit HP desktop and now she is having problems finding programs for 64 bit.  I am more concerned about all her security programs more than anything else.  When she got it home and was setting it up she noticed it was a 64 bit and not 32 bit.  I told her 64 bit is faster and better but we all know their way LOL.Since she lives 2700+ miles from me not easy to look at it and or test items. 
    Monday, September 13, 2010 10:03 AM

Answers

  • In general most 32-bit applications run on the 64-bit platform. However, your concerns are correct, security software contain system drivers and as drivers are specific to each platform you must use a 64-bit version of your antivirus/security software. This is something that most vendors supply and have support for and this has been the case for a few years now.

    32-bit drivers will not install on the 64-bit machine to you could very well go ahead and install all the software she needs and try to get 64-bit versions of the security software to stay secure. Note that the Windows Firewall is a goo protection and that Microsoft provide you with free antimalware/antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials (both 32 and 64-bit), http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/


    Blogging about Windows for IT pros at www.theexperienceblog.com
    • Proposed as answer by Andre.Ziegler Monday, September 13, 2010 10:53 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Huang Monday, September 20, 2010 6:29 AM
    Monday, September 13, 2010 10:15 AM

All replies

  • In general most 32-bit applications run on the 64-bit platform. However, your concerns are correct, security software contain system drivers and as drivers are specific to each platform you must use a 64-bit version of your antivirus/security software. This is something that most vendors supply and have support for and this has been the case for a few years now.

    32-bit drivers will not install on the 64-bit machine to you could very well go ahead and install all the software she needs and try to get 64-bit versions of the security software to stay secure. Note that the Windows Firewall is a goo protection and that Microsoft provide you with free antimalware/antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials (both 32 and 64-bit), http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/


    Blogging about Windows for IT pros at www.theexperienceblog.com
    • Proposed as answer by Andre.Ziegler Monday, September 13, 2010 10:53 AM
    • Marked as answer by Leo Huang Monday, September 20, 2010 6:29 AM
    Monday, September 13, 2010 10:15 AM
  • On Mon, 13 Sep 2010 10:03:19 +0000, PeterPac wrote:
     
    > Can 32 bit programs be ran on 64 bit platforms? 
     
     
     
    In general, yes. There is an occasional one that won't work, but they
    are rare. In most cases, the ones that don't work are utilities.
     
     
    > I am still not finding full support when it comes to programs for 64bit.  My girl friend just purchased a 64 bit HP desktop and now she is having problems finding programs for 64 bit.
     
     
    Although it will undoubtedly change in the next few years, there are
    very few 64-bit programs yet.
     
     
    > I am more concerned about all her security programs more than anything else.
     
     
    There should be no problem. Most good security programs either have
    both 32-bit and 64-bit versions or have 32-bit version that will work
    in either environment.
     
    For an anti-virus program, I recommend eSet NOD32, if you are willing
    to pay for it. If you want a free anti-virus, I recommend one of the
    following three:
     
    Avira
    Avast
    Microsoft Security Essentials
     
    You also need anti-spyware software. I recommend that you download and
    install (both freeware) MalwareBytes AntiMalware *and*
    SuperAntiSpyware.
     
     
     
    > When she got it home and was setting it up she noticed it was a 64 bit and not 32 bit.  I told her 64 bit is faster and better but we all know their way LOL.
     
     
    The *computer* is better and faster? Not necessarily. Here's my
    standard message on the subject:
     
    The advantage of running a 64-bit version of Windows mostly exists
    only if you also run 64-bit applications under it. Bear in mind that
    there are very few such applications available yet. If you are
    presently running 32-bit Windows, you don't have any 64-bit
    applications, so to achieve any significant advantage, you not only
    have to replace Windows, but also your applications, *if* (and that's
    a big "if") 64-bit versions exist.
     
    Also note that you will need 64-bit drivers for all your hardware.
    Those drivers may not all be available, especially if some of your
    hardware is a few years old. So it's possible that you might also have
    to replace things like your printer, scanner, etc.
     
    So the answer to your question is that it may not be a great idea
    right now. That will undoubtedly change in the near future, as 64-bit
    applications become more available, but for now, 64-bit Windows often
    means some extra trouble and expense for little or no benefit.
     
    On the other hand, installing 64-bit Windows instead of 32-bit Windows
    makes you able to buy 64-bit software as it becomes available, instead
    of the older 32-bit versions. That means that installing 64-bit
    Windows--even though it may do very little for you at present--puts
    you into a better position for the future.
     
     
     

    Ken Blake
    Monday, September 13, 2010 5:25 PM