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64 Bit OS with 32 Bit apps RRS feed

  • Question

  • If we install windows 7 64 bit OS can we run all 32 Bit Apps or only some? I'm a little confused as I know some do but I don't believe all do. Can someone please clairify. I would like to only use 64 OS's from this point foward because of the Hardware advantages (mostly memory usage) but I need all the various software to work so we are still using 32 bit OS. Can I switch and suggest all clients switch as well?

    Thanks for the help

    Robert Wiggins

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 5:48 PM

Answers

  • Not all 32-bit apps will run on a 64-bit OS, but most will.

    Any app that has a 16-bit installer won't run (mostly very old apps).

    Any app that calls 16-bit routines won't run (again, mostly very old apps).

    Any app that relies on the Windows 32-bit hardware driver model won't run (usually games).

    Any app that tries to run its own hardware drivers won't run (usually device utilities).

    It really depends on the app itself.  When in doubt, contact the app manufacturer.

    A common misconception is that if you run a 32-bit app on a 64-bit system you'll have all the memory available that the OS can address.  This isn't true.  32-bit apps are still governed by 32-bit addressing - ie. the old 4GB limit, meaning that if your computer has 16GB of RAM, your 32-bit app can still only use 4GB max.  The advantage is that none of that 4GB will be taken up by device drivers and such as it would have been on a 32-bit system, thus allowing your app access to the entire 4GB.

    At least that's been my personal experience.  I'm sure someone will point it out if I'm wrong.

    • Proposed as answer by Bubbapcguy Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:36 PM
    • Marked as answer by cmtbob Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:57 PM
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:27 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    Generally, most programs designed for 32-bit versions of Windows work just fine on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. To install the programs, you can first check in Windows 7 Compatibility Center. For more information about 64 bit Windows, please visit:

     

    Understanding hardware and software for 64-bit Windows

     

    Taking the mystery out of 64-bit Windows

     

    Best Regards

    Dale Qiao

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    • Marked as answer by cmtbob Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:57 PM
    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:02 AM

All replies

  • Not all 32-bit apps will run on a 64-bit OS, but most will.

    Any app that has a 16-bit installer won't run (mostly very old apps).

    Any app that calls 16-bit routines won't run (again, mostly very old apps).

    Any app that relies on the Windows 32-bit hardware driver model won't run (usually games).

    Any app that tries to run its own hardware drivers won't run (usually device utilities).

    It really depends on the app itself.  When in doubt, contact the app manufacturer.

    A common misconception is that if you run a 32-bit app on a 64-bit system you'll have all the memory available that the OS can address.  This isn't true.  32-bit apps are still governed by 32-bit addressing - ie. the old 4GB limit, meaning that if your computer has 16GB of RAM, your 32-bit app can still only use 4GB max.  The advantage is that none of that 4GB will be taken up by device drivers and such as it would have been on a 32-bit system, thus allowing your app access to the entire 4GB.

    At least that's been my personal experience.  I'm sure someone will point it out if I'm wrong.

    • Proposed as answer by Bubbapcguy Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:36 PM
    • Marked as answer by cmtbob Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:57 PM
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:27 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    Generally, most programs designed for 32-bit versions of Windows work just fine on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. To install the programs, you can first check in Windows 7 Compatibility Center. For more information about 64 bit Windows, please visit:

     

    Understanding hardware and software for 64-bit Windows

     

    Taking the mystery out of 64-bit Windows

     

    Best Regards

    Dale Qiao

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    • Marked as answer by cmtbob Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:57 PM
    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 2:02 AM
  • Thanks to all for the info. it helps  agreat deal.

    Robert Wiggins

    Thursday, September 2, 2010 3:58 PM
  • Hello,

    I am trying to run an old (I think Win95 based) game called "This Means War" by MicroProse Software. The game is 32 bit encoded. MicroProse does not appear to be active anymore so I'm looking for answers here. I have read on the Internet that there is a program called Wow64 that comes with Windows 7 and should allow my 64 bit version of Win 7 to run this game, but whenever I try to execute an .exe file, I get the error:

    "The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system information to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher."

    Interestingly, iTunes is able to read the music on the CD without any issues.

    Do I need to activate Wow64? Is there another software that I can use to play the game? Any help is much appreciated!


    Saturday, November 5, 2011 2:43 AM
  • If you're getting that error it means it's a 16-bit game (or at least has a 16-bit installer).  Find a friend who still has a copy of Windows 95/98/ME sitting around, install it in a virtual machine and run it there.
    Saturday, November 5, 2011 3:27 PM
  • "Bob Reese" wrote in message news:dd391647-acba-4efa-8200-b65019e9a906...
    If you're getting that error it means it's a 16-bit game (or at least has a 16-bit installer).  Find a friend who still has a copy of Windows 95/98/ME sitting around, install it in a virtual machine and run it there.
     
    It should still run in XP Mode (if the poster’s machine is Pro or Ultimate) or an ordinary XP VM.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Sunday, November 6, 2011 6:53 AM
  • ...and `ya , you could VM DOS 3.1 , why not....and then copy some 5,25” floppys one to another....
    Sunday, November 6, 2011 4:18 PM
  • Why not - I've got a Windows 2 VM, and a DOS6.2 VM :)

     


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Sunday, November 6, 2011 4:24 PM
  • down low.. on a testing discovered a problem with video output bit sequencing causing black screen which means shut down and restart not sure which script was added during a  updated which interacts with the Microdrive hardware drivers causing the monitor to error an report unrecognized output signal on the monitor's menu
    Monday, December 5, 2016 7:38 PM