Thursday, September 2, 2010

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Running 32bit Applications On 64bit Windows 7


Does Windows 7 64 bit OS supports all 32 Bit Applications or only some? We know some do but not all do. It is better to use 64 OS's from this point foward because of the Hardware advantages (mostly memory usage). 

But how to find if the software is supported by windows 7 64bit OS or not? Can one switch to windows 7 64bit? Read More: Benefits Of Windows 7 64-bit Operating System.

When deciding to move up to a 64-bit operating system, you should first consider what 64-bit gets you. Knowing what software runs on 64-bit should influence your decision; you will see no advantage if you are running 32-bit software on a 64-bit OS. Read more...
Solution:

  • Not all 32-bit applications will run on a 64-bit OS, but most will.
  • Any application that has a 16-bit installer won't run (mostly very old applications).
  • 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. 
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:

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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Anonymous
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September 2, 2010 at 10:57 PM delete

well said, using 64bit OS without the supported 64bit software wont have any advantage. informative article.

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Anonymous
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September 3, 2010 at 10:24 PM delete

Excelent Article. And well, 64 bit is best move at this point of time. we can expect all software manufacturer to provide is with 64bit version on their products!

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