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General discussion

Applications not running properly: 32 bit vs 64 bit?

by jeffk / August 1, 2010 3:12 PM PDT

old laptop: 32 bit Win XP SP3 on 32 bit CPU
new laptop: 64 bit Win 7 on 64 bit dual-core CPU

(once i'm up 'n runnin with the new machine i'm planning to install Linux on the old one)

Some of my old (presumably) 32 bit applications either won't run at all, or not properly, on the new machine. After reading around this a bit I'm thinking that I'd have the same problems with WinXP 64-bit, so my best options are to change the OS to either WinXP 32-bit or Win7-32 bit & wait for 64 bit versions of software to appear.


1) am i right about WinXP 64-bit i.e. that it's being 64 bit that's the issue, not which OS?

2) if it's "yes" to my 1st question then is there any reason to choose XP 32 over Win7 32 or vice versa, other than preference & what I'm used to?

3) I've got an old copy of XPpro SP1 - does anyone know of any reason why i couldn't install that & then get updates?

4) +/- what % speed difference would there be between a 64bit CPU with a 64bit OS & 64bit CPU with a 32bit OS - all other things being equal?

5) any other advice or comments - any other options i've not mentioned?


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I'm no Win7 expert by...
by make_or_break / August 1, 2010 6:04 PM PDT

...a LONG shot, but I've had decent luck with most 32-bit apps working on our 64-bit install of 7 Home Premium. That being said, there ARE SQL applications and what not that my wife uses (she's the programmer/analyst, not me...I just get to play the IT guy who doesn't have a clue most of the time) that in turn forced my hand to do an 'Anytime Upgrade' up to Win7 Pro so I could install XP Mode and Redmond's Virtual PC on the machine as downloaded from Microsoft (which runs in 32-bit mode). Her various 32-bit apps now seem quite happy--at least they're not protesting--on this i7 box.

Wasn't pleased at the extra $80 the upgrade cost when purchased from Amazon (all you get is a product key; seems like it didn't really do much other than switch around some things already in place on the computer. Not much additional at all was downloaded from MSFT). But hey, the machine's running pretty sweet and she's a happy least for now.

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In general terms
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 1, 2010 7:56 PM PDT

If an XP application fails to install on Windows 7, generally it is more likely that the XP applications are not compatible with Windows 7, regardless of whether it is 32 bit or 64 bit Windows 7. If you have the Win 7 Professional or Ultimate then you are entitled to download and install Windows XP Mode direct from Microsoft and you can attempt to install these applications into XP Mode.

As far as I am aware, it doesn't matter whether an OS is 32 bit or 64 bit for applications to run unless those applications are written specifically for 64 bit architecture. This is what I read at Microsoft;

"Most programs designed for the 32-bit version of Windows will work on the 64-bit version of Windows. Notable exceptions are many antivirus programs.

Device drivers designed for 32-bit versions of Windows won't work on computers running a 64-bit version of Windows. If you're trying to install a printer or other device that only has 32-bit drivers available, it won't work correctly on a 64-bit version of Windows. If you are unsure whether there is a 64-bit driver available for your device go online to the Windows Vista Compatibility Center".


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Like Mark said
by Jimmy Greystone / August 1, 2010 10:11 PM PDT

Like Mark said, with the exception of programs using depreciated APIs or that make low level system calls (like drivers and AV programs), you shouldn't have any problems. And every major AV program was long ago updated to work on a 64-bit OS, so that shouldn't be an issue.

People really spend too much time overthinking this.

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I made this change and am not going back to XP.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2010 12:27 AM PDT

The one thing I couldn't find in your post were the names of the apps. This detail could have nailed the answers fast but I can't find the names but there are some software that should fail. For example an older antivirus and many CD/DVD recording softwares.

Then we have games that just made it to XP for reasons I won't dive into.

Next time tell a bit more but to stick for XP so you could use an old Antivirus or CD burning program would mean you would miss out on the next great thing.

About the XP install, that has been discussed in depth so I'll not write more than that,

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the win 7 version & the apps
by jeffk / August 2, 2010 6:08 AM PDT

it's win 7 home premium on an Acer Aspire 5732Z

I found an updated (win 7 compatible version) of one of the apps i mentioned. The other is webroot's window washer

I know there are other washer/shredder apps out there, but so far webroot's is the one i like best. I am open to suggestions/recommendations though.....

I've only had the new laptop a couple of days, so I haven't had time to put much else on it. Maybe i've just been unlucky that the 1st couple of apps i've installed have been problematic, & so am now wrongly expecting more problems; it does seem most people are having a pretty good experience with W7.

I guess i'll persevere with win 7 & see how it goes.

thanks for all the input/advice guys,

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Webroot is a fine example
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2010 6:39 AM PDT

Where an update would be mandatory. A lot has changed in both the OS and the 32 to 64 bit moves. For many apps, if it was good enough then you find they updated it.

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