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32bit os on 64 bit hardware?


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#1
atwood

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I need to upgrade, I've seen some good deals on desktop boxes that are 64 bit but I don't want to deal with driver issues or emulation modes, can I dump the 64 bit OS, wipe the drive and install a 32 bit OS on a 64 bit hardware platform or will it only work with a 64 bit operating system?

Sorry if this is common knowledge, but I'm just an end-user.

atwood
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#2
Neil Jones

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You can but why would you want to?
95% of all relatively recent programs work happily on a 64-bit operating system. Unless the software is obscenely old and belongs in the local museum, there's no real reason why it shouldn't work.
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#3
Troy

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64 bit is extremely common these days, pretty much everything recent I've thrown at my machine works A-OK!
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#4
DaffyKantReed

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@atwood:

Microsoft does offer a 90-day trial of Windows 7 Enterprise. This way you can evaluate both your apps and hardware before you go out and purchase the OS.
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#5
atwood

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@all

Thanks so much for all your help! Yes, I do run legacy apps, some are proprietary and needed for work.

My chief concern in asking the question is whether the hardware platform that an off-the-shelf 64-bit desktop box runs on will choke if a 32-bit OS is installed.

64-bit boxes with sound underlying MBs, CPUs, drives and RAM are typically available for less than comparable components bought separately from the usual sources, either due to model EOL, mfgr liquidation or refurbs. The cost savings can be significant, especially if it's just a work-box rather than a personal machine.

In my case, I need a dependable box for legacy as well as current 32-bit apps more than I need the extra address-space available with 64-bit. This would only be an advantage for 64-bit apps, anyway, there wouldn't be any advantage for 32-bit apps and those are what I'm heavily invested in, currently.

Thanks,

atwood
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#6
DaffyKantReed

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@atwood

As I suggested before, try Windows 7 Enterprise Trial 64-bit on a 64-bit box. If you have some legacy apps which simply will not work, you can always dual boot with a 32-bit version of Windows XP.

In any case, a 64-bit desktop will run a 32-bit OS with few or no issues. I've been installing 32-bit Windows XP on 64-bit hardware since 2004.
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#7
dsenette

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As I suggested before, try Windows 7 Enterprise Trial 64-bit on a 64-bit box. If you have some legacy apps which simply will not work, you can always dual boot with a 32-bit version of Windows XP.

another option (assuming you have a valid XP license) is to utilize the "XP mode" that's available within Windows 7. it requires a download from MS but basically allows you to run a virtual instance of XP within windows 7 to accommodate legacy apps that simply won't work with 7. Unless i'm horribly wrong, you can run 64 bit 7 as your main os and use xp mode as 32 bit...

of course xp mode does require that the processor in the computer is virtualization capable
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#8
atwood

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another option utilize the..."XP mode" that's available within Windows 7...you can run 64 bit 7 as your main os and use xp mode as 32 bit...


Thanks again for all your help! If I don't wear out my welcome, I'll be back to learn more from all you knowledgeable folks as time goes on.

All the best,

atwood
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#9
Troy

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another option (assuming you have a valid XP license) is to utilize the "XP mode" that's available within Windows 7.

When I setup XP mode on my Windows 7 64-bit machine, it did not require me to enter a license (so it is included by itself), and XP itself is 32-bit. :)
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#10
dsenette

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When I setup XP mode on my Windows 7 64-bit machine, it did not require me to enter a license (so it is included by itself), and XP itself is 32-bit.

i didn't ask you to put in a license key, but the EULA on xp mode states that you must retain a valid XP license to use it
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#11
Troy

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Ah well yep I got one of those around here somewhere too.
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