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Changing Program Files from X86 to X64


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#1
MrPerson

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so, I am an idiot apparently. I have had windows 8 64-bit for about 2 years now. I play all my games off an external drive that was completely blank when I got it, so I just made a program files folder called "Program Files X86". I made it like that just because I used to use 32bit OS' and I didn't know what it meant, so I just named it that to make sure it would work. Recently I learned that the X64 after program files meant 64bit programs (why did they make the original number X86 instead of X32 or something?) and That is why the task manager says that all the programs I run are in 32-bit.

 

It would probably help some games a lot if I actually fixed this, but I want to be sure I am doing it right. Do I have to reinstall all the games into the new X64 folder and delete the original? Can I just copy them to the new folder? It won't let me just rename the original, plus that would probably mess things up.

 

When I say its where I install games, I am primarily meaning Steam games.

 

What should I do? Any help or advice would be nice. Can't believe I didn't figure out X64 meant 64 bit lol


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#2
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Hi MrPerson :)

Yes indeed, x86 stands for 32-bits, and x64 stands for 64-bits. I have the same setup as you, except that I have an internal hard drive (my Windows is on a SSD). I created two folders at the root of the hard drive, called Program Files (x86) (for 32-bits programs), and Program Files (for 64-bits programs). When I install a program, if I want it to be installed on my hard drive, I simply change the drive letter from C: to D: and it installs itself in the right folder for the version it's installing.

Also, there's no "Program Files (x64)" folder, just a "Program Files (x86)". If you are running a 64-bits version of Windows, "Program Files" is the folder for 64-bits based programs. Now, you want to move all these games in a folder called "Program Files", is that right? Why? Are they all 64-bits based?
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#3
MrPerson

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Well, since they are steam games, and all steam games are in one folder, there are some of both. If a game is 64-bit but not in the right folder it still plays in 32bit mode right? I just want to make sure the games that require, or have 64 bit options actually use it. Steam downloads all games into the same folder, so I was wanting to know if I could just move the entire folder over or something


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#4
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Oh I get it now. Don't worry about that. The location of a game doesn't affect if its launched in 32 or 64-bits. Its the executable that does. If the game is 32-bits based, even if you put it in Program Files, it'll launch as 32-bits. The location of a program doesn't affect its version, its just to help keep them organized. So you can leave all the games where they are right now. If a game can be launched in 64-bits it will, if it doesn't have a 64-bits version it'll launch as 32-bits.
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#5
MrPerson

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ah, ok I misunderstood. Thanks. Then why do they bother putting the X86 or X64 after the program files if it doesn't matter anyway?

 

(Resolved)


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#6
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Like I said, for organization purposes. So you know that your 32-bits and 64-bits programs are in two different folders. Let's say I install Google Chrome 32-bits and I want to search for one of its file, I'll go straight in Program Files (x86) since this is where 32-bits programs are, and not Program Files.
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#7
terry1966

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if the program was originally downloaded in 32bit and there is a 64bit version you will need to download and install the 64bit version to run it in 64bit mode.

 

as you know 32bit programs will run on a 64bit os but not the other way around, but if you have installed a 32bit program nothing can make that into a 64bit program except downloading it again in the 64bit version.

 

x86 is an instruction set that was first used with a 8086 cpu many years ago (early 80's i think.) and was 16bit originally i believe but the later 32bit cpu's used the same x86 instruction set, the instruction set for 64bit cpu's is x86_64 or amd64 because i think amd were the first to introduce a 64bit cpu the athlon 64 anyway the x86_64 just got shortened to x64, so that is why you have x86 being 32bit and x64 for 64bit operating systems.

 

now not being a steam user i couldn't tell you for 100% sure if the folder name you install the games into makes a difference or not, but i'd assume you could name it program files (x86) or program files (x64) or tomdickandharry and it would make no difference whatsoever, so if steam doesn't check what os your running and download the correct version for your os and you have been manually choosing the 32bit or x86 versions then like i said earlier you will need to download and install the 64bit versions if you want to run it with the full capabilities of your 64bit os.

 

:popcorn:

 

 

Then why do they bother putting the X86 or X64 after the program files if it doesn't matter anyway?

 

it is the windows os that creates the program files (x86) and program files (x64) folders, it does this really just to help the program writers know where they can safely install their programs to and have them work, it also helps the user know if they have a 32bit or 64bit program installed, like i said the folder name of where a program is installed into really makes no difference to the os just as long as it knows where to find and run it with the correct instruction set x86 or x64.

 

probably another reason is so you can install the same program in both 32bit and 64bit versions without having things get confused.

 

a better explanation is here :- .http://www.howtogeek...les-x86-folder/


Edited by terry1966, 01 May 2015 - 08:27 AM.

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#8
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it is the windows os that creates the program files (x86) and program files (x64)


Program Files (x64) doesn't exist, it's Program Files that contains 64-bits programs under Windows 64-bits, and Program Files that contains 32-bits programs under Windows 32-bits.
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#9
terry1966

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correct, program files is the default for the os architecture 32bit or 64bit, and it's only with 64bit os that windows creates the extra program files folder with the (x86) extension for it's 32bit programs. :thumbsup:

 

:popcorn:


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#10
MrPerson

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Ah, ok. Thanks for the explanations.

 

Yea the drive was empty so I just named the folder "Program Files X86" so if steam or the games check your OS before they download games I should be fine then. Like I said, at the time I didn't really know the difference so I just did that because that is what was on the C drive.


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#11
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Steam doesn't check anything when downloading and installing games. It uses pre-definied paths and install the games at this location, unless you have the option to change the path before the installation (during the setup) and make it install elsewhere.
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#12
MrPerson

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but because the folder steam is in is the Program files X86, does that mean all the game files it downloads will be in 32-bit? because steam has a thing where it asks if it can gather info on your PC to send to valve for stats, and it knows I have a 64-bit OS.

 

I dunno, I hope I haven't been trying to run 32bit versions of 64bit capable games this whole time.


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#13
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No. I don't know how Steam works, but maybe it's just downloading all the games in one folder, and it doesn't matter if they are 32 or 64-bits. What you need to know is that if you run Windows 64-bits, and there's a 64-bits version of the game, you'll have it. It's the case with Battlefield 4.
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#14
terry1966

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Steam doesn't check anything when downloading and installing games.

yes it does, steam automatically detects what os your running and will download the correct 32bit or 64bit version for you.

if there is a 64bit version available and your running a 64bit os of course.

http://steamcommunit...54259433137043/

 

 

What you need to know is that if you run Windows 64-bits, and there's a 64-bits version of the game, you'll have it.

correct. :thumbsup:

 

steam always downloads all games to the one folder regardless of 32bit or 64bit version, where you install steam to and what you call that folder also doesn't make any difference. you can change the install location and folder name at any time.

https://support.stea...-0426&l=english

https://support.stea...-8129&l=english

 

:popcorn:


Edited by terry1966, 04 May 2015 - 11:19 AM.

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#15
MrPerson

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Ok, thanks for the help guys


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