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Author Topic: windows 7; 32 bit vs 64 bit.  (Read 3884 times)
KM3K
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Posts: 279




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« on: October 18, 2011, 08:46:08 PM »

A search shows no hits on this topic.
I tried a re-install of XP on my 5-year-old Dell desktop and encountered two major problems in that process along with the possibility that its hard-drive may be going astray.

The fastest way to get something up and running might just be to buy a new tower.

One of the choices is to decide whether to go with a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7.
What I've found is a 32-bit choice would limit memory to 4 GB.
But a 64-bit choice might limit what "old" programs could be run.
I wonder what other input some might provide who have already made this choice.

73 Jerry km3k
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W8JX
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Posts: 5319




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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 05:12:42 PM »

One of the choices is to decide whether to go with a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7.
What I've found is a 32-bit choice would limit memory to 4 GB.

64 bit is limited by OS because in hardware design it goes currently can grow into penta byte range but current 64 bit desktop CPU's are limited to 256 tera bytes in theory. OS limits them to much much less right now.

But a 64-bit choice might limit what "old" programs could be run.
I wonder what other input some might provide who have already made this choice.

The only program that will not run is VERY old 16 bit windows apps. You can run DOS program using a app called DOS Box.

There is no contest here, 64 bit hands down. I would not buy a new 32 bit laptop or desktop. Win 7 may be last 32 bit OS too as they have not said if WIN8 will have 32 bit flavor.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 05:52:04 PM »

Windows 32 bit programs will automatically install into a special 32bit program files folder in Windows7 and will usually run just fine. The biggest problem can be the security policy preventing some of these programs from writing files on the hard drive. This is easily corrected by right-clicking the program icon and selecting "run as administrator". This process gives the program administrative rights and permits full access to read/write files.

Fully compliant Windows Vista and Windows7 programs automatically dim down the screen and prompt you for administrative rights. The net result is the same.

In older Windows versions only the user had rights. In Vista and Windows7 both users and programs have rights and they are not necessarily the same. It helps you to block programs like malware that you don't want to automatically run on your computer.
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N8YB
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 01:23:43 PM »

Go with the Windows 7 Professional 64-bit version.  The "Professional" version has the ability to run a virtual XP session that will allow you to install and use most of your older software.   The virtual XP mode is not available on the "home" versions of Windows 7.

There are several videos on the virtual XP mode at youtube.com.

Jerry N8YB
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 04:51:29 PM »

Go with the Windows 7 Professional 64-bit version.  The "Professional" version has the ability to run a virtual XP session that will allow you to install and use most of your older software.   The virtual XP mode is not available on the "home" versions of Windows 7.

There are several videos on the virtual XP mode at youtube.com.

Jerry N8YB

Actually with Virtual PC a virtual OS can be added to Vista too. It is possible to add it to 32 bit version but 64 bit is better given it allows the host OS to have more memory to work with. This is a very old try that dates back to XP days and before that would allow you to run Linux or other OS'es as a virtual machine on a host. One more thing when you do go virtual route, pay attention to CPU because many Intel low end and mid range CPU's do not support Virtual operation in hardware (it has to be emulated in software) Pretty much all AMD CPU's do though and have for several years. Hardware virtual support is smoother and more transparent than software based. Both do virtual PC stuff but one requires a extra layer of software operating between Virtual PC and hardware.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2011, 11:52:52 AM »

There is a Windows 8 32 bit developers version being offered right now along with the 64 bit versions.  The only thing not offered with the 32 bit version is the developers toolkit, which will not work with the 32 bit version.

If Microsoft did not offer the 32 bit version, they would be missing out on the biggest segment of their customer base right now.
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2011, 12:03:02 PM »

If Microsoft did not offer the 32 bit version, they would be missing out on the biggest segment of their customer base right now.

I strongly believe that the ONLY reason that there is a 32 bit flavor is because most tablets are 32 bit right now for their is a 32 bit version to port OS from. It is not in MS interest to promote of further develop 32 desktop software and apps. It is dying and PC only PC's still shipping 32bit was netbooks last time I checked. 
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KF6A
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Posts: 214




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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 01:38:01 AM »

......One of the choices is to decide whether to go with a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7.
What I've found is a 32-bit choice would limit memory to 4 GB.
But a 64-bit choice might limit what "old" programs could be run.
I wonder what other input some might provide who have already made this choice.

73 Jerry km3k


I'm in the same position as you, except my PC isn't dying. I am building a new one and I'll put my XP machine out to pasture or format the HD and give it to the Wife.

I wouldn't worry too much about older programs not running. I can't think of a single ham radio program I used going back to MSDOS that isn't done better with a modern version. And if you have a program that wont run it shouldn't be too hard to find a replacement program. The amount of software available today for ham radio is mind boggling and a lot of it is free!

I chose to go 64bit. The programs that most matter to me, EZNEC, PowerSDR/IF, JT65-HF, N1MM and DXLabs are all supposed to work on Win7_64. Win7pro and Ultimate have an "XP mode" that is supposed to allow you to run older programs.


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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 05:23:34 AM »

As long as programs are true 32 bit Win programs, they will run fine under 64 bit. It is very old Win9x era 16bit Windows programs that will not run. (only because MS left support out to do this not because it is not possible) There is a freeware utility called "DOS Box" that will let you run DOS apps under 64 bit Windoze.
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AG4RQ
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Posts: 301


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 04:07:04 PM »

A search shows no hits on this topic.
I tried a re-install of XP on my 5-year-old Dell desktop and encountered two major problems in that process along with the possibility that its hard-drive may be going astray.

The fastest way to get something up and running might just be to buy a new tower.

One of the choices is to decide whether to go with a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7.
What I've found is a 32-bit choice would limit memory to 4 GB.
But a 64-bit choice might limit what "old" programs could be run.
I wonder what other input some might provide who have already made this choice.

73 Jerry km3k

After a virus brought my XP machine down in Aug. 2010, I decided to buy a new Windows 7 machine. I was told by the tech at Comp USA that I wouldn't be able to run any 16 bit progs on a 64 bit operating system. I was also told that downgrading my 64 bit computer to the 32 bit version of Win 7 would restrict my 6 GB RAM to 3.5. the choice was a no-brainer from there. I opted to keep my new 64 bit Win 7 machine as is. I learned to live without my old 16 bit progs. Over a year later, I have no regrets.

It is always best to go with the latest technology. A new computer is already on the road to obsolescence. Why speed up that obsolescence by downgrading to a 32 bit operating system?

BTW, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 in 2014. All of you still running XP wil have to upgrade to Win 7 or 8 by then, as you will be playing with fire using an operating system on the Internet once there are no longer any Windows Updates.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5319




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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 04:27:26 PM »

BTW, Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 in 2014. All of you still running XP wil have to upgrade to Win 7 or 8 by then, as you will be playing with fire using an operating system on the Internet once there are no longer any Windows Updates.

It just means they will not provide updates anymore, not that it will not still work and beside most of bug should be out by then anyway. Also, you can run WIN XP in a virtual machine under 64 bit Vista or Win7 and run your 16 bit window apps if you want too. Personally Vista 64 bit is still my favorite even over 64 bit 7. I run it on a 4 year old Intel quad core with 8 gig of ram and it still does well even by todays standards.
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