32bit / 64 bit Program Files / Program Files (x86) and does it matter?

  radders171 09:41 15 Jan 2014


When I installed Windows 7 64bit a year or so ago, I thought that the Program Files (x86) folder was for the 64bit applications and I have installed nearly all of them in there.

Most of my application are music production software / instruments. Some of them on install prompted me to install both the 32bit and 64bit variants and so because of my mistake, I installed the 32bit in the Program Files folder and the 64bit in the (x86) folder.

My question is, does it matter? For organisation (and because I am partial to a bit of OCD) I have contemplated uninstalling everything and reinstalling the applications where they should be. However, this would take a long time and I'm sure I would make a mistake or two and I've probably lost some of the installation files.

Is there any difference in the folders in the way that the operating system uses them which will affect performance? Or is it true that as long as the application knows the correct path to related files, it wont make a jot of difference. Also, if it's the latter, does it actually make any difference at all even if the two folders have a mix of 32 / 64bit applications as long as the system was told what they were at installation?

I'm not comfortable with the way I've installed my apps but I'm also conscious that I could make things far worse by trying to correct it..

On a slightly related note, why do applictaions install both the 32bit and 64bit variants? I thought it would just install the 64bit..



  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:49 15 Jan 2014

32bit usually stored in x86 folder

shouldn't really make any difference where they are installed as the registry will hold the information where to point to the correct file required.

  john bunyan 10:58 15 Jan 2014

I can comment on Photoshop CS5 that installs in both versions. The 64 bit version does not accept TWAIN drivers for printers (which I like) , so I use the 32 bit for printing. On the other hand, the 32 bit version crashes if you try to use other batch command, so I use the 64 bit version when I import photos from a camera so as to file "good" shots at 300 dpi size A4 and snapshots at 300 dpi at 2 to an A4 page for printing. Some drivers are not available in 64 bit versions of some programmes.

  john bunyan 10:59 15 Jan 2014

PS suggest you install using the default settings.

  radders171 11:02 15 Jan 2014

Many thanks for your replies..

How do you open the different instances of a program. I.e how do you know which is the 32 bit app and which is the 64bit app. Would they both have the same icon / shortcut on the desktop? And how do I know what services each one will or will not support..



  john bunyan 12:44 15 Jan 2014

In the case of Photoshop, and I assume others, the two versions are visible in "Start" "All Programmes" so one can "Send" a desktop launch icon to the desktop, or pin one to the taskbar.

  BRYNIT 13:00 15 Jan 2014

I have found if the program has 32 an 64 nit versions you will usually have (64 Bit) at the end to indicate it is a 64 bit program.

  BRYNIT 13:04 15 Jan 2014

Must try and check my spelling.

It should read 32 and 64 bit versions.

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