32 bit to 64 bit

  tom.daly1345 11:20 04 Oct 2013

If I change from Windows 7 32 bit to Windows 7 64 bit will I still be able to use my old Microsoft Office files created in 32bit? Scotiatam

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:23 04 Oct 2013

Yes docx or doc files are still the same.

  Batch 15:06 04 Oct 2013

Unless you really need to access more memory or run 64bit apps / drivers I'm not sure there's much point in moving to x64.

I use Win7 x32 and never get near using all the available memory (3.5GB out of the 8GB of physical memory that is installed). In fact I prefer Win7 x32 for the following reasons:

  • Supports my 32 bit drivers (e.g. scanner)

  • Supports my 16 bit apps (I'm still running a Win3.1 app)

  • It is inevitably marginally quicker (all of the Window component and many other bits are smaller and so take less time to load (off disc) and move around in memory.

  onthelimit1 17:13 04 Oct 2013

Batch - I thought 32 bit could only run a maximum of 3Gb - if that's true, why have 8 installed?

  john bunyan 18:33 04 Oct 2013

32 bit programmes are fine in 64 bit W7, they install in C:/Programme Files (x86) - 64 bit programmes install in C:/ Programme Files. I find it a bit better with 64 bit and do use 4Gig RAM for Photoshop.

  john bunyan 18:35 04 Oct 2013

PS I agree with onthelimit 1 and wonder why Batch has 8 Gig memory since 32 bit only recognises 3.5 gig regardless of how much RAM you install..

  Batch 22:56 04 Oct 2013

PC came with 8GB - I just installed W7x32. W7x64 will not accept 32 bit drivers - I have existing h/w that only has 32bit drivers. As I said b4, 3.5GB is ample for my usage anyhow - and I reckon would be for many bods.

  john bunyan 23:10 04 Oct 2013


Fair enough, your choice, but your 32 bit programmes would work fine on a 64 bit PC and you cannot access the extra RAM, which seems a pity. I have h/w with 32 bit drivers too and they work fine on a 64 bit platform.

  Batch 08:33 05 Oct 2013


I'm 99.9% certain that 32 bit drivers will not work under Windows 64 bit. For example, see: Microsoft - 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions and scroll down to "If I'm running a 64-bit version of Windows, do I need 64-bit drivers for my devices?" - it is pretty emphatic.

I certainly have hardware for which 64 bit drivers have never been produced and for which the 32 bit will not work under W7x64 (I know, 'cos I've tried it).

I also have some 32 bit software which I like and use a lot which have Windows Explorer context menu plugins. Again, these don't work in W7x64 (Windows Explorer context menu plugins have to be 64 bit). It seems that under Vista, you could force 32 bit Windows Explorer to run and thereby use 32 bit plugins, but under W7 if you try to run the 32 bit version of Windows Exxplorer, it just switches to 64 bit (again I've tried it and various so-called fixes to force the 32 bit to stick - all no good). The nearest to a work around is a little bit of software called WOW64Menu which is a 64 bit context menu plugin which, itself, launches a sort of sub-menu which will launch the 32 bit plugins).

Lastly, as I said before, I have some old Windows 3.1 16 bit software which won't in any way install under x64, but works fine under x32.

As for "you cannot access the extra RAM, which seems a pity". Not sure what you mean as I don't ever even use the 3.5GB that W7x32 provides access to - so I'm not missing anything. Bear in mind that W7x32 occupies a whole lot memory space than W7x64.

  Batch 08:34 05 Oct 2013

Last sentence should have read "Bear in mind that W7x32 occupies a whole lot less memory space than W7x64"

  john bunyan 09:47 05 Oct 2013


You obviously have researched this matter. All I can say is that my old Evesham desk - top , which is now set as a W7 64 bit, runs perfectly well with both 64bit (of which there are few) programmes and many more 32 bit ones. My hardware is not particularly modern either. My point about the non use of potential RAM was because I use Photoshop CS5 , which can be hungry for RAM to the point of using "scratch discs" if more is needed. I am in no way critical, and if you do not need more RAM, fine. I still find it hard to understand the problem of 32bit not working, because it works fine for me.

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