Software for Windows 7 - 32 or 64 bit?

  Seadog 23:24 03 Nov 2009

I am getting a new desktop and laptop this month after running xp since its' launch.
The laptop I want (Dell Studio Xps 16) only comes with Windows 7 64 bit OS, however I have the option of 32 or 64 bit Windows 7 for the desktop.
I understand the issues with a max of 4Gb ram for the 32 bit system and also about the drivers for printers and scanners and other hardware - most I require are supported, but what about software, will most of it work on a 64 bit OS?
I am talking about the "smaller" type of program like print screen apps and things like nokia pc suite? (Sorry, but I can't think of others at the moment but I'm sure you knowledgeable chaps know what I mean)
Any advice would be appreciated, but it seems that 64 bit is the way to go if that is the only option Dell are offering??!!

  gazzaho 05:50 04 Nov 2009

I've just installed Windows 7 64-bit onto my desktop and all my software runs fine on it, the only problems I see with 64-bit is the really old software, perhaps seven or eight year old programs or older, most newer software is 64-bit compatible, it will run on a 64-bit machine even if it's 32-bit in nature. I have 49 programs listed in the "Programs Files (x86)" folder which is for 32-bit programs and half that in the Program Files folder which is for 64-bit programs.

You mentioned Nokia PC suite, I don't use it myself but I just had a look at the site for it and it lists Vista 32-bit and 64-bit so it's a pretty sure bet that one will work with Windows 7. As for any other software you're unsure about just go to the developers site and have a look for 64-bit compatibility.

64-bit is certainly the way to go and sooner or later you will probably have to switch, as 32-bit will go the same way 8 and 16 bit went.

I purchased the "Family Pack" Windows 7 upgrade which allows for installation onto 3 computers and best of all it comes with both versions of the OS, I have 64-bit on my desktop and 32-bit on my notebook as it doesn't support 64-bit and both versions are working fine.

  Seadog 13:36 04 Nov 2009

Thanks very much for that. I appreciate it, getting your advice was better and more informative than several web searches.
I think I've got drivers sorted for all my hardware except the scanner but that's old anyway - will get a new one for Christmas hopefully!
Sorry for a late reply, but I couldn't access this site - was it down or something?

  gazzaho 14:30 04 Nov 2009

Yeah the site was playing up a lot yesterday, glad to be of some help.

There seems to be a lack of scanner drivers for Windows 7 from the posts I've read on this site and others I've read, If you have a copy of Acronis, you could make a full drive backup image of your boot drive and perhaps try a Vista driver for the scanner. I used a Vista driver for the sound on my notebook with Windows 7 and it works fine.

I mentioned doing a disk image just to be sure there are no problems installing a Vista driver. I also mentioned Acronis for doing it, but it appears that Windows 7 Home Premium's Backup program also makes full system disk backups, something I though only came with the Business and Ultimate versions, I've never used MS backup myself but it would be worth trying before making any changes to the system, it would save a complete reinstall if things go wrong.

  JerryH 16:48 08 Dec 2009

Just seen this topic - my experience is counter to Gazzaho's 4 Nov post. I've got a new PC with Win 7 64-bit Home Premium and installing my favourite programs has been a hassle. Worst are:
1. HP Scanjet 4850 which has no downloadable s/w to make it work (their Helpdesk says it's on its way, but no date....).
2. Inksaver - a cheap program, I know.....
What have these vendors been doing for the last year??

  GaT7 17:51 08 Dec 2009

JerryH, that printer is about 3-4 years old, so excusable - official support must have run out 1-2 years ago.

Ink Saver works with Vista - the latest version does. Are you running the latest version? Have you tried compatibility mode click here? If Vista doesn't work try XP. G

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