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Old 11-13-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default 32 vs. 64 bit Windows 7

I have some questions.

1. Any compelling reasons not to get 64 bit Windows 7, and instead get 32 bit?

2. Does 64 bit require more memory or more anything?

3. Do 32 bit apps run just fine in 64 bits?

4. I heard that 32 bit drivers won't work with 64 bit. I can't remember what types of things require drivers. I know printers do. But what about external hard disks? What about modems? Is this going to be a big pain in the neck?

5. Anything else I should consider?
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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Drivers - external HDDs (USB/Firewire) shouldn't be a problem.

Printers, video, scanners ... stuff like that should be a bit more problematic.

Common modems should be supported out of the box.

Hmm. Have a look at Device Manager. Pretty much everything there depends on drivers. Most of them should ship in the WinBox but it's worth checking.

Being the kind of guy who likes to watch while others dance out there on the edge, I'd turn the question around. Is there any compelling reason TO get 64-bit Windows instead of 32-bit? What's it buy you?

These might be useful:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...64-bit-support

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/com...s/default.aspx

   
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:15 AM   #3
Michael Rowley
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Steve:
Quote:
Printers, video, scanners ... stuff like that should be a bit more problematic
At least laser printers seem to work very well with the right sort of Microsoft generic Microsoft driver: my Brother worked excellently with such a driver in XP and Vista, and when I had installed Windows 7 one of the first automatic updates I received was a (generic) updated driver for my Brother model. Incidentally, a generic driver worked just as well as, and with a better UI than, Brother's own driver.

   
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Negative would be compatiblity of your existing hardware including the PC itself if you are upgrading an existing machine -- my older desktop Ollie 2 could not complete the installation of 64r bit WIN 7 at the RC1 stage because there was no 64 bit driver for the ethernet chip on the motherboard and so one could not get out to the internet to upgrade anything, including Windows itself.

WIN 7 32 is fine on that machine and my very old HP SJ5P scsi scanner and Adaptec 19160 scsi controller work fine using the XP drivers for the scsi controller and even older HP scanning software (WIN 98 at least <s>)

I have the RTM WIN 7 Enterprise Trial installed on the new desktop Ollie 3 and everything is working fine. Most of the ASUS motherboard drivers and software are in WIN 7 version on the CD with the motherboard.

But if you are upgrading the best thing is to run Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatibility Test and it will give you a very detailed report on both the PC and peripherals and software with what is completely compatible, what is not and what is maybe if you can get something from the manufacturer.

64 bit OS's can handle more memory (greater than 3.nGB) but don't need it so far as I know.

32 bit applications run fine under 32 bit and 64 bit WIN 7 provided they are fully 32 bit but some older ones may still have 16 bit installers and they won't run to install.

If you possibly can go for a new PC with WIN 7 already installed and you'll almost certainly be much happier with the result unless your existing machine is fairly recent.

You probably won't need an WIN 7 version other than Home Premium since the Professional and Ultimate versions only add some security stuff (BitLocker?) and Multilanguage capability.

   
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
Is there any compelling reason TO get 64-bit Windows instead of 32-bit?
Not really. I was just thinking it might be better to have this just in case I need it. For example, if some software comes along that requires it. But in my world, I don't know what that might be. So maybe 32-bit is my best bet.
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Wyn Griffith View Post
If you possibly can go for a new PC with WIN 7 already installed and you'll almost certainly be much happier with the result unless your existing machine is fairly recent.
I am looking into buying a Sony Vaio SR notebook, so I'm wondering which Windows 7 to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Wyn Griffith View Post
You probably won't need an WIN 7 version other than Home Premium since the Professional and Ultimate versions only add some security stuff (BitLocker?) and Multilanguage capability.
I was thinking XP mode might come in handy, and it doesn't run on the home version. OTOH, I just read that this requires the virtual machine, so I don't know if this is simply a compatibility mode.

I haven't been keeping up with any of this. What are your thoughts about XP mode in Win7.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #7
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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I've no thoughts about XP mode since my answer on my desktops is dual boot that is like falling off a log with WIN 7, if you are upgrading an XP machine to WIN 7 -- just boot to the WIN7 media (you can even use a thumbdrive) and it will set it up for you including if I remember correctly even shrinking the existing partition to allow you to make the unused space into a new partition and then install WIN 7 in it and set up the boot menu!

However you do have to reboot the PC to switch OS's which with a virtual machine I am told you do not have to. OTH I have two desktops with a KVM switch and can jump from one to the other just as easily .... <s>

Your best source of information, apart from users here including Judy, would be over in Compuserve's Windows Support Forums -- you don't have to agree with everyone's point of view .... <g> Windows Support deals with all versions of Windows up to and including WIN 7 Home and Ultimate but Professional is in the WIndows XP Pro etc Forum.

   
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:25 PM   #8
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>> However you do have to reboot the PC to switch OS's which with a virtual machine I am told you do not have to.

That's correct.

With a virtual machine, you don't get native-machine performance, which you would with a dual boot. For most things, I'm happy with it. I have at least one VM running all the time on each of my main machines. That makes it very easy to jump back and forth between different versions of Office when I need to test things on each.

And on the two monitors shared between three PCs, two of which have VMs running, even easier to get utterly lost. Thank heavens for customizable desktops. ;-)

   
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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The only thing not perfect on my KVM switch is that it does not really like multiple users and tends to flip to the other PC, which may not be on, when switching users on one desktop.

I never heard of this as a factor but the other day looking at a technical review of a $300 gaming KVM (!) it said Single User only.

   
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
Steve Rindsberg
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I had similar problems with a KVM and PCs running native + VM computers, Hugh. I also saw the prices on high-end KVMs and after catching my breath, went back to two keyboards and mice. Luckily, the monitors let me switch inputs.

   
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