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Old 28. Aug 2013, 03:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reverse Compatibility

Ever since switching to Win7 64bit I have encountered 32 bit software that cause un-compatibility errors. I was under the assumption that 64 bit systems can run 32 bit software but not the reverse.
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Old 28. Aug 2013, 04:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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64-bit can run both particularly at CPU level but at the OS level there are restrictions as with Windows. Windows doesn't provide complete backward support, e.g. for many 32-bit drivers, and 32-bit software runs in an emulator which will produce incompatibilities where applications don't follow the Windows development rules.
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Last edited by Remah; 28. Aug 2013 at 04:10 AM. Reason: Put in full stop
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Old 28. Aug 2013, 04:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Remah, thank you for your speedy reply. I've been doing some reading and I found something along the lines that Win 7 Professional provides a virtual environment that allows running 32 bit software. I'm using Win7 home Premium 64 bit and to be honest there are only a few times that I've run into this restriction. I suppose corporations may find the virtual environment much more useful.

My attempts to use the compatibility options of the .exe file from the properties window have not worked well at all.
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Old 28. Aug 2013, 09:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been on W7 x64 for a year or so now and it's very rare that I run into this problem... often it's accompanied by a "side by side" error message whatever that means : )

I've not often had use for the Compatibilty settings either... Wallpaper Master needs it and runs fine with it, and so do some of the installers for old commercial progs that I have.

I guess if there's something you really really want to run, you could use Virtual Box or something similar. I use it occasionally for old games that just refuse to run in W7 64-bit or otherwise.

Most of the software I use, I run portably from a directory on D:\ ... I'm wondering if that helps at all with compatibilty.

Last edited by sicknero; 28. Aug 2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 30. Aug 2013, 09:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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64-bit Windows won't run 16-bit code. A lot of XP-era software billed as 32-bit has some 16-bit code in it.
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Old 30. Aug 2013, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sicknero View Post
I guess if there's something you really really want to run, you could use Virtual Box or something similar. I use it occasionally for old games that just refuse to run in W7 64-bit or otherwise.
Yes. Virtualizing another operating environment means that you can gain access to features that the CPU supports but Windows 64-bit doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sicknero View Post
Most of the software I use, I run portably from a directory on D:\ ... I'm wondering if that helps at all with compatibilty.
It can help in general terms because it usually reduces complexity. Reducing complexity reduces the opportunities for problems to develop if something goes wrong. For example, if the program doesn't directly use the Registry then it is isolated from some issues that could develop there.

The other other area where it could help is is if software doesn't follow the Windows development rules, whether deliberately or inadvertantly.
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