Windows 7 64 bit; now even suckier

UPDATE: 2/22 I’ve solved the problem, I’ll have a complete report in a day or two to help others that might be up against what I was. I’ll offer a complete “how to”. – Anthony

This is just a short note to point out that if you have an opportunity to buy a new PC or laptop, demand Windows 32 bit OS.

Promises made by Microsoft of 32 bit application compatibility are blatantly false (at least in my case). After two days of pulling my hair out with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium, then buying the “anytime upgrade” to “professional” which still didn’t solve the problem. My problem: a very expensive broadcast multimedia program that demands 32 bit operation. Yes I’ve tried XP mode and Virtual PC, still fail. I’m faced now with:

1. Returning my new HP laptop and telling them to shove it into the refurb bin.

2. Buying the full retail version of Windows 7 32 professional, making my laptop overpriced.

3. Driving to Redmond and giving Ballmer a swift kick in the butt for being dumber than Steve Jobs at making customers stranded with no place to go.

There’s no downgrade path to 32 bit from 64 bit, no optional install, no recovery, only more money down the toilet for a retail license I already own, which is 64 not 32. Or return the whole unit as far as I can tell. Pissed off I am.

Ideas welcome. Please, no, don’t tell me to buy a Mac or run Linux, as they are not solutions to this particular problem.

REPLY: Update, WUWT readers come through with a solution, providing a way to get a CD ISO of the 32 bit OS, and advising that the COA key for 64 bit will also work for 32 bit, something I didn’t know. Thanks!

The irony: I could have solved this issue with the Technet volume license subscription that I used to have, but that’s another licensing horror story where I fell into a trap I couldn’t recover from. The subscription lapsed a few days, I went to renew it, but found there’s no option for renewal on my login, and I’ve spent 3 months in runaround with MS volume licensing, who sold me a $900 solution that still didn’t work, getting a refund, then being told I had to buy the renewal through external distributors. When I contact them, they don’t know what I’m talking about and a vicious cycle ensues. I finally gave up.

My issues with MS are ones of over complexity in solving what should be simple licensing problems.

Thanks to WUWT readers for their solution suggestions.

I’ll post a new update when I have the results of this new attempt.

186 thoughts on “Windows 7 64 bit; now even suckier

  1. Dang. My wife has been bugging me about wanting win7-64 for the computer I made her for Christmas. I put ubuntu on it which seems fine to me but she wants win7

  2. Umm, Anthony? What application are you having issues with?

    REPLY: One that I don’t want to pay the $5k to upgrade to the new extra gougaramic 64 bit compatible one, you’ve never heard of it. Niche market stuff.

  3. Hi ANthony,
    Try ViretualBox

    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

    It has saved our org a number of times from incompatibilities.. and to that point we even use it for Windows packages that tend to trash their environments as you work with them (e.g. SahrePoint, SQL Server installs). It is also a great way to host your favorite Linux on a Win machine… you will want to have extra memory and processor cores to assign the VM to if you want it to be fast but it is a wholly superior product compared to Virtual PC… no comparison.

  4. Your licence key is both a 32bit and 64bit key. Rather than buy software like that, you should buy a Microsoft Technet membership. It`s around $400 (with discount coupons you can find on the web) and for that you get 5 x licences for every bit of MS software ever made. You can also download all versions of all their software.

    TechNet membership is one of the greatest “secrets” ever in IT.

    REPLY:
    Oh that’s another story where I’d like to drive to Redmond and do unkind things to Balmer. I have (had) a technet subscription…but they have a gotcha, if you forget to relicense before expiration date, you get the privilege of buying the whole thing over again at full price. Yes that’s right, snooze you lose with M$. Spent 3 months on that one. – A

  5. Demand your program vendor upgrade their 32 bit dinosaur to 64 bit.

    There are bound to be some incompatibilities with any upgrade, but 32 bit has been holding PC computing under it’s thumb for far too long.

    Drive to your program vendor and kick them in the rear for refusing to get with the program.

    REPLY: oh I can BUY the 64 bit compatible multimedia train wreck for a mere $5000, care to donate? – Anthony

  6. Have you checked the Multimedia App’s website? They may have a patch to fix the problem. It’s not always M$’s fault, (but it’s usually a good place to start :) ).

    REPLY none, I’m not stupid – Anthony

  7. Mr Watts, you may not need to buy win7-32. I think if you have the product code for win7-64 that will also activate win7-32. You can just download it from Microsofts website and install it using the product code you have. I think. Call Microsoft and tell them what you want to do.

    REPLY: That would be swell, except M$ stupid rule #7286 says “if you bought an OEM pre-installed version, you need to get an OEM disk to match. AFAIK, you can’t do what you say according to what I’ve found. And where would I download the ISO to burn such a disk?

    Thanks, nice try -A

  8. Go to EBay get a newish laptop that is running XP, clone the OS over to a Solid state disk, max out the ram and it should be sufficent for most applicaitons.

    REPLY: nope won’t work, no xp drivers for this hardware

  9. Ooherr. And there was about buy a new laptop.

    Well thanks for the warning.

    Hope you get it sorted.

    Kindest Regards

  10. I feel your pain. I’m running a 6 year old Hp desktop PC with the XP OS for as long as I possibly can. The current windows 7 64 bit OS on my HP laptop (1 year old) seems to be holding up so far but admittedly I don’t do much more than web browsing with it.

    I could suggest one of two options:
    1; Get a copy of an older OS onto your computer (you can forget about any tech support at that point but it seems that isn’t doing you much good anyway)

    2; Try contacting the software manufacturer to see if they can offer any help for running on the 64 bit OS.

    Not impressed with macs either as they seem to suffer from mechanical breakdowns early in life.

  11. I had the identical insanely frustrating experience with buying my son a gaming system from Dell. This was the era of Windows Vista and we wanted XP. Only choice was XP Pro 64. Of course its compatibility is very limited. Many games will not work, iTunes no go, and random programs (as in all of The Sims) just do not work. Try telling your 8 year old that his brand new computer won’t work with his favorite games :(. Not fun.

    I suspect you will have identical problems with Win 7 64 as well.

    As you have found out, trying to “downgrade” your system is an impossibility. I ended up buying a OEM version instead of the full retail. You will not get support with the OEM version, you cannot port it to a new computer when you upgrade, but then again, when did Microsoft ever really give support, and when has anyone actually successfully migrated their old OS to a new system? Not often I would guess – in my case, never.

    Best of luck!

  12. I bought a Windows 7 upgrade family pack that includes both a 32 bit disk and a 64 bit install disk and provides for 3 liscences, which worked out to about $60 per install.
    Odd that 32 bit software would not run on 64 bit Windows 7. If the software contains 16 bit code, then it is not supported. If it also functions with hardware that does not have any 64 bit drivers, then I can see that as a reason.
    I have TV tuners that only work on my Windows 7 64 bit if I disable my 6 GB or ram to be only under 4 GB (I end up with 3.5 GB using msconfig.exe)

    REPLY: Yeah, hardware intensive, its the drivers, not the OS most likely – A

  13. You may also want to see what dll’s are loaded when the app starts on windows 7 64 bit using depends . There may be a dll conflict . It also might be worth a try to see what versions of the dll’s loaded on your previous machine and copy those dll’s over to the applications working directory. IMO, it’s worth a shot.

  14. Anthony:

    This does not always work and you may have to fiddle with assigning specific ports…. I had to do this for the satellite communications management link I look after…

    Approach One: Install windows 7, 64 bit professional. Then install windows XP as a virtual machine (you need a license). Then once that is working and you are confident that you have the virtual machine figured out, Install your program under windows XP.

    Approach two: Install 64 Bit Linux (Suse 64 can do this). Install bot Windows 7 and Windows XP as virtual machine. Manage the port access as necessary.

    If I were not in the Toronto area I would drop by and take a crack at this. Oh well!

    One point, Eight (8) GB or 16GB of RAM is best. The larger the hard drive the better — hopefully you got a 500 GB Drive or better.

  15. REPLY: nope won’t work, no xp drivers for this hardware

    I meant to just buy an existing laptop from EBay that already has XP. Once you update to an SSD and 4 GB of ram, it will be quicker than a new PC with a normal hard drive.

    Return the new one you bought new to the retailer.

  16. REPLY: oh I can BUY the 64 bit compatible multimedia train wreck for a mere $5000, care to donate? – Anthony

    Sure, I’ll donate $5, but only if you drive to Redmond and kick Ballmer on general principles (but not on the incompatibility of some programs with 64 bit OSs).

  17. So, you have an application that requires real 32 bit windows, and hardware that has no 32 bit drivers available for it.

    The drivers are not going to magically appear, so it seems to me that your only option is to change the hardware. Good luck finding the appropriate hardware. M$ have pushed all the hardware vendors into new generation hardware to support their DRM.

  18. I have win7-64 and haven’t had any problems, even with my old 32-bit applications. It runs them just fine. I copied over a lot of my old Windows Vista 32-bit applications and haven’t found one yet that hasn’t run right.

    REPLY: And I’m betting none of your apps are hardware intensive.

  19. Anthony,

    I do not think it is fair to blame microsoft for this issue at all. At the end of the day 64bit OS’s from Microsoft have now been out for almost 7 years (since XP 64bit). Originally lots of items didn’t work as well as expected. ISV’s have to do their part as well, generally I have found items that didn’t work in the 64bit spaces have been using non standard APIs etc that are not supported by Mircosoft on the new platforms.

    The most common areas of complaint come from ISVs porting the code continually from much older OS’s (Win 3.11/Win 95 etc) a lot of that originally written code doesn’t run well any more on Windows 7 64bit. However I have only had issues with 1 application in the 4 years I have been running Vista and Windows 7 64bit.

    Matt

    REPLY: No, I still blame M$ for not offering a simple way to “downgrade” to 32 bit if you need it. Almost every new PC today come with 64 bit, and they give no options to solve the issue if you need to. – A

  20. Anthony, email me and I will send you an OEM Windows 7 32-bit disk. Then you can use the license key you already have. I’m an OEM…

  21. I had a similar experience. The only solution I could find was to return the computer and order one from Dell the with an older operating system. I would advise you do the same and save yourself further frustration.

  22. Anthony, you need to get your hands on the Windows 7 opk (OEM Preinstallation Kit).

    Email me offline and I’ll help.

  23. Exactly what hardware are you trying to make work? Maybe it was mentioned but I can’t see it.

    Ok, I guess mine works because the hardware I am running is all native to the laptop and has all the 64-bit native drivers.

  24. Just setting up a Sony e-Series laptop right now with Windows 7 64bit. Guess what – the keyboard and touchpad don’t work – even with Sony’s latest drivers. Both shut down the moment BIOS is done and Win7 boots…

    …so it’s a phone call to Sony in the morning.

    God I love Windows 2000 and XP…and keep all my copies and licenses stored away.

    =8-)

    REPLY: your best bet is to return your Sony laptop. Sony makes great audio/video, but is in my opinion the worst manufacturer of computer hardware on the planet. Every Sony PC I’ve ever seen is hosed in some way. They’ve never hit a home run and they are overpriced trouble magnets.

    There’s still a dent in the wall at the TV station where a former engineer threw one after spending a week on it. Not kidding. I had a Sony laptop for two days 6 years ago, battery was so crappy it couldn’t even finish playing a DVD. Battery lasted 42 minutes! An one of the touted features was “watch movies on the DVD” – A

  25. Not an uncommon problem with audio/video programs, but the problem is the PROGRAM and you should be hammering the software company to fix their code….
    (I’m a musician and I wont get a new 64bit computer/OS until everything I use WORKS!)

    REPLY: They have a solution for 64 bit, $5K and I throw my previous investment away. -A

  26. Agreed. My W7 64 bit has already died. I’m back with my old 32 bit. But I need a fast computer for high def video editing. A squirrely 64 or a slow 32? And no one seems in a rush to make their programs 64 bit friendly.

  27. Anthony.

    It might seem silly but 7- 64 can run a Virtual XP machine at no extra charge while you wait for your vendor to upgrade to 64 bit.

    My wife has several legacy desktop publish packages that she uses infrequently for updating project from 10 and 15 years ago and she runs it all on her HP laptop as a virtual XP mode application in 32bit. Works like a charm and she has the large memory space for all the more current applications when she wants she can move the applications files over to more current version. Again no charge. Good luck. Windows 7 is awesome.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx

    REPLY:I’m completely happy with windows 7 32 bit, but as to virtual machine, been there done that, thanks. But not an option

  28. One question: Have you considered possibly using Linux running WINE? Before the latest versions of Windows Server software, many businesses had their servers running Linux and using WINE running the Windows Server software for windows compatibility, and it was more stable than the Microsoft products.

    In terms of your particular problem, if the application won’t install on Win 7-64, then you’re stuck. On the other hand, some of the software requires the user to install the app with the “Run as Administrator” option, even if the user is an administrator. My main gripe is Microsoft labeling the 64-bit environment as “Program Files” rather than “Program Files (x64)” and making the 32-bit environment as “Program Files (x86)” rather than “Program Files.” If your app has a hard-coded path, then your only option is a 32-bit OS, whether real or virtual.

    I’ve had some success deploying software out to about 2,300 Win 7-64 machines, including some really exotic bridge software that still runs on DOS! and have managed to get it all to work one way or another (some are running on a vm).

    REPLY: this is a multimedia program, WINE won’t work, way too slow…which is the problems with most VM’s…they are too slow. Program times out since it talks to hardware heavily -A

  29. Can you tell us a bit more about the mode of failure? Is it different under Virtual PC and native under WOW64?

  30. Hi Anthony,

    Can’t yo make a dual-boot with XP Pro 32? If you have a licence left, of course.
    We could even organize a donation for it. Or you could do a virtual garage-sale :)

  31. Anthony and mods,

    The Australian newspaper reports earthquake in Christchurch, South Island NZ at 1.00pm today.

    Advise people NOT to ring, networks jammed. Can use 1300 55 135 to ask of relatives and friends.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

    Could not post on Tips and Notes as no ‘leave a reply’ box.

  32. I can’t help you directly … but just a general comment about how Microsoft has made suckers of us all. I’m still reeling from the release of Office 2007 ….. I used to be quite profiecient at XL, PPT etc …. but after 2 years I am still like a baby trying to get these things to do what I took for granted. Having taught everyone to speak French they should have been hung drawn and quartered for making everyone speak Spanish.

    Good riddance to them.

  33. 3. Driving to Redmond and giving Ballmer a swift kick in the butt for being dumber than Steve Jobs at making customers stranded with no place to go.
    I think this is deliberate [they always want you to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade; not the other way around]. I upgraded in January from XP straight to Win7 [but was not dumb enough to go 64-bit] and it took three weeks to get everything back in working order. I have an extensive library of scientific programs that I have developed over 30 years. These are even 16-bit and thus MUCH harder to upgrade [plus that I don’t want to be forced to do this at a time that is inconvenient for me]. So, why did I upgrade from XP? because some disk sectors somewhere in WinXP had gone bad, and my computer had had enough hardware upgrades that I could no longer activate WinXP. Anyway, I feel with you.

  34. Program times out since it talks to hardware heavily -A

    What hardware? Is it pulling some nasty IO-port polling stunt? If so you’ve got no chance. Don’t forget 32-bit code is running under WOW64, really time critical stuff like that won’t work, period. Same deal under V-PC or whatever.

  35. BTW there is an ad on this page that says click here to download windows 7 64 bit drivers. You have to love these ads.

  36. I mostly run Linux these days but I’ve yet to find anything that won’t run on Windows 7 x64 other than old 16-bit games which the 64-bit CPUs can’t run natively. That includes HD editing with Avid Media Composer, which is pretty hardware-intensive.

    So to me it doesn’t seem like a generic Windows problem, but software developers who refuse to support their old software which installs 32-bit drivers.

  37. While I cannot help you with your issue, I will say that I hate (and I’m using the word “hate”here) Microsoft.

    As a CPA, if I had ANY other option that would allow me to continue to run my apps and trade files back and forth with clients, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

  38. Quite frankly, as a software engineer with over 25 years of experience, your vendor sold you a piece of crap. Whatever they sold you did not conform to the Win32 interface (and it is all too easy to do bad things which break this). They got caught out. Make a big stink and see if you can get an upgrade price. If they offer similarly featured 32 and 64 bit versions (no major upgrades) the ethical thing to do would be a free upgrade if you are at the current revision of the 32 bit version. Otherwise you need to negotiate a reasonable upgrade price to the 64 bit version.

    If the don’t want to play ball, well, you do have a big megaphone…

  39. Yea, dual boot is the ticket if you have an available version of a WinXP/Vista you could install in dual boot mode.

    In Win7 go to control panel, admin tools, computer management. Then click on disk management. Then right click on the C: drive and select shrink volume and shrink it say 30-50GB. Don’t create new empty partition yet. It’s now time to research how to run the 32bit OS install to create a new partition in the used disk space and install the 32bit OS there. I’ve not done this quite some time so I’m not entirely sure of the process right now.

    Good Luck

  40. 1. You need a laptop that has a good set of 32bit Win 7 drivers, with OEM support. Without that you are screwed. ( You can likely slam an OEM 32bit W7 OS on the one you have – but may lose some features. )
    2. Then that lappie has to have the specs to run your app

    that is likely to be a very small market niche.

  41. Did you actually check with the vendor of your multimedia product BEFORE you purchased your PC? They would have been perfectly aware of the compatbility issues and would have warned you. MS never promised every app would be compatible with x64.

    If you want to blame I think HP deserves the lion share of the blame. I am very happy with my x64 Toshiba Laptop but but the first thing my OEM recovery disks ask if whether I want to install the x86 or x64 bit version.

    Personally, I don’t touch HP PCs with a 10 foot pole. My family members have discovered that they have rotten support if you want to do anything unusual (like install hardware). Your experience with x64/x86 issue is another example of shoddy HP support for people that need to change the system configuration.

  42. Anthony

    Been playing in the PC game for a long, long time.

    It sounds like you fundamental issue here is the program talking to hardware.

    ALL virtualisation solutions (VMWare, Virtual PC, Virtualbox, etc) will struggle to map SPECIALISED hardware into the land of the VM. You MAY also most likely need native 64 bit drivers for the hardware also.

    If the hardware is USB then a good virtualiser may cut it, and the only one I know that has really good performance is VMware player. The others work OK but the performance is not so good.

    If the hardware is not USB, then you are pretty much stuck. The only solution is to roll back to a 32 bit OS. Even here you may need to be very careful – for example, if the 32 bit version of the program that you have is for windows XP, then the device drivers are unlikely to install and work in Windows 7 (32 bit edition). You may have no choice but to use XP.

    So – check where the problem actually lies. Check that the drivers you need are available for Win7 32 bit before committing to that course of action (else you will be making more dents in the wall).

    If you can get 32 bit drivers for Win7 then use the people who have left comments here to get a 32 bit OEM disk, and install it using the same licence key you had for the 64 bit version.

    Only consider virtualisation further (in any form) if the hardware dependance is USB. Otherwise forget it.

  43. Herewith is some perspective on cost versus benefit:

    Thirty years ago, when I was doing mainframe programming for a living, $5000 might buy you the computer’s on/off switch.

    Things have improved considerably since then, but the need to weigh cost versus benefit still holds, and it can be a two-way street.

    It all comes down to this …… Is your sanity worth $5000 to you?

  44. Anthony,

    The more that I think about the more I think you should be taking your complaint to HP. It is not MS’s fault that HP did not buy the type of license that gives you a dual install. If HP support says this they are lying. Other vendors offer that option. There is no excuse for HP to refuse to provide it.

  45. I keep my Windows NT tower going to communicate with a Trinity system, and no, it’s nothing religious. Once you lose these discontinued PCs it can be impossible to work with the older equipment.

    Just tried upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 tonight on an older laptop. The installation window said it failed because Internet Explorer 8 was required for installation… OK, plan B …..

  46. Gosh Anthony, this makes ‘roid rage seem tame!

    Welcome to the world of most consumers, who do not have the skills to fix the problem, even if there is a fix. Yep, it sucks.

    But, your blood pressure is more important than the perfidies of MicroSatan.

    Look after yourself. We want you to stay healthy, not compromise your well being because today you have hit one of the many very, very annoying and expensive glitches most of us face.

    If no-one on this site can solve the problem in the next 12 hours, you might just have to sell your pets and children and cough up the 5 grand.

    Or, you could institute a proper tip jar so that people who want to help can do so.

    [Reply: the tip jar is there if you look for it. ~dbs, mod.]

  47. Anthony:
    I’ve got an HP laptop running Win 7 64bit. I’ve run Win 7 beta, the RC and finally got the new upgrade recovery discs from HP in their very delayed promised upgrade to Win 7.

    HP allows you to order a replacement recovery disc. Perhaps they will allow you to get the 32 bit install? Unfortunately, there is no easy uninstall 64 bit and re-install 32 bit, only the painful total re-install of everything. If no HP cheap install disc options, perhaps we can donate for your purchasing the NewEgg Win 7? Then you can sell your Win 7 64 bit on EBay.

    The biggest issue I’ve run into with drivers and win 7-64 is that it absolutely refuses to run unsigned drivers. I’ve been tempted to use a hex editor and “sign” the driver.

  48. Try turning off User Account Control before doing the program load. From a tip sent out by Computer Pilot magazine: User Account Control is intended to protect you from potentially vicious malware and other programs from running or making changes to your system – the unintended consequence is frequent annoying prompts and frequent failed installations, unsolvable reasons why programs won’t run or even install properly. We see this happen with a lot of FSX addons.
    Our advice for all Vista users is to Turn Off User Account Control. It’s done with just a few mouse clicks and you’ll find a lot of “gremlins” that cause programs to not run or install will instantly disappear.
    To Turn Off User Account Control….
    1. From The Start Menu – Select Control Panel
    2. In the top left hand of the Control Panel Window Select Classic View
    3. Double Click On User Accounts
    4. At the Bottom Of The List Under Make Changes To Your User Account select the option to Turn User Account Control On Or Off.
    5. De-check Use User Account Control (UAC) To Help Protect Your Computer
    6. Then at the prompt – restart your computer
    7. Your system will then restart with User Account Control inactive.
    The incessant prompts to give permission for programs to run will disappear and those gremlins we talked about that stop addons from installing and running properly will also disappear.
    This is VISTA related, but I believe S7 has very similar controls.

  49. “Harry the Hacker says:
    February 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm”

    I agree with Harry on this Anthony. There is a big drive towards virtualisation (And has been since the days of IBM MVS) in the Wintel space which makes hardware dependent apps difficult, or even impossible, to manage.

  50. Yeah, 10-4, Pamela. LOL! The techies are running rampant. I’m in the market for a new desk top PC when I get back to the Mainland from winter in HI and now I’m scared as to what to buy. The old machines running XP have done a pretty good job and I’m glad I missed Vista. Whatever I end up with it will be interesting.

  51. I’m not quite sure what the problem is here, but it sounds like a problem I’ve had recently.
    Is it that the $5k software accesses 32 bit drivers in the 32 bit O/S ?

    I had to replace a laptop that is used for backup navigation on my boat. It interfaces with the radar, GPS , Autopilot, fuel flow and engine data and management.

    The new laptop came with Win 7 x64 and was assured that it would work ! It seemed that the application software had only 32 bit drivers and there were no drivers for x64.

    After much messing around and being told the laptop only came with Win 7 x64, I went and checked the manufactures web site and found all the 32 bit drivers listed, so I figured I could install Win 7 32 bit. BTW, it is one of those laptops with the O/S and recovery loaded on to a hidden partition.

    Booted off a DOS CD and ran fdisk and wiped the partitions. Then went to one of the pirate sites and downloaded a ISO torrent of Win 7 x86 Ulitimate. I had no compunction of downloading a pirate copy, I was so angry with the run around I had got from the dealers and Microsoft in general after hearing all their hype being backward compatible. And I figured I had already paid for Windows 7.

    Anyway, I loaded the O/S, clean install, installed the 32 bit drivers I had downloaded from the manufactures web site, then loaded the Navigation software. Hooked up the Laptop to the boat and it worked perfectly first time.

    Problem solved.

  52. If you just need the hp OEM 32 bit media then buy a new hp laptop with the 32 bit media, copy and return the laptop. You have a valid license number that should work for an hp 32 bit oem install disk. There are still stores out there that do not charge restocking fees.

  53. My friend it seems you’ve hit an impasse. You have a choice among some unpalatable options:

    1) Do nothing, which really is not a option but keeps you from spending more money.
    2) Pay the ransom demanded by the vendor and move forward.
    3) Sell your continually depreciating 64-bit asset and build a 32-bit system to your liking. This also involves spending money but should get you to a system that runs the way you expect.

    I know you are pi$$ed at the situation. I feel your pain. I had a client that chose to run its enterprise accounting system on Windows. The database process kept dying because the 32-bit operating system could not handle all the concurrent threads. Their options were just as unpalatable to them so I had to squeeze as much memory out of the 32-bit limits until the 64-bit options became less risky. Have you heard about the /3GB boot switch?

    Good luck with your choice.

  54. I don’t know if it’s the same with Windows 7, but with Vista you right click on the .exe file and click ‘run as 32 bit’ – it might be in the ‘properties’ tab. I had the same problem with a game on Vista 64 bit Ultimate and this cured all my problems.

  55. You mean this Steve Ballmer? There is something definitely lacking here.

    I’m always left feeling that product developers at Microsoft are as confused about the intricacies of their products as their customers. The human genome is estimated to be comprised of something like 30,000 genes. How many lines of code are in Windows 7?

  56. SP1 is released today – MS have addressed a huge number of compatibility issues in it – I’d suggest trying to install that first and then seeing if your app works in compatibility mode.

  57. Anthony –

    You might want to consider Acer as a laptop vendor. Win7 + 4 gig (or more) of memory and a decent sized HD might get you off the dime. Been running these for a few years in a hardware intensive environment and have been pleased with the performance. Cost for a box is in the $600 range and they come for the most part without the crapware loaded – which may be adding to the overall problem.

    Alternately, if you want to take this offline and let me know details of the software product, I can get my local computer monger working on the issue with your product and see what he has to say. No guarantees, but I figure the more eyeballs on the problem the merrier. Cheers -

  58. Steve R says:
    February 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    Mr Watts, you may not need to buy win7-32. I think if you have the product code for win7-64 that will also activate win7-32. You can just download it from Microsofts website and install it using the product code you have. I think. Call Microsoft and tell them what you want to do.

    REPLY: That would be swell, except M$ stupid rule #7286 says “if you bought an OEM pre-installed version, you need to get an OEM disk to match. AFAIK, you can’t do what you say according to what I’ve found. And where would I download the ISO to burn such a disk?

    Thanks, nice try -A

    You can download the ISO file right from Microsofts web page. Download the 32 bit version of the iso, then burn a DVD or use an empty 4gb flash drive. Then create a new partition and install it as a dual boot system. The trial version will work for a limited time (30 days I think) before it starts annoying you about registering it. By then you’ll have a license code from the guy several posts up who would send you an OEM disk. However, I’m still not convinced that you are aren’t entitled to install both on your machine with the OEM license you have.

  59. The problem here is your software vendor not MS Win 7. The vendor should supply both versions at the same cost so you can pick one that is applicable to your O/S. MS provides backwards compatibility to “help” such software vendors out whilst they produce a modern version of their software, but in this case they seem to have done this but then charge a lot more.

    You really are channelling your angst at the wrong people. Presumably if the 32 bit version of the software does not work then these guys will ask you to load DOS 6.22 and start editing the autoexec.bat and config.sys. You don’t after all need more than 640k of memory for anything ;)

    Andy

  60. I vote call HP and tell them you’re sending it back and why, and hope they pull a rabbit out of the hat to avoid it.

    Disappointing to hear that XP mode doesn’t solve your issue tho. I thought that was the point of it. I would have followed the same path you did (i.e. an Anytime upgrade to Professional).

    Presumably, you could buy a full upgrade package from Amazon (both 32-bit and 64-bit) Premium for $109, and start over again on rebuilding the software. I think that would be allowed over an OEM install (tho it would still be a new install with all apps having to be restored). Then you could use your Anytime key to upgrade it to professional?

    Lot of work, but you are where you are at this point.

  61. In principle I am with Harry the Hacker, but:
    – Virtualizing the digital signage program sooner than later may avoid headaches in the future. It should install on a 32bit VMed OS and then only depend on the drivers the VM supports. VMware would be my choice due performance and ease of use, tried quite a few of the free ones. Workstation is worth it for many purposes. I used to run an expensive 64bit software on 32bit XP, which was not advertised as viable. You can get a free trial license for VMware workstation and validate what works or does not before committing. Or explain to us why the signage program does not like a 32bit VM. If that is the case, then the signage program support should start to suffer the holes in the wall …
    – Leave the laptop at 64bit by all means, moving to 32bit is not a winner. Have you checked if any of the differences/modules between premium home, professional, or ultimate may be the culprit?

  62. Anthony, your publicizing the difficulty you are having with WIN 7 64 – not being able to go back to a working version of Microsoft’s “bread and butter” product without spending an unnecessary fortune – might just have the effect that the fellow who wrote “United Broke me Guitar” had. If enough of us just announce here on your site that we have had it with Microsoft, and plan on switching to “_______” in protest, maybe that might be enough marketing pressure to get the call you hope for to “make things right”, either from Microsoft or HP. Whatever happened to “the customer is always right”?
    Back when I purchase this laptop from Toshiba I had a similar problem with Vista 64. When I called Toshiba customer service, I got the runaround, but when I took the machine back to the discount store I bought it at, they couldn’t hide as easily, and relented. They got me to agree that it wasn’t their fault, and I got them to install an OEM version of Vista 32.

  63. AndyW35–

    You think you might want to ask Anthony how long he’s owned that software before you dump it on the vendor? What you just said is that owners of WordPerfect for DOS purchased in the late 80’s should be entitled to free Win7 x64 compatible versions of the current version of WP today.

  64. Have you tried vista at all? I run some very intensive apps and although I will admit there are serious issues with vista in general on even common programs and finding drivers in general, I have found some really strange programs work just fine on it when people with windows 7 have every issue in the world. (I am talking about 64 bit obviously and running 32 bit apps.)

    I know its not ideal, but with my main computer (which is two years old but was *better then top of the line at the time) is still a very mean machine today…

    Not sure if they offer a license for it cheaply, but its just a suggestion. I don’t like MS either, but I am forced to use it due to other apps as well. I know the pain….

    I never switched to windows 7 because frankly vista works for what I need it to. (don’t break what works.)

    In any regards, I don’t use software that is that expensive for personal usage, but its just a suggestion.

  65. It sounds like the ones deserving the kick in the butt are those who developes that “very expensive broadcast multimedia program that demands 32 bit operation”. Perhaps they have good reasons for passing that kick on to Redmond, but they can’t escape the fact that they make their customers angry. I’m afraid you have to regard the 32 bit Windows requirement as an extra cost to an already “very expensive” program. Also, 32 bit makes your computer run at 3/4 speed.

    REPLY:
    and yet, for the task at hand, it is the right choice – Anthony

  66. Option (1).

    I did this with my shiny new Vaio when Vista came out. It was so bad the machine rebooted itself in a repeated cycle, boot, blue-screen, boot, blue-screen etc. I showed the shop staff, and told them I was showing this to EVERY ONE of my customers. Not the best advertisement for either Vaio or Vista.

    I now have Windows 7 64b on a meaty Alienware laptop, and I like it. Sad to hear of your problems, but do not accept the shoddy software, or the sales teams arguments as to why they are unable to refund you. Get the cash back and stick with 32 bits until Microsoft get it right (same as the 16 to 32 bit story).

  67. Steinar Midtskogen says:
    February 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    It sounds like the ones deserving the kick in the butt are those who developes that “very expensive broadcast multimedia program that demands 32 bit operation”. Perhaps they have good reasons for passing that kick on to Redmond, but they can’t escape the fact that they make their customers angry. I’m afraid you have to regard the 32 bit Windows requirement as an extra cost to an already “very expensive” program. Also, 32 bit makes your computer run at 3/4 speed.

    No.

    32 bits are plenty. 16 were plenty, really. RISC processors (like Apple used to use) worked fine and were faster. The maxing of bits is pure hype to sell more hardware.

    If Microsoft claim 32bit compatibility, they should deliver it. End of story. NOT the developers who have spend dozens of developer-years building software that works.

    as for running at 3/4 of the speed, that is not true at all. If anything, running 32 bit apps (ie the vast majority) on a 64 bit system wastes up to 50% of the processing in ‘thunking’ from 32 to 64 bits. I went for it for future compatibility as I need speed and do not want to rebuild my machine more than once every three years, but almost nobody needs 64 bits, unless you want to use rely on idiots like Adobe.

  68. I guess Microsoft got themselves a reasonable amount of dubious publicity through their institutionalized silliness. Oh well – their loss. (And let’s not mention the insane Office 2007 user interface changes).

    The Virtual Machine (VMWare) etc. suggestions are worth considering. The performance hit isn’t too bad (it may not be noticeable relative to your old machine if the new machine is reasonable).

    And once you’ve got used to the VM idea, hardware lock-in is significantly less of a worry. Also saving backups of the ‘machine’ are easy – so there are some additional advantages to be had.

  69. Anthony, I have it on second-hand knowledge that you can convert an OEM product key into a “real” key usable with the Win7 32-bit ISO from Microsoft’s site on a single-time basis by contacting the Microsoft activation department (see the number on this support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326851 ). HAve not tried it myself, but 10 minutes on the phone while kicking off a 32-bit ISO download might save you some $$$.

  70. Welcome to what I call the Permanently-Wet-Paint-Syndrome.

    You buy the (espensive) paint because you like the colour. But once you’ve applied it to a surface, you find that you have to change the rest of the room to suit. So you renovate but when you try to apply the expensive paint to the new surface, you find that it simply doesn’t dry; no matter what you do. So you go back to the store to find a new owner who tells you that the anti-catalysts in new surfaces prevent the old paints from curing; but look! Here’s a brand new paint, that’s just as shiny as the old one, but it’ll only dry on new surfaces.

    And that folks, is what make the “IT” industry profitable for oh so many operators.

    Unfortunately, if you don’t have 32-bit drivers for the hardware, you’re lost should you try to install a 32-bit operating system. The operating system should allow a 32-bit application to use 64-bit hardware. That’s the purpose of the operating system; to provide a uniform interface to physical system resources for user-level software. It’s a travesty that it doesn’t.

    I don’t expect expect you’d get much help from Microsoft. They’ve manipulated people’s expectations so much that mediocrity is now perceived as excellence.

    So I can’t help except to say that I have a great deal of empathy for your plight.

  71. Just as an anecdotal counterpoint, here’s my recent experience with Win7 64 Pro and XP Mode. In short, it just worked and saved me a bunch of pain.

    I do embedded systems stuff, and need to use very niche-market hardware devices to drop firmware into the device I’m testing, run the debugger, and so forth. In my recent upgrade from an ancient XP box to a brand new Win7 box, I forgot to check if the specific device I need to use for a current project is supported. It isn’t.

    However, the latest revision of VirtualPC, which implements XP Mode, has a nifty feature that allows USB devices to be handled by device drivers inside the VM even if they are unsupported outside. This actually works for the in-circuit programmer I needed to use, and it made it possible to finish that project up without spending additional time and money. And, the XP license required to do it is free with Win7 Pro or better.

    My impression is that software in the XP VM is not running particularly slower than the same 32-bit software is outside. Virtualization technology is a lot better than it was even a few years ago.

  72. Sorry for your troubles. I don’t know the solution to your particular issue, but there is a general lesson to be learned: Operating systems should be a commodity: If one does not work, use another at no extra cost.

    I write this from a laptop that has W7 64bit home premium. It was a cheap offer. When I got it, I immediately installed Linux Kubuntu 32bit in dual boot. It turns out I almost never boot it into W7, although I can.

    Unfortunately, there are some Windows programs that don’t run well on Linux (Photoshop for example), so sometimes you are stuck. But what you are saying is that there are some Windows programs that don’t run well on Windows, so sometimes you are stuck….

    I am sometimes forced to use W7 at work. I find it very annoying, and I don’t accept that they removed the “Find files…” right-click folder option familiar to XP users.

    Just my thoughts.

  73. Just to say that I have suffered a similar problem with win 7 64. However it was time for the $3000 upgrade to my CAD software, which sorted the main issue. One of the things I did get upset about was the lack of 64 bit support for my still functional Canon scanner. Canon were no use, however a low priced (cheaper than a new scanner) program Vuescan solved the problem. My next scanner will be an Epson…

  74. A bit of a lack of understanding amongst some of the comments here.

    If you have 32 bit drivers, they plug into a 32 bit OS. You can’t plug 32 bit drivers into a 64 bit OS. COMPATABILITY MODE works extremely well on the 64 bit OS. I’m running programs that only worked properly on Windows 95 – on Win7, 64 bit. It’s PERFECT. MS spend a VAST amount of money on application level compatibility. What MS can’t do is magically make 32 bit drivers “just work” in a 64 bit OS. Drivers plug into and hook off low level gory bits in the operating system.

    If you have unsigned drivers on Windows 7, 64 bit, you can make it work. Google it. There is a method of making it work, its a bit of a pain, but it is a solvable problem. Of course the drivers will still have to be 64 bit, even though unsigned.

    The problem with Virtualising is that the weirdo devices need to “punch through” the virtulisation layer so that an OS running in a VM can get access to them. Most if not all hosted virtualisation solutions (eg VMWare Player, etc) are also virtualising the whole machine including all the devices. The VM system maps the virtual device to the real device, and this requires software in the VM system. Now, if the VM system is running on top of Windows 7 64 bit, and there is a strange device, the VM system aint going to know squat about how to play with it, so it is not going to appear there. So forget it – unless its a USB device. The VM systems frequently are capable of passing all the USB stuff through, with a speed penalty. The ONLY VM system I’d suggest that might let this work is VMWare Player or VMware Workstation.

    The /3GB switch on Windows 32 bit editions is more hype than reality, its not going to make any significant difference. Research will cut through the hype, but the summary is: forget it, its not going to make any difference.

    As for performance: I have found that the 64 bit operating system does run considerably faster, on the same hardware, than a 32 bit OS. However this is immaterial if you must run a 32 bit OS – that level of performance difference is merely academic.

    The major performance difference does not actually come about from the “thunking” back and forth between 32 and 64 bit code. This was a performance related issued (though not much) back in the Win95/Win98 days when “thunking” was required between 32 and 16 bit code. The major performance difference on the modern hardware is that the processors are designed to run 64 bit code, and they will happily run 32 bit code as well. Just slower. The processor is working harder to run in cut-down mode. Again, whoopy-do, if you must run a 32 bit app this all does not matter.

    The crux of the matter is still: is it the application, or is it drivers? If drivers, what kind? If USB, then MAYBE its worth trying VMWare Player (its free, and will do as well as VMWare Workstation). HOWEVER YOU STILL NEED TO INSTALL A LEGAL 32 BIT OS INSIDE THE VIRTUAL MACHINE! If you have time and energy and you are 100% sure its a USB device thats the root of the evil this may be worth a try.

    Otherwise, you are back in the land of having to get a legal 32 bit OS to load. That problem is solvable in one form or another also, such as the people offering to send the media. Once thats arrived, use the existing Win7 code and it should be OK.

  75. Bernd Felsche says:
    February 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Unfortunately, if you don’t have 32-bit drivers for the hardware, you’re lost should you try to install a 32-bit operating system. The operating system should allow a 32-bit application to use 64-bit hardware. That’s the purpose of the operating system; to provide a uniform interface to physical system resources for user-level software. It’s a travesty that it doesn’t.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Exactly right Bernd, the manufactures changed the I/O hook mapping in the BIOS and without their drivers you can’t take a new laptop back to XP. I believe it is a tie up with Microsoft to get us all on Win 7. Go to the Toshiba web site and see if you can find XP drivers for their new machines. You can load XP onto a new Toshiba machine and it will run OK in the VGA mode, no sound etc., so you can see, it’s not the O/S but the drivers that link to the i/o hooks.
    This is nothing to do with software, account control, of running VM’s and sandboxes, it is to do with the hardwiring of the i/o ports and where they are physically located in the address map.

  76. This has been my approach since the release of XP

    Pre-loaded Versions
    If the manufacturer is half way decent then you will have a full set of drivers for your box… but you probably don’t have an install CD / DVD for the installed version these days [total insanity]…. and you don’t have the rights to re-install Windows on another box… So if this version works well for you then buy the full retail product so you can install it on any box… yes you are paying more… but it is one time investment so you can set-up on any box in the future.

    OEM Versions
    Do not buy them as they are officially tied to the hardware and cannot be reinstalled on your next machine.

    Version Upgrades
    Never buy an upgrade as you loose the rights to run the old version.

    Full Product
    Buy the full retail product and never buy a Version Upgrade. When your old box is broken you can re-install on the new one. When you buy a new box forget about the pre-loaded bloatware and install your Full Product.

    This has enabled me to buy boxes pre-loaded with Vista and 7 without having actually having to use either of these versions.

    For me Windows 2000 was the it isn’t broken so don’t fix it version… XP eventually caught up provided I set it to classic mode and I can live with that now…

    However, Vista and 7 (plus the latest Office versions) are just huge backwards steps… bloated, slow, cumbersome and dumbed down… not for me…

    And when they stop me installing XP then I will bite the Linux bullet because I see no benefit in being on a endless, pointless and expensive upgrade treadmill… and I see no point in supporting an organisation whose products have got progressively more grungy over the last ten years… and I don’t want to buy products with Product Activation because I don’t know when the company will stop supporting activation for my version or when they will go bust or be bought out or just plain wriggle out…

  77. Two more: did you try VirtualBox (free I believe), or VMWare? VMWare is not free, but absolutely the best in emulating PCs.

  78. I remember micro$oft when it was DOS3 and then DOS6 and windows 3.1 – and they all sucked. It took 10 years for Micro$oft to catch up with the opposition like Archimedes and Apple, yet the morons still fell for the advertising and ignored the many many many bugs and problems that Micro$oft caused everyone.

    The truth is that without Micro$oft, computers would be another 10-20 years further on in development than they are now.

    Of the dozen or so applications I have now, only one is windows based, and even that could be easily replaced,

    Any company using micro$oft office needs a thorough medical examination as there is no good reason why it shouldn’t immediately go for openoffice

    …. and the strangest thing I’ve noticed since ditching Micro$oft applications is that those essential upgrades to your PC as it slows, and slows and slows and slows down till nearly at a standstill and the PC you originally bought looks fast … well that disappears when you ditch Micro$oft and somehow you don’t need to change your PC.

    Micro$oft … hide the decline?

  79. I would order a set of recovery disks from HP with the 32 bit W7 on it. When you order the disks they ask you what OS you are running. Even the EliteBook 8740 ($3,600!) shipped with a variety of options, all of the way back to XP home. Maybe they will catch it on the serial number, maybe not. It is worth a (free) try. If it accepts the order, you are in.

    I ordered some rec disks for a netbook here in the shop and they shipped the next day for $17 bucks. If they can recover a wiped drive, they can start you over, this time only 32 wide.

    Here is a support doc on how to order recovery disks.

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c00810334

  80. I’m really disappointed with this post. The childish ranting and usage of the “M$” notation are really beneath the level of discourse that I’ve grown used to here. If there is a genuine problem with a product, by all means call it out. However from what I can tell in this situation you made a mistake and are choosing to shift blame rather than accept responsibility your actions.

    You’ve already mentioned that this is a highly specialized application that is hardware intensive and therefore requires specially tuned drivers. You’ve also mentioned that the app vendor sells both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. You have the 32-bit version, and are unwilling to upgrade to the 64-bit version, yet you purchased a 64-bit version of Windows and expected it to work? How is that Microsoft’s fault?

    Sure it would be great if 64-bit Windows ran all 32-bit software perfectly, but it can’t and that’s not Microsoft’s fault. Some applications are sloppily written, others are very specialized. It sounds like this is a case of the latter, where the vendor was trying to eek out every last bit of performance by hard coding very low level machine calls. In a case like that you won’t have 100% compatibility which is probably why the vendor offers a dedicated 64-bit version.

    As for downgrading to 32-bit from 64-bit, you fault Microsoft for that as if it is some sort of standard feature that every other OS manufacturer offers. The history of computer operating systems is littered with examples of compatibility issues when crossing bit boundaries, and going backward is rarely, if ever, a supported path. So again, how is this Microsoft’s fault?

    The way I see it, you have 3 options, and none of them involve travel to Redmond or physical contact with anyone’s behind.

    1. Return the laptop and request a replacement that has 32-bit Windows installed
    2. Buy a retail copy of the OS and install the 32-bit version
    3. Buy the 64-bit version of your application

    While I know that #3 is the most painful financially, it will likely be your best long-term option, particularly if this app is as hardware intensive as you claim. 64-bit will allow more memory to be addressed, improving performance, and it will get you back onto a supported upgrade path for future versions of the application.

  81. Carsten Arnholm, Norway says: February 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    “I am sometimes forced to use W7 at work. I find it very annoying, and I don’t accept that they removed the “Find files…” right-click folder option familiar to XP users.”

    I just couldn’t use Micro$oft’s file find … it was absolutely completely utterly useless. I could never find files even though I knew where they were, what they were called and just couldn’t find the folder.

    So I installed “Agent Ransack” … which has worked so flawlessly that I had to look to find its name!! Apparently (reading the help) it is a lite version of the professional filefinderpro provided free of charge.

  82. If the Software uses a 32bit driver your only choice is to install Win 7 32-bit.
    You should contact HP support and ask for a 32bit install medium. Microsoft didnt bother if you use 32 or 64 bit with your OEM license, so if HP gives you the install medium everything is fine.
    After you installed the 32bit version you can still use your anytime upgrade key to upgrade to professional!

    REPLY: That’s the plan I’m pursuing, thanks. Still a lot of time and work, but the only path forward. It’s really too bad that there’s not an online solution to this. – A

  83. I write software. The programs work perfectly on windows XP. They won’t work on Vista 64. Since I don’t have a Vista machine, I haven’t tried loading my compiler on Vista. However, from what I already know, even the compiler won’t work with Vista 64. Apparently, things are the same with Windows 7.

    There are 3 problems that Microsoft did that guarantee that older software will not work.

    1 There is no program to display the old help file format
    2 The “C:\Program Files” directory is now named “C:\Program Files (x86)” which causes many programs to crash
    3 Screen elements (like buttons) are rendered outside the application window boundary, and, therefore, there is no way to see or click them. The forums suggest that this is because the default system font is a different size, but I have not been able to verify that.

    Compatibility mode will not fix any of these problems. The only solution I know is to discard all the programs I have ever written and to rewrite them all in the latest Microsoft .Net compiler. Of course, that means that the programs will no longer be backward compatible.

  84. Become a Pirate.

    When you take back your HP computer for reloading with XP Professional 32-bit, confidently demand a refund, staring wildly at them with your one good eye, picking your teeth with your cutlass.

    Always take adequate backups. Bring your whole Crew of Cutthroats with you.

    Respond to anything with “Aaaarrh, Mateys”, using a handy belaying pin for frequent emphasis.

    Wear your Parrot with Pride.

  85. I think my post got deleted. I certainly hope it wasn’t because I took a critical position on your rant against Microsoft. If so, I’m truly disappointed.

  86. I’m fine with my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I would much prefer it than 32-bit because 32-bit only uses about 3 or 4 GB of RAM. I have 6GB I want to use. The 64-bit uses all of it.

    I have no idea why the program wont work on the 64-bit. All programs should.

  87. GO Oracle’s VirtualBox, Anthony! Latest version of VB (4.0.4r70112) has excellent network connetion protocols, supports USB 2, etc. If you have about 3Gig of RAM, assign 1Gig the VB machine.

    My Intel Core 2 quad, 2.66 GHz, 3 G ram Compaq desktop started life as a Vista Home Premium OEM. I purchased Win7 Home Premium for about $200 (Australian) and volutarily chose the 64-bit option. When my old Lexmark printer-scanner-fax program had problems, the BEST SOLUTION I found was setting up a VirtualBox machine running my old 32-bit XP Home operating system.

  88. Since you have a Technet account, you could download the Windows 7 32bit ISO and generate a genuine product key for activation but after the 90-day deactivation of Windows 7 you couldn’t re-activate it even though the key is legit. What you want to do is somehow convert your existing Windows 7 64-bit to 32-bit but unfortunately that is just not possible from the operating system itself. However there is a working technique of downgrading from 64bit of Windows 7 to 32-bit is pretty straight forward but the process can be a little long.

    First, you will need to either download the exact same edition of Windows 7 ISO or simply remove the ei.cfg to create a universal edition selector of Windows 7 installation disc. Then backup the existing Windows 7 license to a USB flash drive. Reinstall Windows 7 32-bit and restore the OEM license. I won’t be showing you on where to download Windows 7 ISO images but I am sure you can get them from torrents, Rapidshare and even on Digital River servers.

    Next use ABR (Activation Backup and Restore) which is able to backup and restore the activation from Windows Vista and there is a beta version which works with Windows 7. I have personally tested it and it works like a charm. The important rule is to make sure you restore the Windows 7 OEM activated license on the same edition of Windows 7. For example, if your Dell desktop comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, you can only restore it back on Windows 7 Home Premium. If you try to restore a Home Premium license on a Windows 7 Ultimate operating system, the Status and Product ID will show “Not Available” in System. At desktop bottom right corner will also show the message “This copy of Windows is not genuine”.

    Here is the exact steps when using ABR to backup and restore Windows 7 OEM license:
    1.) Download ABR Beta from here http://directedge.us/files/abr/ABRbeta.exe
    2.) Run ABRbeta.exe and it will extract the files to a new ABR folder.
    3.) Run activation_backup.exe from the ABR folder and it will create two new files backup-cert.xrm-ms and backup-key.txt in the ABR folder. Hit Enter to close ABR.
    4.) Backup the ABR folder by copying it to a USB flash drive.
    5.) Reinstall a clean version of Windows 7. During installation, leave the product key blank when asked to enter product key and uncheck the option where it will auto activate when your computer is online.
    6.) When Windows 7 has finished installing, plug in USB flash drive and run activation_restore.exe from the ABR folder.
    7.) Simultaneously press WIN+Pause/Break key to launch the System window. Scroll down and you should see “Windows is activated” with an OEM product ID.

    Windows 7 is activated

    There is nothing illegal about using ABR if you use it to backup and restore the Windows 7 license on your computer. However if you use it to install and activate on other/multiple computers, then you can get into trouble with Microsoft. Remember, there are two conditions to get ABR working:

    1.) It can only backup from factory activated Windows 7. It won’t work on phone or online activated Windows 7.
    2.) It can only restore the license on the same Windows 7 edition. You can switch between 32-bit and 64-bit, but not from Home Premium to Ultimate.

    Download ABR v1.7 Beta 1: http://directedge.us/files/abr/ABRbeta.exe
    Visit ABR Official Website: http://directedge.us/content/abr-activation-backup-and-restore

    P.S. To activate Windows 7 free use Windows 7 Loader 5 release. Guaranteed to work, and its perfectly legal.

  89. Anthony,

    I run Windows 7 Premium 64 bit at home with no complaints. I don’t do anything exotic, however. I do a lot of powerpoint and some video editing without problems.

    At the weather office we have a network of 5 windows XP pro 32 bit machines. They run well but need frequent reboots with the sophisticated programs we use. I am now to the point where I overload the Ram unless I am careful. We are talking about upgrading to Windows 7 64 and Weather Central says all of their programs will run perfectly on it. We are right on the edge, RAM wise, because we are running everything in HD.

    John

  90. Anyone still using XP would be well advised to transfer it to running in a VM now rather than waiting till the machine it is on expires. Just having a disk image is not quite enough. VirtualBox seems to work well (I use it for XP and 32 bit linux so I can run itunes and the amazonmp3 downloader respectively).

  91. > 1. Returning my new HP laptop and telling them to shove it into the refurb bin.
    The licence you get with your laptop gives you the option to downgrade to 32bit. You should be able to call HP and complain and demand a 32bit version of Doze7 Home Premium. You’ll only be able to use 3gigs of RAM, but given your scenario above you give very little options other than this.

    But the safest option is to get a demo version of doze7 32bit and install it, it’ll nag you for 14 days for a licence but atleast then you can find out if its a doze problem or not.

    > 2. Buying the full retail version of Windows 7 32 professional, making my laptop overpriced.
    The “Professional” version of doze is the minimum version you can purchase that will join a network domain, if you’re not using domains then then save money and stick with “Home Premium”.

    > 3. Driving to Redmond and giving Ballmer a swift kick in the butt for being dumber
    > than Steve Jobs at making customers stranded with no place to go.
    People have tried, it doesnt work. Ballmer doesnt see anyone whos not atleast a billionaire or have to pay him a fee.

    Migration from 64 to 32 bit: yeah, micro$ understands that this is a problem but decided it was too hard to have this option. They were running behind schedule and had to drop a bunch of features.

    But it all depends on how often you use this software. If its not often then install it on another laptop running a favourable 32bit flavour of doze and make it your dedicated “media broadcasting” laptop or a desktop. If all you’re doing is finishing off the job, then maybe this could be the easiest option? How often do you use the software?

  92. I know you have indicated you can’t use a Mac for your program. But as an aside, the main reason I use a Mac is that they are a piece of cake to upgrade from machine to machine. All of your programs and settings, pretty much right where you left off. I think it’s inexcusable that Microsoft hasn’t developed something much better than Windows Easy Transfer. And I manage backend MS servers, so I appreciate their success with AD and Exchange. But the registry is a disaster and I expect a lot more from a software company that large.

    If you see Steve, give him another kick for all of those hours of my life I’ll never get back.

  93. I have done this many times and been, mostly, successful;

    Take the drivers from your original, working, install and place them somewhere in the path (eg, c:\windows) not the system32 folder(s) where they could over-write OS critical files. Any program worth its salt will find them.

    As to MS – they only care about .gov X 15000 seats/licences or the admin at HP HQ who has 20,000 users to tend to. Single users, even 5+ seat businesses can go swivel.

  94. Heh,

    your niche multimedia program dont runs on 64bit systems, unless you upgrade it for $5.000 ? I really had to laugh, that you are assuming this is a problem of your OS.

    Your niche multimedia program may have some code like this:

    if (os.information = “32bit”)
    proceed();
    else
    {
    pout(“ohnoes, buy the 64bit version first!”);
    crash();
    }

  95. Get on the horn with ms techs — they got me a version of vista 32 to replace my oem version when i had problems with the oem version. The process was slower than i liked (via email instead of phone contact) but they turned out to be surprisingly helpfull.

  96. > Cris says:
    > February 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    > Newegg sells the OEM version of Win 7 Home Premium 32 for $99.

    1. Try VirtualBox, as nearly everyone suggests (I use it daily – WinXP 32 on Debian and Scientific Linux).
    2. Use Cris option (above)
    3. If your multimedia software’s unit cost to the price of your new investment in 32 bit Window environment is 10:1 or greater (or whatever base ratio you will think of is viable in your circumstances ) buy the damn 32 bit s/w and say yourself that your 64 bit investment was “slightly” overpriced (it happens nowadays to everybody – as I’m a Linux man I cannot say, alas – “welcome on board” then ;-) ).

    Regards

  97. Just wait until you try Google Earth 6.0 on it, I had quicker response time on my Commodore 64. Google Earth 5.2 worked fine.

  98. Anthony,

    I have a new HP 625 laptop that runs Windows 7 Professional. I’ve been a long term user of XP Pro and all the previous versions of Windows (and DOS) back to Windows 1.0 so can fully sympathise with you plight. I’ve been developing software that runs under these different Windows/DOS OSes for over 20 years and I’m sure as other software developers wil testify its been a constant battle trying to keep up with Microsoft OS ‘upgrades’.

    In my case I decided to ‘bite the bullet’ about 4 months ago, as I felt it was about time to finally accept the fact that Windows XP Professional wasn’t eventually no longer to be support by PC hardware manufacturers and so I had to at least make an effort to see what the difficulties woudl be in migating all my software development platforms (which are predominent but not exclusively Microosoft). In particular I neded/wanted to find out if any (hopefully all) the 32-bit software applications I’ve developed (and continue to maintain and support for various clients) would stiil be capable of being further developed/maintained/supported in Windows 7.

    Consequently I did quite a bit of research on Windows 7 before I decided to purchase my new laptop. I had heard about XP Mode (and realised that it was in effect a ‘cloaked’ version of Virtual PC). After much researching I realised very quickly that the main decision I needed to make was whether or not to go for 64bit or 32bit Windows 7. If I went for 64bit I could take advantage of its support for > 4Gb memory but I would be taking an extra risk of then relying upon XP Mode to run any 32bit applications I still need to maintain and further develop. I use a significant number of 32bit COM 3rd party custom controls from companies like ComponentOne soem of which are not available in 64bit, so I finally decided that opting for the 32bit version of Windows 7 Professional was the less riskier option.

    I’m glad to report that I made the right decision. All the software development integrated development environments (IDEs) (and 3rd party custom controls) I use work either natively in 32bit Windows 7 Pro and/or within Windows XP Mode.

    Fortunately the type of applications I develope and support are not particularly hardware (e.g. graphics) intensive but they are computational intensive. What I have found is that if I run teh same computational intensive application in full XP mode, its runs at about 25% of the speed it runs under native 32bit Windows 7 Pro. Even if you can overcome the ‘driver’ issues with your currently non working in 64bit application, I suspect you may still have issues getting to to run responsively if you are relying upon it working in XP mode within 32 bit Windows 7 Professional.

    I haven’t tried to install Windows XP Professional as a duel boot option on a separate partition on my new laptop (as I haven’t needed to as yet) but assuming XP Pro will run on your new laptop (i.e. HP provides all the 32bit drivers for your new laptop’s on-board graphics/sound card/network card etc) then I’d suggest setting up your new laptop as a dual boot mode Windows 7/Windows XP laptop. That way hopefully you get your application to work (in full XP Pro) and you’ll have time to find a workaround to eventually get it to work in 32bit Windows 7 Pro. DO NOT under any circumstances pay $5000 to the supplier of this application.

    Finally while on this topic I’d like to say that much of IT is like climate change. As with climate chnage there’s lots of hype and false/unstantiated claims of certainty in the IT business. As in climate change the whole field of IT is full of people who are happy to make unsubstantiated claims provided they can make a quick buck out of it.

    From personally experience I’ve found that (as people like your good self, Steve M, Wills E etc already do) it’s best to ignore all these claims and instead try to check and verify things for yourself (apply the scientific method to IT if you like). As is the case in climate change, in the IT business, the reality is all too often different to the marketing hype. I’m sure we’d all admit that we’ve all fallen for the ‘hype’ (climate alarmism) at some time or another. Thankfully, at least as far as climate change is concerned, we have your excellent web site to innoculate against climate change hype (alarmism).

    Keep up the good work Anthony and mods!

  99. Really believing windoze will work is like assuming pippy will not profiteer or ‘funded’ scientist will be objective.. get linux n get over it.. luv your work btw..

  100. I was stupid enough several years ago to buy XP-64. Boy, was that a huge blunder! I found even Word wasn’t compatible with it–soon I had .tmp files that were 50 meg, and then they wouldn’t go away and changes I thought I saved weren’t being saved.

    I lost a whole man-year’s of work on that little mistake.

    I’d never buy anything 64-bit from MS. They suck.

  101. I feel your pain; my TValue program doesn’t work on 64 bit either; no solution.

    Other issues; Can’t split wallpaper on separate screens or even have windows remember open window size and position on re-open without buying software from an outside vendor. XP and even Vista did these things, no problem, FOR FREE.

    Less functionality, more price. Think microsoft has a profitable business plan?

  102. I have a windows 7 64 bit laptop and I’m really pleased with Windows 7. It compatibility with older programs has been excellent. As others have explained, you can’t really expect 32 bit drivers written for bespoke hardware to run on a 64 bit OS.
    My suggestion, without knowing if you use this hardware on the road, would be to pick up an old XP desktop to run your hardware device and it’s 32 bit software on. Then transfer the output files to your laptop. You can use the laptop for everything else and won’t have to go through the pain of a 32 bit downgrade. You can upgrade to the 64 bit software later when you choose.
    Good luck.

  103. If you got the no-disc OEM version that installs directly from a partition on your hard drive you still have a right to the installation disc, since you don’t pay for the software per se but for the license to use the software.

    The OEM install disc should contain both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version per Microsoft’s information, however, apparently, some OEM’s has the right to be cheap so they distribute one version per install disc, but the serial number is to actually work for both versions.

    So if you can’t get the seller to play service minded and hand over what you should have a right to, the only way is to get Microsoft to help, but they’ll probably just going to give you a discount on an upgrade if you’re lucky. It is quicker and it is better buying an original upgrade version, instead of OEM crap, since the original discs contain both 32-bit and 64-bit and you’re still able to choose to make a clean install. If you buy directly from Microsoft you can buy a downloadable version only (with the option of getting a backup copy sent to you by snail mail) which image you put on a USB stick or burn to a suitable disc.

    But you need to go with Windows 7 pro if you want the built in XP emulator, which is what you need to have to run applications made for XP to run properly.

  104. Oh, Mr. Watts, the best Peer Reviewed science which I cant quote due to commercial agreements concludes spending money on developing a new version of software always leads to a better product. As a software developer, I am a disinterested expert, and I fully endorse this view. In fact you should just give me money, and I can confidently assure you you will soon feel better about your current problems.

  105. Anthony,

    “Promises made by Microsoft of 64 bit compatibility are blatantly false.” I would have expected documentation of such promises from you before posting this.

    Microsoft says in their 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: Frequently asked questions, “Most programs designed for a computer running a 32-bit version of Windows will work on a computer running 64-bit versions of Windows.”

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/32-bit-64-bit-faq.aspx

    Most. Most is not all.

    I’m sure you know and given a little time to think about it you would agree with Donald Knuth that “Software is hard.” Moving a complex program from one operating system to another or one version to another is almost always going to uncover incompatibilities that bring operation to a screeching halt. It only takes one.

    Microsoft works with software vendors, encouraging them to test their products against new OS versions. It is my experience that Microsoft makes no claims about specific (and certainly not about “all”) third party software unless certain tests have been performed, documented and passed.

    If it had been me, I would have asked the software vendor if they had tested their product against the new operating system and what the results of that test had been. You’ve been around software long enough that uncovering such an incompatibility shouldn’t be a surprise. You’ve also been around long enough to accuse a company of wrongdoing only with documentation.

    REPLY: You misunderstand, I didn’t have a choice. My old laptop running XP failed, I had to buy a new one and the ONLY choice was Win7 64. Just try to find a laptop with 32 bit Win7 on it. I already have several systems running the same multimedia software on Win7 32 and I’m happy with it and the performance. My issue is being “stuck” at 64 with no obvious downgrade options from 64 to 32 by either the Laptop manufacturer (HP) or the OS provider, Microsoft. Being trapped is no fun.

    Readers have provided a solution I didn’t know about, and that’s that my COA key will apparently work for an install off a Win7 32 bit OS. I’m going to try that and report again – Anthony

  106. Anthony I face the identical problem and having suffered with Vista for three years I was not willing to go through that all over again. Six weeks after failing to get several programs that talk to scientific instruments to work, and confirming that the companies involved (TSI, Testo, Agilent) have no intention of producing W7 let alone 64 bit versions anytime soon, I was forced to format and install a 32 bit W7 and reinstall all the dozens of programs I need. I used the Tech deal from M$ to get a valid licence – after exhausting the patience of every MS support person willing to listen to my tirades about trying to downgrade without buying a second OS.

    It was an OEM Dell installation and MS used that to evade any responsibilty. “The change has to come from Dell” whose smerfs refuse to talk about it referring all enquiries to MS. MS stonewalls saying they didn’t sell it to me.

    I empathise with those struggling to learn Office 2007 after having become proficient at all the previous versions, and even more with those who like me, found out that Office 2010 changed things again! The C in MS stands for ‘counter-intuitive’ and always did. Oh, for a new version of NW-DOS 7…..

  107. Are you trying to run NASA GISS GCM ModelE on your computer? Your laptop might be too powerful for that and the simulation will run at an accelerated speed, causing the Earth to turn into Venus in 3 seconds instead of the usual 3 minutes. Try downgrading to a Z80 running CP/M for best results. Also try downgrading to a monochrome monitor because it makes the non-existence of clouds an aerosols seem more palatable.

  108. Anthony,

    The problem is obviously with the niche software. I find it odd that you can’t get it to run but it’s possible it is direct addressing memory. I had to upgrade MS Outlook because the old one would not run!! I recently upgraded all five of our machines to W7-64 – took me two days to get them all running perfectly with all data restored from server backup. It went super smooth.

    My wife also runs a niche app – a $7K court reporting software thing and we had to bite the bullet and do that upgrade too. IMO the 64-bit machines are just too good to use anything else.

    That said you can call HP and have them send you the W7 DVD, If they don’t or can’t, which I doubt very much, you can buy a W7 Home Premium Upgrade for around $100, yes, the Upgrade. That has both versions in it. From there look up the instructions on the net for creating a double boot machine. Boot in 32-bit to use your niche software.

    Or, if you have the old Windows OS that ran in your old machine create a double boot system with it – problem solved.

    I could also hook up to your machine remotely through a topnotch professional free app called Teamviewer and with you on the phone can give you some direct help. Look up Teamviewer on the net and shoot me an email if you’re interested.

    Best,

    Jose

  109. Sounds like you are screwed. I am a senior citizen computer science student at a local tech college, and I got Win7-32 and Win7-64 for free from Micro$oft. This is obviously not a solution for you.

    I am looking forward to reading about your solution, especially if it involves no money spent.

  110. Anthony I sympathise with your problems getting your software to work, but blaming MS and Win 7 x64 is a bit rich given that you have done such great work on surface stations.org. A few others on here have offer some great help so I won’t stick my ore in on what to do..

    But as someone who looks after a global array of hundreds of servers I can only say that windows 7 x64 and Server 3008R2 (which only comes in a 64 bit flavour) are the best things out of Redmond ever. However a lot of software vendors have played on misplaced public sentiment, mostly rife amongst the technically aware (who should know better) and get away with blaming MS rather than doing their jobs properly and writing decent drivers.

    I also would say that the resellers often don’t do a very good job, and are mostly incapable of helping customers such as you. Would you buy a car without a test drive? And similarly I don’t deploy a server into production until we do development, UAT and regression testing. In your case you should be able to test your software on a new Win 7 distribution before you buy. The villain here is your application vendor, and they are not alone.

    REPLY: I build servers with Server 2003/2008 and have no issues. My issue here is that Win7 64 advertises broad compatibility with 32 bit programs, and didn’t deliver, options like Virtual Machine don’t work, and MS doesn’t provide an easy way to downgrade to 32 bits. I could easily solve the problem with my Technet subscription, but that’s another MS horror story. I’ve spent 3 months trying to get it renewed, finally giving up.

    MS earns some wrath, sorry if you don’t like that -A

  111. Anthony,

    You can use the product key you have to install the 32-bit version of windows.

    See Windows 7 Fourms here

    The ISO files (for either Home Premium that came installed on you machine or the Professional you upgraded to) can be found here. I took the liberty of calling HP and confirmed that if you change to the same version (ie Home Premium 64bit –> Home premuim 32bit) the OEM product key will work.

    The ISO’s can be found here.

    I hope this helps you out.

    You may contact me at the email address provided on the comment form if you have any questions.

    Robb

  112. Did an HP OEM install disc come with the laptop? Or does HP offer a back-up system on the hard drive installalation? My Acer laptop came with no OEM disc but rather a copy on the hard drive. I simply burned a dvd-r to make my own copy of a windows factory default installation. Perhaps your system has a 32-bit version on the hard drive somewhere.

    REPLY: nope, only an image restore

  113. I kind of have to dissagree with you on this one, I have recently written 35,000 lines of code for heavy graphics and numerical computation used for a Seismic Imaging application on WIN 7 64 Bit, and I can attest that it’s the best OS that I have ever used in my 23 years of experience, which includes VAX,CRAY,IBM,SUN OS,SOLARIS,LINUX and Previous Versions of Windows. But I just spent two days decrapafying an HP Envy Laptop and upgrading to 64 Bit and it sucked, but It works fine now.

    I Love Windows 7 and C# and can’t wait for Windows 8 ;)

  114. Robb is spot on – you should be able to install the 32bit version with your OEM key.

    Mind you I would direct my anger at your ISV- not Microsoft – 64 bit has been around for a very long time now, and for intensive workloads it is much more capable. I have been using 64bit OS on servers and laptops for years now and I would hate to go back to a 32 bit OS.

  115. As an IT Pro, I can’t see why in a pinch, VirtualBox + Win7 32 would not work for you.
    There are some technical reasons to keep w7-64: You can run with more than 4 gigs of RAM. Each Win32 process can only access 2GB of ram, but it does so in its own address space. Meaning, that if you have 4 32bit apps each taking 2GB, and your system has 8GB, then you’ll be just fine (not including what your W7 OS needs) Consider then W7-32. You can only have 2 2GB apps open. So being able to access more memory is a huge feature of win64.

    Though I understand your frustration, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you go with 32 bit windows. (I am assuming you have more than 4G, or the capability to at least upgrade to over 4GB)

    I would be very interested in hearing more about your problematic software package: what it is, and what errors it si giving you. Please email me privately and I’ll see what I can do for you.

  116. Stop the craziness!

    I was perfectly happy with the Windows 95 operating system but Bill Gates forced me to buy new operating systems over and over again. Now I use Linux (Ubuntu distro), which eliminates the need to cope with the problems created by Microsoft’s shoddy products.

  117. I also bought the Windows 7 64 bit OEM as an upgrade… I returned it to the place I bought it.

    It took over an hour but finaly they took it back.

    I made it clear I was not leaving without the 32 bit verson and I was not paying another cent….

    I also made it clear they were welcome to call the cops…. thats if they thought the local press would think it newsworthy Microsoft customers would rather be arrested than continue using the 64 bit operating system…

  118. I think the whole issue went awry a long time ago (in the late 1970s) when old copyright law was hijacked for machine readable binaries because of pressure from the just emerging software industry. It also looked like a convenient solution for the government in a Cold War environment to have the cake and eat it too, that is, to have works copyrighted while maintaining trade secrets (basically to prevent the Soviet military industry complex to catch up).

    Remember, originally only human readable works could be protected under copyright (for a limited time) and only if they were published. Copyright was not considered property (certainly not in the current sense of Intellectual Property Rights), as it was not a permanent right, but a bargain between authors and the general public, giving exclusive rights to authors for a limited time to publish (and sell) copies of their work in exchange for the public’s right to use it (for a fee) and use it freely once the copyright expires and the work defaults back into public domain. Of course you can’t dismiss proper attribution even for works with expired copyright, but that only shows how far copyright is from being a genuine property right. You can re-publish works of William Shakespeare whenever you want with no permission whatsoever, but you can never claim to be their author.

    To see that according to traditional ethics software piracy is forbidden not because some property is stolen, it is enough to realize there’s no passage like “Thou shalt not make unauthorized copies” in the Bible similar to Thou shalt not steal. It is based on an entirely different passage saying Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

    But this latter obligation is clearly dependent on a previous bargain, that is, hiring your neighbor to do a job on a wage in the first place. Traditionally in the domain of intellectual works the framework for such a bargain is provided by copyright law, but, as any bargain, it is supposed to have two sides. If your neighbor fails to deliver the work he was hired for, you are of course entitled to withhold his wage all night until the morning and beyond.

    As machine readable binaries expire (simply because old machinery is no longer available) long before the copyright itself would expire, under present law the general public is left empty-handed in the long run. Also, the very intellectual content of code, which is its core value, is inaccessible for the party in the bargain who gave authors temporary exclusive rights just to provide an incentive to deliver more intellectual value. That is, it’s no longer a fair business.

    Copyright and trade secret is just not to be mixed, the same way patents exclude trade secrets. You have all rights to keep your achievements secret, but in that case you simply can’t expect the same level of legal protection you enjoy when your accomplishments are published.

    Linux is not superior to proprietary operating systems in many respects because it is free (like “free beer”), but because its source code is available to all, that is, it’s free in the sense of the word used in the phrase “free speech”.

    Basically there are two orthogonal dimensions along which software marketing could be evaluated, but under the current legal framework they are hopelessly entangled. One is the “free of charge” – “costs money” axis, the other is “freely available” – “secret” (source code). Currently one of the conceivable quarters “source code is published but it is protected by copyright and is available only for a fee” is almost empty. It is not a natural state of affairs, but it’s clearly due to faulty regulation.

    As copyright enforcement improved a lot all over the world in the last few decades, it does not make sense anymore to keep up a system that mixes copyright and trade secret up in the most irksome way.

    The solution is to provide strict copyright protection to source code if it is published while denying the same protection to executable binaries if their source is kept secret. That would give a strong incentive to build an extensive source code market. Even copyright would get more enforceable, because it is much easier to identify copyright violations at the source code level than in binaries (you can run spiders in large software source code repositories to look for culprits).

    With such a legal shift the software industry itself would get much more efficient. Multiple reimplementation of the same piece of software could be avoided, laden with a host of innovative bugs each time of course. It would be also much easier to move old software to new platforms, because the job could be done by third party vendors for a small additional fee (basically by recompiling the source), provided the right to use the original source code is already purchased, of course. BTW, it would solve Anthony’s problem with his expensive piece of software in a whiff.

    I do not think software developers would get jobless in such an environment, they would get simply more productive. Also, quality assurance is much easier if the source code is given as it is the case with debugging as well. There are so many tasks out there to be accomplished properly, that it would give plenty of work for generations of developers. However, as work gets more efficient, software would be cheaper. Admittedly this system would not lend itself to monopolistic marketing practices so readily as the current system does, but it’s rather a bonus, not a disadvantage.

    For those who are not familiar with the intricacies of the software market but are regulars to WUWT, current situation is like scientific papers getting published without data and software they rely on, so their claims are utterly unverifiable (unfortunately a regular practice in mainstream climate science).

    Naturally other peculiarities of current copyright law are also to be revised as for example the rule it expires 70 years after the author’s death. As for software the person of author is seldom identified and is often unidentifiable as there’re multiple authors, what is more, job contracts usually have a clause that transfers copyright to the corporation hiring programmers, it simply does not make sense for software. What is more, even if 70 years would make sense, this time is far too long in a rapidly developing environment like the software industry.

    Anyway, I know these philosophical musings do not help Anthony a bit in his current trouble, but it is often appropriate to have a wider look on an apparently weird situation, otherwise we are stuck with Santayana‘s statement “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. And repeat it we do, with each and every painful software installation procedure.

  119. Indeed, just do yourself a favor and switch to Linux, out of curiosity i did 10 years ago & never looked back. & it’s come a long long way since then, ie) ‘better-than’ any MS offerings, period.

  120. Anthony I’m not trying to defend MS, far from it, they have many marketing issues, and I don’t care what people think of them, but the fact remains that software vendors have been given a soft ride, and as a result many of them have not done their bit and customers such as yourself end up either having to pay again for the application software, that works perfectly well or downgrade your operating system to get less that optimal performance from your new super duper hardware. If my experience is anything to go by there is every chance that your software may not work on the 32 bit version of win 7. This is a well discussed subject amongst computer professionals, and I’m just offering a point of view that could help you understand the issue.

    Think about this you have a library of music and your DVD player finally fails. But all you can pick up is some new-fangled blue-ray player and despite compatibility promises your music won’t play. You ask the music companies for new media and will even pay a small fee but you find you either have to buy an old player, or pay full price for music you already own. You can substitute movies and see the same situation. Who’s fault is it?

    In your case you are not using some piece of consumer software but software where your expectation is for the price you get professional support. It is not as if they have not had any time, or lack of support from MS to fix their drivers. It’s that they chose not to and to penalise their customers. Just a point of view from a professional

  121. Quote JERoME

    “32 bits are plenty. 16 were plenty, really. RISC processors (like Apple used to use) worked fine and were faster. The maxing of bits is pure hype to sell more hardware.”

    Awesome buddy. Maybe you only enjoy minesweeper and hearts, but for the rest of us that use our PC’s for more than word 2.0 I will take my 32/64 bit processors.

    To Anthony,

    At least your software works on Windows 7 32bit. Count yourself lucky. As a building controls engineer the software I use from Johnson Controls laughs at Windows 7 AND Vista. It will only run Win XP and the latest rev was released in October 2010! It does work in Virtual XP thank god.

  122. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity was said to be:
    doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think this refers to buying a new PC.

    Alas, we live in a different parallel universe from that where all future versions of Microsoft software are 100% compatible with all past and future versions. Where a 5 page document is always 10k in size and loads in a millisecond, but each new version is 100% better than the last, and costs half as much – at the same time as efficiently utilizing all the hardware features on new or old machines.

    That is the same universe where climate scientists first publish their raw data, and then have amiable discussions with everyone, expert or layman, to decide what is really happening, and all climate predictions amount to “…pretty much the same as the past few centuries…, with occasional excursions into more variable states.”

    It’s a nice place, without the insanity, etc., but it’s – well – a bit boring.

  123. It is worth asking, how significantly different is the coding to require that it’s so separate one can’t buy one license that is applied if it’s 32 or 64, so if there is a problem it’s a simple switch out.

    This won’t solve the running problem but will at least do away with having to buy a whole new package due to the lack of imagination, consideration, and talent of the engineers and programmers to provide a means to at least test beforehand, if it is not reversible. Then we could uninstall, return, exchange for right product.

  124. Anthony, you say:
    REPLY: You misunderstand, I didn’t have a choice. My old laptop running XP failed, I had to buy a new one and the ONLY choice was Win7 64. Just try to find a laptop with 32 bit Win7 on it.

    I just surfed on over to the Dell website, selected the first laptop I saw (“Ships Fast Vostro 3500″). The standard operating system, included in the price is … Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, English.

    Prefer HP? It took me two minutes to find the HP EliteBook 230P. Operating system … Windows 7 Professional 32 bit.
    Then there’s the HP Probook 6550b. Operating system … Windows 7 Professional 32 bit.

    REPLY: Surfing for options is great, but doesn’t put it in hand the same day when you head out for travel – A

  125. peter geany says: February 22, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Anthony I’m not trying to defend MS, far from it, … and customers such as yourself end up either having to pay again for the application software,

    Peter, you really don’t get it do you! The only reason Micro$oft keep doling out these stupid “new” version of windows to force you to “pay again for the (same) application software”.

    This is what is called in business: “milking a cash cow”. The public just sit their munching grass, and whenever micro$oft want a bit more cash they just invent a reason to bring out a new version of their operating software and all the cash cow just delivers the cash!

    Micro$oft is pure and simply a marketing gimmick it is to computing what Mann is to climate science – it provides nothing of any benefit to humanity and just spins the rest!

  126. Anthony, by hook or by crook, just get a 32-bit DVD matching the type of your 64-bit DVD (OEM to OEM, Retail to Retail). Install, activate, phone call, done. Give them the URL to this page if they have a problem. ;-) Gotta add my two cents to some of the comments (names are not important here, but the misinformation is) …

    Demand your program vendor upgrade their 32 bit dinosaur to 64 bit.

    There are bound to be some incompatibilities with any upgrade, but 32 bit has been holding PC computing under it’s thumb for far too long.

    Nonsense. 32 bit isn’t ‘holding’ anything anywhere. Those apps are what they are, and are what they were! Programs were compiled, they exist, they worked, now sometimes they do not. The past does not change, only the future does. In the future according to Microsoft it is allowable to break things from the past, they call it planned obsolescence. It occurs in their recently shoddy compilers and trickles down to the general public through fanboys telling us to update the old software. Imagine a world where we throw out the old books because the language is ancient and obsolete or because they won’t fit on our new bookshelves. Buy new books (or get the authors of the old ones to update them!). Never mind the fact that many of the authors are dead. It’s a brave new world.

    Did you actually check with the vendor of your multimedia product BEFORE you purchased your PC? They would have been perfectly aware of the compatbility issues and would have warned you. MS never promised every app would be compatible with x64.

    First of all backward compatibility should be implied, and automatic. But if they didn’t promise it, why not? That should have been goal #1 in the meeting of the systems design team. But guess what, obsolescence was planned. Rough analogy, hey we’re gonna update all the roads in the country, only problem is all your cars will need to be updated or better yet, replaced before they will work. It’s no wonder there are a ton of green AGW types employed at Redmond.

    The problem here is your software vendor not MS Win 7. The vendor should supply both versions at the same cost so you can pick one that is applicable to your O/S. MS provides backwards compatibility to “help” such software vendors out whilst they produce a modern version of their software, but in this case they seem to have done this but then charge a lot more.

    You really are channelling your angst at the wrong people. Presumably if the 32 bit version of the software does not work then these guys will ask you to load DOS 6.22 and start editing the autoexec.bat and config.sys. You don’t after all need more than 640k of memory for anything ;)

    Ballmer in the house? (Can you believe they actually called Win v6.1 as Win7!) Anyway, the statement The vendor should supply … shifts the focus from MS to everyone else, how convenient. What about the vendors who are dead? Intel has kept up their end of the bargain by creating chips that are backwards compatible, extending and adding registers, NOT re-designing. If they did we would have, oh I don’t know, an incompatible chip (see Intel vs Motorola, or even x64 vs IA64). So if the hardware is compatible, and the software is frozen in time (16-bit, 32-bit) where must the problem be? Yep, the operating system changed. Sheesh, sometimes I think we should have stuck with Intel compilers! Lest we forget, Microsoft made its name on languages and compilers, they owned the field and were trusted. IMHO they may be screwing the pooch here.

    It sounds like the ones deserving the kick in the butt are those who developes that “very expensive broadcast multimedia program that demands 32 bit operation”. Perhaps they have good reasons for passing that kick on to Redmond, but they can’t escape the fact that they make their customers angry. I’m afraid you have to regard the 32 bit Windows requirement as an extra cost to an already “very expensive” program. Also, 32 bit makes your computer run at 3/4 speed.

    The app ‘demands’ whatever it was compiled for. Most likely their fancy expensive Microsoft Developer Studio .NUT++# compiler didn’t mention that the output program would have an estimated lifespan of a couple of years. Redmond won’t be shipping updated compiler files and libraries to its users to recompile all their stuff. And this of course cannot address the folks who died or left the biz. Microsoft hasn’t release a thunking converter to the general masses that inputs a compiled binary (or intermediate object code) which outputs a brand spanking new compatible binary. Microsoft certainly didn’t even try to make current compilers respect previous operating system versions. Microsoft simply did the bare minimum necessary to release an OS that uses x64 compatible CPUs (riding the upgrade marketing propaganda wave, e.g., wireless 4g and 5g …) and intentionally sabotaged backwards compatibility because it suits their purpose. They were also in a mad dash to send the Vista disaster into the memory hole. Finally, the sentence: Also, 32 bit makes your computer run at 3/4 speed is just so meaningless I don’t know where to begin.

    So to me it doesn’t seem like a generic Windows problem, but software developers who refuse to support their old software which installs 32-bit drivers.

    Well sometimes ‘developers’ and authors vanish, retire and even die. But no matter what, blaming developers from any number of years ago for something that MS just did now is way off the mark. Support? Support doesn’t mean waiting around in perpetuity to correct future problems in the OS! The developers write and compile their stuff in their timeframe without benefit of a time-traveling DeLorean to snatch a future copy of PC World. Their app worked before. Now it doesn’t. It was written for Windows, a so-called constant, a platform (this was the very purpose of Windows!). The ‘platform’ was later modified to use the brand spanking newest marketing hype (64 bits! oh my!), and it was broken in the process. What is most unforgivable is the fact MS creates both compilers and the OS, and still would not guarantee compatibility. This kinda breaks the marital vows developers take with their platform compiler of choice. Fail.

    I’m really disappointed with this post. The childish ranting and usage of the “M$” notation are really beneath the level of discourse that I’ve grown used to here.

    Sure it would be great if 64-bit Windows ran all 32-bit software perfectly, but it can’t and that’s not Microsoft’s fault.

    No, that actually is their fault. And you’re wrong because it can be done so it is by definition their fault, they simply chose not to. I’m not saying they had to do it, I’m absolutely not saying there should be a law to make them do it. I’m saying they should have done it, because they could have done it. But they were in such a hurry because Vista had become an albatross. Also, they were way too busy inventing and foisting the dog-ugly ribbon bars (leave my Excel alone!) on their customers and killing Classic themes, therefore how could they possibly find the time to ensure 100% compatibility!

    Seriously though, if you have a box with an x64 CPU …

    * Install Win7 x32 DVD and it runs most 32-bit software and older with no problems

    * Install Win7 x64 DVD and it runs less 32-bit software and older with no problems

    … well who made the mistake? The hardware and application is a constant here. Now obviously they own the code that DOES work (Win7 x32 DVD). They chose not to integrate it into the x64 release. Others can do it in 3rd party Virtual Machines, why isn’t it built-in seamlessly and called upon when needed? Or better yet perfect the compatibility mode so it always works (yeah, and is always present, not just Win7 Pro!). Why did someone else have to invent DosBox? And Sandboxie? Was Redmond just being kind to these 3rd party developers! If it was me (and dare I say most others) we would have ironed this thing out purely on principle because it would be the right thing to do. Demand quality, compatibility and perfection, Period. But Microsoft has almost turned itself into IBM now, they are almost there. All fat and little muscle (and for tiny brains, see the Ballmer videos).

    Keep in mind that if this had occurred anywhere in the approx dozen years between DOS 2 through 7 (broken compatibility, remember you compile for the platform) Microsoft might never have survived. Alternatives such as DR-DOS, OS/2, or something else may have succeeded after all. Backward compatibility was a given, once that is in question you no longer have a platform, instead you have a moving target. Most people do not like moving targets. Microsoft DOS succeeded because it was a constant dependable platform (albeit bare-bones) for its developers, particularly the business and gaming community which would never have accepted the current attitude in those days.

    For the record, I am definitely not a M$ basher at all, having made a ton of money with them and because of them. I’ve been involved since before they had an OS (yep, CP/M). There was a time (most of the time really) where when bugs were found they were fixed (‘hey, this program refuses to run on DOS 3.xx, find out why!’). Now they have allowed themselves to be reduced to blaming past developers for writing an app that fails on a future broken Operating System! What is really interesting is how they have managed to transmit Koolaid electronically through the internet to draft some fanboys to parrot these absurd talking points! It’s the developers fault! We must shed the 16-bit (and now 32-bit) code to progress! Windows is becoming less of an Operating System and more of an application in each iteration. Compatibility is questionable, and you pay good money for this!

    Here is an exaggerated but logical way to think of this. Lets say you have …

    (A) One Operating System Win7 at Microsoft
    (B) One Million x86 applications worldwide

    Does it make more sense to (A) fix and fine-tune the the ONE Operating System, or (B) recompile one million programs? Exaggeration aside, most people would logically choose (A). However, Microsoft and their illogical fanboys would love the world to choose (B). Heck, they might just sell another million compiler upgrades (planned?). But hold on, just think about the carbon footprint! All that electricity wasted re-developing and bandwidth to send out updates! Yikes! You see, Microsoft isn’t really green at all except in the wallet of course.

    Leif Svalgaard [February 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm] says:

    I think this is deliberate [they always want you to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade; not the other way around].

    Yes, I agree, it is deliberate. Also, “had enough hardware upgrades that I could no longer activate WinXP“, never a problem, just a toll-free phone call and it is taken care of. Unless something at Microsoft has changed very very recently, this still applies.

  127. Obviously, people are entitled to their opinions, but most of those bashing of Win7 64 bit is nonsense. Sure, in a perfect world, all previous versions of products would work in new environments, but that’s not now, nor has it ever been the case. It is not done with malicious intent either. Having been a software developer for over 23 years, I’ve seen my share of hacks, tricks, using undocumented methods, etc., for getting code to work on a current release of Windows, only to see it fail on a new release, and we’re not even talking about 64 bit vs 32 bit. And multi-media type apps are usually some of the worst offenders, or the video card manufacturers with their buggy and unstable drivers.

    Windows 7 64 bit (as with XP 64 bit) provides you with tremendous benefits, when considering the ability to access more than 2GB ram. That, and the native 64 bit processing on a 64 bit chip is well worth the upgrade. XP compatibility mode and virtual pc allow most of the previous versions of software to run. For those that won’t, you ALWAYS have the dual boot option. I have dual boot on my computer and I use Win7 almost exclusively, but if I need to, it’s a short 1 minute reboot into XP, where I can run all my existing apps. And when I boot back to Win7, any files on my XP drives are available to me. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to do this, but it’s such a minor inconvenience that I don’t spend one minute worrying about it.

  128. Silly me; being somewhat computer illiterate (hey it’s tool, like a cross-cut saw; right ?) Here I was laboring under the misunderstanding that the “OPERATING SYSTEM” was a standard interface; between “THE HARDWARE; ANY HARDWARE” and the “SOFWARE; ANY SOFTWARE”.

    So where did I go wrong. Evidently each piec of HARDWARE and each piece of SOFTWARE requires its own COMPLETELY CUSTOM AND UNIQUE “OPERATING SYSTEM” . What went wrong; how could I have let myself be so deluded ?

    I work all the time, with a very very expensive piece of Optical Design software. With a 32 bit operating system, it can barely address enough memory to hold the file name; so it was a great relief when they came out with a 64 bit version. They upgrade it evry few days/weeks/months/at least twice a year; and I always download and save both the 32 bit, and the 64 bit versions, and I save them ALL back for about three years. I used to have every single version of the program ever released, including all the beta versions; but that is now more code than you can address.

    The 64 bit version works under win XP-Pro-64 Our IT people have been testing win-7 but so far they don’t know if it works or not. I remember M$-DOS 3.2 . That OS seemed to work ok. Haven’t liked anything since. It all seems to get slower with each new release.

  129. I don’t have a suggestion, just some observation which might or might not help solve the confusion.

    There are several incompatibilities with W7:

    1. An incompatibility with a number of old softwares introduced with Vista which W7 inherited. It has nothing to do with the “bittiness”, it affects both 16 and 32 bit applications. It’s caused by changes Microsoft made deep inside Windows, which break old code. There is no easy rule to recognize the software affected, there are lists on the net. If you have this problem, going back to W7 32bit won’t help, because all versions of W7 and Vista are affected.

    2. W7 64 bit dropped support for old 16 bit for good. This affects old applications from the 1990s. If you have this problem, going back to W7 32 bit will help.

    3. W7 64 bit can’t run hardware drivers for 32 bit. That means you can only use hardware with 64 bit support, i.e. very recent ones. If you have this problem, going back to W7 32 bit will help.

    However, XP mode should resolve 1. and 2., and even in many cases 3. without having to abandon W7 64. I’m baffled that it didn’t work for you.

  130. Why get a 64-bit operating system? Because soon you will need more than 3GB of usable memory, and 32 bits doesn’t support that.

    I have a different and much more practical solution to the old crappy software problem, old crappy hardware. I have recently bought a Dell GX240, for $40.00, a GX260 for $30.00, and a GX620 for $125.00. Unless you are prepared to be patient, check Craig’s List daily, and act quickly when you see what you want, you will probably not be able to get such good deals, but you should be able to get a GX240, GX260, GX270, or GX280 for under $100.00 and a GX620 for under $200.00. I saw a GX620 without a hard drive offered last week for $100.00. I have bought LCD monitors for: 15″ – $15.00, 17″ – $40.00, and 19″ – $65.00.

    This is a much better solution than putting a crippled 32-bit operating system on your new computer.

  131. For what it is worth, I purchased an OEM version of win-7-64, that I was planning on installing on my home computer so that it coulda ctually use the memory that is in the computer. You are forced to specify 32 or 64 bit when oyu get the OEM version.

    I was told; by the software people at FRY’s that the regular home/business/professional non-oem versions of win-7 came standard with both 32 and 64 bit versions; and presumably you could run them both on a dual boot system.

    I have never been able to get anything on M$ web site to work so can’t get a real answer from them.

  132. Whoa! Why so much effort in trying to “fix” it? You simply bought the wrong laptop (possibly on multiple fronts: definitely wrong OS and maybe wrong hardware as well – not a big fan of HP laptops). Sounds like you got it from a big box store. Return it and find a laptop with the OS that you require (out of the box). M$ didn’t make you buy the wrong OS. Life’s too short. Go get the right thing. =)

    PS-A Technet subscription is now included in the MAPS program. If you’re not familiar with MAPS, it’s subscription available to those in the Partner program. I find it to be an invaluable tool in my work.

  133. Mike Haseler says:
    February 22, 2011 at 12:04 am

    So I installed “Agent Ransack” … which has worked so flawlessly that I had to look to find its name!! Apparently (reading the help) it is a lite version of the professional filefinderpro provided free of charge.

    Thanks for that tip! I am going to try it on the work W7 computer I have struggled so hard with… and cursed!

  134. The Retail (non-oem) versions of Windows 7 (and of Vista) have two DVDs, on 32 bit, and one 64-bit, but only one product key. Once you have installed one version, entered the product key, and activated it, then when you install the other version with the same product key, you will not be able to do the online activation. Before you can activate the second installation, you will have to call the 800 number and tell the online support person that you have uninstalled the first installation. So you cannot dual boot them.

  135. Golly, trying to read this thread has been a revelation. It is like going into those geek sites where people argue passionately, to the death, about things that most people can’t comprehend. Perhaps that is part of the attraction (for the contributors).

    Anyway Anthony, you obviously have a lot of lurkers of the geek persuasion. I wonder if some of them would be interested in building a superbly cross-referenced database for the compendium of reference works that people keep asking for?

    PS – hope you didn’t have to sell the pets and kids – j

  136. Anthony,

    Yeah I bought a Dell laptop and Dell Optiplex for a customer last week, both had the choice or 32 or 64 bit Win 7. It seems like their are plenty of 32 bit options out there. Maybe you like HP? Maybe you should be blaming this on HP and not MS?

    Either way, this is the reason why Apple does so well. All of this confusion and nonsense with versions, 64, 32, Premium, Upgrade, Downgrade is so 1997. This should all work well and be integrated by MS and their hardware partners so that there is no pain for end users.

    This is why those of us that studied computer engineering know that a good computer is the whole widget of hardware and software. The anomaly of MS wherein the OS and the hardware are isolated is a fluke of history. MS should work diligently to fix this problem once and for all. Or they deserve the scorn and loss of market share they get for making everything so ridiculously inconvenient for partners, customers, developers and everyone else. All so they can remain a high margin software only business in a world where almost every other device is a careful integration of software and hardware, done by people working under the same roof.

  137. Anthony–

    On the lemon-into-lemonade front, have you considered just for funsies calling up the marketing department of your software vendor and offering them a trade of a free 64-bit upgrade in exchange for prominent ad visibility on WUWT for some length of time?

    Be sure to show them the traffic stats, and mention how popular your site is (and it is) with the broadcast meteorology crowd.

    Worth a shot. . .

  138. Just my two cents, sorry if this has already been covered; I read as many comments as I could.

    If your software is hardware intensive, it would probably run better on a server grade machine. So install it on a 32-bit server and also install VNC, or a similar screen sharing package. Then set up a VPN for remote access.

    Of course, for remote access this is only feasible if you’ve got good upstream bandwidth (I’ve got 20 Mbps), and it’s pretty tinker-intensive, but it can potentially be done for free, assuming you have a server-grade box and a modem/router that supports VPN.

  139. Steve Fletcher

    ‘“32 bits are plenty. 16 were plenty, really. RISC processors (like Apple used to use) worked fine and were faster. The maxing of bits is pure hype to sell more hardware.”

    Awesome buddy. Maybe you only enjoy minesweeper and hearts, but for the rest of us that use our PC’s for more than word 2.0 I will take my 32/64 bit processors.’

    Actually the CPU by itself don’t provide that much “power” it’s actually your graphics cars, sound card, bus speed, and amount of, and speed of, RAM, that matters, oh, and don’t forget the speed of your hard drive (which is why people really ought to go with speedy solid state drives, especially in laptops, vroom vroom.)

    After all it is the slowest crap that slows down your system, usually, never your CPU. This is actually easy to prove, just get a, supposedly, retarded set up, load it with enough RAM that a system can take, and create a RAM disk to use as a hard drive to install to with enough RAM left over to work with. et Presto, lightning fast system. This didn’t work for only windows 3.11 back in the day but even NT 3.51 and win95 (which worked on IBM’s MCA based server 386’s even, given enough RAM), but wasn’t made into zen until the linux router (no hdd required) was spawned I think. If your in to gaming RAMdisk is what you really want to use, and not just for the game but for the OS swap file as well, if not the whole OS fits too. Less lag. Works for database files as well, the only thing you need the hard drive for is for saving changes.

  140. Actually, and I know this isn’t a solution (which you already have), but the Ultimate editions of Vista and 7 have both 32 and 64 bit code in the same box. It’s a more expensive way to migrate to 32 bit than you tried.

    Also, many mentioned Technet Membership – but those licenses are only for “evaluation” purposes.

  141. @1DandyTroll

    RAMdisk is what you really want to use, and not just for the game but for the OS swap file as well, if not the whole OS fits too. Less lag.

    Putting the swap file in a RAM disk is nonsense. The swap file is for when the OS needs more RAM than is physically present, so you offer it more space on a different medium. But putting it on a RAM disk means, first you take away RAM forcing the OS to swap earlier than it otherwhise would, and then you tell it to use the RAM you’ve just taken away from it as surrogate, but not one bit more.

  142. I have six siblings of which two are engineers and being engineers(mechanical and electronic) they are always right. Another is an electronic tech who repairs computers and the like. When they all get together it sounds a lot like this thread! Too many acronyms for me. I see at writing there are 168 replies and at $10 each we should be able to get you a new laptop to provide us with all these posts that we look forward to. The daily dose of WUWT is a great tonic for the mind and if a new, better, faster, nicer and/or functional computer is all that is needed for even more great articles my check is in the mail; figuratively of course.
    On another topic I am a superintendent at a golf course here in Ontario and I need a new weather station to keep track of disease pressure and threats to our turf. I also require a couple of soil temp monitors that can relay info daily to my computer to time appropriate chemical apps. Many of my colleagues have weather stations and is there a way for them to compile a temperature record for Canada/US by sending info to you? As I said once before golf courses are idea settings for thermometers—lots of turf and not much jet exhaust!
    edeck

  143. Where else but in America can Microsoft get away with using their customers as guinea pigs to “send error reports”, so MS can fix their programming, only to release the next disaster verison, for an upgrade fee no-less, and start the process over again.

    Do not Send Error Reports. MS is not entitled to free troubleshooting labor. Let them figure out what is wrong, themselves! And keep using the version you have. Do not upgrade.

    This goes for Autodesk and their AutoCAD, as well. Stay with Release 14 and 2005 LT and tell them to shove Revit.

  144. I had the exact same experience with an $8,000 engineering program. Now I have a used XP machine for FEA’s, and a new Windows 7 machine for everything else. Microsoft obviously knows that this will happen, in what way is it a good thing to them?

  145. Anthony, out at the MS website is a potential fix for you, since you stated that you have the Professional version. (Note to your readers: it does not work on Home Premium.)

    You have to dig for it (sorry, I no longer have the link), but it is a “comapibility” fix that SHOULD allow you to use 32 bit programs without a problem. (My nephew is a web developer, and tried to help with this..)

    If your problems are ONLY with 32 bit programs, it should resolve your problems. I have older 16 bit programs that are crucial to my business, so the “compatibility” fix only solved half of my issues.

    I bought a back up desktop with XP Pro to handle everything else. (I protect it like the crown jewels.) BTW, You can still buy a new computer with XP pro, at smaller, custom shops.

  146. I have the 64-bit version of Win 7 Professional Retail on my latest machine, and it installed my old programs in a separate 32 bit program directory. They run fine without XP Mode or Virtual Machine, and we’re talking WordPerfect Office 2000, and Photoshop Elements version 1.0.

    The disk came with both 32 and 64 bit versions. I went 64 so I could get past the <4GB memory limit, and I went retail so I could move it to another machine in case of motherboard failure.

  147. you know, if you play the windows installation cd backwards you will hear the devil speaking.

    but what is truly frightening? if you play a windows cd forwards, it installs windows.

    too bad for the odd program we need that still has to run on ms. i am down to just silverlight/drm for netflix.

  148. If you’re still reading this, Microsoft Windows 7 and 2008R2 service pack 1 has been released. Install that (through windows update it will be marked as an important update) and try to run your app normally or with those 32bit compatibility mode options enabled. 3 successful installs sofar, although I swear nothing has changed and the monster of a thing is still the same speed as before.

    Anyways, good luck!

  149. With a lot of respect mr. Watts, but why smearing MS’ ‘name while not mentioning the name of “a very expensive broadcast multimedia program” ?

  150. “Promises made by Microsoft of 32 bit application compatibility are blatantly false (at least in my case). After two days of pulling my hair out with Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium, then buying the “anytime upgrade” to “professional” which still didn’t solve the problem. My problem: a very expensive broadcast multimedia program that demands 32 bit operation.”

    I haven’t run into any 32 bit vs 64 bit application compatibility problems. Probably your program contains drivers for equipment. Drivers are not interchangable.

    Frankly, the “very expensive broadcast multimedia program” is to blame here… demand that they support the 64 bit OS. They’ve had years to get it working. With Win7 32, the OS can only access 3 GB of memory.

  151. AH.. forgot to mention, I recommend that EVERYONE buy Win7 x64 unless you have ancient equipment that has basically been abandoned on the driver front.

  152. why do people run out and install a new OS whenever they are told to? Was there something wrong with the previous one?

    Had win 2000NT, never wanted or needed xp.. eventually i had to buy a new pc so I installed xp. This time, i backed up the installation CD, no way i am going over to win 7. The thing is the most annoying ever, it constantly wants something from me. Deleted it from my new laptop and installed xp.
    Have had like 5 photoshop versions so far, and 3-4 ms offices. Each new version of any program takes up double the ram and processor time, 3x as much disk space and offers nothing new/useful. Each version gets more autonomous and runs things as it pleases., surfs the internet, updates itself, is progressively more needy, wants attention, and is less and less usable. I have no idea what it has done to my computer most of the time. I turn the updates off, turn reminders off, but it reminds me anyway.. my freakin e-mail wants to chat most of the time with people/bots I do not know nor wish to know. Websistes want my nonexisting facebook account to be able to leave comments etc. etc..
    the thing goes like this: we provide new program, but you need a new computer to run it. The new computer is capable of such and such, just buy the new program..

    I mean, seriously, who needs a 24″ screen and 32 million colours, or 8 channel sound?
    so in addition I need a new table, and a cinema surround system. And the human eye is capable of only 16 000 colours. So i guess i ll be needing to buy a new pair of eyes some time soon

  153. they even put out a new bike model each year, for Gods sake. And you cant repair anything on it, it is all “cartridge” design. Where does it stop?

    and once you are in the “cloud”, you can forget any future “climategates”

    dont be a rat in the rat race ;)

  154. Anthony, somehow I misread that you in fact had the 64-bit DVD for Win7 with your new laptop and I suggested to just match the type of DVD and obtain the corresponding 32-bit disc, but obviously you cannot do what I suggested. Your arrangement no doubt has a recovery partition that allows resetting to its shipped seal state (likely destroying your data in the process). Your best option is bullying the retail dealer of the laptop to supplying you with the DVD (might as well demand both BTW) which may be re-branded OEM Win7 discs. With enough effort they might send them for nothing, but possibly a small charge. All laptops I have bought have come with 64-bit installed and with both DVD’s included but that may be because I select ‘Pro’ when picking the specs. FYI, the DVD’s always contain all the versions within the WIM images on the discs (Premium, Pro, Ultimate etc).

    This is generally good advice for all computer buyers: DEMAND the DVD’s, both of them or cancel the order and go somewhere else. Tell them No Discs, No Sale, buh bye. In this declining economy (yes, it will get much worse now) the retailers will not be arguing with sure sales, so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS! You are in a buyer’s market now. Demand those Win7 discs and tell them you will blog about this if they cause you any fuss. The recovery partition method is the worst idea yet invented in the race to the bottom of cost cutting. Personally, I do not want to ever even see the startup option to ‘Reset to Factory Sealed State? Press ‘Y’ to destroy your computer!. That is just so sad.

    darrell [February 22, 2011 at 7:12 am] says:

    “I also bought the Windows 7 64 bit OEM as an upgrade… I returned it to the place I bought it.

    It took over an hour but finaly they took it back.

    I made it clear I was not leaving without the 32 bit verson and I was not paying another cent….

    I also made it clear they were welcome to call the cops…. thats if they thought the local press would think it newsworthy Microsoft customers would rather be arrested than continue using the 64 bit operating system…

    LOL! That is hands down the FUNNIEST thing I have seen in a long time WRT computer, tech and Microsoft! Please tell me that actually happened. Please!

    I can see a whole new genre of TV commercials here: Realty Commercials! Cops revisited! On location at Best Buy. Oh man. I’m surprised Apple didn’t think of this one yet (pssst, don’t tell ‘em). Lol.

  155. “”””” kiki says:
    February 23, 2011 at 7:08 am
    why do people run out and install a new OS whenever they are told to? Was there something wrong with the previous one?

    Had win 2000NT, never wanted or needed xp.. eventually i had to buy a new pc so I installed xp. This time, i backed up the installation CD, no way i am going over to win 7. The thing is the most annoying ever, it constantly wants something from me. Deleted it from my new laptop and installed xp.
    Have had like 5 photoshop versions so far, and 3-4 ms offices. Each new version of any program takes up double the ram and processor time, 3x as much disk space and offers nothing new/useful. Each version gets more autonomous and runs things as it pleases., surfs the internet, updates itself, is progressively more needy, wants attention, and is less and less usable. I have no idea what it has done to my computer most of the time. I turn the updates off, turn reminders off, but it reminds me anyway.. my freakin e-mail wants to chat most of the time with people/bots I do not know nor wish to know. Websistes want my nonexisting facebook account to be able to leave comments etc. etc..
    the thing goes like this: we provide new program, but you need a new computer to run it. The new computer is capable of such and such, just buy the new program..

    I mean, seriously, who needs a 24″ screen and 32 million colours, or 8 channel sound?
    so in addition I need a new table, and a cinema surround system. And the human eye is capable of only 16 000 colours. So i guess i ll be needing to buy a new pair of eyes some time soon “””””

    Well I need a 24 inch screen; in fact I need a 26 inch screen which is what I use; and it is a real fair dinkum screen with 1920 x 1200 pixels. Yes I’d like one of those 32 inch ones with higher resolution. I need to work with a dozen windows of graphic information open at any time; which is what it going on behind this postage.

    As for the 16,000 colors, I presume you are saying that there are 14 bits of color information; well lets say 15 bits so there is five bits per primary color. Well that is not any 16,000 different colors., five of those bits are nothing but brightness information so there’s really only 10 bits of color information or only 1000 colors. You see 1,1,1 and 255,255,255 are exactly the same color, just difefrent brightness.

    I believe that there may be 4096 colors; I don’t believe the human eye can detect any more.
    If you have a uniform screen, with all pixels the same, except one which differs by one in one primary color level, and you can see that pixel on the screen; then you can say its a different color. Otherwise it is balderdash.

    We had 32,000 “colors” back in the days of CRTs with their phosphor screens. There was more electron beam crosstalk over the phosphor dots, than you could distinguish as different information.

    today’s TVs claim 1,000,000 : 1 dynamic contrast ratios. You can unplug the set from the power, and you can’t get the screen black enough to meet that ridiculous claimed spec; and the room light reflection from either the screen or the polished rounded picture frame surround, is way in excess of what black level they claim; well unless you watch TV in a Totally dark enclosed room; and the picture reflected off your room furniture back onto the screen will easily exceed that absurd contrast background number. The marketters are simply lying in their teeth. HP makes its monitors with mirror reflective scrrens. You can buy a room mirro for a fraction of the cost of a computer monitor.
    If I was head of HP, I would fire every engineer, and every marketting type that had anything to do with their computer monitor products. We all used to work our A**** off trying to get off pixels to be off, rather than reflections of room lighting.

  156. I just realized I offered no solution to the problem! Silly me..

    Well, it goes something like this :)
    1. Copy data to external drive
    2. Format hard drive
    3. install windows xp professional, 32 bit is just fine. No worthwhile program that you would use at home needs 64 bits. Well, maybe Met office climate models, home edition..

    4. wait for windows 8 sp3 to come out in a year or two, with all problems resolved.

    Computers are really one field where it is NOT desirable to be cutting edge. You just end up paying much too much and having problems you could have avoided.

    5. buy Mac: I see is not an option. Considering that windows 7 is a “bit” similar to the mac os, which I had the misfortune of using for 5 years, Mac has the definite advantage that it is immune to 90% of all malware out there. and it never crashes. And I mean really.. never. The 10 programs that exist for it work perfectly :))

  157. I did not read all the responses, however MS is very clear that Windows 7 will not recongize drivers that are not signed. The personal confuser (PC) is not exactly what got us to the moon. :) Call Algorius….he invented all things.

  158. What is all this about? I still use Windows98, it runs like a bullet and sneers at all viruses and trojans. OK, it can’t support new-fangled 21st century hardware…

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