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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Win 8 32bit & Win 7 64bit

    Is it possible to install a 32 bit version of windows 8 onto a system running windows 7 64 bit? I want to set up a dual boot system.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    It's possible to setup a dual-boot system, but why 32-bit Windows 8 if your system is 64-bit? The upgrade assistant will download the same bitness as the machine you are using to make the download.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The benefit of 32-bit Windows over 64-bit Windows is that it will be compatible with more device drivers / software. In a 32-bit environment (i.e. 32-bit Windows), everything will run; but it might not run as fast as it would in a 64-bit environment (64-bit Windows). However, not everything will run in a 64-bit environment (64-bit Windows); 32-bit device drivers won't run.

    That's why I went with 32-bit Windows 7 when I recently upgraded two of my computers -- so that everything would run with no problems (i.e. maximum compatibility).

    I'm sure that the same applies to Windows 8 as Windows 7 in respect to this issue.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-11-06 at 17:49.

  4. #4
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    While the technical incompatibility between 32bit and 64bit device drivers is correct, I question the gap between the quantity of 32bit drivers compared to 64bit drivers.

    The 64Bit OS has been the defacto choice now for at least 3 years (arguably longer, but I will draw my imaginary line at the launch of Win7). I have not recently come across a piece of hardware (other than legacy devices) that had a 32bit driver but not a 64 bit driver. It's perfectly reasonable to stay on a 32bit OS because of line-of-business legacy hardware, but the OP is already running a 64 bit OS, so presumably will have addressed any legacy devices long ago.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    The benefit of 32-bit Windows over 64-bit Windows is that it will be compatible with more device drivers / software. In a 32-bit environment (i.e. 32-bit Windows), everything will run; but it might not run as fast as it would in a 64-bit environment (64-bit Windows). However, not everything will run in a 64-bit environment (64-bit Windows); 32-bit device drivers won't run.

    That's why I went with 32-bit Windows 7 when I recently upgraded two of my computers -- so that everything would run with no problems (i.e. maximum compatibility).

    I'm sure that the same applies to Windows 8 as Windows 7 in respect to this issue.
    But the OP is already running 64-bit Windows 7 - His question is about running 64-bit Windows 7 and 32-bit Windows 8 in a dual-boot environment.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The only advantage I see in using the 32 Bit version of Win 8 is it's seeming more compatibility with some older 16 Bit apps. I am not at all sure how extensive this actually is but I have heard of a couple of 16 Bit games that work fine on Win 8 Pro 32 Bit. I'm not convinced this would be a good reason to opt out of 64 Bit Win 8 Pro.
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  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    There are all sorts of mixed environment issues with 64-bit. I see these all the time since I still run everything from ME to both flavors of Win7. They aren't show stoppers but they can be very annoying, requiring workarounds.
    I think if everything is 64-bit all security protocols and other native usability differences and quirks are mitigated and not noticed; like if farmer meets farmer vs farmer meets New York fashion designer...ok, not quite THAT bad!

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I have a full version of Windows 8, 32bit and was thinking about putting it on a separate partition.

  9. #9
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Here's something I just came across that works in Windows 7-32, but not Windows 7-64:
    http://www.ncarb.org/en/ARE/Preparing-for-the-ARE.aspx

    This web site contains prep material for the Architect Registration Exam. If you have Windows 7-64, you are advised to install Microsoft Virtual Machine and XP-mode, and run the downloadable software in the VM. However, if you have Windows 7-32, it works without having to install anything.

    So there are a few things which require 32 bit. Most things will work just fine with 64 bit, but EVERYTHING will work just fine with 32 bit.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2012-11-07 at 12:27.

  10. #10
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    They are still running 16 bit code, that's why its not compatible. Very '90s. They need to get with the program. Still, that's not uncommon with industry specific apps to be so far behind the rest of the world's technology. For one program though, I'd still run the base OS at 64bit, but of course its your machine, your call.
    Chuck

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
    They are still running 16 bit code, that's why its not compatible. Very '90s. They need to get with the program. Still, that's not uncommon with industry specific apps to be so far behind the rest of the world's technology. For one program though, I'd still run the base OS at 64bit, but of course its your machine, your call.
    You're right. And I fully agree that 64-bit is the future, at least the near-term future.

    But I highly value compatibility and things working without problems, more so than the benefits of 64-bit.

    I rarely adopt the current version of Windows until everyone else has adopted it and done Microsoft's beta testing for them. Then, when everyone raves about the OS, I finally get around to adopting it.

    I did move to Windows 7 pretty quickly, because all of the geeks were saying how good it was. And that has been my experience as well.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I installed Windows 7 32 bit on my 64 bit desktop because my scanner only had a 32 bit driver and I don't feel I lost anything. There still aren't may 64 bit apps outside of Office and the OS is plenty fast enough on my machine. I'm not sure what advantage 64 bit offers at this time other than greater than 4 gigs of memory. You only need greater than 4 Gigs if you use programs that hog memory like Photoshop although I've run Photoshop on my 32 bit machine satisfactorily.

    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    I installed Windows 7 32 bit on my 64 bit desktop because my scanner only had a 32 bit driver and I don't feel I lost anything. There still aren't may 64 bit apps outside of Office and the OS is plenty fast enough on my machine. I'm not sure what advantage 64 bit offers at this time other than greater than 4 gigs of memory. You only need greater than 4 Gigs if you use programs that hog memory like Photoshop although I've run Photoshop on my 32 bit machine satisfactorily.

    Jerry
    FINALLY! Another "dinosaur" like me!

    By the way, it wasn't that long ago that there was no 64 bit MS Office, or that it was recommended that you not use 64 bit MS Office. (I don't remember which.) So while Microsoft was extolling the virtues and benefits of 64 bit, they didn't have it in their premier software package.

    I have an eMachines Vista machine which won't take more than 2 GB of RAM. I wiped the drive and installed Windows 7-32 bit. There was no way I could put 64 bit on that machine. It works fine most of the time; occasionally it is slow, but usually not.

    My wife's computer won't take more than 4 GB of RAM. I put Windows 7-32 bit on her machine. Works fine all the time.

    And I never have any problem with those occasional incompatibilities with a 64 bit environment.

  15. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I think to go back to the original question, yes it is possible, but to change bitness requires a Custom (Clean) install from removable media. You cannot use an Upgrade install to change bitness.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  16. #15
    Silver Lounger
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    Well, there is one more thing about 64-bit besides the breaking of the 4 gigs of RAM barrier and that's if one is trying to natively use hard drives in excess of 2.2TB. That's important in the server market if say a 2500 unit server farm can be reduced to 1250 by installing the new 4 TB hard drives. It saves a tremendous amount of electricity over time.

    And indeed, it is still recommended in business environments utilizing a server(s) to only use the 32-bit version of Office because there are so many little dependencies. Mike Smith (tech podcast) covered his experiences recently, basically found out he could not provide support to his clients when he was running the 64-bit version (especially concerning Outlook apparently), so he quickly switched over.

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