I was really looking forward to switching to the 64-bit OS with my Windows 7 OS upgrade, but after using and configuring my new system for the last few days, I’ve decided to go back to the 32-bit OS world.
When you are using a Windows 64-bit system, it’s very clear that you have two distinct executables (32 and 64-bit) on your system. In fact, you have a C:\Program Files folder for 64-bit files and a C:\Program Files (x86) for 32-bit files. The problem I was having, is certain 32-bit applications just don’t run well (or at all) under the 64-bit OS. Maybe it’s poor programming on the developer’s part, but these applications simply crash or don’t runl. I had a few different applications that I used for video conversions, and I really want those apps to work.
Of course, I could use Window 7’s new XP-Mode and run theses app in a virtual XP environment (since I purchase Windows 7 Professional), at least that is what I thought. Apparently, to use this feature you need a special CPU that has “virtualization hardware”, which unfortunately, I do not have in my new Intel Quad 2 Core processor (I guess I didn’t pick the right model). So, this feature isn’t available on all modern processor, just specific ones.
Also, some of my existing hardware didn’t have 64-bit drivers (e.g., Canon Scanner, USB-to-DB25 Printer cable) so I needed to get new hardware to replace perfectly good equipment.
As such, I decided to avoid all the headache and go back to the 32-bit OS. The advantages of utilizing more than 3.25 GB of RAM just wasn’t big enough to justify all the issues I was having with the 64-bit OS. So after doing a clean install of the Windows 7 32-bit OS this time, I was back up and running. My Canon scanner is working again, along with my USB-to-DB25 printer cable setup. My software is working once more, and I’m out of the 64-bit fog.
From what I can tell, the operational speed isn’t any faster with the 64-bit over the 32-bit OS. But one thing is clear, I can certainly install and run my 32-bit apps again. Whew. So maybe by the end of next year, the 64-bit OS will be in full swing and developers will have fully working 64-bit drivers, apps, etc. so the headaches I ran into will vanish. I plan to stick to the 32-bit OS for as long as it works for me, and won’t be upgrading until everybody is on board the 64-bit train.