General Question

laurenkem's avatar

Changing 64 bits to 32 bits? Help please?

Asked by laurenkem (3398points) July 17th, 2012

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I’m required to have one of the following for a job I’m trying to get:

* 32-bit Windows XP Home or Professional, Service Pack 3
* 32-bit Windows Vista Enterprise, Ultimate, Business, Home Premium with Service Pack 2
* 32-bit Windows 7 Enterprise, Ultimate, Professional, and Home Premium

Okay, I’m running the Windows 7 Home Premium, but it’s 64 bits instead of 32. Is there anyway to revert back to 32-bits?

Thanks for any help you guys can offer.

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13 Answers

DeanV's avatar

Is there a specific piece of software that really requires a 32-bit OS? Because 64 bit is superior in every way and except for a few special circumstances, nearly every piece of 32 bit software works on 64 bit machines as well.

laurenkem's avatar

That was my thought as well – the only reason I can think that this is a requirement of this company is that their software is outdated and rather than just catch up, they require all their employees what they (the company) already have.

And those requirements above? That was culled directly from an email I received from said company, telling me what I would need in order to continue the “process”. This email was received after my computer had already gone through their “testing”.

chyna's avatar

Could they have meant that you need a minimum 32 bit but 64 bit would be acceptable?

laurenkem's avatar

That was what I thought too, Chyna, but the 3 points above were directly taken from their email to me. I can’t figure out what it is that I don’t have (or do have that they don’t want) on my computer.

jrpowell's avatar

You must reinstall the Operating System which will result in a loss of all data. Hopefully you have a backup. Windows doesn’t allow for swapping Kernels like UNIX based operating systems do.

But you can always install a 32 bit version of Windows in a VM like VirtualBox and run the 32-bit version from that. It isn’t ideal but it should get you by until you know if you get the job.

laurenkem's avatar

Thanks @johnpowell , I was afraid that was the answer. I had a feeling, but just didn’t want to deal with such a loss of everything that hasn’t been backed up yet. I guess I was hoping that there was an easier way. I appreciate the help from you, @chyna and @DeanV.

I think what’s pissing me off is wanting to know why a company is requiring me to use a 32-bit program when a 64-bit will pretty much run everything.

jerv's avatar

Another possibility is to just get a cheap PC from last decade that is only 32-bit. It may be cheaper than getting a new copy of Windows; the last 32-bit system I got cost me less than $200 (used). And since their requirements seem so meager, it sounds like a Pentium II from the dumpster would suffice for this job.

One guess is that the job requires use of device drivers that do not have a 64-bit version. While many 32-bit applications run fine on 64-bit systems, the same cannot be said of drivers.

laurenkem's avatar

Good point, @jerv, maybe I’ll do just that – invest in an older computer. And I agree, their requirements sound so meager that I walked into it thinking that my computer would rock! But alas, they apparently don’t want all the advantages of this century, I guess.

jerv's avatar

@laurenkem Or maybe they don’t want the security risks, and consider the use of technology they do not understand to be risky.

laurenkem's avatar

Another good possibility – I have no clue. They just told me to resubmit my computer’s “score” when I had updated it to their standards, believe it or not.

I feel like pointing out that they run a WAH business, for cryin’ out loud, it ain’t rocket science. I’ll be taking phone calls for technical support with regard to a service, not manning a space shuttle!

jaytkay's avatar

If they REALLY need you to run 32-bit Windows, here is what I would do…

Upgrade to Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate ($84.99 or $129.99 at Newegg, a reputable online retailer)

Install Windows XP mode. It gives you a separate copy of 32-bit Windows XP running on your machine.

Run the work software in XP, keep it separate from you personal computer

Or just get a cheap 2nd computer as @jerv suggests

prasad's avatar

This may not be of help, but could you ask them if Windows 7 64-bit is okay? It might save you some trouble if 64 bit can do.

bolwerk's avatar

You could consider getting QEMU. It’s free and lets you emulate 32-bit x86 OSes.

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