Solved

What happens when a program is placed in the "program files (x86)" directory?

Posted on 2008-10-01
4
218 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I was wondering what happens when a program is installed in the "program files (x86)" directory versus the "program files" directory in Windows XP64. I know that one is for x86 programs that are installed and the other is for x64 programs that are installed.. But, does Windows look at each directory differently? or are each programs installed there flagged to run 32-bit or 64-bit?
0
Comment
Question by:jvilla1983
4 Comments
 
LVL 76

Accepted Solution

by:
arnold earned 125 total points
ID: 22615711
The OS does not distinguish based on a parent folder.
The program Files and program files (x86) are mere suggestions by the OS/installer on where to store an application.
The designation is often to simply a software audit to determine which application are 64 bit and which are 32 bit.

There is no functional significance on the windows side to start an application 64 bit or not in any folder.

Windows stores much of the data in the registry i.e. wow6432node will include 32 bit applications, etc.
A 64bit OS will often translate/transform a 32bit application access attempt into the registry to direct the application to the wow6432node hierarchy.
0
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:rpggamergirl
rpggamergirl earned 125 total points
ID: 22619906

>>> are each programs installed there flagged to run 32-bit or 64-bit?
<<<
The 64-bit is running in its native environment while the 32-bit which is the "program files (x86)" directory' is running within an emulator(WOW64 emulator).
Windows makes 64-bit and 32-bit programs runs separately because 32-bit and 64-bit don't mix, 64-bit files and 32-bit files are separate.
A 32-bit app can not run natively in a 64-bit environment, they just run side by side without mixing or sharing any files.

When you install a 32-bit program in a 64-bit environment, the WOW64 emulator makes the program thinks that it's running inside a 32-bit environment. So when the program's own installation wizard installs files in the system32 folder, it has no idea that its actually writing/installing files in the Windows\SysWOW64 folder.
And from thereon, whenever a 32-bit program needs to read/write files to or from the system32 folder all requests are redirected to Windows\SysWOW64 folder.
0

Featured Post

Do email signature updates give you a headache?

Constantly trying to correctly format email signatures? Spending all of your time at every user’s desk to make updates? Want high-quality HTML signatures on all devices, including on mobiles and Macs? Then, let Exclaimer solve all your email signature problems today!

Join & Write a Comment

The password reset disk is often mentioned as the best solution to deal with the lost Windows password problem. In Windows 2008, 7, Vista and XP, a password reset disk can be easily created. But besides Windows 7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2008 and ot…
Sometimes drives fill up and we don't know why.  If you don't understand the best way to use the tools available, you may end up being stumped as to why your drive says it's not full when you have no space left!  Here's how you can find out...
As developers, we are not limited to the functions provided by the VBA language. In addition, we can call the functions that are part of the Windows operating system. These functions are part of the Windows API (Application Programming Interface). U…
With the advent of Windows 10, Microsoft is pushing a Get Windows 10 icon into the notification area (system tray) of qualifying computers. There are many reasons for wanting to remove this icon. This two-part Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial s…

706 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

18 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now