Running 32-bit Windows XP on a 64-bit processor

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hello all! I am purchasing a 64bit processor PC. I plan on installing VMWare ESX and running the 64bit Vista that comes with it virtually as well as create a Windows 32-bit XP VM. Will the windows XP VM run without any issues? Does anyone foresee any problems with this setup?
Question by:CompL-3
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    Yes it will. VMWare OS installs run independent of the hardware system.

    Chris B
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    I don't see why you'd have any problems since ESX is an operating system hosting the virtual guests.
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    The 32 bit on a 64 bit is no problem as asserted above

    What I would worry about though is that you say  you are "purchasing a 64bit processor PC. I plan on installing VMWare ESX"

    If this really only a PC and not a full server and you do mean ESX and not VMware server / Workstation (the hosted O/S versions) then you will likely have problems as ESX is VERY picky about its hardware - basically if its not on the Hardware Compatability List (HCL) then it likely wont work.

    If you actually mean running VMware Server or Workstation on Vista and then having an XP guest (which is how the question reads if you ignore the mention of ESX) then all will be fine and the 32 bit guest will perfectly happy under a 64 bit host.
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    I agree with randy above. One of the things you will need to get ESX working is not only a 64bit CPU (most of today's CPU's are 64bit), but it'll also need to support VT, and that isn't available on all CPU's. So you'll have to check that out. Another thing that is needed is a raid conntroller, and normally you need a real hardware raid controller (many controller's built into mainboards are softraid controllers and wouldn't be recognized by ESX).

    Author Comment

    Randi and Rindi thanks.
    I planned on going to bestbuy and buying a 64-bit computer with 8gigs of RAM that I saw on sale. I doubt that would be on the HCL. I will check it out though.

    Does the computer I buy have to have a RAID controller?

    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Although the computer you purchase should be on the HCL there are some items which must be if your expect it to work.
    A supported raid controller, supported CPU (it doesn't have to be VT capable at all), supported NIC.
    Of course you are taking a chance with all other components. It's a bit hit and miss..
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Luciano Patrão

    If you have a 64bit processor you can install VMware, and run SO with 32bit ou 64bit, with no problem

    Since the the VMware work with both enviromnent i see no issues working with this


    In my home I have a lab test that has a AMD Athlon 64 X2, and i have in this lab, XP 32, Windows 2003 32,  Windows 2003 64, Windows 2008 64, Exchange Server 2007 64, and many APP with 32 bit or 64 bit

    And in all this SO i have no issues regarding the 32 or the 64 bit.

    About the RAID, i think now all boards has a SATA RAID embedded. You may have some issues regarding the IRQ address, depending the board, but is easy to resolve by in the vmware edit the xml sata file, and add the raid from your board.

    In my LAB i have a IDE to hold the VMware, and 4 SATA with 750Gb to hold the VMs and work as the Storage

    LVL 13

    Assisted Solution

    you dont have to have a RAID controller - you must however have a disk controller (RAID or not) that is on the HCL or the install of ESX will not be able to see the disks and the install will fail
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    The version of Vista that is included with your PC might not be so willing to install inside a virtual environment as OEM versions tend to look for specific hw that they can't see when running as a VM.


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