Installing a 32 bit driver on a 64 bit Vista Home Premium

I've a friend who is looking to connect his WII on his computer.  His computer got a TV Tuner, but the fag who sold this computer (BestBuy) installed Windows Home Premium 64 bits, and there's no 64 bits drivers for the TV Tuner yet.  The computer is an Acer Aspire M5620.

Is there any method to install a 32 bits drivers on the 64 bits version of the same O.S.?  If so, HOW.  (I've googled a lot and there's people saying that you can tell Windows to point to this and that, but they don't give any real solution).

Thanks for your help
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAsked:
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JeremySBrownConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi cdebel,

You can't install 32-bit drivers on a 64-bit OS. You can install 32-bit applications on a 64-bit OS. If you want to use the Wii on the computer, you will need to install the 32-bit version of Windows or wait until the TV Turner comes out with a 64-bit driver.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
This computer is almost 2 years old... so i guess that ACER will NEVER come out with this driver.  
That suck that such a huge store sell computers with an O.S. that doesn't even support it's hardware!
But well, i guess he will have to live with it, he has no more garantee on this purchase since he bought it over a year ago
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PowerEdgeTechConnect With a Mentor IT ConsultantCommented:
If the driver does not support 32-bit operation, then no, it cannot be installed on 7x64.  Is there 64-bit Vista driver?  If so, that should work.  If your friend can get a 32-bit version of Windows 7 - a version that matches the type of his Product Key (OEM/brand, Retail, etc.), then the Product Key will be valid for 32-bit Windows too - you would just reinstall 7x86.

Unless your fag took in the computer and asked them to install 7x64, the friend at Best Buy only sold it - it would have been installed by Acer.

What TV Tuner is it?
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
PowerEdge: The friend doesn't know a thing in computers.  It was a complete computer system, he didn't added the TV Tuner.  

I don't know what kind of TV tuner he got.  On Acer web site, there's 2 possibility (An ATI or an Hauppage, but they don't specify the model).  I know that he got an ATI Radeon HD 3450 video card, but this card doesn't seems to have a TV-Tuner.  The tuner itself doesn't even appear in the device manager.  But i know it's there, he sent me a picture of the back panel of his computer.

Tomorrow he will bring me his computer so i can take a look at it.

And you know, BestBuy, Futureshop, they never give any CD/DVD for their O.S. so he is screwed.  I guess i could find an "unofficial Windows Vista 32 bits" on the net, but that's not something that i like to do.

When i'll have the computer in my hands, i'll open it and see what hardware he got, and i'll see if there's a 64 bit driver for its material.  Maybe the website of Acer is just not updated at all!
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
Most OEM's (HP, Dell, Acer, etc.) anymore no longer include the installation media (again, this is not a Best Buy thing, who is only a reseller).  Even when they do, they are not like the Retail disks that have both 32 and 64-bit versions on the disk - it is just the one that was pre-installed.  Acer may be able to provide a 32-bit version, but you'd have to push pretty hard, showing that the configuration they pre-packaged and sold is not compatible.  Finding an Acer-branded installation DVD for 32-bit may be difficult to find but would work.

Take a look at it when you see it tomorrow and we'll see what we can all come up with.
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
As near as I can tell, Acer did not package the M5620 with any TV tuners ... so if your friend purchased it with a tuner, that was an add-on that he selected at the store.

These are the M5620 specifications:  http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/desktop/0000/Acer/AspireM5620/AspireM5620sp2.shtml

Assuming your friend purchased a Hauppauge card to add TV support (a very common choice), he can simply download the appropriate drivers here IF he purchased a card that has 64-bit support:  http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/support/vista.html
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Reece DoddsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
if you have the 32bit drivers and wish to "try" forcing the OS to use them (not advisable as it may create other issues such as BSODs of other hardware conflicts) then follow these steps:
This is for win7, but vista should be pretty similar...

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plug in the device

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go to the device manager

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find the "unknown device" in the list of hardware and double click

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select the driver tab and then press update driver

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click Browse my computer...

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click Let me pick...

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untick Show Compatible Hardware, then click Have Disk

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browse to the driver file you wish to use, click OK

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select the device version (if it offers them) that you wish to use, click OK (and the desired responses to any warnings)
Hopefully you have success, if the above is a no go, you just may not be able to use the device.

Also, if you find out what chipset the tv tuner uses, you may be able to get drivers from the chipset manufacturer or another branded board.

Good luck!
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Gary, I went to the page you have shown.  But if you go to DOWNLOAD section of Acer Web Site, you will see that this model is provided with ATI or HAUPPAUG.  It's not an add-on, it's just that Acer web site is crappy...
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Interesting -- there clearly must have been some pre-packaged versions with TV tuners.    

A couple of questions ...

(a)  Does Device Manager show the TV tuner?   ... or an "Unknown Device" ??

(b)  If so, does it indicate that it does not have a valid driver?   ... and if so, have you tried the drivers from the Acer site?

Just want to be sure this is a DRIVER issue and not an application issue -- i.e. your friend may have a correctly installed TV card;  but no application to USE it  (or may not know what application to run).

If the card is indeed not properly installed, you need to look at the card and determine what model it is;  then get the appropriate driver for it from either the Hauppauge or ATI site -- NOT from Acer.


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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Gary:
As i've mentionned previously, the TV Tuner doesn't show up in the Device Manager, not as a Tuner, and not as an "Unknown device".  

I've tried to chose the option to Add a Driver, then specified that i've the Disk, and tried to give it the 32 bits version of the driver.  As i've mentionned, in their download section, when you choose 64 bits for Windows Vista Home Premium, there's almost no driver listed there.

My friend got Windows Media Center installed on his computer.  I asked him to go to the section to setup for the TV, and it said: "No Tuner Found" (or something similar).  

Tomorrow i'll have the PC at home, so i'll take a look inside the tower to see what's in it.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
If you post the picture you have of the back panel, we can possibly identify what model the TV card is.

I presume your friend looked under "Sound, Video, and Game Controllers" in Device Manager -- that's where a TV tuner card will be enumerated.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Ok i got the computer.  I've included a picture of the back panel.  

The motherboard is a G33T-AM.  I've not been able to find any manual showing the motherboard itself.  Acer manual $uck big time (it include only information to clean up the computer, to say how to stand in front of it to not get hurt after long usage, etc).  It's a generic manual for all their PC's.  The only socket 775 on their web site is P5K-VM which is not this model at all.

The RCA connector that you can see on the back panel is linked to the motherboard.  And it's written "SPDIF Out" on the motherboard... so it's not a TV In at all.  I was misled by the type of connector because YELLOW RCA = VIDEO, While RED & WHITE RCA = SOUND.  

So i guess i'll have to tell him the bad news, that he got to pay for another card because the vendor probably told him that he can connect his computer to a TV, which is half true because there's only a TV Out.

Thanks for your help
RearPanel.jpg
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
It's clear from the picture there's no TV card -- any card connectors would be on the slots below the video card.    If you'd simply posted this picture with the question we could have immediately told you there was no TV card :-)

The specfiications for the computer also note that it has an SPDIF audio output ... so it was clear there had to be an RCA jack for that.
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JeremySBrownCommented:
I agree with garycase. I too don't see no connectors for a TV card.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
That's why I asked the author to post a picture of the back of the computer when he said "... But i know it's there, he sent me a picture of the back panel of his computer. "   ==>  to confirm whether or not there was indeed a card installed.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... by the way, despite the "bad mouthing" of Acer in this post, they actually do a nice job of providing all of the requisite drivers for their systems -- much better than many other manufacturers do.      The real problem here had nothing to do with Acer -- it was trying to install drivers for a non-existent piece of hardware.
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JeremySBrownCommented:
I was just agreeing with you garycase, I didn't mean to be "bad mouthing". My apologies.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Jeremy, i don't think that Gary comment was for you, i think it was for me.

Gary:
The picture of the back panel doesn't show a single thing.  There's no ID beside these connectors except for sound card, VGA, Ethernet, LPT, COM.  The optical & RCA SPDIF is not even documented!

Overall, Acer documentation is a real problem.  I've seen a lot better from other companies.  I can't tell for drivers because i've never bought from Acer myself.  I usually buy Dell or Toshiba (mainly for laptops).  I've heard good things about Acer, and some bads too, but clearly what i see here is that i can't even get any manual from their web site.  I've went thru their FAQ which is a bit minimal, no KB available, no chat support, the support by mail is "temporarely offline" since... i don't know!  All what i've seen after few hours is: You got to pay 100$ for 90 minutes or 130$ for some cases... which is not acceptable since this person bought their computer.

Even if the product is 1.5 years old, it should still be available on their web site.

I've found a TVBox for my friend.  That's the easiest way to connect it.  It's from KWorld, and that can connect PS2/PS3/WII on a computer without any problem.  It cost about 80$Can.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
So to close this case, all i can say is: Never think that there's this kind of hardware until you opened up the case.  Some problems just can't be solved remotely.

Thanks for all your comments.

And about bad mouthing, well, everybody can say good thing and bad things about a manufacturer.  We all have our own little experience with them.  If i make an analogy with hard disk manufacturer, you usually keep using the same manufacturer until you lose all your data, then you get to read all the reviews about the others (Seagate, Western Digital, Fujitsu, etc) and find out that for each model of each manufacturer, some users got their little horror story to tell about them.  So when it's time to choose your hardware, choose the one with less horror story :)

And i couldn't let Acer go with a 90% when their documentation is simply a huge failure.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The picture of the back panel CLEARLY shows there's no TV card.    The only card installed is the video card, which you can see has a VGA, an s-video, and a DVI output, with the DVI output in use.    The audio output panel clearly has both optical and coax SPDIF outputs -- even if you weren't sure the fact the coax output is immediately beside the optical output is a dead giveaway.

Since you had the picture of the back panel available, it would have been much easier to quickly answer your question if you had included it -- it would have quickly corrected your misconception that there was a TV card in the system.

As for Acer's site -- I agree their documentation availability is poor;  but they DO have an easy-to-use and fairly comprehensive driver download section ... which is much better than many of the other vendors.     But this question wasn't about documentation -- or even drivers.    You should have trusted what Device Manager "told" you on your friend's computer -- it does not have a TV Tuner.     And if you still had doubts, just posting the picture of the back would have immediately resolved it.
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