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Recommendation between 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 7 installation

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I am trying to decide on whether to install 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 7 professional on a HP Compaq 8000 Elite (C2C E8400, 4GB DDR).
I am building an image and will be duplicating 10 computers.
The computers will be joined to a domain, server will be running windows 2008 Server.
Please advise.
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Question by:stevenvel
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by:CaptainGiblets
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Is there any reason why you wouldnt want to use 64? Some legacy programmes wont run under 64bit, but you can run a virtual machine with a copy of xp for that.

We always install 64bit giving the option, with 4GB of ram you will need it to get full optimization out of your hardware as well.
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by:stevenvel
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No particular reason not to run 64 bit.
The computers came pre-installed with 32 bit edition.
Do you think this decision by HP is for the sake of compatibility?
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riteheer earned 150 total points
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Two questions I ask to answer this:
  Are you running any software that would have a conflict with 64 bit?  
If yes, is there a suitable resolution. Test it and see if it works.
If no, then dont' worry about question two.
   How often to do your replace systems?  
If frequently, then running 32 bit for a year or two to avoid major hassles or expense of upgrading legacy software might be acceptable.
If it will be a while, then the complexities of the answer become a decision as to rather you want to spend the money upgrading the software, or be stuck in an infrastructure that will outdate faster, because it's running 32 bit and limited to 4gb ram on the workstations, as well as other limitations.

IN short, if you can run 64 bit as CaptainG said, do so, it gives you better control, better ram upgrade options, and is an all around better choice if it doesn't cause you greater headaches and expense.
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by:CaptainGiblets
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I know HP used to have 64bit compatability with a lot of their printers, but there isnt any reason why you shouldnt install 64bit on a pc these days.
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by:stevenvel
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We are not running software which would conflict with 64 bit and if we did I think we can probably justify upgrade to 64 bit.
I am not to sure about all the printers though.
Can I install a 32bit printer driver on a 64bit OS to accomodate older printers?
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by:stevenvel
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Is there and easy way to check/confirm if a particular application can run on 64 bit OS or is it a matter of testing?
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by:riteheer
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Even the HP's that were once a problem with 64 bit have all moved up. Scanners can still pose a problem, but I can't remember the last time I got a printer problem from trying to use 64 bit.  If you will get me a list of your model numbers I'll confirm them for you.

Best way as far as applications is to first check the manufacturer's site to see if they recommend it.
If so, then great, if not, don't lose hope, many times it's because they haven't fully tested it and don't want to support it, or they want to sell you a newer version.  If this is the case, just do a search for using the application in 64 bit, you are almost always going to find someone who's tried it, as well as any problems or issues.
If you can't be sure, then testing it is what you are left with.
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by:stevenvel
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Thank you both very much for your comments
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by:riteheer
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Very welcome, let us know if we can be of further help.
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