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How to determine if my computer is 64 or 32 bit

Posted on 2012-12-21
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Last Modified: 2013-01-03
I'm trying to decide between some components and software to buy.   OS is Vista Business 6.0 sp2
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Question by:David_W_R
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rharland2009 earned 500 total points
ID: 38713934
Via Microsoft:

If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7, there are two methods to determine whether you are running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version. If one method does not work, try the other method.
Method 1: View the System window in Control Panel
Click Start, type system in the Start Search box, and then click system in the Programs list.
The operating system is displayed as follows:
For a 64-bit version operating system, 64-bit Operating System appears for the System type under System.
For a 32-bit version operating system, 32-bit Operating System appears for the System type under System.
Method 2: View the System Information window
Click Start, type system in the Start Search box, and then click System Information in the Programs list.
When System Summary is selected in the navigation pane, the operating system is displayed as follows:
For a 64-bit version operating system, x64-based PC appears for the System type under Item.
For a 32-bit version operating system, x86-based PC appears for the System type under Item.
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by:Stelian Stan
Stelian Stan earned 500 total points
ID: 38713993
If you have a computer icon on your desktop just right click on that icon and chose Properties and have a look at the attached screen shoot.
Win.JPG
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by:willcomp
willcomp earned 500 total points
ID: 38714063
Click on Start, right click on Computer, select Properties. Works with XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 38714074
As noted above, if all you want to know is whether your current OS is 32 or 64 bits, just right-click on Computer; then select Properties ... and look at the information presented ==> it will say "32-bit Operating System" or "64-bit Operating System".

If you have a 32-bit OS, and want to confirm that your CPU is capable of running a 64-bit OS (almost all are these days), just download the free Securable utility and run it.
http://www.grc.com/securable.htm    It will show you the bit length of your CPU;  whether or not it supports hardware virtualization (in case you want to run a hypervisor like Virtual PC or VMWare);  and whether it supports Hardware DEP.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 38714107
Merry Christmas Gary. Had to add info did you? :-)
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by:garycase
ID: 38714143
Hi Dalton ... and Merry Christmas  ==>  didn't notice your post (actually it wasn't there when I was writing mine).    Actually the one before yours says the same thing as well ... but the Properties screen doesn't actually answer the specific question ["... determine if my computer is 64 or 32 bit ...."] ==>  it shows whether the OS is 32 or 64 bit;  but not the physical computer.
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by:willcomp
ID: 38714193
If the physical computer is not 64 bit, the OS won't be either,
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by:garycase
ID: 38714208
Agree --- but if the OS is 32 bits, then you don't know from that whether or not the CPU is 32 or 64 bits.  [That's why I said "... If you have a 32-bit OS ..."]
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by:willcomp
ID: 38714220
Good point!
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Expert Comment

by:IMyNameI
ID: 38714976
in the start menu  type "system information" and open the file and it should tell you everything about your computer
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by:nobus
ID: 38715187
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Author Closing Comment

by:David_W_R
ID: 38740653
Sorry for the delay.  Holiday schedule kept me away from the Desktop in question.
Thanks very much for the information.
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