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Windows 7 cannot run 32 bit programs, but can run 64 bit programs.

Posted on 2013-10-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-21

I am running WIndows 7 Home Pre SP1.

It appears that I cannot run any 32 bit programs out of Programs Files (x86) - programs such as notepad and wordpad do run.

64 bit programs out of Program Files seem to run ok.

I cannot install any programs.

System restore and repair did not fix the problem.  

I ran Kaspersky Rescue disk, it did find and remove a couple of viruses, but did not fix the issue.

The only file in quarantine is an Exploit Urntone.G

The security settings on the folder Program Files (x86) did not appear to be correct, so I changed them to match Program Files.

Any suggestions would be helpful!

Question by:laltobelli
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 39614038
Win 7 64 bit uses a rootkit like way to to fool 32 bit programs to think they are running on a 32 bit system.  So many times antirootkit software will detect this redirect of resources as a rootkit and quarantine or delete the offending file (depending on your settings).  This will cause win7 x64 to be unable to run 32 bit programs.  This is not always the case, but is the most likely cause.

Have you run antirootkit software lately, or does your system have some installed?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39614070
When did this start happening?

You did a system restore

Did you try to do a system check point restore?

go back to the oldest check point you have see if that helps.

Do you have a extra drive?

I would put a new drive in the computer and do a fresh install of Windows 7

I would be very careful about copying data from the original drive  

What I would do is get a external USB drive and then copy all your data from the original drive.
If you have a virus I would be very careful

You can always reinstall the applications  just copy your personal data to the external USB drive

Good luck

Expert Comment

ID: 39614206
Hi, all you should run them as Administrator and in compatilibity mode, just right click and in propeties search for the compatibility mode en select older OS plataforms! It worked in my case!
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 39614295
Backup your data, reinstall windows and your applications.

Add virus and malware protection...  Security Essentials and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro (with File System Protection enabled on the Protection tab) at the minimum... use MBAM in free mode or try their 2-week free trial while waiting for it to go on sale at - I bought lifetime licenses there on sale for $12.95 each... (caveat - newegg's regular price is higher than direct from MBAM's site).

Author Comment

ID: 39616718
Ok, here's an update on the issue and I will try to answer as many questions as I can.

The present situation is I can run 32 bit programs now after doing a scan with Kaspersky Rescue disk, Malwarebytes and running windows repair a few times - odd.  Although a few of the 32 bit programs still do not work correctly and will have to be reinstalled.

Although I can now run 32 bit programs the system is still running poorly and that is related to something starting up (narrowing it down using msconfig).

Since this is a friends PC I am not too sure when it started and system restores did not resolve the issue.

The only rootkit scanner I used was Kaspersky's - tssdkiller

Running as administrator and/or compatibility mode did not work.

Darr247 - it may come down to that, trying to avoid a complete reload, there's a lot of programs on this system.  Malwarebytes is a good suggestion.

I hope to have another update soon.

LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 39616896
Have you run chameleon on this yet?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39617036
How many applications do you have?
Hope you have all the installation files/CD/DVD?

As I stated in my first post

A fresh install is in order here.

Best to have another hard drive to do that with

Is this a desktop or laptop?

Accepted Solution

laltobelli earned 0 total points
ID: 39618730
It's a laptop (HP Pavilion dv7 - i7 with 8 GB memory).

Walking through msconfig and disabling various startup services and programs I isolated the service that is causing the poor performance issue.

Windows Audio service is causing the issue.  

If I disable this service everything runs normally, if it's enabled and running I cannot even play Solitaire.  CPU, Disk, Memory and network all show low usage while the Windows Audio service is running.

Now the problem is no sound.  Does anyone know how to repair or reinstall the service?  Or isolate the issue to a possible conflict?

Assisted Solution

laltobelli earned 0 total points
ID: 39620552
Got the sound fixed and the poor performance.

I did several things.  The first was to go to Programs and Features, uninstall Windows Media Features.

Uninstall AVG 2013.

Update BIOS, Audio, Video and Chipset drivers.

Last did this:

Method 1.

Now you have to stop the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and check for the issue, to do that you need to follow the steps provided below.


1. Control Panel -- Administrative Tools -- Services. Find the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service, open it, click on Stop to stop the service.


2. Close Windows Media Player 12 if it is started.


3. input %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Media Player\ to Windows Explorer to find the folder.


4. Move all files in the folder to another place as a backup.


Note: Move files in the specific folder will reset database.


5. Restart Windows Media Player to see if we can add files to Library now.


Method 2.

1. Click on Start and in the search bar type cmd.exe
 2. Right click on cmd.exe and click on Run as Administrator
 3. In the command prompt type the following command

      net localgroup "Administrators" "NT Authority\Local Service" /add

  4. Press enter and restart the computer

 Method 3.
 Uninstalling and Reinstalling the Windows Media Player:
Step 1.
 Uninstalling the Windows Media Player:
1. Go to Start and in the search type "Turn Windows features On or Off".
 2. Click on "Turn Windows features On or Off".
 3. Browse to the Media Features and uncheck the mark in front of Windows Media Player.
 4. Restart the computer
Step 2.
Reinstalling the Windows Media Player:
1. Go to Start and in the search type "Turn Windows features On or Off".
 2. Click on "Turn Windows features On or Off".
 3. Browse to the Media Features and place a check mark in front of Windows Media Player.
 4. Restart the Computer.

 Try playing the file now.


Thanks and Regards:

Suresh Kumar- Microsoft Support.

Visit our Microsoft Answers Feedback Forum  and let us know what you think.

Everything appears to be working now.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 39670905
>  Malwarebytes is a good suggestion.
Using the promo code
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39674573
You can run sfc /scannow   checks for corrupted windows files.

You said the windows audio program was causing a problem.

I would try a system restore point.

Or a fresh install

Author Comment

ID: 39685418
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for laltobelli's comment #a39618730
Assisted answer: 0 points for laltobelli's comment #a39620552

for the following reason:

No other offered solution fixed the issue.  The solution that I found was after a series of eliminating startup items, reinstalling services and finding the rest of the solution in a microsoft forum.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 39685419
Since the answer cited (http:#a39618730 ) does not contain the solution (how to repair/reinstall the audio service), in my opinion this thread should be deleted.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39685432
I gave you the information on how to find what was causing this error.

If you did not act on that or did not respond to others posting then no reason to close this with out giving points to those who gave you information.

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