Need to change Windows 7 from 64 bit to 32 bit

I bought a new laptop several months ago, and had the choice when installing my operating system of using either 32-bit or 64-bit. I'd like to change it to 32-bit if I can, because some of the programs I had on my old computer will not run on 64-bit. (One program in particular that I really want to use has an error message pop up when I insert the disk saying, "The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows you're running. Check your computer's system to see whether you need an x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher." ) Since it ran fine on Windows XP, I'm assuming that it doesn't like the 64-bit operating system configuration. I'm also noticing that none of my old games will open in full screen anymore. Would this also be a 32-bit/64-bit problem, or an incompatibility in my video card?
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  1. You can't convert directly; You'll have to wipe your hard drive and do a clean install.
  2. You can run most 32-bits just fine on 64-bit Windows 7. You may have to run in compatibility mode. You may also need to reset the video configuration of your games to accomodate the laptop display dimensions manually. With both issues, going back to a 32-bit install is not likely to solve your problems. Good luck!
  3. The only way to revert to 32bit is a clean install. What version of 7 do you have? If its Professional or above, you can try XP Mode to get some of your older stuff working.
  4. Hi Jeanne57,

    As others have said, a clean installation is the only way to go from 64-bit to 32-bit. If you are using Professional or Ultimate, you can try running your program in XP Mode. It might be that the program is not compatible with Windows 7 in general. To find out, check the Windows 7 Compatibility Center -
    You wouldn't want to do a clean installation just to find out the program won't work anyway!

    Hope this helps.

    Microsoft Windows Outreach
  5. COLGeek is right in some cases, but in reality, there are programs that work just fine under 32-bit windows but not at all under Windows 64. Most of the time though, it's drivers that really cause the problem because you cannot use 32-bit drivers under 64-bit windows at all.

    Another possible solution to your problem is to run a virtual machine. If it's not a game, more than likely you'll be able to run it within a virtualized machine running 32-bit Windows. Most games (at least the latest ones) won't run very well under a virtualized machine. If it's an older game, then it might work okay.

    If you're currently running Windows 7 Professional, then you can download and install Windows XP Mode. If you're trying to run a game that requires 3d acceleration, then this won't work as Windows XP mode won't do 3d acceleration.

    Otherwise, if you are running Windows 7 Home, then you can download and use either VMWare Player or VirtualBox. They both can virtualize your GPU and do 3d acceleration. However, with these two programs, you'll have to have a licensed and active copy of the version of windows you want to install.

    If you don't want to mess with virtualized machines, then you're only other option is to dual boot or else, do as you ask which is to wipe Windows 7 64 and reinstall the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
  6. All that stuff you just said went way over my head. Sorry, but I have no idea what a virtual machine is. All I know is that I have a program for designing needlework, called Easy Grapher, and it won't run on my machine. (I am running Home Premium, by the way.) As for my design program, I downloaded a trial of the professional version of that program, which seems to run okay, but as I don't really need all of the features it contains, I didn't want to have to pay to upgrade. I just want my old program to work. The error message pops up as soon as I insert the disk, but I did try going into My Computer and manually opening up the D: drive. I right clicked on the SETUP, and tried to do the compatibility thing, but nothing happened. Ran the compatibility wizard, and it just said the program was incompatible.

    As for the games, like I said, they run fine. It's just that I can't get them to open in full screen mode anymore... well, they say they're in full screen mode, but the window is still the same size; just has a black background that takes up the rest of the screen.

    Thanks for the input from all of you.
  7. How do I reset the video configuration? Should I manually reset my screen resolution when running these games?
  8. Jeanne57,

    First off, the problem is more than likely that the install program is 16-bit. This means it will not run under a 64-bit operating system. It must be at least 32-bit.

    A virtual machine is a program that allows you to run another operating system within the operating system you currently have. It emulates a machine via software.

    In your case, the 64-bit Windows is your "host" machine/operating system. It hosts the virtual machine. The virtual machine (ran using software such as VirtualBox, VMWare Player or Virtual PC) allows you to create one or more guest operating systems.

    You would install one of the following packages onto your Windows 7 64-bit machine:

    Virtual box

    VMware Player

    Virtual PC 2007

    I recommend virtual box, then vmware player and then virtual pc 2007. Each web site gives instructions on how to install the virtual machine program as well as how to install the guest operating system.

    As long as you have a valid copy of Vista, XP, Windows 95/98/Me, then you just have to pull out that CD/DVD and boot it within the virtual machine program. It will then proceed to install the operating system within the guest machine. It will not overwrite your hard drive on your Windows 7 machine.

    Once that is installed, you can then "boot up" the virtual machine within Windows 7. It will run either in a window or you can make it full screen. In any case, you will still have Windows 7 up and running and the guest operating system (Vista/XP/Windows 95/98/Me) will be running as well. From within the virtual machine, you can then install your program and it should work.

    Virtual box and VMWare Player are better than Virtual PC 2007. It really isn't as difficult as it sounds. If you can install an OS, you can create a virtual machine.
  9. The following are the minimum system requirements for Easy Grapher. Make sure your computer meets these requirements.

    A PC with at least 4mb of RAM
    Windows 95, 98, and ME
    a Pentium processor
    8mb of disk space
    a mouse
    a CD-ROM drive

    Also, try isamualson's idea of using a virtual machine. I think it is your best bet in making Easy Grapher work. If still no luck, you might want to consider the upgrade to Professional Easy Grapher. I know you'd like to stay away from the upgrade, but it might be that the Professional edition is equipped to run on Windows 7, while the edition you have is not. But, try using a virtual machine first...

    Good Luck!
    Microsoft Windows Outreach
  10. Thank you, isamuelson and Cassandra. I will try this. I still have a disk of Windows XP, and there have been times that I was tempted to just reformat my hard drive and put it on as my OS, but there is also a lot in Windows 7 that I like as well. It's very nice to know that I can have both!
  11. @Jeanne57 Glad to be of help. If you run into any issues, please do not hesitate to come back and ask for help.
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