Program Files & Program Files (x86)???

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by Ron O'Brien, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Ron O'Brien

    Ron O'Brien Guest

    Having just installed Vista Ultimate 64bit I'm left wondering why so much
    space has been taken up on my hard drives by what appears to be a repeat of
    the program files folder.

    I have one folder named Program Files and another named Program Files(x86)
    both appear to contain the same files although the (x86) version seems to be
    the one that programs go into - I've just installed WinZip which appears in

    So what's with this crazy method of filling up your hard drive - has
    Microsoft bought shares in a hard drive manufacturer?
    Ron O'Brien, Jul 31, 2008
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  2. Ron O'Brien

    scrooge Guest

    the Program Files are your (64bit) files and the (Program Files(x86)
    are your (32bit
    files. your system needs both so don't try to delete any of them
    scrooge, Jul 31, 2008
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  3. Ron O'Brien

    Malke Guest

    The x86 directory is fir 32-bit programs and the plain Program Files
    directory is for 64-bit programs. WinZip is a 32-bit program so that is why
    it goes into the x86 directory.

    Instead of assuming that what you see is a "crazy method", it would better
    serve you to do some reading about 64-bit operating systems.

    There is a newsgroup for Vista 64-bit, too. Find it here: - list of MS newsgroups

    Malke, Jul 31, 2008
  4. Ron O'Brien

    Ron O'Brien Guest

    Thank you for your patronising comment - but it still seems a crazy waste of
    space :)
    Ron O'Brien, Jul 31, 2008

  5. 32 and 64bit are two different platforms, and the 32bit programs run in a
    64bit environment have to be treated differently, hence the two folders.

    As Malke suggested to you, people should read up on the 'benefits' of 64bit
    before blindly assuming that it is just a generally faster version of 32bit
    (which it isn't incidentally).

    Mike Hall - MVP
    How to construct a good post..
    How to use the Microsoft Product Support Newsgroups..
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    Mike Hall - MVP, Jul 31, 2008
  6. Ron O'Brien

    Malke Guest

    Sorry you took it as patronizing. Actually, I was trying to be nice since my
    first impulse was to comment on your assumption that this behavior was
    caused by Microsoft in conspiracy with hard drive mftrs. That comment would
    not have been as polite as merely telling you that reading up on what a
    64-bit operating system is would be a good step for you.

    I stand by my advice. If you're going to use a 64-bit operating system, you
    should understand what it is, what it does, and what it doesn't do.

    End of story for me.

    Malke, Jul 31, 2008
  7. Ron O'Brien

    JW Guest

    If you check the actual space being used you will probably find that the 64
    bit Program Files contains only directory information for the actual 32 bit
    files that are in the 32 bit program files folder. The amount of space is
    probably minimal and as more and more of your 32 bit programs are replaced
    by 64 bit programs the number of entries in the 32bit program files will
    JW, Jul 31, 2008
  8. Ron O'Brien

    Ron O'Brien Guest

    Yes 64bit speed is a strange misconception, I suppose people associate speed
    with efficiency, it seems to me that any speed gain apparent by 64bit has
    more to do with the amount of RAM installed possibly

    Ron O'Brien, Jul 31, 2008

  9. 64bit relates to the chunk size of data able to be moved around. In
    principle, this should improve speed by a factor of 2 over 32bit. If
    applications move a lot of data around, assuming that they are 64bit, there
    will be speed improvements. Most applications in general use don't move much
    around at all.

    Eventually, everything will be 64bit, and by that time, commercial stuff
    will be 128bit, and the cycle starts again..

    Unless you are big into photo, video or sound editing, or into CAD, there is
    not a huge argument for using 64bit at this time.

    I would give it a whirl just for the sake of it, but I use OneNote 2007 to
    archive mail. There is no way to do this if I use Vista 64bit, and there
    will not be until the next incarnation of Office. I don't do anything which
    specifically requires more than 4gb, so I stay with 32bit. Bragging rights
    are worthless if simple stuff can no longer be done.

    Mike Hall - MVP
    How to construct a good post..
    How to use the Microsoft Product Support Newsgroups..
    Mike's Window - My Blog..
    Mike Hall - MVP, Jul 31, 2008
  10. Ron O'Brien

    SCSIraidGURU Guest

    I have run across many 32-bit apps that can't install to Program File
    (x86). Adobe Photoshop CS2 is one of them. They want Program Files.
    Why did Microsoft come up with adding ( ) to a directory name is beyon


    Michael A. McKenney
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    SCSIraidGURU, Jul 31, 2008
  11. Ron O'Brien

    Ron O'Brien Guest

    Thanks everyone

    Ron O'Brien, Jul 31, 2008
  12. Ron O'Brien

    Ian D Guest

    It may not be able to use Program Files (x86) as a default, but what
    happens if you browse it to that directory? I always use browse on
    program installations to make sure they go where I want them to,
    and so I know where they went.
    Ian D, Aug 1, 2008
  13. Ron O'Brien

    PY Guest

    Malke, You can't blame Ron for his assumption that 'perhaps' the two folders
    are not needed (and they are probably not or at least could be better
    defined) - Microsoft are famous for their inability to compact software in
    favour of producing bloat-ware

    PY, Aug 1, 2008

  14. It would be better for some if they ceased to worry about what was under the
    hood and concentrate on running whatever applications are installed.. :)

    Mike Hall - MVP
    How to construct a good post..
    How to use the Microsoft Product Support Newsgroups..
    Mike's Window - My Blog..
    Mike Hall - MVP, Aug 1, 2008
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