Inside Out

Use a virtual machine to run 32-bit applications

Although most 32-bit applications work fine in x64 editions of Windows 7, some do not. Hardware-dependent programs—such as the software that comes with a scanner or the control panel for a graphics card—are likely to be among the recalcitrant ones. (You'll also need a 64-bit device driver to use these devices; for more information, see "A Crash Course in Device Drivers" on page 871 .) If you have a hardware device and accompanying software that won't work in your 64-bit Windows edition, one workaround is to install virtual machine software (such as Windows Virtual PC or VMware Workstation) and set up a 32-bit (x86) Windows edition in a virtual machine. (You'll need a separate license for each copy of Windows .) Then install the hardware and its software in the virtual machine. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of 64-bit computing, while continuing to use legacy products until their developer provides 64-bit support or you replace the product.

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