Mark Russinovich: Running Everyday on x64-bit Windows

Posted by bink on May 9 2005, 3:58 PM. Posted in Windows x64.

Last week I got an HP xw9300 workstation equipped with two 2GHz Opteron processors, the same type of system most of the Windows kernel team uses. The system came with 32-bit Windows XP preinstalled, but I decided to buy into all the 64-bit hype coming out of Microsoft’s Winhec conference and so I scratched the HP image, reformatted the disk, and installed Windows XP 64-bit Edition. Is Windows ready for 64-bit full-time? After a week of development, writing, and experimenting I’m ready for a preliminary report.The first issue I ran into was lack of built-in driver support for the network adapter and video card. This was easily remedied, though, with a quick trip to Nvidia's web site to download their 64-bit motherboard and video drivers.After getting Windows running I spent the first few hours with the system installing applications and tools. The installations went smoothly for just about everything except for one application that I’ve come to rely on: MSN Desktop Search (MDS). It’s especially ironic that MDS won’t run on 64-bit Windows given that it’s a high-profile application from the company that’s trumpeting the official arrival of 64-bit computing and telling device manufacturers that if they don’t have 64-bit drivers they’re already behind the times. What’s even more ironic about MDS’ lack of 64-bit support is the way that its installation fails:The installer doesn’t even know its running on 64-bit Windows. The operating system version number reported on 32-bit Windows XP is 5.1, but since 64-bit Windows XP shares the same kernel as 64-bit Windows Server 2003 SP1 it reports a version number of 5.2. I suspect that the MDS installer believes itself to be running on Windows Server 2003 and therefore refuses to install. Continue At Source, a nice read!