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Identify a 64-bit computer with no OS installed.

By Healer ·
How can we tell if a computer is 32-bit or 64-bit where there is no OS installed? Can we tell by what is set out in the BIOS? Can we install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit computer? In terms of hardware do we go by the processors only?

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All new systems are 64 Bit capable

by OH Smeg In reply to Identify a 64-bit compute ...

You can install whatever you like and you could even conceivably use a 8 or 16 Bit OS to run the hardware on. So yes you can install a 32 Bit OS on 64 Bit Hardware. Unlike M$ products the Hardware is actually backward compatible.

As for finding out what is actually possible to load you need to look at the Chip Set for the M'Board and the Fitted CPU Specifications to see what it is capable of running but ever since AMD Brought out the Athlons about 6 years ago all of their CPU where 64 Bit and Intel followed shortly afterwards.

Col

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So we need

by Healer In reply to All new systems are 64 Bi ...

to look at the chip set and the CPU. Where do I get this bit of information to be sure? We get the info from the chip set and the CPU, then go to the Intel or AMD web site. What item of the spec do we look at?

For example I look at the Intel Core 2 Duo E5200 spec on http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLAY7. Nowhere can I find whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit?

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On the Intel Web Site that you listed

by OH Smeg In reply to So we need

What do you think that this means?

Intel? EM64T

Yes it means that it is actually a 64 Bit Processor that is capable of using older OS if required. It also means that it can address more than the 4 GIG Upper Limit that is imposed by 32 Bit OS's of all kinds.

So if the M'Board can be loaded with more than 4 GIG of RAM it supports 64 Bit Processing and if the CPU has something like EM64T for Intel or AMD64 Technology for AMD that CPU is capable of running 64 Bit Processes.

Col

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What about the motherboard and chipsets?

by Healer In reply to On the Intel Web Site tha ...

Apology! I was blind. I thank you for your help.

According to their Legal Disclaimers at the bottom of the page, apart from the operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel EM64T the processor will not operate including 32-bit operation without an Intel EM64T-enabled BIOS so I presume I must have such BIOS though I have only 32-bit operating systems installed. I have had a quick look at the BIOS I couldn't see anything that would indicate it is 64-bit capable.

What about the chipset? Since I have a 64-bit processor, does it mean I must have the right chipset for 64-bit as well? Or it could still be a chipset for 32-bit? I just want to make sure that my computer is capable of 64-bit before I get a 64-bit operating system.

The motherboard I have with this processor is MSI G31M3 V2. According to the manual it has chipset North Bridge Intel G31 and South Bridge Intel ICH7, memory support up to 4GB Max. I look at the info on Intel G31 http://www.intel.com/Products/Desktop/Chipsets/G31/G31-overview.htm I can't tell if it supports 64-bit.

Though the motherboard supports only 4GB max it still can be 64-bit capable, can't it?

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Well if that Chip Set Supports that CPU

by OH Smeg In reply to What about the motherboar ...

It has what is required to work with either a 32 or 64 Bit OS. With Intel Chip Sets it's easy as they only make suitable Chip Sets for their CPU's.

AMD on the other hand has only started making M'Board Chip Sets recently so some of the Chip Sets available may not make the best use of that CPU but even there it will support whatever OS you want to install onto that Hardware. If the M'Board supports that CPU it has the correct BIOS Type for that CPU end of story.

You are making things difficult that simply are not. If the M'Board supports that CPU it supports it in all ways that it was designed to work so in the relatively small scope of which OS can be run you can use either type a 32 Bit or a 64 Bit.

What you are looking at came from the very early days of the 64 Bit CPU's some M'Boards would support a 64 Bit CPU but not a 64 Bit OS. This has long since passed as all new hardware supports 64 Bit Computing and has done for at least 6 years now. In the event of the Dual Core Intel CPU that you listed somewhere above that is 64 Bit Capable and will run a 64 Bit OS perfectly.

The only real problem with not using a 64 Bit OS is that until Windows 7 64 Bit became available there where still driver issues with some 64 Bit Drivers for some Hardware. Meaning that these drivers simply didn't exist their maker only made 32 Bit Drivers available for them. Typically things like Printers, Scanner and Web Cams fall into this category but XP Pro 64 was a nightmare to attempt to get running unless you specifically selected Hardware to run a 64 Bit OS and software. You actually needed hardware with 64 Bit Drivers which a lot of the makers didn't support.

Since I have a 64-bit processor, does it mean I must have the right chipset for 64-bit as well? Or it could still be a chipset for 32-bit? I just want to make sure that my computer is capable of 64-bit before I get a 64-bit operating system.

With a Intel CPU and a Intel M'Board Chip Set M'Board it means that you can run a 64 Bit OS without too many problems though here it depends on what OS you want to install XP Pro 64 may still have some issues with no drivers being made. Otherwise there are no problems.

Col

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Windows server SBS 2008

by Healer In reply to Well if that Chip Set Sup ...

I appreciate your patience and tolerance with me. I don't mean to make things difficult for you as I intend to add 2Gs of RAM in my system (2G only at present) so that I can install for testing Windows server SBS 2008 which only works on 64-bits with 4G RAMs minimum. Just want to make sure I spend what is necessary and what is right.

I am not quite sure if I follow exactly what you meant by "somewhere above that" in "In the event of the Dual Core Intel CPU that you listed somewhere above that is 64 Bit Capable and will run a 64 Bit OS perfectly." Which processors are you referring to? I hope the one I have at present is as good as the one your are alluding to.

I am only using 64bit to a minimum for testing at this stage which mean if I only have to as I share the same concerns about the driver issues.

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The Intel CPU that you provided a link to above

by OH Smeg In reply to Windows server SBS 2008

In this question is 64 Bit capable. I'm just not sure where that link is off the top of my head but it is 64 Bit Capable.

All current Dual Core Intel and above CPU's meaning the Dual/Quad Cores, i3, i5 and i7 as well are 64 Bit capable and will run any 64 Bit OS you care to load.

As 2008 Server only comes in 64 Bit there shouldn't be any issues with drivers but being a server application you have to realize that it doesn't have as wide a range of drivers available as a desktop system does. Server platforms are not expected to be used with the hardware that is made for a Desktop.

So some things like Scanners, some high end sound cards maybe some little known Video cards and the like may =not have 64 Bit Drivers. However if you stick to the more common hardware you shouldn't have a problem unless you attempt to use an older not networkable Printer as that is unlikely to have 2008 Drivers.

Col

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for Intel machines

by .Martin. In reply to Identify a 64-bit compute ...

anything after the Pentium 4 are 64-bit compatibles, and as said by OH, since the Athlon, all AMD have been 64-bit compatible.

and yes you can install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit processor, it just won't work as well.

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What hardware spec do we look at?

by Healer In reply to for Intel machines

New systems since when are 64-bit capable? Are you saying all Intel systems made up since about 6 years ago as long as they are post-Pentium 4 are 64-bit capable?

Without opening the case can we usually tell from the BIOS if the systems are 64-bit capable? If we can't tell for sure from the BIOS, do we only go by the processor alone? Which parts of the processor spec should we look at to determine which is which?

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There ya go.. So he's ID'ing many systems..

by cmatthews In reply to What hardware spec do we ...

Throw on a monitor, kbd and boot from UBCD.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
Run an info utility and compare to a list of known processor numbers.

Here's the one from intel:
http://ark.intel.com/VTList.aspx

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