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With the advent of Windows 8 and most/all new computers coming out with 6+GB of RAM, it's difficult to find a new computer with good specs that is running Windows Pro 32-bit (either XP or 7). I have searched the usual places - Staples, Newegg, OM, NCIX, etc - and found a couple options, but they're all refurbs. I suppose I could buy a new computer and a fresh copy of Windows 7, but that would be a waste. I am tied to XP/7 Pro 32-bit because of a software requirement; 64-bit OSs and Windows 8 are expressly not supported. The computer would be on 24/7, hopefully lasting years. I previously bought a refurbished Dell with great specs from eBay, but it suddenly died just outside my purchased 3rd party warranty window.

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TheDiggler (Jul. 18, 2013 @ 11:20a) |

Wow... you're right Diggler. I'll be sure to take my future follow-ups on FW more seriously and exercise better due-dil... (more)

justanothergeek (Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:23p) |

This is just to buy a single PC and I'm not expecting to buy another one for this purpose soon, so a server wouldn't nec... (more)

bytem3 (Jul. 18, 2013 @ 8:55p) |

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I would try a good local computer store that still builds PC's. They can build to your requirements. Hope you have one in your area, a good one is hard to find. If you don't require a lot of hard drive space, I would purchase a PC with a SSD drive for a computer running 24/7.

Call up microcenter and see if they still have and Windows XP refurb machines, the usually have 1 or 2.

running 32 bit compatibility mode in the 64 bit OS does not work?

ellory said:   running 32 bit compatibility mode in the 64 bit OS does not work?

you should try, because 8 is just re-skinned 7

ellory said:   running 32 bit compatibility mode in the 64 bit OS does not work?
skh12 said:   ellory said:   running 32 bit compatibility mode in the 64 bit OS does not work?

you should try, because 8 is just re-skinned 7


I don't know if it would and it doesn't make sense for me to buy a computer only to discover that it doesn't work (or that if I ended up needing support from the software vendor, they connect remotely and see that it's an OS they listed as not supported and tell me I'm SOL).

Under requirements, they list the following compatible OSs: Windows 7 Ultimate or Professional; Windows Vista Ultimate, Business or Enterprise; Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 2); Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 4)

The following OSs are listed as "not supported": Any 64-bit or “Home” versions of Windows; Windows 8; any upgraded computer from Windows 98 to Windows XP; Windows ME, Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows XP Service Pack 1

Windows 8 ismore than just a skinned win 7. I have found many printer drivers that dont work in 8 but work fine in 7

Can you qualify for a business account to purchase the system? For example, you can get this new Dell with Windows 7 32-bit as a business customer:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=so31s37p31...

I am not recommending the above system, or saying it is a good deal; it is just an example of a system you can buy, brand new, that comes with Windows 7 32-bit. I imagine the other big manufacturers have similar systems for their business customers as well.

Another option, which is easier to do as a business, is to get a system with Downgrade Rights:
http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/down...

This will allow you to buy a Windows 8 system, and downgrade it to Windows 7. Some manufacturers will provide you with a windows 7 disc and product key for you to do the downgrade with. Just ask a salesperson what systems are available with downgrade rights, and be sure to specify you need the 32-bit version of Windows 7 disc (the product key will work with 32 or 64 bit versions). Be aware that most Windows 8 systems will come with 4GB+ of ram, but a 32-bit system will only be able to use 3.5GB of it (no harm having more, it will just be ignored by the system).

lebedev said:   Can you qualify for a business account to purchase the system? For example, you can get this new Dell with Windows 7 32-bit as a business customer:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=so31s37p31...

I am not recommending the above system, or saying it is a good deal; it is just an example of a system you can buy, brand new, that comes with Windows 7 32-bit. I imagine the other big manufacturers have similar systems for their business customers as well.

Another option, which is easier to do as a business, is to get a system with Downgrade Rights:
http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/down...

This will allow you to buy a Windows 8 system, and downgrade it to Windows 7. Some manufacturers will provide you with a windows 7 disc and product key for you to do the downgrade with. Just ask a salesperson what systems are available with downgrade rights, and be sure to specify you need the 32-bit version of Windows 7 disc (the product key will work with 32 or 64 bit versions). Be aware that most Windows 8 systems will come with 4GB+ of ram, but a 32-bit system will only be able to use 3.5GB of it (no harm having more, it will just be ignored by the system).

Interesting ideas. I don't know if they would be thrilled about that, since I would just be buying one computer. But, I did talk to the service rep and he pointed me towards a bunch of systems. But, for the price of those, I could just buy a really good new computer, buy a Windows 7 Pro 32-bit license, create a VMware container, and then use that VMware container as my environment. It would be a bit messy though, as the end users are tech incompetent.

bytem3 said:   Interesting ideas. I don't know if they would be thrilled about that, since I would just be buying one computer.

Only needing to buy one computer shouldn't matter. I get calls from vendors all the time that want to set me up with an account even though I am not planning on buying anything. I don't know what Dell requires for a business account, but I doubt it's that stringent. I'd be surprised if it is more than having a federal tax id.

bytem3 said:   I could just buy a really good new computer, buy a Windows 7 Pro 32-bit license, create a VMware container, and then use that VMware container as my environment.

If you are going to buy a computer and also a Windows 7 license, then why not just install Windows 7 on it instead of creating a virtual machine? Buy a system that comes with linux so you aren't paying a premium for a Windows 8 license that you aren't using.

2005


Out of the Joke try http://geeks.com they have almost all flavors of pc an laptops, most of them are refurbished but i never had a problem with them.

Craigslist, baby. Craigslist.

If I read the read the requirements correctly. Wouldn't it be easier to buy a computer with windows 7 professional ?

64 bit is fine on windows 7 Professional. Use xp mode which is free for windows 7 pro. It emulates the 32 bit mode flawlessly.Can even put a shortcut to the xp app on the start menu etc.

http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/down...
Microsoft said: Downgrade rights are an end-user right, documented in the Software License Terms that customers accept upon first running Windows and Windows Server software. Thanks to downgrade rights, end users who have acquired a more recent version of the software (such as Windows 8 Pro or Windows Server 2012 Standard) can use a prior version of the software (such as Windows 7 Professional or Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard) until they are ready to move to the more recent version. If a product includes downgrade rights, the license terms for that product will indicate which prior versions of the software may be used.

Try 3btech.net
New custom, used off-lease, etc.



xfmpcx said:   64 bit is fine on windows 7 Professional. Use xp mode which is free for windows 7 pro. It emulates the 32 bit mode flawlessly.Can even put a shortcut to the xp app on the start menu etc.

And when they need support for their legacy software and contact the company, they may be told that they are running the software on an incompatible system and so support can't help them (even if that isn't the real problem). It's not worth the potential headaches when Windows 7 32-bit systems are available new used or refurbished.

edit: Although, you can always contact the software company and ask if they support running their software in xp mode.

XP is EoL. Are you absolutely sure you MUST run Win7 32bit? Is it due to specific hardware drivers?

Thanks for the suggestions of places to get a computer. I'll check them out when I'm off.

@lebedev: I suspect they will say no (their tech support aren't the brightest bulbs, but they have been willing to work with me in some of the uncommon setups I've done...although, because they don't understand my setup - that has no effect on the software - they do tend to blame me for bugs in their own software), but I will try to find out if they will work with me on that.

@rsuaver: I don't have any idea why they make that their restriction, but it's a formal limitation listed by the software vendor.

Pretty sure the serials between same flavors (32 pro vs 64 pro of 32-bit and 64-bit interchangable. Just the install media is different. I know when you buy the boxed version it comes with both DVDs, but for a fully built store bought comp they wont have the dvds so you will need to download them

Buy a comp even if it is 64-bit Win 7 and then just format/delete/install 32-bit version. Here are the links from Digital River. Of course they are useless unless you buy the compy (and the product license key)

Download the ISO Image of Windows 7
Windows 7 Professional x64 (64-bit)
English: http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msvista/pub/X15-65805/X15-65805.iso
Windows 7 Professional x86 (32-bit)
English: http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msvista/pub/X15-65804/X15-65804.iso

Another idea you could think about:

Buy whatever computer fits all of your other needs, download VMware Player or VirtualBox, get yourself a legitimate version of Windows XP on eBay for as little as $25 buy-it-now (make sure to get WITH COA) and run a Win32-XP VM on your new computer for running the software that forces you to maintain a 32-bit environment.

- For VM building help: Google "winxp virtual machine build" and you'll find some tutorials on building your VM. Very easy and if you PM me, I'm happy to help further.
- Simple eBay search: "WinXP OEM" (I'm not 100% on the technicalities of using an OEM COA on a VMBuild. Though I'm comfortable with it, others may say you need to use a retail COA, just FYI).
- One last option if you like the VM idea and you're hesitant about building it from scratch: Google "VMware converter". You can use VMware converter on an existing machine (assuming you have a Win32 machine today you were looking to replace), convert that to a virtual-machine and then run that vmdk (VM disk file) on your new computer and get rid of the old.

My 2nd choice would be a Craigslist machine or local build as others have suggested. But it sounds to me like you want a hardware warranty/support, so as I understand it, buying a Win7 or Win8 machine new, and using a Win32 VM gives you the best of both worlds and you don't have to worry about what the Win32 machine cannot handle or have 2 machines at your desk.

Last thing: before anyone accuses me of working for VMware, know this: I work for a large Networking company, so no I don't work for VMware but virtualization has enabled me quite a lot over the last 2 years as my role is that of a sales-engineer so being able to run networking products like Juniper SRX's and Cisco ASA's in a VM instance (not to mention lots of client-workstations) has been a HUGE value to me, so thought I'd pass along the idea since it hadn't seemed to have been hit on yet.

GOOD LUCK!
JAG

I agree with JustAnotherGeek - I would go with a Win7 32bit however as M$ will stop supplying security patches soon. And for OP, if you spring up for an SSD (a 240 would be ideal) the VM will FLY and look like a real computer... Make sure you get at least 8GB so you can dedicate 4GB (though you should get away with 2GB) for the VM. The VM image itself should not be more than 40GB (with lots of room for expansion). Also, the host should have 4 cores at least so you can dedicate one to the VM.

The beauty of the VM is that you can pause it, make a snapshot, make changes, make oops, roll back the snapshot and back to where you started. And if the company insists on having it on a physical desktop, you can convert it back (V2P). If you have something already on a physical, you simply convert it to a VM (P2V)

Now running ASA on a VM??? Never thought of it!

I am selling one, how soon do you need it?

HP Laptop, Pentium 4, Windows XP, 15"

rsuaver said:   ...Make sure you get at least 8GB so you can dedicate 4GB (though you should get away with 2GB) for the VM
I agree that you'll want a min. of 8GB on the host machine, but keep in mind that 32-bit OS will not make use of more than 3GB without PAE (something I never really took the time/effort to figure out), so I dedicate 2GB to the 1 XP VM I use extensively. It is running on an SSD, but I work on it full-time and it performs pretty well. My corporate machine was forced to Win7, so being the techno-rebel I am, before I handed it over, I made a Ghost image. When I got it back, created a VM and an extra virtual disk. Put the GHO file on the extra VMDK (by connecting it to an existing VM and moving it across the network) and then fired up my new VM with the Ghost CD as the boot drive, and the other VMDK (with the GHO file on it) attached. Then just exploded the GHO to the primary VMDK, through away the secondary VMDK and viola! I still have my XP corporate build running on top of the Win7 native OS.

Running windows on top of windows isn't the most efficient way to run a VM, but since it's a corporate laptop, I wanted to be able to 'rollback' quickly to the corporate build I was supposed to be using and this seemed like the easiest way to do so in a pinch.

http://www.xoticpc.com/index.html
I've ordered two Asus laptop's from them. If I remember right, I didn't see any XP available but Win 7/8 is or you can order it with no OS. Check them out , they give you all kinds of options. My G50 bought in 2008 is still going strong (1HD failure) and my 2012 G55 no problems. Good luck..

rsuaver said:   XP is EoL. Are you absolutely sure you MUST run Win7 32bit? Is it due to specific hardware drivers?

Not necessarily. MS has to support service pack 3 for XP until 2019 for the Federal Government and contractors in several areas. I am using XP64 bit because the top of the line CAD systems(Catia and NX) did not become certified for W7 until recently. 2000 only became EOL in January this year. Certification would be a lot faster if MS did not bake in all the useless junk. If you want to castrate XP and improve your security this link http://lifehacker.com/374376/trim-down-windows-to-the-bare-essen... is a big help.

justanothergeek said:   Last thing: before anyone accuses me of working for VMware, know this: I work for a large Networking company, so no I don't work for VMware but virtualization has enabled me quite a lot over the last 2 years as my role is that of a sales-engineer so being able to run networking products like Juniper SRX's and Cisco ASA's in a VM instance (not to mention lots of client-workstations) has been a HUGE value to me, so thought I'd pass along the idea since it hadn't seemed to have been hit on yet.In reference to the highlighted part above: really? From one of OP's follow-up posts:
bytem3 said:   I could just buy a really good new computer, buy a Windows 7 Pro 32-bit license, create a VMware container, and then use that VMware container as my environment. It would be a bit messy though, as the end users are tech incompetent.

In reference to the highlighted part above: really?]
Wow... you're right Diggler. I'll be sure to take my future follow-ups on FW more seriously and exercise better due-diligence when posting.

To the OP: sorry I missed the part mentioned previously about (not only VMware but) end-users. That said: if you're familiar with building a VMware environment, what about instead of buying a bunch of PCs and running VMPlayer or VBox on each of them, what if you stand-up a small ESXi deployment (or open-stack for the cost-conscious) and then give the users thin clients? I know we're getting a bit more complicated now, but that's possibly less messy, the Win32 licenses would still be cheap, the hardware would each have their warranties with the manufacturer, and then each thin-client just connects to a back-end VM of the OS environment your software requires...

Not saying this idea doesn't have it short-comings, but might be worth considering if you need 32-bit client environments and you want to abstract any visualization away from the end-user.

This is just to buy a single PC and I'm not expecting to buy another one for this purpose soon, so a server wouldn't necessarily be required.



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