Windows XP Professional x64 Edition: frequently asked questions

Answers to some frequently asked questions about Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

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What computers can run Windows XP Professional X64 Edition?

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is designed to work with 64-bit processors from AMD and Intel that support the x64 extensions to the x86 architecture. These include the Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Mobile Athlon 64, Turion 64, and Opteron processors from AMD, and the Xeon with EM64T and Pentium 4 with EM64T from Intel.

Can I run Windows XP Professional X64 Edition on my Itanium Workstation?

No. The Itanium processor is a 64-bit processor that has a different architecture than the x64 processors. A version of Windows XP for the Itanium processor is no longer available.

Can I run Windows XP Professional X64 Edition on my Centrino laptop?

No, the Pentium M series of processors used in Centrino laptops are not 64-bit processors and can not use the x64 Edition of Windows XP Professional. There are x64-compatible laptops currently shipping that are based on AMD processors.

Why is there no Home x64 Edition of Windows XP? Who should buy Windows XP Professional X64 Edition?

The initial target audience for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is anyone who is running into performance and memory limits on their 32-bit systems, for example, developers, media artists, CAD/CAM, scientific workstations, and enthusiasts who are running the most demanding applications, and who require the capabilities of the Professional Edition of Windows XP. Windows XP Home Edition is targeted at the home user and has fewer features. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not targeted at the casual home user.

Why is there no driver for my device?

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition requires that all system drivers be rewritten as 64-bit drivers, 32-bit drivers will not work.

Where is the best place to get drivers for my device?

The best place to get drivers for any device is the device manufacturer.

How do I use the download trial version to make a boot CD?

The downloadable trial version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is an ISO image file, you can't just copy it to a CD, you need to actually burn the image to the CD.

How do I use my SATA drive?

Many x64 computers use a combined RAID and SATA controller. These controllers do not have native drivers in the released version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, so you need to download a driver from your hardware manufacturer, or the manufacturer of the controller, When you have the driver, you'll need to copy the driver files to a floppy disk, and use the F6 option to install the drivers during initial setup.

The installation goes okay, but the first time it boots up, I get a blue screen? What do I do?

This is a problem with SATA drives that don't have a correct driver loaded during initial installation. New drivers for x64 require correct "decorations" and while they may appear to be accepted during the text mode phase of installation, they will fail during the initial GUI boot.

My computer needs an updated BIOS, but the BIOS update program only runs in 32-Bit Windows. What do I do?

Your best workaround is to either set your computer up for dual booting, or create a special boot hard drive that runs 32-bit Windows XP. Open up your computer and carefully remove your Windows XP Professional x64 Edition hard drive. Plug in your spare drive, and install a 32-bit version of Windows XP on it. Don't install anything else on this hard drive. Use it to update the BIOS, and then remove it and put the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition hard drive back in.

Why are there two versions of Internet Explorer?

There are both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer in Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. The 32-bit version is the default browser because many sites depend on components that haven't been ported to the 64-bit version.

Why doesn't spell checking work in Outlook Express?

The version of Outlook Express in Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is a 64-bit version. But the spell checking in Outlook Express is dependent on Microsoft Office, which is still a 32-bit program. Since a 64-bit program can't call a 32-bit Dynamic Link Library (DLL), there won't be support for spell checking in Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

What is the SysWOW64 directory?

The \Windows\SysWOW64 directory is where 32-bit system files are installed. 64-bit system files are in the \Windows\system32 directory for compatibility reasons.

Why do some of my programs install into the Program Files directory, and others into the Program Files (X86) directory?

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition redirects the \Program Files directory for all programs that are 32-bit during the installation to the \Program Files(x86) directory. Programs that 64-bit are installed into the \Program Files directory.

Will Windows XP Professional X64 Edition support dual core processors?

Yes. If you have a processor that is dual core, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition will recognize it as two separate processors and give you the benefit of both cores.

I have an Intel x64 processor, but my copy of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition has an \amd64 directory, but no \em64t directory. Did I get the wrong version?

No, you got the right version. Because the Intel and AMD processors are binary compatible, they use the same version of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Since the original x64 processors were designed by AMD, they were called "amd64" processors, and that is reflected in the folders on the CD.

Is the 64-bit edition of Windows XP available in all languages?

The full 64-bit version is only available in English and Japanese. Language packs are available for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.