Re: Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit

James Homuth

Sounds like your problem falls largely on FS tech support, as their own
documentation when 64-bit Vista was released said JAWS 9 will absolutely not
work on 64-bit Vista. There was no 64-bit version of JAWS 9, because at the
time, that was still relatively new in the Windows community--most computers
barely warranted running 64-bit in 2007. Having done tech support for a
computer manufacturer, I can tell you for sure in the early days of Vista
64-bit, you didn't need to be running JAWS or Window Eyes to be having
problems. It's just that if you were, you found those problems a whole lot
quicker and a whole lot harder to deal with.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Richard Holloway
Sent: August 3, 2011 12:15 AM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit

Right, but it doesn't matter why an item doesn't (or a few items don't) work
nearly as much as what can happen if you do try and use problematic
software. That's sort of my entire point. If everyone had current versions
of software and new hardware, none of this would ever come up in the first

If someone is going from a 32-bit setup to a 64-bit and they don't know
about the potential problem, they can end up in a real jam if they try to
load something like JAWS 9 on a 64-bit PC. At least in some cases, it can
completely trash the OS and make the machine non-bootable. When this
happened to us, the only safe fix was to wipe the drive clean and install a
fresh operating system, so even if this were the only 32-bit program that
had issues (and it isn't) that alone makes a bit of caution prudent.

I'm just wanting to help people avoid what happened to us several years ago,
and the very fact that there aren't a lot of 32-bit packages that cause this
kind of a disaster makes it all the more likely that even a professional
computer tech might figure the old version is safe to try and load, trashing
your operating system in the attempt, possibly causing other data loss or
any number of other frustrations.

This is sort of like explaining to someone who has never had a computer
virus how important it is to avoid getting a computer virus. Once it happens
to you, it makes a lot more sense, and you REALLY wish you had known before
you took certain chances. Otherwise, why would someone carry on about it so

It is also worth mentioning again that 32-bit virus protection, is generally
a problem with 64-bit setups, as are certain 32-bit database programs and
CAD programs. Anything 32-bit with embedded drivers will probably be an
issue and there may be problems finding certain external driver solutions
for some equipment (especially older pieces). Also, if you have any really
old 16-bit applications, I'm not aware of a solution to run them under a
64-bit system. (It might be possible by running an emulator under another
emulator, but I've only personally done that with Macs.) Those are the items
that come to my mind, and surely there are many more which I'm not aware of.
Some problems may be greater than others depending on which 64-bit OS you're
running (Vista, vs. Windows 7, for example.)

I'm rather new to the JAWS world and to this listserv, so I ask questions
that a new user may tend to ask, but I've been dealing with computers quite
heavily since the very early 1980's. I'm not trying to make myself sound
like some super-expert, but I have been around the block a time or two. I'm
just trying to make certain people understand there are risks associated
with these upgrades if they are not fully researched. Even as a fairly
knowledgable computer user, I ended up with a trashed OS from trying to load
32-bit JAWS 9 on a 64-bit Vista PC, so can this happen to others. My big
mistake was that I had just asked Freedom Scientific what the (then-current)
JAWS 9 worked on, so I didn't think twice about loading this on a new 64-bit
machine a week or so later. How many here would question their computer tech
if told "oh yes, you can run any 32-bit software on your new setup, just
give me your JAWS 9 disks and I'll load that up for you on the your new
machine"? Until this happened to me, I'd have trusted such a tech as well.

If people don't want to use my bad experience to avoid a huge mess on their
computer, so be it, and I know this is much less likely to happen very often
than back in 2007. I'm just trying to help if a few people might not know
about this stuff. This isn't theoretical, it happened to me, it was
repeatable (tech support initially initially had me wipe the drive
repeatedly and reinstall Vista and JAWS) and it wasted more hours of my time
than I even care to remember. So if people want to ignore my advice, no
worries; they'll figure this out in their own way...

On Aug 2, 2011, at 12:33 PM, Steve wrote:

That's because Jaws 9 wasn't out in a 64-bit version.

Jaws and Win-eyes are too tightly embedded with the operating system, so
those are the main exceptions; you need the Jaws 64-bit version to run on a
64-bit machine. The first 64-bit version of Jaws was 10, and the first
64-bit version of Win Eyes was 7.1.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Holloway"
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Sent: Sunday, July 31, 2011 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit

Well, JAWS 9 comes to mind (which absolutely destroyed the OS on our
Vista PC when we bought a 64-bit machine), at least under Vista, as well as
most (if not all) virus protection software.

It can be really hit, or miss... (buyer beware).


On Jul 30, 2011, at 6:00 PM, Steve wrote:


I don't know of any 32-bit programs that won't run on a 64-bit system,
although I suppose there may be some. But, that is what the Programs\x86
folder is for, that's where the 32-bit programs that run in Win 7 or Vista
64-bit editions live.

Jaws is available in either 32 or 64-bit editions. If you have the Jaws
installation DVD, it will recognize which version you need for your system;
if not, just go to the FS site and download the correct version.
Take my advice, I don't use it anyway.

Lansing, MI
----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Holloway"
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Sent: Saturday, July 30, 2011 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit

32 vs. 64 bit has to do with the way the computer physically addresses
the data; literally 32 or 64 pieces of information at a time (specifically
that many ones or zeros at a time-- that's what a "bit" is, a one or a zero
in binary computing. Multiple bits comprise a byte. Enough bytes make a "k",
then megs, gigs, etc.)

You must run the correct bit OS on the appropriate processor.
Applications vary. You can run some 32 bit applications on some 64 bit
machines which I assume requires some sort of emulation mode by the OS which
may be transparent to the user. 64 bit applications won't work for 32 bit.

JAWS 9 was 32 bit only. At the time that was out, Freedom told me they
had no intention of supporting 64 bit machines in the future. Once most new
machines started going 32 bit, they changed their tune a bit. (Pun

I assume current JAWS has a dual installer that works on both? I know
both are currently supported one way or another.

Sent from my iPad
On Jul 30, 2011, at 5:00 PM, "Crystal French" <>

I have Jaws 12, but have reverted to Jaws 11 as 12 was crashing too

I'm afraid I need to think seriously about a new computer.

I'm still with XP Home.

Can someone tell me what would be the major difference between Windows
7 32 bit or 64 bit?


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