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Windows 7 Thread, 64bit in Technical; Anyone supporting a dual 32bit/64bit network or transitioning from 32bit to 64bit? I was wondering how others are structuring their ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    64bit

    Anyone supporting a dual 32bit/64bit network or transitioning from 32bit to 64bit? I was wondering how others are structuring their AD OU's, GPO's and MSI software installs. Things like redirecting the desktop and start menu and shortcuts ('Program Files (x86)' folder), printer drivers, etc.

    Are their any GPO issues mixing XP and Win7 machines in the same OU, ignoring the 32bit/64bit differences for the time being?

    We are looking at the possibility of putting in our first 64bit suite over Easter and are wondering how other are getting on with this.

    Cheers

    Terry.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    for that reason we stuck to one platform - 32bit. None of our machine out there have more than 4GB of ram.

    I should imagine there will be problems

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Yep, but this is the change management we get paid the big bucks (?) to sort out. At some point we've all got to make the move to both Window 7 and 64bit, if not both at the same time. It's the future and all that.

    I was originally planning to do it en mass next Summer (2011) but my hand is being forced a little and I may have to go with 1 suite, 30 machines, this Easter.

    Rather be prepared with advice, etc, from you guys than get to Easter and all hell break loose.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I put them in different OUs as the differing OS levels sometimes work better with different customizations. I use WMI filters of the user level GPOs if there is a need, XP/Vista or 7. If you are doing redirections for the start menu then you can also either filter using WMI.
    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows-7/48043-really-need-urgent-help-please.html#post441182

    or use reparse points on each station to make a common folder name that does not differ between architectures.
    http://www.edugeek.net/forums/windows/32255-desktop-redirection-x86-x64.html

    Note: I have been trying to post this for about 5 minutes now, server keeps timeing out

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Yep, but this is the change management we get paid the big bucks (?) to sort out. At some point we've all got to make the move to both Window 7 and 64bit, if not both at the same time. It's the future and all that.

    I was originally planning to do it en mass next Summer (2011) but my hand is being forced a little and I may have to go with 1 suite, 30 machines, this Easter.

    Rather be prepared with advice, etc, from you guys than get to Easter and all hell break loose.
    We're just starting to look at this ourselves. At the moment we have a few 64bit Windows 7 machines (which will probably be used by the Admins)

    The we will probably be rolling out 32-bit Windows 7 to the users (to start)

    All I can say is to make sure you have a Windows 2008 server in place to centrally manage the new group policies ;-)

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    tmcd35 (22nd January 2010)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Lets for a moment say all our machines supported 64bit without issue, and lets say we had tested that all our current school software runs ok on 64bit..... would you suggest installing 64bit schoolwide or avoid it and stick with 32bit as we don't have more than 4GB of ram anywhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    Lets for a moment say all our machines supported 64bit without issue, and lets say we had tested that all our current school software runs ok on 64bit..... would you suggest installing 64bit schoolwide or avoid it and stick with 32bit as we don't have more than 4GB of ram anywhere?
    Isn't it 3 GB of ram that 32-bit can see? normally meaning on a standard 4 GB laptop you'll effectively lose 1 GB.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I would make sure that all of your drivers are 64bit capible - printers especially but yes I would recommend going 64bit everywhere if you can. You are going to have to at some point anyway and 64bit does away with a chunk of the nasty legacy code that encumbers 32bit. The one thing that I have had a few issues with on 64bit is adobe's filty flash plugin which seems to have more issues under 32bit in x64 than in plain 32bit.

    We only seporate XP from Vista/7 in the machine OUs as x64 and x32 are so simmilar from a machine point of view.

    @firefox, it depends on the systems hardware config but is usually between 3.25gb and 3.5gb max addressable.

    Edit: Oh and you don't need a 2008 server even a 2003 one will do, just edit the policy from a windows 7 box using RSAT
    Last edited by SYNACK; 22nd January 2010 at 11:52 AM.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    Lets for a moment say all our machines supported 64bit without issue, and lets say we had tested that all our current school software runs ok on 64bit..... would you suggest installing 64bit schoolwide or avoid it and stick with 32bit as we don't have more than 4GB of ram anywhere?
    If you make the assumption that all existing machines support 64bit and all existing software runs then so long as you have the time and money why not? Could save you some headaches in the future when the inevitable 64bit only must have software comes along that science just cant function without.

    Isn't it 3 GB of ram that 32-bit can see? normally meaning on a standard 4 GB laptop you'll effectively lose 1 GB.
    It's 4Gb addressable memory space but due to DMA and PCI bus addressing the usable figure could be anywhere between 3 and 4Gb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Yep, but this is the change management we get paid the big bucks (?) to sort out. At some point we've all got to make the move to both Window 7 and 64bit, if not both at the same time. It's the future and all that.

    I was originally planning to do it en mass next Summer (2011) but my hand is being forced a little and I may have to go with 1 suite, 30 machines, this Easter.

    Rather be prepared with advice, etc, from you guys than get to Easter and all hell break loose.
    We've set up a questionnaire on the staff intranet to see who is using Vista/Win 7 at home, and if they would like to be early adopters of this technology (Win 7) within the school, and so far we have about a dozen who want to go down this route. This is a slightly different tack to earlier efforts at managing technological change within our school, but it's too early to pass any judgements on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    If you make the assumption that all existing machines support 64bit and all existing software runs then so long as you have the time and money why not? Could save you some headaches in the future when the inevitable 64bit only must have software comes along that science just cant function without.

    Time for a weeks worth of investigating to ensure all machines are 64bit then (im pretty sure we're at about 95% with 64bit machines now)

    About to deploy my first test machine into the network for kids to use, putting it in the library with librarian given instructions to allow her helpers to attempt to bypass security and break it (not physically though of course) if they can, should be an interesting experiment.

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    Personally I would recommend you stick with 32bit for the time being. I see little or no advantage moving to 64bit on the workstation. 64bit on the server however does have its immediate advantages. Server 2008's successor will be 64bit only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Personally I would recommend you stick with 32bit for the time being. I see little or no advantage moving to 64bit on the workstation. 64bit on the server however does have its immediate advantages. Server 2008's successor will be 64bit only.
    While i would prefer to stick to 32bit for the time being, just incase any random monkey coded school software is still 16bit, which i have come accross once or twice with some software

    I'm thinking of it in a sense of, if we're going to have to go 64bit eventually, is it better to just do it now?

    That said, how much longer will 32bit last? im willing to bet it'll still be about for at least 5 years, in which time we would have replaced alot of PCs, had a new OS out, replaced lots of software etc etc

    Theres alot to consider and it seems it's all being considered over guess work, after a bit of thought i think im going to go for 32bit, then in about 2-3 years time (say summer 2013/2014) assuming the mayans were wrong (lol) i'll do a school wide upgrade to 64bit when the final old dregs of hardware are out of the way and things have had some time to evolve to accomodate 64bit better

    Note: i have just changed my mind twice in the space of writting this post, but now i think im definately go for 32bit

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    I'm with FN-GM, not many of our PC's have more than 4GB of RAM. I tried putting 64-bit on a 1GB laptop, and when I saw the memory overhead was 800-900MB just sitting at the desktop, I decided to throw another GB in. That, coupled with driver compatibility and I think 32-bit will be just fine for right now.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Server 2008's successor will be 64bit only.
    ^^
    IS

    Server 2008 successor IS 64bit only. R2 has been released and has been around for a while

    More interesting is this question - what are the odds that Windows 7's successor (yes I know it's only just been released) will be 64bit only? I'd say it's quiet high.

    My original question was a two parter though. 64bit is only half the equation and a route a my be forced down sooner rather than later.

    The other half of the question is really about GPO differences between Windows 7 and Windows XP. Is there anything I should watch, any XP GPO's that won't play nice with Windows 7, etc?

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