Registry Key “WOW6432Node” may be listed in System Registry on 32Bit (x86) Version of Windows 7


Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:
  • A computer running 32 Bit (x86) Platform of Windows 7.
  • Install Windows 7 with SP1 or install Windows 7 RTM Upgraded to SP1.
  • Click the Start button, type "regedit" in the search box to open the Registry Editor. 
  • Expand the following registry key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE

In this scenario you may notice a registry sub-key labeled “Wow6432Node” and feel that the system may have been incorrectly installed or upgraded.





Cause


This registry key is typically used for 32 bit applications on 64 bit machines. If they are present on x86 machines, they do not cause any issues as they are not used.


Resolution


You can safely ignore the registry value.


More Information


Registry Keys Affected by WOW64
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384253(VS.85).aspx

Registry Redirector
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384232%28VS.85%29.aspx

32-bit and 64-bit Application Data in the Registry
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724072%28v=VS.85%29.aspx


 
How to Determine Windows 7 Platform:

There are a number of tools that you can use to identify which platform is installed on the system. Below are two ways which you can use to help identify the platform

Option 1:
Using The System Information Tool to view Processor Architecture:
 
a. Click on the Start button

b. In the Search box type the command “MSINFO32” without the quotes

c. In the left-hand pane click on System Summary

d. In the right hand pane view the entry labeled “System Type”

If the entry states “x86-Based PC” this is 32 Bit Platform
If the entry states “x64-Based PC” this is 64 Bit Platform


Option 2:
Using the Set Command to Display Processor Architecture:

a. Open an Administrative command prompt

b. Type the following command:

 set processor_architecture

If the result is “PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE=x86” this is 32 Bit Platform
If the result is “PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE=AMD64” this is 64 Bit Platform