This article describes how the Microsoft Windows x64 Edition-based operating system installation process has changed from the Windows x86 installation process.
Installation and configurationThe Windows x64 installation process is similar to the installation process for the Windows x86 operating system. The x64 installation still copies the needed files to temporary folders, restarts the computer into graphical user interface (GUI) mode, performs Plug and Play (PnP) detection and installation, and then finishes the set up process. However, some GUI mode graphics have been updated to profile new features in x64. To the end user, the installation procedure appears almost the same as the Windows x86 installation .
The following list describes the key changes between the Windows x64 Edition installation process and the Windows x86 installation process:
- Windows Startup floppy disks cannot be used to install x64 Edition-based version of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional. This is because the kernel that is supplied with x64 Edition-based operating systems is now over 2 MB and does not fit on a standard floppy disk.
- You cannot use Winnt.exe to install Windows x64 Edition. Winnt.exe is not included on the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM.
- The installation process for x86 32-bit operating systems cannot be started from within the x64 operating system environment. For example, you cannot install Windows XP Professional x64 Edition from within the 32-bit version of Windows XP Professional.
- The x86 versions of the Windows operating system cannot be upgraded to the x64 Edition version of the Windows operating system. However, Windows Server 2003 x64 Standard Edition can be upgraded to Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise Edition.
- The installation process for x64 Edition operating systems does not support MS-DOS based mechanisms. For example, you cannot install Windows XP Professional x64 Edition from a command prompt.
- The layout of the x64 Edition-based version of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP installation CD-ROM has changed. The primary installation folder for Windows x64 Editions is the AMD64 folder. However, the i386 folder still exists and contains files that are required to install the Windows x64 Edition-based operating system. Therefore, before you can successfully start the installation of the Windows x64 Edition operating system either locally or from a network share, you must make sure that the AMD64 folder and the other folders that are contained on the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM are either copied locally or copied to the network share.
- The installation of the Windows x64 Edition-based operating system must be performed by starting the computer by using the Windows x64 Edition installation CD-ROM or by starting the installation from within another Windows 64-bit operating system.
- The Windows x64 Edition operating system is not currently available as a retail product. At release the Windows x64 Edition operating system will only be distributed for evaluation or through MSDN, Software Assurance, volume channels and OEM channels.
- The Windows x64 Edition operating system supports "sticky" hotfixes. "Sticky" hotfixes are not overwritten or uninstalled when other updates are applied unless those updates are a more current version than the file that is currently installed on the computer.
The Windows x64 Editions operating systems may also be deployed by using an unattended installation, System Preparation Tool (Sysprep), and Remote Installation Services (RIS) methods. For more information about how to use these tools, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
For more information about a related topic, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
896461 "WINNT32.EXE is not a valid Win32 application" error message when you try to run the Winnt32.exe program from the installation CD for an x64-based version of Windows
Article ID: 896334 - Last Review: Feb 16, 2017 - Revision: 3