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

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.

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

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.

You can safely ignore the registry value.

Registry Keys Affected by WOW64

Registry Redirector

32-bit and 64-bit Application Data in the Registry

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

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2582176 - Last Review: 07/20/2011 21:44:00 - Revision: 2.0

Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Ultimate

  • KB2582176
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