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The %ProgramFiles% registry value that a 32-bit application is writes is automatically changed to %ProgramFiles(x86)% on a computer that is running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

SYMPTOMS
When a 32-bit application is writing the %ProgramFiles% registry value on a computer that is running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Windows Vista automatically changes this string to %ProgramFiles(x86)%. This behavior cannot be changed.

This behavior also occurs in the 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP.
CAUSE
This behavior occurs because %ProgramFiles% is a keyword for translation from a 64-bit operation to a 32-bit operation. This behavior enables a 32-bit application to work correctly with the %ProgramFiles% registry value when the application reads the %ProgramFiles% registry value later.
RESOLUTION
To prevent Windows Vista from changing the %ProgramFiles% registry value that a 32-bit application writes, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Pass a lower-cased string (for example, %programfiles%) or a capitalized string (for example, %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%). This method bypasses the redirection of the registry value.

Method 2

Use the KEY_WOW64_64KEY flag when you try to open or to create the value. For more information about the KEY_WOW64_64KEY flag, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
STATUS
This behavior is by design.
MORE INFORMATION
For more information about the WOW64 implementation, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
ProgramFiles 64bit registry key redirection
Properties

Article ID: 950407 - Last Review: 04/16/2008 18:28:00 - Revision: 1.4

Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition (Itanium), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition

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