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The Wow64 Parameter in Package.ini for ThinApp (1021314)

Purpose

This article explains how and when to use the Wow64 parameter in Package.ini for ThinApp.

Resolution

Wow64 is a new Package.ini parameter for ThinApp 4.0.2.

The Wow64 parameter helps to run 32‐bit applications on a 64‐bit Windows operating system.

A 32-bit application "asks" the operating system if it is 64- or 32-bit.

If you don’t set Wow64, the application gets an honest answer from the operating system: if the operating system is 64-bit, it says so.

Generally, 32-bit applications can run on 64-bit operating systems, so you don’t need this Wow64 setting.

However, not all 32-bit applications work on 64-bit operating systems. This parameter allows you to fool the 32-bit application into thinking a 64-bit operating system is 32-bit. When the application asks the 64-bit operating system if it is 64-bit, it answers No.
 
Default: commented out (not set)
[BuildOptions]
;Wow64=0
Wow64 is commented out, so not set. The operating system tells the application the truth about whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit.
Other value: 0
 
Note: You would only set Wow64 to 0, or leave it at the default value (commented out).
[BuildOptions]
Wow64=0 (0=No, I am not a 64-bit operating system; I am 32-bit)
A 64-bit operating system tells a lie about itself. It describes itself to the application as 32-bit. The 64-bit operating system is emulating a 32-bit operating system. A 32-bit operating system also tells the application that it is 32-bit, but this is not a lie.
When you would set this parameter
 
If a 32-bit application will not run on a 64-bit operating system, you would set the Wow64 parameter to 0.
 
An example:
 
One of the virtualized 32-bit Oracle applications would not run on 64-bit operating systems. This parameter was developed to handle the situation. The Oracle application needed the operating system to lie about being 64-bit. The problem is solved by setting Wow64=0.
 
This is only used for 32-bit virtual applications talking to 64-bit operating systems; this is not used for 64-bit applications.
 
(There do not seem to be any negative repercussions to setting this parameter to 0.)
 
Illegal value
 
You would never set Wow64=1. There is no use case for a value of 1.
[BuildOptions]
Wow64=1 (1=Yes, I am a 64-bit operating system)
A 32-bit operating system tells a lie about itself. It describes itself to the application as 64-bit. The 32-bit operating system is emulating a 64-bit operating system. A 64-bit operating system also tells the application that it is 64-bit, but this is not a lie.

 
 
 

Additional Information

WOW stands for Windows On Windows. WOW always refers to supporting older Windows on newer Windows. For example, support for 16-bit Windows applications (e.g., from Windows 3.1) on 32-bit Windows (e.g., Windows 95 or XP) was called WOW. Support for 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows is called WOW64.

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