Re WinHlp32.exe, having ambiguity problem with Microsoft site

  polymath 20:49 PM 24 Aug 11
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Answered

In order to read .hlp help files with my Windows Vista SP2 (32-bit), I went to the Microsoft page http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5143 to get WinHlp32.exe, the download for my OS. Above the 2 files available for 'this download' (Windows6.0-KB917607-x64.msu and " " " 86.msu), I'm told 'download the files appropriate for you'. Does this mean both files shown are appropriate for me? If so, I suppose I should download the top one first? And if not, which one is appropriate?

  birdface 21:23 PM 24 Aug 11

I would imagine you would only need the bottom one as the top one looks like it is only for 64Bit versions.

  polymath 22:04 PM 24 Aug 11

So I thought too, but would have expected the other one to have 32 in its name, not 86?

  polymath 22:12 PM 24 Aug 11

Have to go now - will read any answers tomorrow (with much appreciation!).

  Forum Editor 22:43 PM 24 Aug 11
Answer

The term x86 is used to distinguish between Windows operating system files designed to run on 32-bit hardware and those designed for 64-bit hardware.

I won't bore you with the full explanation, but briefly, the X86 was used by Intel when it began making processors for Windows computers. Prior to the Pentium processors we had families of processors called 286, 386 and 486. The X86 suffix has stuck, and when you see it you know it refers to 32-bit versions of Windows.

  polymath 22:00 PM 25 Aug 11

Thanks FE! Useful to know that. I used to have a 286, but didn't realise '86' meant anything re modern computers. It would be nice if that Microsoft download page gave any clue about it (or maybe most PC users know, and I just happened to miss ever reading about it?)

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