April 3, 2008

Is Exchange 2003 supported on a 64 Bit Platform?

I was asked this question today by one of my bosses and although I knew the answer, it thought that perhaps it is a fairly common question – so I thought that I would post some information on it.

Whereas it is true that the 64 bit (or x64) versions of Windows will normally run 32bit editions of software with no problems at all, the x64 versions of Windows require that all drivers that run as part of the Kernel are 64 bit.

x64 Windows contains an component called WOW64 (Windows on Windows) which in essence is a x32 emulator – However as Exchange 2003 requires the installation of a x32 Kernel mode driver (the EXIFS – Exchange install-able file system – remember the M: drive?) as part of its core make this makes it totally incompatible with the x64 Kernel, and therefore it will not install on Windows.

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