I’ve seen many questions posted about how to check if the operating system the user is running is 64 Bit supported or just 32-Bit capable. 32 Bit is also referred to as x86 and 64-Bit is referred to as x64.
Update: October 19th 2010 – I decided to go ahead and add the simple code for checking OS Addressing to a new method if you use Visual Basic .NET 2010 and VB 2013.
Update 02/28/2011: I want to mention that I have another article for checking if the OS is 32bit/64bit, but also if your application is 32-bit/64-bit at this link here.
For Visual Basic.NET 2010 Only…
That property was added with the .NET Framework 4.0. Simply get the value from that property like below…
The property is a Boolean so it will return True if the Operating System is 64-Bit, otherwise it will return false.
If your not using VB 2010, 2013, and higher then continue reading the article…
Visual Basic.NET Older than version 2010
I’ve seen various options people have come up with like checking WOW64 emulation , ect… I’m not going to get into all of them. From what I understand those methods may not be 100%. So far in MY EXPERIENCE my version has been 100% when used with Vista and Windows 7. That is NOT to say that its perfect or has no flaws. Its just I have not had any problems, yet…
Anyways, its a very simple solution. Use the Windows built-in WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) objects and features. Using WMI is quite easy with .NET. I unfortunately won’t be providing VB 5 or Visual Basic 6.0 source code. But the basics are still the same. I think VB classic can get support by referencing the WMI Scripting Library or using some API’s.
The apparent downside is that Microsoft says this wmi method is not supported on Windows XP. You can use environment variables and getnativesysteminfo api to query the os addressing. This wmi method so far appears to work just fine using Vista and Windows 7. 64 Bit operating systems became VERY popular with Vista, and especially Windows 7 due to ram being so cheap and if you wanted to address more than the 32 Bit limit of 4GB you needed to have an OS that can do 64 Bit addressing and a cpu capable of using AMD’s 64 Bit extensions. Intel CPU’s actually use AMD64 technology for their 64 Bit processors (Less Itanium)).
First of all in DotNET you want to add a Reference to two classes under: System.Managment. This will provide features to access wmi classes and features with minimal coding on your part. Of interest is the Management Class and the Management Object.
Below is the complete WMI based code that is used to get the Windows info…
' 'This function uses the WMI method to see if the operating system return 32-bit or 64-bit. Public Function getWMIInfo(ByVal wmiObjectInfo As String, ByVal wmiRelativePath As String) As String Try ' 'Give it something to report in case something wrong happens. getWMIInfo = "Nothing!" ' Dim wmiClass As New System.Management.ManagementClass Dim wmiObject As New System.Management.ManagementObject wmiClass.Path.RelativePath = wmiRelativePath ' 'This will go through each item in the requested info. I only care about 'the 1st for the most part but remeber that each instance could have different values. For Each wmiObject In wmiClass.GetInstances getWMIInfo = (wmiObject(wmiObjectInfo)) ' 'I only want the first instance. Return getWMIInfo Next Catch exc As Exception Return exc.Message End Try End Function
Now all thats left to do is provide the object and path your interested in. The code below will throw a Messagebox with the message “32-bit” if your OS is x86 or “64-bit” if your OS is x64.
' 'Supply the WMI Object and Path to get whether the os is 32-bit or 64-bit. MsgBox(getWMIInfo("OSArchitecture", "Win32_OperatingSystem"))
That’s all there is to it! Like I said, so far its worked fine for me. Thats not to say there won’t be problems though. I will upload a new example I made at my vbcodesource.com website that shows how to get the Operating System and Applications addressing whethers its 32 Bit or 64 Bit that works with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Definitely, Let me know of any problems you run into using the source code in this article! Anyways have fun!