With the hype around 64-bit technology, one might be tempted think that all the 32-bit problems are automagically solved. Welcome to 1995 :)
As an analogue to the 16- to 32-bit transition in '95, driver complications are the bane of any platform change. The blame for the lack of sound-card driver support here lies firmly in Creative's court.
So without sound, I had a look at Vista x64 (build 5384):
I blanked out the partition with nulls, in order to avoid cross-pollination with the 32-bit version :) Surprisingly, the purported Red Screen did not appear, but a White One greeted me. Perhaps the red-one is tied in to corrupt system files, but that's a story for another day's testing :)
The procedure went in much the same vein as the 32-bit version. The only installation hitch I ran into was lack of space for the installation image. My partitioning scheme has a 10 GB C:, which had about 3.5 GB free at the time of installation. While Vista x86 sailed through (DVD image being 3.12GB), the x64 version kept on snagging out there. With a rather vague "Setup was unable to locate a locally attached hard drive suitable for holding temporary Setup files." (Hey! there's 20GBs right there on the other partition!
), and a few boots into XP (which, unlike with certain other bootloaders *cough*LILO*cough*
continued to work after the main OS partition was trashed) the issue was finally resolved. Freed up some more space on C: and continued.
The memory issues remained, but hey! Debug symbols are quite big and necessary at this point (implied by the word Beta :).
An annoyance inherent in the disk management subsystem is the inability to easily move the boot drive from D:. My automated scripting / Domain Policies are not doing too well coping with the lack of hard-coded structures (see? D: means DATA :), but I guess that should make me use %EnvVars% instead, eh?
I'm struggling to see any visible benefit in x64. Granted, I haven't yet done any hardcore application testing, but the lack of sound (and therefore music) forces me to install Vista x86 again. Maybe by Friday Creative will have released updated drivers, but judging from their track-record, I'm not holding my breath. :(
If there any suggestions to reap the benefits of x64, I'm all ears :^)
Tomorrow, I'm off to MS System Center Bootcamp, so chances are I'll only be doing more Vista work on Friday.