Is it possible to mount the NTFS and registry hives from a 64-bit Windows on a 32-bit Windows Preinstallation Environment (32-bit). Does 64-bit change the file format?

Also can x86_64 machines boot unmodified 32-bit OSes?


There's no overall data/schema differences between the registries of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows - obviously the actual content will be different but there's no structural differences no.

And yes an x86 64-bit machine can 100% boot a 32-bit OS straight out of the box.

  • content different? by how much? Will strings still be strings?
    – unixman83
    Apr 11 '11 at 9:18
  • yep, that side of things is the same, but things like string contents will be different.
    – Chopper3
    Apr 11 '11 at 9:36

NTFS is the same for 32- and 64-bit, so you will be able to read any files.

As for the structure -

The registry in 64-bit versions of Windows is divided into 32-bit and 64-bit keys. Many of the 32-bit keys have the same names as their 64-bit counterparts, and vice versa. KB article

so, your offline editor shall be capable of viewing/changing both parts.

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