WoW64 - WoW6432Node

Whilst the files and registry settings included elsewhere in this guide will enable Windows 32 on Windows 64 (WoW64) support, many 32-bit applications will not function correctly without additional settings imported from a full Windows installation.

The recommended source for these settings is unmodified Windows installation media, for example an .iso file - preferably RTM sources. The installation media source must match the WinPE source - i.e WinPE 6.1.6701 and Windows 6.1.6701 source files. A Windows Installation .iso file can be used for both WinPE and Windows sources and will ensure that the source files match.

Assuming an .iso file is used, you will need to extract the SOFTWARE hive from \Sources\install.wim and then complete a number of tasks. These are detailed below -

  1. Extract the SOFTWARE hive. 7-zip can be used for this purpose - use the 7-zip file manager and open the .iso file > then browse to \Sources\install.wim > use the open inside option > Select an image if multiple images are present > browse to \Windows\System32\config > extract SOFTWARE (e.g. to C:\Install_Wim_Files\software).
  2. Mount the Software hive extracted in step 1. E.g.
  3. Export the Wow6432Node key from the Software hive mounted in step 2. E.g.
  4. Export the Classes\Wow6432Node key from the Software hive mounted in step 2. E.g.
  5. Open the .reg files exported in steps 3 and 4 and replace all references to C:\ and D:\ with X:\. Notepad.exe can be used for this task. Alternatively use gsar if you want to automate this from the command line. E.g.
  6. Unload the mounted Software hive. E.g.
  7. Mount the WinPE software hive using the same command syntax as in step 2, but changing the path as required. Ensure that you use the same key name as that used in step 2. E.g.
  8. Import the .reg file created in step 3. E.g.
  9. Import the .reg file created in step 4. E.g.
  10. Delete the Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components key. E.g.
  11. Unload the mounted Software hive. E.g.

Document date - 17th February 2018