I’ve been running 64-bit Vista for some time now and for the most part it has been a very good experience. Today I was attempting to install a 3rd party sidebar gadget recommended to me by a friend, only to discover the gadget required Flash. And since Flash does not currently support 64-bit browsers (nor does Silverlight) the gadget’s simple, but handy, help message directed me to a set of instructions on how to configure my system to run the 32-bit version of the Vista sidebar. As more and more people shift to 64-bit, I thought this useful piece of information may come in handy in the future.
Here are the steps for 64-bit Vista users (only):
1. Right-click the Windows Sidebar and select Properties.
2. Un-check the "Start Sidebar when Windows starts" option and hit OK.
3. Click the green Windows Start Button in the lower left of your screen.
4. Click "All Programs"
5. Scroll down until you see the "Startup" folder
6. Right-click the "Startup" folder and select "Explore"
7. In the window that pops up, right-click the empty white space and select New->Shortcut
8. Copy the following text, including quotes:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe"
9. Paste that copied text into the Shortcut's "Location" field.
10. Click "Next."
11. Click "Finish."
12. Restart Windows Vista 64
Until a 64-bit version of Flash, and for that matter Silverlight, ships for 64-bit Windows, I suspect this issue may present itself time and again to end-users. Hopefully this simple workaround will help you to easily resolve your problem.