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Windows Internals, Fifth Edition by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Wow64

Wow64 (Win32 emulation on 64-bit Windows) refers to the software that permits the execution of 32-bit x86 applications on 64-bit Windows. It is implemented as a set of user-mode DLLs:

  • Wow64.dll: Manages process and thread creation, and hooks exception dispatching and base system calls exported by Ntoskrnl.exe. It also implements file system redirection and registry redirection and reflection.

  • Wow64Cpu.dll: Manages the 32-bit CPU context of each running thread inside Wow64 and provides processor architecture-specific support for switching CPU mode from 32-bit to 64-bit and vice versa.

  • Wow64Win.dll: Intercepts the GUI system calls exported by Win32k.sys.

  • IA32Exec.bin and Wowia32x.dll on IA64 systems: Contain the IA-32 software emulator and its ...

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