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I am only able to open up one 32 bit program (or sometimes two) before they start not opening at all and I have to restart if I want to open another 32 bit program. It is weird because while the programs don't popup, I can see the process running in Task Manager. 64 bit programs open fine, so no problem there.

I have done a clean install three times today (once from my retail disk and another from an untouched .iso I downloaded) and now on the third fresh install the only thing I have done was install Windows 7 64 bit, install SP1 (and the other Windows updates), and install ATI Catalyst (for screen scaling issues, but will retry without installing that) and the problem still persists.

I haven't even activated Windows yet, just in case it was a activation problem gone bad. And Internet Explorer 9 is able to run fine even though it is the 32 bit version.

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post, but can anyone please help? I do clean install regularly, and do it the same way every time but all of a sudden this happens..

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Are you opening any particular 32-bit application first every time, or does the order you open them not matter ?

Have a look in the Windows logs for anything related to SysWOW64.

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I'm not sure if you've seen this already, but maybe this could help:

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