How to install and configure a 32 bit ODBC driver on a 64 bit Operating System?

You have a 64 bit operating system, which usually comes with a more modern equipment, and specially a 64 bit server OS, which is most likely to be the case, and you need to install an ODBC driver that would work with a 32 bit application such as FileMaker Pro.

If you install a 64 bit ODBC driver, it will be listed and configurable in “ODBC Data Source Administrator” (Start\Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\Data Source (ODBC)), but it will not be able to work with FileMaker Pro (or any other 32 bit application).
On the other hand, if you try to install the 32 bit driver, the system will not recognise it, and it will not appear in your default Data Sources (ODBC) inside the control panel, so you will not be able to configure it and connect to MySQL.

THERE IS A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM – In many places you will read that this is IMPOSSIBLE – WHICH IS NOT TRUE. What you need to do is the following:

  • Download and install the 32 bit MySQL driver, regardless of the fact that you are using a 64 bit OS.It will install the files in the following place (path):C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\Connector ODBC 5.1
  • Insteadof following the usual path via the Control Panel (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\Data Sources (ODBC) ) , where the 32 bit driver will not be recognised, YOU NEED TO FIND AND USE THE FOLLOWING PATH:

Database Source Admin tool path for configuring 32 bit drivers if installed on 64 bit Operating System

  • Here you will be able to see your 32 bit ODBC driver and configure it to connect with the MySQL database, in the same way as you would do on a 32 bit system.

In this way, FileMaker Pro as a 32 bit application will be able to recognise and use the ODBC driver installed on a 64 bit Operating System. Please notice that 64 bit applications WILL NOT be able to use the 32 bit driver, so if you are connecting some other, 64 bit application, for example MS Access 2010, you will need to install a 64 bit driver as well, and configure it via the usual path: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\Data Sources (ODBC)
The two drivers will not be installed in the same directory so you could use automatic install feature for both of them. By defauld, the 32bit ODBC driver will be installed in: C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\Connector ODBC 5.1, while the 64bit ODBC driver will install inside:C:\Program Files\MySQL\Connector ODBC 5.1, and you should be able to configure it using your Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Data Source (ODBC) path.

If you where reading about connecting FileMaker Pro to MySQL database with MySQL ODBC driver, you can now go back to the article and proceed with instructions.