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I understood that SQL Server 2016 was not going to support installation onto 32-bit machines. The cumulative update released on 15 November 2016 includes an x86 installer (SQL2016RTMCU3\x86\SQLServer2016-KB3194717-x86.exe).

Cumulative Update Package 3 for SQL Server 2016 RTM - KB3205413

I don't have a 32-bit machine to test this out on but would like to know what the situation is with 32-bit support for SQL Server 2016.

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These fixes aren't for the database engine. As I explain here:

Why are there both x64 and x86 packages?

As above, while there is no x86 engine, fixes can apply to a variety of shared components on the machine (including from the feature pack), and I suppose it's possible that those could be installed in isolation on an x86 machine. It is almost certainly the case that if you have installed SQL Server 2016, you should be applying the x64 CU, and only the x64 CU.

These fixes will continue coming out this way because the updates are cumulative - as soon as a fix is there that targets an x86 binary, that fix has to stay in all future CUs too.

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