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Current system Win XP 32 Bit - Can I change to 64 bit when upgrading to Windows 7?

    Question

  • My friend has a Dell PC with 32 bit Windows XP.  I got him to purchase the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade (designed for Windows Vista) but works with XP upgrade package and a new 1TB hard disk.

     

    I have tested installing directly from the 64 bit disk to the new hard disk without validating the product key, Win7 installs fine, amazingly quickly with only his Creative X-Fi sound card and printer left to find drivers for.  When I tried to do it with the product key on the box it says the key is invalid, I assume because I'm trying a clean install and not an upgrade.

    I created an image of his old XP system and restored it to the new hard disk.  I then try to use the 64 bit install disk but receive an error.  I'm currently installing the 32 bit version from within his Win XP.

    How can I install 64 bit Win 7.  He has 4GB of memory and would of course like to be able to use it all.

    I will restore all his user data from the original hard disk once I get his new one up and running.

    cheers

    damole

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 3:58 PM

All replies

  • In  order to install Windows 7 x64 over on top of Windows XP 32-bit, you will need to perform a full clean install, wiping the original hard disk free of space. If the end user does not wish to go down that route, I would recommend purchasing the 32-bit Windows 7 media. The 32-bit version will also allow the end user to utilize all 4GB of memory in the OS. 64-bit is capable of handling more the 4GB of memory.  

     

    Windows 7 - Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit installation:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/32-bit-and-64-bit-Windows-frequently-asked-questions 


    _JoeG
    Dell - Systems Integration Consultant
    Twitter: @8bits1byte 

    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, October 11, 2011 5:58 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by damole Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:18 PM
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 5:10 PM
  • Hi Damole,

    There are two ways to change an existing Windows OS to Windows 7: (i) Upgrading, or (ii) Migration. (not any standard terminology)

    You can upgrade to any Windows 7 edition from: (i) Windows 7 (from a lower edition), or (ii) Windows Vista SP1 (equivalent or higher edition). Also, another necessary condition for an upgrade is that the architectures of the processors should be same - 32-bit to 32-bit, and 64-bit to 64-bit. 32-bit to 64-bit upgrade is not possible. Under this method, all your Programs, Settings, and Data is left as it is.

    To change from Windows XP (32 or 64-bit) to Windows 7, you have to migrate (and not directly upgrade) to Windows 7. I'd suggest you to please go through this Help Topic, provided by Microsoft, thoroughly: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7. And then work on the migration from Windows XP 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit.

    And also you'll find in this topic that you've to start this type of installation with the disk in the drive, and not from within XP.

    All the best for your migration!

    Cheers

    Yagyesh

    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, October 11, 2011 5:57 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by damole Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:18 PM
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 5:50 PM
  • I then try to use the 64 bit install disk but receive an error.  I'm currently installing the 32 bit version from within his Win XP.

    To install Windows 7 64 bit with XP 32 bit you need to restart the computer and boot from the install DVD.

     

     

    Custom Clean Install Steps

    Times to use:
    Moving from XP to 7, or unsupported in place upgrade paths (ex: Vista Home to 7 Pro)
    Moving from a 32 bit Windows system to a 64 bit system, or changing languages
    Don't want to do an in place upgrade, or you want a fresh/clean install

    You can use an Upgrade or Full Windows 7 disk to do a custom clean install. This will remove all your programs, but you can save your files and settings to an external storage before doing so. You will have to reinstall all your programs after installing Windows 7. Here are the steps:

    1. Run Windows Upgrade Advisor to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you can install the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/upgrade-advisor

    2. Backup all your files and settings to avoid losing docs, photos, and other information. Windows Easy Transfer is a free tool to copy files (not programs) from your PC, and then transfer them back after you install Windows 7. If you don't want to use Windows Easy Transfer, you can copy your files to a USB drive, or CD/DVD. Note: Easy Transfer will not work when changing languages, or when going from 64 bit to 32 bit (it will work going from 32 bit to 64 bit).
    http://windows.microsoft.com/windows-easy-transfer

    3. Locate the installation disks and any associated product/license keys for all your programs because you'll need to manually reinstall all programs. If you downloaded some programs from the Internet you can redownload them.

    4. Insert the Windows 7 DVD into your PC. When asked "Which type of installation do you want?" click "Custom (advanced)." Note: 32 to 64 bit requires you to restart and boot from the DVD.

    5. After Windows 7 is installed you can use Windows Easy Transfer (or another backup method you used) to restore your files & settings, and use your installation disks to reinstall all your programs. Then you're done - enjoy Windows 7.

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, October 11, 2011 5:58 AM
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 6:27 PM
  • Thanks guys for taking the time to reply.

     

    I restored an image of his existing XP system to the new hard disk.

    I started the update process from within this install using the 32 bit disk.

    After this finished I had a successfully installed 32 bit Windows using the key from the box although I didn't validate it as this point.

    I booted using the 64 bit disk and replaced the 32 bit version with the 64 bit version, again the install process accepted the key from the box.

    I assume that some how the install process carries over the valid XP upgrade status to this final install.

    Now I made an image of the clean install 64 bit so I shouldn't have to do this again.

     

    cheers

    damole

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:27 PM