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Windows 7 32bit to 64Bit Compatibility Tool Needed

    Question

  • I have read the articles in this blogspace about needing to do a clean install if I want to move from Vista 32 to Windows 7 64 on my system. 

    Question:  Will Microsoft release a tool prior to Win7 release that would assess the success of an installation of Windows 7 64 bit on a system.  This tool would need to validate the system is 64 bit capable, search the native Windows 7 driver stores to verify if the hardware drivers for the said system were available in 64bit within the Windows 7 driver cache, generate a report to identify each device and its 64bit compatibility and be able to print a report.  This would seem to be a WMI query of the hardware, followed by a lookup table in the app to see if a 64bit driver is present in the driver cache.

    Prior Experience:  When Vista first came out, the lack of 64bit drivers forced me to do a 32bit install which was very frustrating.  This was further complicated by the change in the way clean installs works.  In the past, simply inserting the valid media into a DVD drive was proof enough of upgrade eligibility on a clean install.  When Vista changed this, forcing you to actually install the old OS (waste of time) so you could immediately install your upgrade OS (note to Microsoft I hate that and it adds hours to the install process).  So in my situation, I would have to reinstall XP Pro to Install Vista Ultimate upgrade, to Install Windows 7 Premium upgrade, if the 64bit drivers are not present and I have to roll back, I am a bit hesitant. 

    I am not excited about doing this next upgrade based on faith.  Too many of us got pigeon holed into 32bit because the 64bit support wasn’t there.  We need to Tool Guys!!!



    Ken F
    Friday, July 17, 2009 2:56 PM

Answers

  • Hi Ken

    Most of the capability you describe is already built into Windows 7.

    It will check to make sure that the core system is 64-Bit compatible. It will also install any 64-Bit hardware drivers that are available on the installation disk or on Windows Update for the detected hardware.

    However, what it cannot do is perform a search for any hardware drivers from any other sources, such as the internet. This is part of what the user does when they are determining if the hardware manufacturers are supporting all of the installed components with 64-Bit drivers.

    Another issue that a user can encounter is that although a hardware component is detected properly and a proper 64-Bit driver is found, this driver may be a generic or outdated version because the manufacturer of the component has not yet updated that driver.

    Still another consideration is that hardware drivers are placed on the installation disk and on Windows Update as a service to the hardware manufacturers. Some manufacturers do not participate in this service and as a result, the user will need to acquire those drivers by other means.

    The bottom line is that the user needs to do some homework and make sure that all of the installed hardware/software is supported by the manufacturer with Windows 7 compatible drivers for whatever bit architecture they decide to install.

    I have always recommended that users create a complete backup image of the functioning earlier version using their favorite imaging program. I have been using Acronis True Image 2009 and I can restore a complete OS image in less than 15 minutes, should the need ever arise.

    The validation procedure for determining a previous version license has not been published as of this writing, however we are expecting this as part of the soon to be published Upgrade Matrix.

    Thank You for testing Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP



    Sunday, July 19, 2009 12:06 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Ken

    Most of the capability you describe is already built into Windows 7.

    It will check to make sure that the core system is 64-Bit compatible. It will also install any 64-Bit hardware drivers that are available on the installation disk or on Windows Update for the detected hardware.

    However, what it cannot do is perform a search for any hardware drivers from any other sources, such as the internet. This is part of what the user does when they are determining if the hardware manufacturers are supporting all of the installed components with 64-Bit drivers.

    Another issue that a user can encounter is that although a hardware component is detected properly and a proper 64-Bit driver is found, this driver may be a generic or outdated version because the manufacturer of the component has not yet updated that driver.

    Still another consideration is that hardware drivers are placed on the installation disk and on Windows Update as a service to the hardware manufacturers. Some manufacturers do not participate in this service and as a result, the user will need to acquire those drivers by other means.

    The bottom line is that the user needs to do some homework and make sure that all of the installed hardware/software is supported by the manufacturer with Windows 7 compatible drivers for whatever bit architecture they decide to install.

    I have always recommended that users create a complete backup image of the functioning earlier version using their favorite imaging program. I have been using Acronis True Image 2009 and I can restore a complete OS image in less than 15 minutes, should the need ever arise.

    The validation procedure for determining a previous version license has not been published as of this writing, however we are expecting this as part of the soon to be published Upgrade Matrix.

    Thank You for testing Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP



    Sunday, July 19, 2009 12:06 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken -

    In addition to what Ronnie said - there's also the Wiindows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It may be able to detect any potential issues with software or hardware and the 64 bit OS. The beta can be gotten from here.
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 12:35 AM
  • I will ghost the box prior to install to hedge my bets.  Not sure why this didnt occur to me.

    good info,  thank-you. 

    Ken
    Ken F
    Sunday, July 19, 2009 2:33 PM