32bit to 64bit change


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Hope this is the right place for this. My question is straightforward, although I cannot find a definitive answer anywhere.

I have Windows 7 on the way. I would like to install the 32 bit version now, with a view to replacing this with the 64 bit version in the future (with extra RAM, different peripherals, for example).
The question is: does the MS licence permit this with the one key?

I am aware I cannot have both 32 bit and 64 bit versions installed (which is not my aim), I simply want to change one for the other in the future. If it is allowed, is it a simple re-activation as per hardware change? Or simply transparent to MS?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 
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Thanks very much for that Thrax. I've been looking for a while for this, but never find consistent info.
 
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I have a similar question with a twist. I upgraded 32 bit Windows 7 by mistake instead of 64 bit. I understand I will need a fresh install, after which I will lose all my files, documents, music, etc. In anticipation for this I am thinking of buying a new hard drive and installing 64 bit Windows 7 on the new, blank HD.

I bought the upgrade version of Windows 7. If I want to install it on a new hard drive, will it be sufficient that I have my old Vista cd key and my new Windows 7 cd key? And if this is sufficient, after installation will the old hard drive with 32 bit Windows 7 conflict in any way when I boot with both hard drives installed?

(Point is, I am attempting to avoid the extreme inconvenience of losing or copying everything of importance in my directory.)
 

clifford_cooley

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Hi bushel - Welcome to w7forums

I have had 3 different Windows 7 versions installed at once. To be honest they still are because I havent done my cleanup yet to remove the versions I don't want.

There is always a chance you will have problems if the install is not done right.
  • One if you install without changing your active partition then your boot files for both installs will be placed on the very same partition.
  • Two if you are installing a different Hard Drive, you will need to change your bios boot options to boot from the new drive aswell.
 
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Bushel,

Hope u have had some luck on your upgrade!

One item of note - you CAN in fact use upgrade keys for Windows 7 to install the RTM version as well as 'full version' keys - the keys are actually the same thing, it's the boxed software you get that will act as the upgrade or full-version media.

Also, going from x32 to x64 will not in fact let you perform an in-place upgrade, but the installer should detect that you have another OS present on the drive as long as you don't wipe out your old x32 partition. Also, converting from x32 to x64 means you will have to boot to the installation media as you will not be able to run it from within your existing x32 installation. As long as you're cool with your partition schema as it is, the Win 7 installer will move your old files to a directory called Windows.old, which will house your old Windows install, program files, and documents/settings folders. Your old install will not be accessible as an installation, but this way you can get at your old files (documents, save games, music, etc) and delete the rest when you have looked it over. This way you effectively get a clean install without actually having to format the entire drive.

On the other hand, formatting will in fact ensure that any dormant viruses or other malware is absolutely gone, which works fine if you are able to back up your files on some other media (CD, USB key, External HD, etc). You WILL find that some older applications will not operate under x64 (though the vast majority are emulated fine under x32), and you'll need to get x64 drivers for your hardware. Mostly, you will not notice much difference in the x64 experience vs x32, save that your machine will perform better with larger addressing spaces and can take advantage of more RAM.
 

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