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26 Mar 2010  

Downgrade(?) mishap, need to fix- 64bit to 32

I've tried to find the answer to my problem here but it's a little confusing, so I need clarification.

Basically my friend's second-hand laptop came with a dodgy copy of Windows 7 and it kept asking her to install a legit one. She bought the retail version but has no computer literacy and asked me to install it. She wanted her stuff backed up too.

I backed up to an external drive using easy transfer, then followed the directions on the white card that came with the disks. I put the top disc in and ran the installation, then I tried to open the easy transfer file to restore her stuff and discovered the whole 32-bit 64-bit thing that I was completely unaware of. The error message was along the lines of "64 bit program cannot be opened on 32 bit operating system".

I tried to install the 64bit version but windows couldn't read the disc. I'm not sure if I accidentally downgraded her OS or if I did something wrong with easy transfer. Is the 64bit OS able to read the 32bit installation disc, but not the other way around?

I obviously need to install the 64bit OS so that the backup files can be restored, but is this possible? I gathered from other posts that I should re-boot from the CD drive but am a bit confused because clearly I'm not that great with this sort of thing. I didn't want to mess around with BIOS settings if I'd gotten it wrong. If I re-boot from the disc does that mean the disc isn't being read by windows, and the files can be recognised? Should I do this?

Another scarier option involved partitioning the hard drive and installing both versions? I don't really understand this.
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