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Windows 7: Easy Question...


05 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Easy Question...

I'm a n00b here, so please bear with me.

Can I add additional memory and change the power supply without reinstalling the OS?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2010   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, whs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The PSU has nothing to do with the OS, so that would be fine. The memory...not so simple of a question, for two reasons:

1. I've often tripped activation by swapping memory. You wouldn't have to reinstall, but be prepared to reactivate.
2. If you have a 32 bit OS installed now, and you add enough memory to equal or exceed 4 GB, you won't be able to use it all, and should consider installing an x64 OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

No problem - I have done that myself, even changed the CPU. The only device you cannot change (without special intervention) is your disk where the OS resides (assuming that is also the active partiton - which one never knows these days).

Quote:
2. If you have a 32 bit OS installed now, and you add enough memory to equal or exceed 4 GB, you won't be able to use it all, and should consider installing an x64 OS.
Not necessarily - depends on the applications. With 4GBs, there is not much to be gained with a 64bit OS. That is different with more than 4GBs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
2. If you have a 32 bit OS installed now, and you add enough memory to equal or exceed 4 GB, you won't be able to use it all, and should consider installing an x64 OS.
Thanks Deacon, but I am already running 64.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
No problem - I have done that myself, even changed the CPU. The only device you cannot change (without special intervention) is your disk where the OS resides (assuming that is also the active partiton - which one never knows these days).
Interesting. I would have assumed you couldn't change the CPU or motherboard without a reinstall, so this is good to know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
which one never knows these days).
You always can tell this. If you don't know off the top of your head, a quick trip to Disk Management will tell you so.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Not necessarily - depends on the applications. With 4GBs, there is not much to be gained with a 64bit OS. That is different with more than 4GBs.
There's plenty to be gained. On a normal system running an x86 OS with 4 GB of system memory installed, you'll see a max of about 3.2 GB of memory....even less depending on your video card configuration. A recent thread on here had that down to as little as 2.5 GB. I don't know about you, but I would feel as though my money was being wasted if that much of my memory was being wasted. Would you be happy buying a car that advertised 200 hp, but yet you really could only use 120 of it?

When you consider that switching to the x64 platform would cost nothing, increase your security, and allow you to access all 4 GB of system memory, there isn't much of a debate against it.

You would be correct if you had said 3 GB...little to be gained, but with 4 GB, there's plenty.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slimbone View Post
Interesting. I would have assumed you couldn't change the CPU or motherboard without a reinstall, so this is good to know.
A CPU of the same family could be changed without issue, but might trip activation. You can technically change the motherboard too, and only trip activation, but most people, including me, would recommend a clean install. Now that Windows 7 takes about 10 minutes to fully install, you'd spend less time doing a fresh install than you would booting up the new system, reactivating it, and cleaning up old junk, files, drivers, etc from the old board.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Home Premium x64
 
 

Well, technically, you can change the ram, CPU, hard drives and what not. There is no 'special' driver that drives the RAM, PSU, or even the CPU. The Motherboard, that is a different beast altogether.

The motherboard will be loaded down with specific chipset that the previous OS has not loaded. In the past, I have tried transplanting harddrives from one system to another, and usually it has failed due to a drastic change in chipset architecture on the motherboard that the only other option is to reinstall the OS to be functional.

You can transplant HDs from one system to another system, provided that the OS was installed for the particular board, otherwise, the OS will start up freaking out about how none of the operations it is trying to do is giving back what it is expecting. Short of actually creating a very 'universal' type image, which sometimes is difficult in and of itself.

I believe the current model for Windows OS is that if it detects enough system changes, however, it may want you to re-activate your windows install to avoid 'duplication' of the license, and that would come from multiple changes to make it really question whether or not this is the computer it was installed on or you cloning your drive and sticking it into another similar system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
There's plenty to be gained. On a normal system running an x86 OS with 4 GB of system memory installed, you'll see a max of about 3.2 GB of memory....even less depending on your video card configuration. A recent thread on here had that down to as little as 2.5 GB. I don't know about you, but I would feel as though my money was being wasted if that much of my memory was being wasted. Would you be happy buying a car that advertised 200 hp, but yet you really could only use 120 of it?
Deacon, If you look at the naked numbers, you have a point - there is on average 750MBs of RAM that cannot be used due to the address space problem with 32bit. However, if you look at real life, i.e. the amount of RAM that is really being used by 90% of the users, you will find that these 750MBs are never needed anyhow. Have a look in you Resource Monitor > Memory tab and check how much of your RAM is "in use". Usually a lot less than 4GBs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2010   #10

Commodore BASIC V2.0
 
 

Quote:
(...) you will find that these 750MBs are never needed anyhow.(...)
True, if you use your machine to run only minesweeper.
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