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Windows 7: going 32 bit to 64 bit

15 Mar 2011   #1

windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
going 32 bit to 64 bit

OK I have 4x 2 GB RAM on the way and will go to 64 bit.

The data files, docs, vids, pics and photos etc are saved to an external drive.

After I nuke my current C drive using the tut and then install 64 bit--what do I do with the other 3 HDs I have in the system. They are not in any raid setup,,,and contain sloely data. Do I need to unplug these drives before I install 64 bit Windows 7 or will all be good if I leave as is ? What I don't want to do is accidently wipe out some files althoguh I have backup---most importantly i dont want to do anys teps I dont have to do ! Reason I ask is the tut to write zeros to prepare the C drive mentions leaving the other drives being plugged in as ok. Somewhere else I read that one has to unplug them before installing 7.. ???

Also I hear it is best to go ahead and install 64 bit using my existing 2X 1GB sticks of memory, and then swap the memory out. True ?

Thanks in advance for advice.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #2

7x64 SP1

You can err on the side of caution and unplug the data drives if you wish, but the Windows installer won't touch anything that's not the system disk, unless you tell it to. I personally unplugged my data drives in order to get the Windows Bootloader to install on the correct drive. In regards to memory, I recommend putting in the additional memory first. No sense in installing it with only 2gb of RAM then immediately turning it off and putting in 8gb of RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


1) You can have problems installing Windows 7 32 or 64 with more than 2 GB of ram.
2) Best to remove your Data Drives. Than the Data is safe.
3) Glad to see you are going for Clean All & Full Format, may take some time, but time well spent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Mar 2011   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Pete.

It's best/safer to just leave the HDDs connected you want to install to for the wipe, format and installation so there can be no errors and you can add the RAM after the install completes.

Here's some other relevant information you may find useful and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

After you have copied out or made back-ups of the data you need to save to external media, use Step One of this tutorial at the link below to do a wipe (secure erase) to the entire Hard Disk Drive / Solid State Drive.
  • Then if you do not want to create the new Windows 7 "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #2 to create, format and mark Active a single 100GB partition to do the installation to.
  • If you do want to create the "System Reserved" partition use the outline in Step Two #3 to create, format and mark Active the System Reserved partition and then create and format the 100GB partition to do the installation to.
Either way, running the "clean all" then creating and formatting the partition(s) using diskpart will get you the best possible space to do a clean install of Windows 7 to; you can always extend the Windows partition to include the remaining unallocated space on the HDD / SSD or create additional Primary partitions or an Extended partition after the installation completes if you choose.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup

Do a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #5

windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Thanks all. I have already checked diskmgmt.msc and confirmed my sidk containing OS is disk 0. I will start this process as soon as I get home this evening. I stary vacation too tonight and memory from new egg arrives tomorow. I wiill let everyone know how it goes witin the next 2 or 3 days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #6


Make sure none of the data drives are incorrectly marked Active first if you leave them plugged in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

If you don't unplug the data drives, you may very well end up with a system partition of some letter other than C. That shouldn't cause a problem, but it would bug me.

I would disconnect the drives, install Windows 7 with the single drive connected, and once you have the system up and running, reconnect your data drives, and adjust their drive letters as you see fit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1

I recently moved from 32-bit to 64-bit ... In your case use just 2GB RAM for the clean install, use full format (it takes a bit longer but worth it), if you use a woofing great GPU pull it out (just for the clean install, you can set it up with its new drivers after your new OS is in place) leave out external drives etc ... Installing your new OS in a simple environment you should have no problems ... good luck with your new OS

Ciara ... X
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

There was a very specific set of Nvidia chipsets that suffered from the install issue when more than 2 GB was present during the install, and that was with Vista. I haven't heard of that problem anymore, and haven't come across it myself, either. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I just wouldn't go pulling my memory first, without giving it a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #10

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional

Unplug the extra drives, install windows and replug them, simple as that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 going 32 bit to 64 bit

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