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Windows 7: Windows 7 reinstall from 64 bit to 32 bit

26 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Profession 32 bit
 
 
Windows 7 reinstall from 64 bit to 32 bit

We purchased 2 new computers for work and they both contain Windows 64 bit. Our accounting program is not compatible with 64 bit. I have found a work-around but it isn't very stable (using Windows XP virtual mode).

So, my plan was to reinstall Windows 32 bit on the machine. The machine is an HP 505B Microtower. I have an official version of 32 bit Windows 7 Professional. I understand that the one on the HP is OEM, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it with the serial number (I did back up the activation certificates using the ABR Utility).

I downloaded the ISO from the Microsoft store, so it's an official Windows version. I created a bootable USB drive using DISKPART to clean and format the drive and using the bootsect.exe file from the mounted ISO to make it bootable. I then copy the entire contents of the mounted ISO to the flash drive. I have done this to install Windows 7 before and it has worked flawlessly.

Then when I boot from the flash drive on the HP, it gives me the "Install" screen and then it asks for CD/DVD drivers. I am assuming it really means the SATA drivers for the HD, because the DVD drive isn't even in use at this point. So, I go to the HP site and download the drivers for the storage devices. When I browse to that directory on the CD, Windows Install sees the driver and tries to install it, but still says that it cannot find any appropriate drivers.

I've read about possible reasons this error occurs. Some people have had bad burns from their ISO. Since mine is on a flash drive, it's not the burn. I have re-copied the files. I even re-downloaded the ISO and did the process all fresh just in case some random file was corrupted, still with the same error.

I can't seem to figure out why it won't let me get past the drivers point. I've never had to load drivers when installing Windows 7. All my other installs have gone flawelessly, even on machines that have come with OEM version of Windows.

Are there any ideas floating out there that could solve my problem?

Thanks

Jen


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Profession 32 bit
 
 

Well, I have solved my own problem here. I had even tried this last week, but it must have been with a possibly corrupted ISO. I just tried this with the Windows 7 install flash drive I created on Friday.

I tried installing Windows 7 from within Windows 7 by running the setup. It worked this time. I had it download any updates it needed and then it did it's whole process and worked like a charm this time. It renamed the 64 bit Windows directory to "Windows.old". During Windows' initial setup, I went ahead and skipped the "Activate Windows" and did not put in the key. I used the ABR restore utility and it loaded my activation from the previous Windows that was installed (all legal).

So in case anyone was trying to do this, this was my method. Hope it helps someone else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

The method to create a USB installer which always works for me is Ultra ISO trial version: Open ISO on file tab, Write Disk Image on Bootable tab, Format, Write.

You will have to boot the installer to change to 32 bit, as it cannot be installed from within 64 bit OS.

Are you sure you now have 32 bit? Check Computer>Properties.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 reinstall from 64 bit to 32 bit




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