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Windows 7: Change Windows 7 32 bit to 64 bit


25 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 
Change Windows 7 32 bit to 64 bit

I installed Windows 7 on my Toshiba A210-1C4 laptop back in April. I installed the 32 bit version as I only have 2GB of RAM but now I am thinking of upgrading the RAM to 4GB.

If I do upgrade the RAM then I have read that 32 bit Windows won't be able to utilise it all, meaning that I need 64 bit to use the full 4GB.

What I need to know is that if I have already installed Windows 7 32 bit, can I reinstall Windows 7 but use the 64 bit version instead?

Thanks in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #2

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
32 bit is fine for up to 4GB RAM - however the future is 64 bit.

Your laptop if it has DDR3 type memory should be upgradeable to 8GB RAM. The price of RAM would make this a worthwhile option if you do things like Photoshop or run Virtual machines.

Si in your position I'd go for 2 X 4GB memory modules and then install 64 bit Windows. If you have the retail version of Windows 7 the 64 bit version will work with the same key but you will have to do a "New" install.

This is a good reason why you should keep OS and apps on ONE partition and all your data on other partition(s) or disks.

Then a new install won't destroy your data.

cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
32 bit is fine for up to 4GB RAM - however the future is 64 bit.

Your laptop if it has DDR3 type memory should be upgradeable to 8GB RAM. The price of RAM would make this a worthwhile option if you do things like Photoshop or run Virtual machines.

Si in your position I'd go for 2 X 4GB memory modules and then install 64 bit Windows. If you have the retail version of Windows 7 the 64 bit version will work with the same key but you will have to do a "New" install.

This is a good reason why you should keep OS and apps on ONE partition and all your data on other partition(s) or disks.

Then a new install won't destroy your data.

cheers
jimbo
Thanks for your reply!

After running the Crucial System scanner, it appears that my laptop uses DDR2 memory and that the maximum I can install is 4GB.

So if I only install 4GB of RAM, are there any more benefits of choosing 64 bit?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

With 4GB and Windows 32-bit, you'll probably have no more than 3.25GB actually available to you. With 64-bit you would see the full 4GB. That's advantage #1.

#2 is that applications running under 64-bit are assigned a virtual address space of 4GB each, whereas in 32-bit they're limited to 2GB (unless you use the /increaseuserva option in bcdedit). (Note: such programs must be LAA aware, that is, compiled with the "large address aware" bit set on.)

For demanding apps this can be a real boon as they won't crash or otherwise bomb out if they need more than 2GB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Your product code is good for 32 bit or 64 bit so you should have no problem doing a clean install with the 64 bit media and activating. I'd download all your required 64 bit drivers before you start the re-install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit SP1
 
 

Thanks for your help Corazon and alphanumeric! This information is very useful to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Change Windows 7 32 bit to 64 bit




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