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Windows 7: Change Windows 7 32 bit to 64 bit

25 Oct 2011   #1
caleb97

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
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

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 W7 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
caleb97

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 W7 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
Corazon

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
alphanumeric
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Education 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
caleb97

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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