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Windows 7: Upgrade Win7 Pro 32bit to 64bit or go to Win8?


25 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 
Upgrade Win7 Pro 32bit to 64bit or go to Win8?

I have an aging system (2008) Windows 7 Pro 32bit. I would like to upgrade to 64bit in order to be able to use more ram, and other benefits.

Trying to decide whether to go to Win8 or Windows 7 Pro 64bit. I have some favorite programs that run on the 32bit system and may not run on 64bit. As I understand it, I may be able to run these 32bit porgrams on a 64bit machine. (??)

I am not a total newbie, but have not been keeping up on new technology since 2008, so I am asking for advice. I have a computer tech who can help.

My tech friend is advising NOT to go to Win8. He says that he would not recommend this OS until at least two years time has passed since it's introduction so MS has time to work out bugs. I am also just upgrading a desktop and have no touch screen.

I want my new system to be a media center, some graphics and some light video work.

I have bought

Asus AMD 990FX Atx 4 DIMM DDR3 TUF Sabertooth MOBO
ASUS - SABERTOOTH 990FX

AMD FX - 8320 EIGHT-CORE 3.5GHZ 16MB 125w AM3+CPU
AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 Eight-Core 3.5GHz AM3+ Processor - AM3+, Eight-Core, 3.5GHz, 16MB, 125W, Unlocked at TigerDirect.com

Kingston 8GB 1600MHz 10-10-10 DDR3 HyperX Red (thinking about getting another 8gb and upping my ram to 16gb)
HyperX red | Kingston Technology

I will be using my current Silverstone 850watt power supply, hard disks, case and DVD drives. Have a 6950 AMD Radeon video card.

Some more questions

If I upgrade to Windows 7 64bit while changing hardware, what is the procedure for getting MS to recognize this change? I have a leagl copy of Windows 7 Pro 32bit.

Is there any real advantage to go to Win8?

How can keep the ability to run present 32bit software?

Thanks for your help,
Bill

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Mar 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Hello Bill and welcome to Seven Forums. Lots of questions and I have no definitive answers for you. Just some personal opinion and others may totally disagree.

I have very limited experience with Windows 8. I played around with the Beta (consumer preview) for about 2 months and I didn't like it. To me it felt like a lot of the functionality I was used to in Windows 7 (and Windows XP before that) was missing. Now don't get me wrong. I think the basic underlying operating system is good. It booted up faster than 7, it has better security, and for about $5.00 you can buy something called Start8 from Stardock that makes Windows 8 look and feel like Windows 7. It even brings back the start button and start menu. But it still felt like I was trying to use a touch operating system on a non-touch computer.

The first thing I'd ask myself is: if I really want to keep the Windows 7 look and feel, why would I bother getting Windows 8 only to make it look and feel like 7? Why not just stay with 7? On the other hand, if I had to replace a broken or aging machine, then I probably would go with 8. But it sounds like your machine has the chops to stay around for a while and it doesn't sound like you have any immediate or pressing need to replace your computer.

Upgrading from 32-bit to 64-bit will require a clean install. You'll need to backup all your personal data. But you can use the same 25-digit Product Key to activate the 64-bit 7 Pro as you used to activate the 32-bit 7 Pro. You can flip-flop between 32-bit and 64-bit as many times as you want on the same version and as long as only one is activated at a time.

The installer should find most of the necessary drivers automatically. But since you are using 7 Pro you will have available XP Mode which should take care of any compatibility issues. Or you could use a different free virtual machine like VMware Player.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

You already own a license for the best OS so I would change it to 64-bit using Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

Everything you need is in the blue link, the steps are the same for retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Thank you all for the help. I think I will stay with Windows 7, and do a clean install.

Do I need to buy another Windows 7 64bit disk, or can I install from my original disk and choose 64bit? or is this a dumb question?

Since I am making major changes in hardware, how do I let the folk$ at MS know this is me upgrading to a different hardware setup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Mar 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Do you have an OEM copy of Windows 7? If so then the change of mobo would make it necessary to buy another copy since Windows 7 OEM locks to the first mobo installed upon and cannot be changed.

If it's a full or Upgrade version of Windows 7 then it will survive any hardware change - you just need to reinstall with the 64 bit installer for the licensed version. If its upgrade you still need a qualifying copy of XP or Vista though it doesn't need to be installed. If there's an OS on the HD when you boot to delete all partitions to reinstall, the installer will see this to allow Upgrade version. If you wipe the HD or use a new HD it requires doing the quick registry workaround in Option 3 of Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Stay with Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Do you have an OEM copy of Windows 7? If so then the change of mobo would make it necessary to buy another copy since Windows 7 OEM locks to the first mobo installed upon and cannot be changed.

If it's a full or Upgrade version of Windows 7 then it will survive any hardware change - you just need to reinstall with the 64 bit installer for the licensed version. If its upgrade you still need a qualifying copy of XP or Vista though it doesn't need to be installed. If there's an OS on the HD when you boot to delete all partitions to reinstall, the installer will see this to allow Upgrade version. If you wipe the HD or use a new HD it requires doing the quick registry workaround in Option 3 of Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version.

I have a OEM copy of WinXP and an Upgrade of Windows 7. It seems to me that every other version of Windows has been good, interspersed with less successful "upgrades".

I liked XP, Vista seemed to have problems. I like Windows 7, win8 seems less successful. We could back up further and the same formula seems to apply.

So I will install Windows 7 64bit and wait for Win9. My tech guy knows how to do the install, I just wanted opinions about Win8 and I think I have them!

Thanks again! I really like the latest and best technology. Looks like the best package that fulfills BOTH these criteria is STAY with Windows 7! ! : cool:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2013   #8

 

I'm not in a mood of writing a big post here - cuz discussion is about Windows 8. In simple words: It's not that great. Not worth a try. Windows 7 still stands out. IMO, new "features" of Windows 8 kind of suck. Over this, many good existent features have been removed. Also, no need to mention, it looks pretty bald when it comes to the GUI. Boring metro.

Stick with 7 until MS change their minds to create something worth a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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