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Windows 7: Upgrade windows 7 32 bit to 64bit without format?

17 Mar 2014   #1
athlon54

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 
Upgrade windows 7 32 bit to 64bit without format?

Hello

Recently I decided to upgrade RAM on my PC. Currently I have 2GB of RAM and I wanted to upgrade to at least 4GB, but I need 64bit OS to support that. So, can I upgrade win7 from 32bit to 64bit without format???

thanks for your help in advance


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2014   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

No, you can`t. You have to reinstall windows. It takes 15 minutes.

Clean Install Windows 7

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #3
athlon54

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

thanks very much for your help
but if I format and use the 64bit one will all the drivers be installed and updated by windows7 64 bit? because I do not want to mess up with my system. And can I keep my files on partition D, or do I have to format all partitions???
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17 Mar 2014   #4
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

The similar user interface tends to hide the fact that internally 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems are internally very different. Internally 32 bit Vista and 32 bit Windows 7 are more alike than 32 bit Windows 7 and 64 bit Windows 7. There has never been an upgrade path from a 32 bit to a 64 bit OS. The entire 32 bit OS, including all drivers, will be replaced by the 64 bit version.

The links provided by AddRAM provide detailed instructions of what you need to do.

You should always have a backup of all important files before any kind of an upgrade or installation of a new OS. If the files are of particular importance you should have 2 or more backup copies. Of course you should always have such a backup anyway. Data recovery after a problem arises is always a chancy thing.
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17 Mar 2014   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Do not format the other partitions. Just format the partition you want to install windows on.
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17 Mar 2014   #6
gregrocker

 

I would not change to 64 bit for only 4gb RAM. I still install 32 bit on most all my 4gb RAM installs. It tends to perform better.

The small amount of 4gb RAM not utilized by Win7 is normally reserved by hardware. You can check how much by typing Resource Monitor in Start Search box, clicking on Memory tab.
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17 Mar 2014   #7
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Ya just put the ram in, don`t change to 64 bit.
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09 Aug 2015   #8
BlackOwl

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I'd like to respectfully disagree with most of the naysayers above, and submit my (albeit very ugly) solution to the x86 -> x64 problem. This only works with desktops but a similar solution could be applied to laptops with a little more work.

Step 1: buy a new internal hard drive (preferably an SSD).
Step 2: remove all other hard drives and install the new drive. This will be your main/OS drive.
Step 3: clean-install x64 onto the new drive.
Step 4: boot up x64, install bare minimum of drivers etc. - this is unfortunately necessary.
Step 5: power off and replace your old HDD(s). You will need Windows to gain permanent access to this - a process that shouldn't take much time or effort.

This whole process might not keep your old settings, but with a few exceptions it should keep all your old files and programs (it kept mine with only trivial issues).

The beauty of this (from my point of view) is that it keeps x86 in case something goes wrong - just remove the new HDD and go back to your old config.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2015   #9
crashnbuen

WinXP/ Win7x64/ Mac OSX Snow Leopard - Multi Boot
 
 

You wont be able to do an upgrade, but given your goal - if you wish to save/ migrate a lot of things to the NEW Fresh Installed OS, there are steps you'll have to take.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2015   #10
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BlackOwl View Post
I'd like to respectfully disagree with most of the naysayers above, and submit my (albeit very ugly) solution to the x86 -> x64 problem. This only works with desktops but a similar solution could be applied to laptops with a little more work.

Step 1: buy a new internal hard drive (preferably an SSD).
Step 2: remove all other hard drives and install the new drive. This will be your main/OS drive.
Step 3: clean-install x64 onto the new drive.
Step 4: boot up x64, install bare minimum of drivers etc. - this is unfortunately necessary.
Step 5: power off and replace your old HDD(s). You will need Windows to gain permanent access to this - a process that shouldn't take much time or effort.

This whole process might not keep your old settings, but with a few exceptions it should keep all your old files and programs (it kept mine with only trivial issues).

The beauty of this (from my point of view) is that it keeps x86 in case something goes wrong - just remove the new HDD and go back to your old config.
What are you disagreeing with, if you want 64 bit you have to install 64 bit, regardless if you use another drive or not. In the case of the OP going from 32 bit to 64 bit just because he`s going from 2 GB to 4 GB of ram, I wouldn`t even bother, he gains nothing, there`s no need to do it. The thread is well over a year old anyway, not even worth pulling up.
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