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Windows 7: Upgrade OS from 32 to 64

09 Mar 2018   #1

Upgrade OS from 32 to 64

When upgrading a laptop from 32 bit to 64 bit OS, what would be the right time to update the BIOS driver in that process?

On the PC in question, which is currently running W7/32 Pro, all of the OEM drivers for the laptop are good for 32/64 bit. However, there is an exception, the BIOS driver, which has one for 32 bit and separate one for 64 bit. This is obliviously going to be a clean install and I have a W7/64 Ult. disc ready to go. The system hardware is 64 bit ready and has all the prerequisites. I have all the OEM drivers downloaded on a USB drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #2

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1

I wouldn't update update the bios unless you are either doing so to fix an issue or add functionality. I wouldn't do so just because the manufacturer releases an update. A bad bios update could brick your computer. The update isn't applied to windows and isn't necessary to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit. See it isn't a driver update but an update to the chip that controls your computer's hardware which is why it is so dangerous to update. If something goes wrong you might not be able to get your computer to work again. You might want to see this thread. Help! Dell Inspiron 'Dead' After BIOS Update - Windows 7 Help Forums

As for going from 32-bit to 64-bit you have to do a clean install of windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #3


@townsbg. I have heard horror stories about BIOS updates. Thanks for supplying that link.

I thought the driver would be required as I am doing a clean install. So the chip in the motherboard has stored all it needs to recognize the 64 bit Windows install? Edited today: however, the BIOS is not going to have the updates from Lenovo that were flashed using the driver utility over the years the PC ran 32 bit Windows. If I want those updates I will have to apply the latest 64 bit driver.

The laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Mar 2018   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, x86

Pardon my French, but.....Arggg!

In 30+ years as a PC builder/tech, I've never heard of a BIOS Driver.
I have indeed heard of Updating a BIOS from the motherboard manufacturer, but as has been said, thousands of times, NEVER Futz with your BIOS unless it's absolutely necessary to fix a problem or enable a new piece of hardware. Because if something goes wrong, you just turned your PC into a door stop.

Windows does not even enter into the equation! And installing a new Version of Windows, Linux, Unix, Kleenex, etc. has nothing to do with the BIOS. Basically, the BIOS runs the motherboard and Windows runs all your programs.

So lets keep the apples separate from the oranges, Eh?
If you're going to go from a 32 bit version of Windows, to a 64 bit version of Windows (why do you NEED to do that?) you will indeed have to back up all your data files and then do a Clean Install of the 64 bit ver. of Windows, then reinstall your data, programs, special motherboard drivers, etc. In most cases it's way more troublesome than it's worth.

I still run Windows 7/32 because it will run all my old programs, some even 16 bit, and Windows 64 bit WILL NOT!

I do have Win-7/64 on a scratch disk, just for testing purposes, but it won't run a lot of software that I run daily, so it will never be my daily driver.

Good Luck Mate!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #5
Bat 1

8.1 home x64

A little more nfo on the system specs and well as the reason for going to a 64 bit OS would be appreciated. It' could be quite a bit of unnecessary work as posted above by @TechnoMage2016. Personally on Rigs with 4 GB of RAM or less and slower CPU or RAM speeds I always opt for the 32 bit OS. I do have 64 bit OS copies in all my own puters but I have quad Core/Thread or higher CPUs with 8 GB of RAM or more as I do a lot of VM work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #6

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Ok lets put a few things in straight terms

Changing the Operating System from 32Bit to 64 Bit is not too difficult to do for whatever reason, which is your right to do and no real business of anyone else

You will not need to replace the Bios for this as the BIOS is the Basic Input Output System and operates at the level under the OS so will work with either.

What are variable with the OS architecture are the Drivers, You will need to source the relevant 64Bit drivers to allow your component parts to work with the OS.

What you need to do is research the manufacturer's information for your system, If they ever sold a 64 Bit version then the drivers should still be available. This may also be the case where systems from the major manufacturers are concerned and the made a 64 Bit system with the same identical parts as yours in another market.

If you can locate drivers then it is a simple task to download these and save onto a usb stick,

You then have to Locate the product Key on your system or documentation, backup any data you want to keep, download a suitable installer, (ISO), and load this to a bootable USB stick, format the disk and install the OS, once installed and working you need to install all the drivers, reinstall your applications and transfer your data back onto the system

None of these operations are particularly difficult in themselves but the do take a bit of research and time to gain the confidence to start
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #7


I should have added more info and been more forthcoming, sorry about that. I'll try to clear that up as best I can. The laptop is a Lenovo X200 Thinkpad that supports both 32 and 64 bit. It was purchased from Lenovo with W7/32 Pro pre-installed on it.

The owner of the system does not mind you knowing why they want to upgrade to 64 bit. They thought they were protected from the meltdown spectre vulnerability with the patches from Microsoft this year, but have since learned that the W7/32 bit systems are not and may never be. The 64 bit patches at least address meltdown and partially spectre. This stuff can get to people.

I have a retail copy of W7/64 Ultimate that has never been used (It's genuine), so I offered it up. In helping out, I noticed the system has this installed. The current version of the BIOS ...

BIOS 3.22 (6DET72WW) ECP 1.07 (7XHT25WW)

Listed under drivers on the Lenovo support website for the X200, there is a 32 bit version and a 64 bit version for a BIOS update utility - it is not a driver, it's a utility for flashing the BIOS. My own words caused the confusion. I just thought the BIOS should be flashed to the current level otherwise it will be at the manufacturer's level, after the clean install. I was not sure if it should be done before any of the required drivers got installed. I was concerned about where to sequence it in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #8

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Ok just to clear that up, the actual Bios is not 32Bit or 64Bit but if you decide that it's the right idea to Update the BIOS, you will need to use the appropriate Installer for the OS you are using at the time of the installation

If you decide to update the BIOS now you would need to use a 32Bit installer whilst If you decided to install the 64Bit OS and then update the BIOS you would use the 64Bit Installer

As to whether you need to install the Bios Update depends on if installing the Update will improve the system you are using

You should be able to find information on exactly what the Update fixes or adds to the system. if this is not applicable to the system concerned then do not update - In fact in this situation I would advise to not think about the BIOS update until after the system is updated to 64Bit, (unless the description of the BIOS update specifically mentions an issue that only happens on 64Bit systems)

The adage of "If it ain't broke don't fix it" is the way to go with BIOS updates if only due to the potential damage to the system, if something goes wrong
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2018   #9


Thanks for the info and advise.

I did not know if the BIOS came preset to recognize what architecture was being used or not. I'll check out the updates and determine if the 64 bit side is affected by them. No point taking unwarranted risks. Also, good to know there is no sequencing issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2018   #10

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1

Flashing the BIOS is updating it. I think that it is the general consensus that you don't want to do that and it definitely isn't necessary to change from 32 to 64-bit. Earlier I think that you are confusing bios drivers with chipset drivers. There is a difference.

Where did you hear that 32 bit versions aren't going to be patched for spetre and meltdown?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Upgrade OS from 32 to 64

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