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Windows 7: upgrading to 64 bit from 32 bit - clarification

21 Sep 2010   #1

windows 7 home pre 64 bit
upgrading to 64 bit from 32 bit - clarification

I have win 7 32 bit installed on my home pc on a 500 gb hard drive, but I am now going to fit a 1 tb hard drive and use a Acronis true clone to clone my current o/s to the new disk. Once cloned and checked to be working I want to upgrade my cloned o/s on the new disc to win 7 64 bit.

Now I have both 32 and 64 bit upgrade discs and I will only be using it on ONE pc so I am legal.

Can I just boot the pc with the win 7 64 bit cd in the cd drive and select CUSTOM install, will this find my existing registered copy of windows 7 32 bit and allow me to use that registerd licence key to do the 64 bit upgrade ? once it all works I will reformat the old 500 gb hard drive I just wanted to clone it first in case of any problems I could always revert back to my old stable 32 bit win 7 installation.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

With a clean install, using a upgrade DVD, you are given a choice of which drive you want to put the OS. You must format if going from 32 to 64 or 64 to 32
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #3

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer

Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade from a 32-bit to 64-bit Windows 7 operating system. You can use the 500GB drive as your backup, and install the 64-bit OS on the new drive.

**EDIT** oh, it's an upgrade. You still cannot upgrade from 32- to 64-bit. You could upgrade from 64-bit Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Sep 2010   #4


Do you have Acronis to use to clone the 500gb to the 1tb new HD? There is a free version for WD and Seagate HD's we can link you to.

After cloning to the new HD, disconnect it to clean install 64 bit to old HD by booting the DVD, using Drive Options to delete, create and format new partition(s). This will leave the HD's independent booted via BIOS as is best with separate HD's. After install, Set the preferred HD to boot first in BIOS setup, then boot the other one using one-time BIOS boot menu key given on first boot screen.

I am not sure 64 bit will activate while 32 bit is still in use even on same machine. If not you can extend it's activation trial period up to 120 days while you decide which you want to use and then activate the one you want at Computer>Properties.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

As has been said previously; there is NO upgrade path from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows, it has to be a clean install.

How to Do a Clean Installation with Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #6

windows 7 home pre 64 bit

Yes I do have the Acronis.

I realise you cant UPGRADE from 32 bit to 64 bit ie keep your files and folders etc but I was under the impression that on the custom install option it wipes your old O/S and puts everything in a windows old file, ie a clean install?

This is what i was hoping to do.

1st chioce - Install the 1 TB HDD as additional drive, then clone my current win 7 32 bit O/S on to it. once done switch off and remove my old 500 gb drive with my original win 7 32 bit O/S on and then make my new 1 TB drive (with the now cloned 32 bit O/S on) the only HDD in the pc, boot into win 7 from/on the new 1 TB cloned drive and check all seems to work, then put the 64 bit upgrade disk in the cd drive and switch off, restart and run win 7 64 bit set up from the disk in the cd drive. Choose the CUSTOM install and install the 64 bit O/S. I was hoping that this way win 7 will see the old 32 bit o/s and allow the upgrade to register the key with Microsoft.

2nd chioce - I could always just do a clean install on the new blank 1 TB drive with the 64 bit upgrade disk and then do the reg edit to activate windows BUT as my licence key has already been used on the 32 bit O/S install I am worried MS might refuse to authorise it even though I will only be using it on one pc. Any thoughts ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #7


You cannot count on windows.old as a backup method. It can fail or not function.

Why would you worry that MS would steal back your merchandise which you own for life? You are entitled to migrate retail Win7 to any machine of your choice as long as it is on only one computer at a time.

For what you describe, I would unplug your old HD and clean install 64 bit Win7 to the 1tb. Don't give key up front and uncheck box to Activate when Online.

After install, plug back in other HD which can be booted separately via BIOS one-time Boot Menu key if needed, or used as a data drive to drag your files into the 1tb Win7 folders.

Once the files are copied over, you can unplug the old HD to save it as a fallback in case 64 bit doesn't work as desired, keep it connected to use as a data drive or Dual Boot via BIOS, even eventually format it to use fully as a data and backup drive, storing a Win7 image and file backup there.

Wait the full 30 days or extend even longer until you are sure you want to transfer activation to 64 bit install and then do the workaround to activate it at Computer>Properties. You will likely need to make a robocall to MS to trade numbers changing the hardware profile in their servers. If asked how many computers it is installed upon, answer only "One."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #8
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello again mate.

After you have them both connected again, the "Move To" option listed in the tutorial at the link below is an excellent way to move things between the 2 OSs in Windows explorer.

Context Menu - Add Copy To Folder and Move To Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #9

windows 7 home pre 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Why would you worry that MS would steal back your merchandise which you own for life? You are entitled to migrate retail Win7 to any machine of your choice as long as it is on only one computer at a time.
Thanks again guys, I didn't realise that.

I think I will just do the clean install and the work around then as its a lot less hassle LOL

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Sep 2010   #10


Let us know how it goes and if you need any other help.

Some tips:

The installer is mostly driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates. Any drivers then missing in Device Manager can be found on the Support Downloads webpage for your model computer or device.

Install updates and then programs slowly over time to gauge performance after each. Don't let any programs write themselves into msconfig>Startup as they become freeloaders on your RAM/CPU and can spy on you. I only allow AV and gadgets.

Use a lightweight free AV like MS Security Essentials which works perfectly with Windows 7 Firewall.

When it is finished, clean and order the HD perfectly using state-of-the-art free CCleaner then Auslogics Disk and Registry defraggers monthly.

Then save a Win7 Backup image externally so you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the HD or replacement using DVD or Repair CD. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 upgrading to 64 bit from 32 bit - clarification

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