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Windows 7: Switching to 64 bit Windows

26 Jan 2015   #1

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Switching to 64 bit Windows


I have an HP notebook that supports Windows Vista and XP. But it appears not Windows 7. Is that possible?
I like the new features and enhancements of Windows 7 so I'd like to upgrade. Do you think I can?
This notebook is designed for Windows Vista, and actually, Vista runs pretty nice on it, I just want 7 because of the new and enhanced features.

Is it possible?

  • The model is HP Compaq 6720s.
  • HP says Windows 7 is not supported on this model and probably wouldn't perform well. (they say only Vista and XP are supported)
  • this notebook is designed for Windows Vista and came with it
  • I thought all computers DESIGNED for Vista could run 7
  • compatibility reports looks OK
  • on HP's driver page, only Vista and XP drivers are offered
  • most Vista drivers for this model seem to work on 7
  • but some do not (SATA controller, graphics), we need to find drivers for those
  • this notebook has an Intel chipset with full official Vista support so that should be easy, who knows maybe it even supports 7
  • its from 2008
  • Notebook model is HP Compaq 6720s
  • Chipset is Intel 965GME Express
  • See the screenshots

See the screenshots below for technical data
It has the integrated graphics card
Switching to 64 bit Windows-mainpage.png Switching to 64 bit Windows-motherboard.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Let Microsoft help you. Use this from Microsoft.

Download Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor from Official Microsoft Download Center

Use this tutorial by Brink to fill in your My System Specs.

System Info - See Your System Specs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2015   #3
Microsoft MVP


If you'd like to test it on the PC, then you can shrink C in Disk Mgmt to Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and Vista which will configure a Dual Boot during install so you can compare them side by side.

You can also access your files in Vista from the Win7 OS, copy them over, and vice versa.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Jan 2015   #4

Windows 10 Pro x64

As others have said, the Microsoft upgrade advisor is a good idea to see what (if anything) you have installed that may not work with Windows 7. However, that hardware is 64bit capable, and 4GB of RAM is enough for Windows 7. If you can upgrade the HDD to an SSD, you'll find that the hardware itself is at least quite adequate for good performance (the Hitachi drives that those ship with are 5400RPM drives with a small cache, so they boot quite slowly under Windows 7).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2015   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Ya the drive will slow it down, but Windows 7 will run, but your cpu at 1.46 GHz is gonna kill it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2015   #6

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Thanks for your answers everyone! I just updated my system specs as requested.
And I ran the Microsoft upgrade advisor and it seems OK

But I do need drivers for graphics and the SATA controller.
The one provided by HP for vista is specifically noted to be x86 and in fact the x64 Windows 7 won't even install it, it says it's not for this platform.

Other drivers provided by HP include both an x86 and x64, these two (graphics and SATA controller) are the exceptions.
I found one for graphics (I just needed to search in the legacy drivers section, Intel made one for Windows 7 even for x64) but I cannot find the SATA controller driver.

Can you help me please?
Switching to 64 bit Windows-driver.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2015   #7
Microsoft MVP


Did you try booting the 64 bit Win7 installation media to do the booted Clean Install Windows 7 ? Lack of SATA drivers is so rare that I doubt you'd really encounter that error, but if so we need to see the exact error message.

I'd definitely use 64 bit Win7 with 4gb RAM as 32 bit will not use all the RAM unless a lot is used by hardware as shown in Resource Monitor>Memory tab.

If you're only working from the Upgrade Advisor's report, please save it and attach using paper clip in reply box, or copy and paste it between the # icon tags.

Did you decide if you want to try a Dual Boot to compare to Vista which would then be easy to delete in Disk Mgmt if you don't want it, and wouldn't need activating for 30 days either way?

In tens of thousands of installs we've helped with here I've never seen one that came up without a SATA or display driver at all. Those that are not in the installer will have most delivered by Windows Updates after you Enable hardware auto-updating via Windows Update (Steps 3 and 6) then any still missing are usually easy to find following the steps in red in Clean Reinstall Windows 7 or asking back here where we have excellent driver detectives who cannot be stumped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2015   #8

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit


Just a follow up for people who read this topic later.
Thank you everyone, your suggestions were very helpful! I managed to solve it and I'm running Windows 7.

So here's what I did:
- You were right, no SATA driver was required for install, it detected my hard drive without applying any drivers manually.
- After install, I went to and manually searched for chipset and graphics drivers. (I looked up the chipset model before). Actually, I did found Windows 7 x64 certified drivers! Great!
- I also used some x64 drivers from the HP Vista Driver DVD that came with the notebook (like Synaptics Touchpad, etc, that are compatible with Win7)
- Windows Update also found some (wifi, wired networking, sound, HP QuickLaunch hotkey buttons driver) - > they ALL work great.

So for those who have a similar (or same model) notebook and want to upgrade to Windows 7: You can, but you need to download ALL the proper drivers. You can use vista drivers for stuff like mouse, wifi, but not for graphics or chipset. You do need Windows 7 drivers for that, in my experience.
It is very important to download the Win7 chipset driver (because of the SATA AHCI controller) if you do not, the system will be slow.
Installing the chipset driver (with the sata driver included) gave me a serious performance boost, making it just as fast as it was with the factory installed Windows Vista.

I have 4 GB of RAM, and I can finally enjoy it all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2015   #9

Microsoft® Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Ya the drive will slow it down, but Windows 7 will run, but your cpu at 1.46 GHz is gonna kill it.
Now all I wonder about is this. Speed is okay, not bad, but not quite fast either.
You are saying my cpu at 1.46Ghz is gonna kill it. Hmm. Do you think I should downgrade to XP?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2015   #10

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Yea it's just under powered a bit, 2 Ghz is a good basement of course higher is always better
A good compromise might be to add a ssd which will at least help reads instead of a slower hdd.
100.u.s. would take care of that one nicely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Switching to 64 bit Windows

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