Windows 7 forum

General discussion

Can I upgrade Vista 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit

by 303british / July 2, 2009 2:35 PM PDT

I must confess from the get-go that my knowledge of the finer points of computers in general is limited, but I've heard that 64-bit is the way to go. I bought my system from Dell about 12 months ago. Since I didn't build it, I can't tell you what mother board I've got (Dell refuses to easily divulge that bit of info and it's kind of a huge problem), but I do know:
Intel Q6600 @ 2.4 GhZ
4 GB DDR2 800
Radeon HD 3870 512 MB
W/ Vista Ultimate 32-bit

So, my question is can I buy an upgrade kit to go from Vista 32 to Windows 7 64 or will I need to straight buy Windows 7 64 bit and install it? Will I need to update the BIOS? Is casual gaming, photo and video editing and HD video viewing even worth 64-bit? Again, since I don't know what mobo I have, all this may be for nothing because the board may not do 64-bit at all...

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Upgrade FAQs & Answers...
by John.Wilkinson / July 2, 2009 11:47 PM PDT

1.) Your computer can run Windows 7 x64.

2.) You can purchase a Windows 7 x64 upgrade DVD/license (at the reduced cost).

3.) You will need to perform a clean installation (wipe everything and start from scratch) since you cannot directly upgrade/convert from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems (or vice versa).

4.) You will not need a BIOS update.

5.) Aside from being able to use more than 4GB of RAM, you likely will not notice much of a benefit unless those multimedia applications are available in 64-bit versions. 32-bit versions will work, but see little/no performance boost.

6.) Each copy of Windows 7 will include both 32-bit and 64-bit DVDs, so you can choose to 'convert' now or down the road.

Hope this helps,

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That about does it!
by 303british / July 3, 2009 4:50 PM PDT

That about clears it up for me! Thanks very much for your help!

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Dell 1525 Inspiron Vista x32 to 7 x64 upgrade
by SpaceArchitect / October 7, 2011 6:03 AM PDT
In reply to: That about does it!

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> I've already made sure that my laptop is dual core ready and everything.
<span>1. Where can you find the Windows 7 x64 upgrade DVD/license for the reduced cost?
<span>2. Do you know how much RAM can I cram in after the Windows 7x64

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how do i clean my hd
by dfieber / July 22, 2009 6:39 PM PDT

i was wondering how you completely swipe your hard drive?

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WARNING. These titles are POWER TOOLS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 22, 2009 10:47 PM PDT
In reply to: how do i clean my hd

If you don't read the directions and lose more than you intended then that was your fault.

Research these tools.

Active@ Kill Disk Free Version
Autoclave (noteable since old machines may not run the prior 3.)

But about swiping my hard disk. You may suffer some broken limbs if I catch you doing that.


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Erasure of all information on a hard drive.
by jamesup / December 9, 2011 2:27 AM PST
In reply to: how do i clean my hd

I thought a low level format of a hard drive would permantly erase all information. Is there a regulation that forbids that action?

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / December 9, 2011 2:29 AM PST

Do you mean a law? If so, which country would have made that law, and how would it be enforced in other countries?


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by wardj4102 / October 22, 2009 7:01 AM PDT

Ok, so I downloaded the windows 7 home premium that was offered at a discount price for students. I was encouraged by some educated people to go for the 64-bit and they made sure that my computer could do it. It can. However, the download is an application (.exe) file and I can't figure out how to do a clean install with an .exe when booting from a dvd that it's burned to doesn't work.

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Downloaded from where,
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / October 22, 2009 7:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Help

and what instructions did the web site give for the installation?


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by wardj4102 / October 22, 2009 11:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Downloaded from where,
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What about upgrading to Vista 64 bit first?
by bbrad808 / April 7, 2010 6:43 AM PDT

Can I upgrade from Vista 32 Bit to Vista 64 Bit then Upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit? Or upgrade to 7 32 then 7 64? Or would i have to just use 32 bit? Because I'm not wiping out my hard drive.

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Read answer number 7 at link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 7, 2010 7:12 AM PDT
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by Chimlim / March 7, 2011 1:28 AM PST

You cannot upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit, regardless of which Windows version. You can do a clean install, but not an upgrade. Your only option is to backup everything you have, and do a clean install if you want 64-bit

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Additional Benefit of a 64-bit Operating System
by peaceavideos / March 6, 2011 8:15 AM PST

Aside from being able to use more than 4GB of RAM, you likely will not notice much of a benefit unless those multimedia applications are available in 64-bit versions. 32-bit versions will work, but see little/no performance boost.

Don't forget you reduce the likelihood of viruses damaging the system files of a 64-bit OS, because of "Data Execution Prevention" (DEP) or "NX" (No Execution).

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by JayLara / November 22, 2011 8:31 AM PST

how do i convert windows vista 32 bit to windows 7 64 bit? i do have the windows 7 64 bit, but im just trying to figure out how to convert it

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You Don't Convert...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 22, 2011 8:51 AM PST
In reply to: hi

Moving from 32 bit to 64 bit requires a complete format and install of the new operating system.

Hope this helps.


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by GSAHeppner / February 17, 2012 2:00 PM PST

This was helpful but i just have 1 question, So when you say <b>"You will need to perform a clean installation

(wipe everything and start from scratch)

since you cannot directly upgrade/convert from 32-bit to 64-bit operating systems (or vice versa)"</b>
are you saying that if i want to upgrade from Windows vista 32 bit to Windows 7 64 bit I'll have to wipe my HDD clean and start from scratch?<div>
I want to know cause I have files that I'll want to keep and if I'll have to wipe my HDD clean I'll be wanting to back up my files before I do so.

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John probably will not ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 17, 2012 2:25 PM PST
In reply to: Re

respond to a 3 year old post but yes, that is EXACTLY what must be done.

Save your data to some other drive or CD or DVD or Flash Drive then wipe the drive and re-install the 64 bit version from scratch.

BEFORE wiping the drive take the time to locate and download all the necessary drivers your new 64 bit OS will need - motherboard, printer, other peripherals such as sound video etc. and have them handy on CD or Flash drives.

AFTER installing the new 64 bit OS remember to immediately install all those drivers so the OS can recognize all the peripherals.

PS it is best to not ask your questions in old threads because most of us have a tendency to skip them because in the past various forum glitches have brought up old posts with nothing new to them. Far better to ask your own question in your own thread or in a current post if you have the EXACT same problem.

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by cheemster / July 23, 2009 2:43 AM PDT

You cannot upgrade, you have to do a clean install. 64-bit shows a slight performance increase and most programs are compatible anyways. It lets you use more than 3GB of RAM, where as 32 bit only allows up to 3GB.

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How to
by wardj4102 / October 22, 2009 4:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes

Ok, so I know that I need to do a complete fresh start to do this, but how do I do that when I got the student discounted copy which is only a download?
Basically, how can I wipe my drive and then install something that was on it? I tried booting from an external HD and from a dvd and no luck to clean install thus far.

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If the downloaded copy is a .iso file ...
by Kees Bakker / October 22, 2009 4:51 AM PDT
In reply to: How to

burn it to DVD (be sure to burn it as iso, not as a file), set the BIOS to boot from the DVD and go ahead.


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not an .ISO
by wardj4102 / October 22, 2009 4:59 AM PDT

It is an .exe file. It came with a download package. Once that is open it places to .BOX files and another .exe file for the installation. Once that is executed, the process bar progresses, then at the end says that it is not compatible with 32-bit system.

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"Upgrade" disk, 64-bit to 32-bit
by Parakitteh / February 19, 2012 2:10 AM PST
In reply to: Yes

I only have an 'upgrade' disk for 64-bit Win7, and 32-bit Vista installed. Will this disk still allow me to do a clean install?

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Why are you
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 19, 2012 6:30 AM PST

unable to back up your files?

While installing an OS onto a new partition should not affect files on any other partition I would never recommend doing that unless all your personal files are backed up. You can never be sure.

Tell us more about this "upgrade 64 bit Win 7" disk. Where did you get it from?


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by Parakitteh / February 19, 2012 9:45 AM PST
In reply to: Why are you

I bought it from which is a place I have bought other discs from. They provide discs intended only for students and faculty staff within the UK and discounted price.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 19, 2012 9:52 AM PST
In reply to: Reply

With 113 GB that is plenty for Win 7 as you only need 16 GB for the new OS itself, and you can use that upgrade disk to to a 'clean install' of Win 7. There's guidance for that here;

But as I said before, partitioning and installing a new OS without backing up files, while it 'should' be OK, is still a risk.


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I just checked that web site
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 19, 2012 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Well and their FAQ at

Why is their software so cheap?

"The Basement is a special initiative that RM Education has launched for
students to purchase educational software and hardware at discount rates. As a Microsoft gold certified partner and Adobe authorised reseller, we are allowed to offer hugely discounted software to students and their parents, encouraging the use of ICT to boost learning and achievement. These unbeatable deals stem from our strong, long-term relationships with Microsoft and Adobe - and they benefit everyone

Now that's fine on the surface. But what is a little worrying is their claim that they are "Microsoft Gold Certified partner" and "Adobe authorised reseller", and yet the two logos, Microsoft Certified and Adobe are just images, and are not click through to those companies to confirm what they say.

I couldn't find this web site or company in Adobe's Reseller's finder page here;

May be you can.

I didn't try Microsoft, but that all makes me suspicious.


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by Parakitteh / February 20, 2012 2:52 AM PST

I have no idea, I can only assume that since it's intended for educational purposes (the disk is a special edition printed with distinctive patterning, 'student and faculty only' disclaimer, and Microsoft logos), it's somehow subsidised from somewhere.
I only know of the site, because my old school's IT department promoted the site to students.

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