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I have Windows XP (x86) installed on my machine. I have 2 partitions on 1 physical drive (C and D)

Windows is installed on C:, and D: is used for my documents.

I want to install Windows Vista (x64) on C:.

Would I have any problems accessing my documents on D: after the install?

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It's x86-64 not x64. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64 –  Brad Gilbert Jul 23 '09 at 0:35
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@Brad, from the article you supplied - "The terms x86-64 and x64 are often used as vendor-neutral terms to collectively refer to x86-64 processors from any company." –  John T Jul 24 '09 at 7:24
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Architectures do not have specific file systems. 64 bit Windows can Read NTFS just like a 32 bit Windows can read NTFS, the same is for FAT32 etc. The only thing that might cause you trouble is if you try to use 32 bit executables on x64, not all are compatible.

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No, the architecture should not affect accessing the disk partitions. The things that would differ in terms of files would be on C:, simply because it contains Windows's system files and you're installing a different version of Windows.

Edit: as demetri mentioned, using incompatible executables won't work, but chances are you won't have too many problems.

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If you're trying to dual-boot Windows XP and Windows Vista, don't install them on the same partition. Even if you install the second OS into a different directory from C:\Windows, you'll run into problems with the second OS replacing files in %ProgramFiles%.

If you're replacing Windows XP with Windows Vista, you should be okay. (You may want to reformat C: or at least rename C:\Windows and C:\Program Files before installing, if the installer doesn't do it for you.)

Be aware that if D: is formatted for NTFS and you create a new user account in Windows Vista, it may not have access to all of the files on D: until you change the permissions. This might not be an issue if you use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate your account.

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