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Based on my brief research, the version of Windows 7 you can install (with respect to 32 or 64 bit) is based on what processor you have. I just bought a Dell Vostro, with a i3-350M Processor, and as far as i can tell, it should be able to run a 64-bit OS. Please correct me if i have the wrong impression of how it works.

Last night i installed the Windows 7 Professional (x64) Version, but on my Laptop it is the 32-bit version :( (AFAIK The 32-bit version == x86 version). Now its possible i installed the wrong one but very unlikely.

If i goto Device Manager it says under the Computer branch: ACPI x86-based PC, does this mean i can't install a 64-bit OS or is this related to the fact that i have a 32-bit OS installed currently? Also, under Control Panel->Performance Information and Tools->Advanced System Details, it says System Type: X86-based PC. Again, Am i just mistaken that the version you can install is based on the processor? or can my processor just not run 64-bit OS?

Please clear my confusion as i have a feeling its probably something simple :), Also being stuck with 32-bit is no problem i just figured why not install 64-bit if i could.

EDIT: All references to laptop in this post are to the new Vostro. Common belief is i used the wrong install :D Will check tonight and add an update. Thanks!

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You installed x86 version, I do not believe windows 7 install comes with both and will auto decide for you. – Chris Aug 26 '10 at 17:19
I hope this is the case, will check in few hours! Guess i am just anxious with the new laptop. Would a 64-bit Key work on a 32-bit version though? – Josh K Aug 26 '10 at 17:23
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You likely tend to have the 32-bit version installed. As you assume, the ACPI-based x86 PC is a clear indicator for that. Moreover, you could double check using the System Properties or msinfo32 or ...

As you can read here your processor is certainly capable of 64-bit instructions and so running a 64-bit OS.

When it comes to OS installation in general, you will almost always need a specific installation media, i.e. x86, x64, IA64 etc. The good news is that you can use your existing license key regardless of whether you install Windows 7 (even Vista) 32-bit or 64-bit. The bad news is that if you have more than about 3 GiB of RAM you'll need a 64-bit Windows to use the whole amount. Check the available RAM under the Task Manager (not System Properties). Read more about 64-bit Windows on this SU:

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Awesome thanks for info about the key. – Josh K Aug 26 '10 at 18:35
Indeed it was me installing wrong version, how embarrassing – Josh K Aug 26 '10 at 21:34
You may wonder if I tell you that there are some guys out there having a lot of fun with the installation of OSes. Deployment options are multifaceted... – Andreas Aug 26 '10 at 22:02

Are you sure that you installed the 64-bit windows? It sounds like you maybe didn't. I'm pretty sure that the device manager reflects the OS that's installed. Also, if your processor wasn't capable of the 64-bit installation, the installation would come back with an error, and the OS wouldn't install. Sounds like to me that you installed the 32-bit installation.

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Okay i dont have access to the DVD to check until later. Thanks for info i will check tonight and respond. – Josh K Aug 26 '10 at 17:20

I have a 64-bit processor and I see similar information (running Vista 32-bit), so this doesn't seem to be related. I don't see anything that tells me it's 64-bit capable (but it is...)

Now I'm assuming that you only have your laptop (on first read it was as if you had two machines...) And from what you're getting, it does look like you installed the 32-bit version. Are you sure that your installation media was for the 64bit version? If I'm not mistaken, both versions do not fit on the same DVD (don't quote me on that. :))

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