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I have a desktop that has Windows 7 64-bit OS installed on it. I heard about Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro online upgrade offer for $40, so I want to take them up on that. But I also heard a lot of "negative" stuff about Windows 8, so I'm not really ready to take my current Windows 7 and upgrade it to 8. What I was thinking to do is this:

I have my old desktop that came with Windows XP 32-bit OS. It now sits in my garage, but I still have a product key for it. I also got me a brand new SSD drive, so I thought to install Windows XP 32-bit on it and later upgrade it to Windows 8 Pro for $40, like they say in that offer. Then I'll use it for a while and if I like it, I'll transfer all the data from my current Windows 7 installation.

The issue is how to install Windows 8 Pro 64-bit on a Windows XP 32-bit?

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You can replace your installation, because there is no upgrade path from a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit operating system. This means your system would be wiped. – Ramhound Nov 6 '12 at 15:26

First would install XP and all drivers on the SSD, then run the W8 upgrade assistant, it will scan and flag any Hardware, software or drivers that are problematic. Do this before you buy a license.

A 64bit processor is required, so check your processor to see if it supports 64bit instruction set and is a 1 GHz processor or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2.

Yes you can upgrade from XP to W8 64bit if your hardware meets the requirements. But requires using DVD media, it cannot be done using the upgrade assistant.

Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8? Yes, but you can't do this using Upgrade Assistant. If your PC has a 64-bit capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro, but you'll need to buy it as a DVD and perform a custom installation. If available in your country or region, you can buy Windows 8 Pro from a participating retail store. You can also buy it online from the Microsoft Store in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.

Note: You might be better off buying a full copy of W8 "System Builder", it costs more but you can move the install and license to a different PC if the original PC you install it on dies or you just want to upgrade to a better PC. Buy it at any electronics retail store.

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Here's the CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80GHz Architecture: x64 (64-bit) – Den Nov 6 '12 at 6:50
@Den download the tool and run it on your PC rest will do by Microsoft. – avirk Nov 6 '12 at 6:50
do as avirk says, run the software. some bios's have locked out the NX feature in the bios, ran across this here on SU, it was a New Dell. – Moab Nov 6 '12 at 6:53
Thanks guys. I'm more concerned about installing 32-bit version of Win8 this way. – Den Nov 6 '12 at 6:53
Upgrade assistant doesn't upgrade from a 32-bit Winodws to a 64-bit Win8. Go here and check the last question in Is my PC ready to upgrade – VenkatH Nov 6 '12 at 6:54

If you have a 64bit compatible machine running a 32bit OS and you want windows 8 64bit to run, download Windows 8 Enterprise Preview and burn ISI to DVD.

NOTE: Make sure you choose 64bit download not 32bit, and make sure to do a clean install.

This will give you a 64bit OS running on your system. Since you downloaded UPGRADE ASSISTANCE online.

NOTE: Your Windows 8 also is a web install and that is when you get the actual 32bit or 64bit installed on computer.

Be careful! I had problems entering my product key using a burned ISO disc, so I did a install from desktop in windows 8 Enterprise.

While going through this process you will have the option to install now, burn ISO, or later from desktop. Be sure to choose "install now". This will install the OS from the web with product key and activation. When it ask you what you want to keep choose "nothing".

When you're done with these steps you will have 64bit OS running on 64bit system.

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I landed on this thread while trying to upgrade from Windows XP 32 bit to Windows 8 64 bit. The process was smooth but needs a bit of a preparation.

I have written my detailed experience with helpful tips to check compatibility, get the start menu back and more.

Hope that helps!

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As I know at the moment, you have to download Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant and run it. It will check your system whether is it capable to run Windows 8. If everything is fine, you may choose which installation method is preferred for you ('Keep Windows settings, personal files and apps', 'Keep personal files only', or 'Nothing to keep (clean install)'). It is important that you can't choose between 32bit / 64bit systems. This is choosen by automatically depending on your current architecture of your Windows system. Before downloading Windows 8, you have to give some billing information.

Please make sure that you have enough free space on your hard drive (at least 2GB) before starting the procedure. I was told that after dowload the Windows 8 may be written to USB drive or DVD and may be installed.

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I just said the same, bro! It depends on the currently installed architecture. It's not bad information. Read one more time, please! – roncsak Nov 26 '12 at 15:57

If you purchase the online upgrade for $40., you may want to purchase it from a 64 bit OS because you only get either a 64 bit or 32 bit version, not both. Please check this out, but when I researched it, that was the case as far as I could tell. I ordered mine from 7 ultimate instead of my 32 bit xp partition for just this reason and burnt the install .iso so I could upgrade at my leisure. I may be wrong but it's worth checking out. Good luck!

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Actually...You get both if you purchase the physical Windows 8 Professional Upgrade package. I have to downvote this for bad information. – Ramhound Nov 26 '12 at 3:53

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