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When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter?

I have actually never bought a non-OEM version of Windows, so I have never dealt with upgrading systems.

The question is twofold:

  1. How does the upgrade process actually work? I definately want to perform a clean install instead of a in-place upgrade. Is this possible?

  2. I currently have a valid Vista Home Premium 32 bit license and want to upgrade to Windows 7 Home 64 bit. Judging from the answer to this question, it is not possible to actually upgrade it, but it seems it is possible to perform a clean install. How does this work? How does it validate the fact that I actually have a genuine Vista license prior to installing Windows 7?

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marked as duplicate by studiohack Jun 28 '11 at 1:07

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3 Answers 3

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How does the upgrade process actually work? I definately want to perform a clean install instead of a in-place upgrade. Is this possible?

It's possible, it's actually mandatory for you. You cannot upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit, a full install is required.

I currently have a valid Vista Home Premium 32 bit license and want to upgrade to Windows 7 Home 64 bit. Judging from the answer to this question, it is not possible to actually upgrade it, but it seems it is possible to perform a clean install. How does this work? How does it validate the fact that I actually have a genuine Vista license prior to installing Windows 7?

There is no software method of validation, you have to show proof of purchase for Vista to even receive your upgrade. The Vista copy also has to be retail, not OEM.

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I bought a new PC that with Vista 32bit home installed. The vendor also provided a recovery disc which was actually a true full install disc for 32bit (not a mirrored partition). I bought Windows 7 Upgrade (which contained 32bit and 64bit versions). To use this upgrade I had to have the Vista installed on the machine first. But during the Windows 7 install, there were options to do a clean full install, delete/wiping the partition. I would guess that detection of the prior Vista had already been done by the Windows 7 installer, before these options to wipe it were offered. So, actually, yes. –  therobyouknow Aug 13 '10 at 15:41
    
...yes to your question. –  therobyouknow Aug 13 '10 at 15:42

When migrating from Windows Vista to Windows 7 you will have the option to select "custom" or "upgrade" install when prompted. By selecting the "upgrade" option, your documents and applications will follow and carry over through the install process. If you select, "custom" however you will be able to perform a clean install and all applications / documents will have to be reinstalled / transfered manually.

For additional assistance with the migration of Windows Vista to Windows 7, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You are welcome to check the threads there and receive additional assistance and feedback.

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An upgrade medium is identical to a regular one, so installing Windows 7 from it will not be a problem. There is no way to do an in-place upgrade from a 32bit OS to a 64 bit OS.

I'm not exactly sure what the EULA states, but I believe there will be no problems when upgrading from a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS from a legal stand point. Upgrading from a flavor of Windows Vista to the equivalent Windows 7 version does not depend on the type of OS architecture.

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