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I'm running XP 32bit on a desktop PC with a AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 dual-core processor and I can add up to 8GB of ram. I would like to upgrade to a 64bit OS WITHOUT re-installing all my programs. I own full licensed versions of XP 64bit and Windows 7 64bit.

I have read a lot of conflicting opinions on whether or not it is possible to upgrade without re-installing my programs. Does anyone have any first hand experience with this? If I can't go directly from XP32 to Windows 7 64, maybe I can go from XP32 to XP64 and then to Windows 7 64bit?

Thanks for any advice you have, let me know if you need more info.

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In my (extremely limited) experience, WinXP 64 bits just doesn't work right. And you will need to reinstall almost everything in 64 bit versions anyway. –  vonbrand Apr 29 '13 at 0:58
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3 Answers 3

it is not at all possible to upgrade any 32 bit operating system to any 64 bit operating system. the only way such an upgrade can be preformed is through a fresh install which would not transfer the software and files you need.

I suggest that you buy another hard drive, install it, and then put windows 7 64bit onto that hard drive and set up a dual boot, which is probably the best solution. even if you could upgrade from 32 bit directly to 64 bit most, if not all, of your software would need to be reinstalled into 64 bit format.

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You're going to have to reinstall. Win 7 doesn't support upgrading from XP, and XP64 is an entirely different beast than XP. You can't upgrade to that either. What's more, unless you have a very specific use case that requires it, there's no reason to run XP64 at all. Driver support was atrocious for consumer hardware.

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As others have stated, you'll need to re-install to accomplish this. And therefore, you might as well go to Windows 7. Unless you have programs that won't run in Windows 7, you'll be happy you did. And even then, you can probably find alternatives. Windows 7 is far superior to Windows XP. Vista and 8 are wait for the next version OSes, but 7 got it right.

One suggestion would be to use a Physical to Virtual converter. You can convert your current computer into a Virtual Machine that you could then run in VirtualBox. Your Virtual Guest will still be limited to < 4GB of RAM; however, your Host could run programs and not eat up RAM. For instance, you could do all your Web Browsing on Host, and do whatever else in Guest.

With that path, you can start using more RAM, and you don't have to re-install your applications because they'll be in the Guest.

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I'd also like to point out that most windows XP exclusive software will run on 7 with compatibility mode. –  Ben Franchuk Apr 30 '13 at 1:49
    
Thank you, all of you, for sharing your expertise. I will buy a new hard drive, install Windows 7 and then use PCmover software from LapLink to move all my programs to the new Windows 7 hard drive without reinstalling the programs. –  user1892770 Apr 30 '13 at 12:14
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