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I have an old Vista box sitting around, and I'm thinking of upgrading it to Windows 7 64-bit, as it has 4gb of RAM. Well, I know that there's an "in-place" upgrade from Vista, but does it work from 32-bit to 64-bit?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Nope

Windows 32bit to 64bit has never been supported.

If you are a fan and trust upgrading, you may want to take a look at "Windows Easy Transfer". This should allow you to move your accounts, documents, settings and a whole lot more to a temporary location whilst you can do a full install of the new Windows, then move all your stuff back.

From Microsoft

32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions

Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows?

No. If you are currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can only perform an upgrade to another 32-bit version of Windows. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you can only perform an upgrade to another 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

(this is from their Vista page, I cannot find it for 7, however I am 99.9999% sure it is the same!

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There is NO upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit operating systems. A clean install is required. This applies to Windows XP 32 to 64, Vista 32 to 64, and 7 32 to 64 (and every possible supported combination of version upgrades. –  Multiverse IT Oct 24 '09 at 3:14
    
Technically, a clean install is not necessary. A custom install will keep your data, ableit, make them orphaned. –  surfasb Dec 28 '11 at 1:22
    
I have purchased the retail 32-bit version of Win 7 Home Premium. But now I installed more RAM so want 64-bit version. Will the same DVD work? What about keys? Should I ask this as a separate question? –  One-One Nov 23 '12 at 3:43
    
@desaivv You will need to obtain a 64-bit disk of the same edition of Windows (or burn your own following this guide I wrote - blog.williamhilsum.com/2011/04/… )... but, your key should work fine. –  William Hilsum Nov 24 '12 at 2:09
    
Thanks a lot. Would upvote it a lot more if I could. Cheers. –  One-One Nov 24 '12 at 2:17

Check this answer from Microsoft:

Click Here

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RickH's link refers to a custom install.

While you cannot "upgrade" (as in an inplace upgrade) from Vista 32 to 7 64, you can perform a custom install.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-vista-to-windows-7-custom

Just go through Setup like you would normally install an OS. Setup will only allow you to pick Custom Install. Instead of formatting your partition, just select the old partition as the target. Setup will warn you blah blah blah. Just click through.

Your old Users, Program Files, and Windows folder will be moved to a folder called Windows.old. And you will have a brand new Windows install to play with.

Note: Setup will overwrite your old bootfiles.

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