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I brought an upgrade disk for Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit. I want to upgrade my Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit to that. Now I am having activation issues. So I rang up Microsoft, the girl answering my phone, after a long while told me that I can't upgrade from Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit to Ultimate 64 bit, and that my license is invalid.

But my understanding was that I can't do an in place upgrade where I get to keep all my settings. I can upgrade but I have to do a clean install where I won't be able to keep my previous settings.

Am I right or is the license I purchased invalid?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted
  • The license you purchased is valid
  • You however, cannot do an inplace upgrade, from a 32-bit system to a 64-bit system, you will need to do a complete reinstall.

This has been documented by Microsoft:

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.

To ease the process, however, I think you can make use of Windows Easy Transfer

Windows Easy Transfer is a wizard that helps you transfer the data that is important to you, including:

  • User accounts

  • Files and folders

  • Program data files and settings

  • E-mail messages, settings, and contacts

  • Photos, music, and videos

  • Windows settings

  • Internet settings

    Programs (applications) are not transferred

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