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I had Windows XP 32-bit. Bought Windows 7 upgrade and upgraded to Windows 7 32-bit. Then I noticed that there were two disks and that my processor (Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600) is also 64-bit ready.

What are my options?

Can I still upgrade 32-bit Windows 7 to 64-bit using the upgrade disks that I have? I'm ok with wiping everything and reinstalling everything from scratch, I just don't want to pay for new copy of Windows 7 again. (btw. I already did register the one I'm currently using)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You will not have to pay. A valid Windows 7 licence will allow you to install it as many times as you like - just only have it installed in one place at any time.... If activation ever fails, just ring the free number and they will either give you another code or simply reset the install count.

However, you will need to do a fresh install as no version of Windows allows an upgrade from x86/32-bit to x64/64-bit.

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Yes, I did a fresh install and it worked. – ra170 Aug 29 '11 at 19:07

Since you are currently using 32-bit, a reinstall from scratch is required as cross architecture upgrades are not supported.

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just go ahead and install it. since you already registered your copy with Microsoft, Windows may fail the activation. in this case contact an MS representative and explain the situation (that the 32-bit version is no longer in use),they're usually very helpful.

here's a tutorial:

Clean Install Windows 7 With Upgrade Media and Product Key on Formatted or Empty Blank Hard Drive

on the other hand: unless you have more than 4 GB RAM or software that explicitely requires a 64-bit OS, then there is no benefit in changing.

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Check Windows 7 Compatibility and Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to make sure all your hardware has 64 bit drivers. 64 bit Vista drivers often work, check forums to verify that someone has actually used 64 bit Vista drivers successfully on Win7.

Make sure you have 64-bit drivers at the ready for your important peripherals, like printer, webcam, remote control, fancy wireless mouse, etc., or you may regret the upgrade.

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