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I have Win Vista 32 bit system and I want to know if I can install Win 7 64 bit system without doing the so called "clean install". I know if I go from my 32 bit to Win 7 32 bit is a very seamless upgrade, but the change to 64 bit is confusing for me. Thanks!!

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    What processor do you have ? 32 or 64bits ? That would be a good start to decide that ! – Gnoupi Aug 18 '09 at 17:26
  • Fretje: thank you, I have a 32 bit processer, I do have 4g ram, but after reading all the answers, I am going to just upgrade to the 32 bit version as I am very happy with my system, no need to experiment at this point. Harry – Harry Aug 18 '09 at 17:40
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You cannot upgrade from a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit installation without doing a clean install. This is probably due to the fact that things are organized slightly differently on the 64-bit version of Windows (it has two Program Files folders, etc.). Here's a guide to the types of upgrades that can be done:

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No. If you upgrade, you will have to do a full format and install.

Check into Windows "Easy Transfer" to help ease the pain.

This post by Scott Hanselman details more about the process and options.

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  • Easy Transfer makes it a lot nicer. All of your settings will transfer. Unfortunately, you still need to reinstall all of the applications. – Steve Rowe Aug 18 '09 at 18:56
  • Yes, for sure requires the full format! – NaV Jan 6 '11 at 17:25
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You are going to need to reformat to change OS from 32-bit to 64-bit. The differences in the Architecture make it so that an upgrade is really hard if not impossible.

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