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Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

I'm a Windows newbie. What's the best way to upgrade from 32 bit Windows 7 to 64 bit Windows 7? The microsoft docs say I can't upgrade in one easy step, I have to save my data, reinstall from scratch, then move my data back in. Is there a slick and easy way to do the move-my-data-back-in part where Windows finds all my files and config and puts them in the right place?

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    Short answer: No, there isn't. Mar 7, 2012 at 6:51
  • Long answer it is a bloody mess of deferences , and lapping the one on top of the other without removing the other would create a very interesting Mixed up BITmess. For compatability they toss some stuff right into the previous 32bit locations, and toss the 32bit stuff in different locations.
    – Psycogeek
    Mar 7, 2012 at 9:27
  • Why do you want to do this just out of interest?
    – Joe Taylor
    Mar 7, 2012 at 20:54
  • So I can install more RAM. Mar 8, 2012 at 1:32

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You can use the windows easy transfer program under start > all programs > accessories > system tools

You will need to save it to an external drive of some sort. It will allow you to transfer your current settings and files but not programs, those will have to be re-installed.

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  • Does this also transfer over installed programs? (c:\program files*, the registry keys, the system services etc). Aug 9, 2012 at 5:17
  • No just your personal files and settings. programs would need to be reinstalled.
    – Phillip R.
    Aug 9, 2012 at 21:44
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No, there is no one click solution AFAIK.

To minimize problems, here's how I'd go about it.

  1. Make sure you have 64 bit hardware
  2. If your hardware is capable, then create a backup of your personal files
  3. Full Format
  4. Install 64 bit
  5. Make sure everything works
  6. Restore your files
  7. Reinstall programs

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