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I recently purchased an HP Stream 7, which I was led to believe would have Windows 8.1 64-bit installed. However, it has 32-bit Windows, even though it has a 64-bit processor. Installing 64-bit has been problematic, and I found the reason is the 32-bit UEFI. Is there a way to change it or replace it with a 64-bit UEFI? Are there any other options for installing Windows 8.1 64-bit? Or is this impossible presently?

Thank you.

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    Is "HP Stream 7" the exact model number? – Scott Chamberlain Dec 15 '14 at 22:26
  • I believe it's "HP Stream 7 - 5701". There are two editions, HP's own and the Microsoft Signature Edition, which is only different in that there is no HP bloatware installed. I have the Microsoft Signature Edition. – Atlantic Dec 15 '14 at 22:46
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    Thats odd, since I can't think of any modern 32 bit processors, and 64 bit processors became common way before UEFI. – Journeyman Geek Dec 15 '14 at 23:57
  • I feel the same way. I can't imagine it benefited HP much to use 32-bit UEFI when the processor they installed (Intel Atom Z3735G) is 64-bit. The ASUS T100 is in the same predicament, 64-bit processor, 32-bit UEFI. I just hope there's some way to flash a 64-bit version of the BIOS or something. – Atlantic Dec 16 '14 at 0:09
  • I don't think it's possible. There are a lot of changes needed for running 64-bit Linux on 32-bit UEFI, because you need to thunk back to 32-bit mode to access runtime services. I doubt that 64-bit Windows contains such a thunk – phuclv Jul 14 '18 at 16:06
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I have read that in order to boot Linux with the 32-bit UEFI, you can swap out the standard 64-bit UEFI GRUB with the 32-bit one from a different distribution and it'll be able to work on the Stream 7, so maybe a similar procedure (swapping the 64-bit UEFI bootmgr with the 32-bit one and reconfiguring the entries to match your installation) might work to get a 64-bit Windows installation running after you installed it with an AIO image with a 32-bit Windows PE.

However, after considering doing this myself on my HP Stream 7 that is currently on its way, I remembered the fact that the minimum requirement for Windows 8.1 x64 for memory is 2 GB, and the HP Stream 7 only has 1 GB. The installation size of a 64-bit Windows is also bigger (as it needs both 32-bit and 64-bit libraries for compatibility), which makes a difference since it only has 32 GB of internal memory. Those have to be the reason why HP even put 32-bit firmware on that device.

Windows Store apps won't care about running in 32 or 64-bit, and the rare desktop programs that would be 64-bit only are probably that way because they require lots of RAM and processing power, which the HP Stream 7 won't be able to provide anyways. So there is no point in installing Windows 8.1 64-bit on it, it would only use up more space and make it very slow due to insufficient memory. Of course, if you want to install Windows 8.1 Pro instead of the Bing version to have encryption and whatnot, go right ahead, that's what I'll do at least anyways. Or maybe try Windows 10 Technical Preview 2 once I know the tablet is fully functional and won't need to be exchanged.

TL;DR Just stick with Windows 32-bit, the Stream 7 doesn't meet the minimum requirements for the 64-bit edition and no program that requires 64-bit would run well on that hardware anyways. Just count yourself lucky you didn't buy a Windows RT tablet :)

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    Thanks for the reply! The reason I was hoping to go through all the trouble to install 64-bit Windows on it is because I just recently made the switch to all 64-bit programs, and the majority of those are portable installations synced via OneDrive. It's great because I don't have to install those programs again! I was laughing at myself, however, when I ended up having to get many of those programs again in 32-bit! Here's hoping for higher-RAM, 64-bit tablets of the future! – Atlantic Feb 23 '15 at 23:50
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You can put Windows 8.1 x86-x64 AIO on a USB stick and it will boot. You have the option of selecting between the 32 bit and the 64 bit Windows installation.

If you select the 64 bit option it will try to install it, given that your device has a 64 bit processor, but since it has a 32 bit UEFI firmware, winload.efi will crack because it expects a 64 bit UEFI firmware.

It CAN be made to work. The only issue is with a few files related to the UEFI boot. Very few changes required, but potentially, we may be talking about very low level UEFI programming (or it could just be a matter of copy pasting/replacing one or two files... I couldn't tell you) The rest of the operating system would work perfectly with no change.

It would be great if someone with more knowledge on the subject would detail the changes needed to make it work.

As for updating the UEFI firmware, you can either ask/wait for the device manufacturer to issue an update for a new 64 bit firmware or find a compatible firmware that implements it.

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  • I appreciate the feedback. I was hoping a solution might be possible. I'll be sure to keep doing research. – Atlantic Jan 26 '15 at 0:50
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The reason the HP Stream 7 has a 64 bit processor and 32 bit UEFI is that 32 bit UEFI is the only supported platform for 'Connected Standby' (Receiving notifications online) The processor theoretically could sustain 64 bit Windows, but that would be run at the risk of destroying parts of the computer

Sources: Independent Research on the Dell Venue 8 Pro (Same family of processors)

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...its very old post, nevertheless, pertaining to T100TAF, asus does provide drivers and support for win 8.1 x64, and not win 10 x64. Ironically, after installation of 64 bit system upgrade to win 10 x64 does not work. So, some kind of workaround for x64 has been used but never migrated to the next generation of windows.

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  • The question is about a HP Stream 7, how is it related to Asus? – RalfFriedl Feb 23 '19 at 14:59
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32-bit Windows (x86) is installed on 32-bit UEFI. 64-bit Windows (x64) is installed on 64-bit UEFI. This is part of the UEFI specification, which dictates that the underlying firmware match the OS runtime (easier for firmware interfaces).

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    Thank you for clarifying. What I am interested in finding out is if it's possible to update/replace the 32-bit UEFI with a 64-bit version that would allow the installation of a 64-bit OS. Thanks!! – Atlantic Dec 15 '14 at 22:55
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    Can you back this up with any sort of documentation? – Canadian Luke Dec 16 '14 at 3:54
  • You would need to check with the manufacturer to see if they have a 64-bit UEFI image. Development boards like the MinnowBoard Max include 32-bit and 64-bit UEFI images for the same platform, but that's not always the case for production systems. – Brian Dec 16 '14 at 18:58
  • @Ramhound Probably not on this machine. However, it's worth clarifying what Brian indicated, that if the manufacturer offers multiple firmwares, e.g. for different refreshes of a product, it might be possible (if not necessarily easy) to flash-in a different type, and maybe architecture, of firmware. I've successfully flashed a 'version 1' computer, which officially has a BIOS firmware and is 'incapable' of UEFI... with the UEFI image that was only offered for the 'version 2'. Core hardware is identical, but the mfg provided no official upgrade path to UEFI. Luckily a way around that was found – underscore_d Jul 4 '16 at 16:55
  • @Ramhound It's unlikely and depends on whether the mfg provides (A) one of these weird machines with 64-bit CPUs but 32-bit firmware and stock OS and (B) the alternate image for download somewhere. Flashing a different firmware without an official util is always risky, so it's usually not worth the hassle of trying... but I couldn't help myself! Just mentioning it for completion and since Brian's comment was already here. I'm sure you were correct with specific regard to the question. – underscore_d Jul 4 '16 at 17:00

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