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Old 04-01-2018, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,489,851 times
Reputation: 3012

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I'm considering jumping from Windows 7 (32bit) to a Windows 7 (64bit) so I can have access to more RAM:

I've been using my Windows 7, 32b for years and have it, and many, many 3rd party programs, installed and HEAVILY customized. My more powerful programs are slowing down when I'm running a lot of data. Task Manager shows that I'm using up most of my RAM, (it's not a virus or malware or other cause).

I think the fix is to upgrade my motherboard's RAM by adding a second set of 4GB. (Actually, I found a sale on RAM and it's already installed and addressable). But, of course 32b Windows won't address RAM beyond 4 GB.

So I'm wondering how much hassle will it be to jump to 64b versions of everything.
Anyone have experience doing Win7 32b to 64b?

Even if 64b versions exist for most of what I have (I'm sure some won't), I understand that Win7-64b has the ability to run a virtual-32b environment for legacy utilities and such. I suspect this would resolve most of my problems of not finding 64b versions.
BUT: I'd still have to install, and then somehow clone my customization. this last is my greatest source of hesitation.

I've been making my own PCs for at least 5 generations, and remember the jump to Win7 to be a big hassle as XP didn't want to upgrade, it wanted a virgin install. I must have had 20-30 programs to install from scratch, and then tweak to how I like. Later I had a boot-drive die, replaced it but had to do the installs all over again. Remembering the weeks of hassle getting everything back right is why I'm posting this plea for help.

My current research says that you can't just 'upgrade from 32 to 62', but have to do a virgin install of Win7-64b. What I may end up doing is find a way to replace Win7-32 with -64, keeping all other software in their 32b versions, and then re-install their -64b versions as needed. But I don't know if that would end up being even more hassle than biting the bullet and do a global re-install with all -64b software.


Notes to preclude thread distractions: I do NOT wish to go to Windows 10. The benefits don't yet outweigh the extra learning curve and added hassles.
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
82 posts, read 110,895 times
Reputation: 134
First thing you need to do is verify that you have a 64bit capable cpu.

Second you need a 64bit version of Windows 7. If you have a full retail version of Windows 7 then the install disk will include both 32 & 64 bit and your CD key is good for either. If your Windows 7 license is an OEM license for system builders, which is the kind typically sold though online stores such as Amazon or NewEgg, then that license is only going to be good for 32bit Windows. You will need to purchase an OEM version of Windows 7 64bit online. I don't think they sell the full retail version anymore.

And yes you will have to reinstall Windows 7. No way around that, that I know of.

Most 32bit programs will run fine on 64bit Windows. And actually a lot of modern programs are still 32bit.

Spoiler
Also if you have an OEM version, you didn't read this as it might distract you, but something something about a free upgrade to the newest version of Windows also grants you the 64bit version free.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,825 posts, read 13,966,567 times
Reputation: 8068
You are overthinking it.
ALL your 32B programs will run on 64B Windows.

Yes, you need a virgin install, as you called it. You need to decide if it's worth that.
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