Moving from Win7 Pro 32 bit to 64 bit

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Chris K, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Chris K

    Chris K Guest

    Not strictly homebuilt (Dell machine with VLK Vista Pro licence) but a
    DIY problem.

    I want to move up to 64 bit from the current 32 bit install. This is
    not a VLK, it was an upgrade pack sent out when Win7 was released so has
    its own unique (presumably OEM) install key. The question is what is
    the correct sequence (will be installing on a fresh HD).

    I need to keep the 32 bit environment alive until I'm sure of the 64 bit
    compatibility but the licence prohibits parallel installs of 32/64 on
    the same machine with a boot choice. In practice, what happens to the
    32bit environment once the 64 bit install is registered (original
    install activated once about 2 years ago)?

    I have confimed the key is accepted for the 64 bit install, if I
    activate the new install, does the 32bit install get deactivated and
    stunned at some point? Alternatively if I hold off activating the new
    install, does the 30 days grace period give full features other than the
    nag screens, 30 days is probably enough to make the go/no go decision.
    Don't want to end up with no activations.

    Trying to research this leads to lots of Google/DMCA redacted sites or
    unsavoury looking piracy dens so I'm looking for practical experience.
    This seems to be a never answered question when posed to Microsoft.

    Not trying to swindle Bill Gates out of anything, just trying to work
    with the rather silly restriction that 32 and 64 bit installations on
    the same hardware are treated as two activations.

    Chris K
    Chris K, Nov 29, 2011
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  2. Chris K

    Bill Guest

    This is probably no help, but I recently spent some time testing audio
    devices on 32-bit and 64-bit Win7 Pro's and comparing with XP on another
    machine. I made extensive use of the grace period before activation. By
    using 2 laptops for the Win7, I was able to test on both Intel and AMD

    I also did a full backup using the inbuilt Win7 facility onto an
    external hard drive before starting. This worked well when I got into a
    complete mess later trying to set up dual booting with Linux.

    The pre-activation installation appeared to be identical to the
    post-activation. At the final stage I had to use the automated
    activation by phone method. It was a pain, but it worked without any
    Bill, Nov 29, 2011
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  3. Chris K

    Andrew Guest

    I would say you should be able to do a parallel install of the 64-bit
    version to the same PC and use the 30 day grace period. Just enter your
    product key and activate once you're happy with everything.

    On my PC, I did something similar. I had Win 7 32-bit installed originally
    but when I added an SSD I took the opportunity to do a fresh install of the
    64-bit version. I used it in grace period until I had loaded all my
    software, drivers etc, on and was happy it was all OK. Then I entered my
    product key (the same one that had been used for the original 32-bit
    install) and activated the 64-bit version. It didn't do anything to the
    32-bit install, probably because it was on a separate disk (which was still
    physically installed) rather than a parallel install. I have since manually
    deleted the 32-bit install.

    I realise your question as to what would happen to the original 32-bit
    install upon activating 64-bit is still unanswered, but I would be very
    surprised if it actually did anything to it even if it's installed in
    parallel with a boot menu. It would probably run OK but you'd hit problems
    if you booted off the 32-bit install and let it connect to Windows Update.
    It would probably deactivate both the 32-bit and 64-bit installs if you did
    Andrew, Nov 30, 2011
  4. Chris K

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Jeff Gaines, Nov 30, 2011
  5. Chris K

    Chris K Guest

    Thanks, that looks hopeful. I wasn't sure whether Windows Update would
    work before activation. 30 days should be enough to confirm everything
    is working.

    None of this is on multi boot menus. I keep the separate installations
    on separate drives and select using the BIOS boot menu (v much easier to
    manage). Just have to remember to disconnect all other drives for the
    initial install otherwise it (un)helpfully includes them in a boot menu
    and may put the boot manager on a different drive.

    Should be OK, I still have XP Pro installed for occasional 32 bit needs
    as well as XP mode.

    Chris K
    Chris K, Nov 30, 2011
  6. Chris K

    Chris K Guest

    Thanks, noted, though I hope 30 days should be long enough to tell even
    at my pace of doing things :)

    Chris K
    Chris K, Nov 30, 2011
  7. There isn't any cross-installation checking of this stuff on the same
    disk; the only time things get dubious is if you're accessing MS
    services like Windows Update - your activation gets checked at the
    server side, and compared with previous attempts.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Nov 30, 2011
  8. Chris K

    Chris K Guest

    Yes, I've had no problem with maintaining multiple installations of the
    same activated image on the same machine. I keep a working and a
    reference (clean) install on separate drives and have no problem keeping
    both of these current on WU though even that is strictly against the
    terms of the licence - a bit wierd given that W7 now comes with imaging
    tools that encourage you to do just that. I guess it just looks like a
    recovered backup to WU.

    Chris K, Nov 30, 2011
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