Can you install x64 on an operating system that has x86?

Hi everyone, this has confused me for the longest time now. As you can see, from this snip from AVG PC Tuneup:[ATTACH=CONFIG]146163[/ATTACH]
It says my system is 64-bit compatible. If I wanted to have 64-bit, would I have to reinstall Windows? I also remember when I set up Windows 7 (Preinstalled), it asked me if I wanted to install 32-bit or 64-bit. I chose 32-bit because I wanted it for the compatability of other programs. So what could I do? Thanks for helping me because I am deeply confused :open_mouth:

If you want a 64bit system you would have to reinstall a 64 bit version of windows on your machine. You may have to buy another version of windows since you installed the first one as 32bit.

@Richard Marklew Well, there goes that idea. I don’t have an install cd so there’s probably nothing I can do. But I’m sure there are programs that you an use to make a Windows 7 install CD, so then I could choose 64-bit from there.

you dont have a cd key either? if i am correct it is not the cd that matters, its the key you use. you cant do an in-place upgrade though, you will have to either install over your 32 bit windows or create another partition and dual boot 32 and 64 bit. i suggest installing over your existing installation of windows, clean installs usually run faster than older ones.

honestly there are no compatibility issues with 64 bit windows and 32 bit apps, i dunno what gave you that idea in the first place.

I have Windows 7 64 bit, and it can be a hassle. Not so much with the running of applications, as it can run both 64 and 32 bit ones. However, once you get into the smaller products, like Adobe Flash and Java, it is rather a pain, as I have to have 2 versions installed of each, and have to try to keep both updated.

Like max11D said, it is not a problem with the CD you use. However, as your computer came loaded with a 32 bit OS, that is what the 25 digit product key on the sticker on the of side of your computer is for. You would need a separate product key for your 64 bit installation, as the 32 bit one will not work. And there are no legal ways to get a new product key without buying an upgrade from Microsoft, etc.

I don’t think there are any programs for creating clean Windows Install discs. (You can create recovery discs, which can bring it back to your current state). It is not illegal to keep multiple CD’s for installing OS’s. (Though most computers do not come with them anymore).

However, you need either the one it came with, or a new product key for each new install. You cannot use two product keys on different computers at the same time, as they phone home to Microsoft, and you don’t want to be caught in that situation.

By the way, I have the same prob, as I have a laptop with Vista (Ugh) that is capable of running 64, but was installed with 32 bit software. As I don’t want to pay for the upgrade, it is kinda a bummer.

Actually the 32 bit key might work with the 64 bit version of windows (at least I have used a 32 bit key to install a 64 bit windows on my laptop)

I have never tried. It may work, however, as it is specified on the sticker which version it is for, I didn’t think it would. However, if you were able to do it, it must.

Keys are separate between OS’s. For example, if I tried to take a unused Windows 7 key, and use it for Vista, it would not work. They are created to different math algorithims.

If you don´t have a SB version or anything above “Windows Home” the license key is for both, 32b and 64b.
And every premanufactured system with a licensed Windows either comes with a recovery disk, a recovery partition hidden on your hdd, or a tool from the manufacturer to create recovery CDs/DVDs. Else somethings fishy.

arexma is 100% correct. And I must thank him (and Morio) for explaining that the key will work for both versions…

I was not saying that there wasn’t a way to create recovery discs. I just said that most manufacturers are no longer sending the OS discs (with no other software, etc) with the computers. Every computer has some way to create recovery discs, or it is definitely fishy.

You can do what I did. I didn’t want to fork out the extra cash for Windows 7 but I wanted a new 64 bit OS. I tried Ubuntu out. You can download an .iso, burn that to a cd, then you can try out 64bit Linux without even installing anything. Your hard drive isn’t touched at all when you are running the live cd. Anyway, after I tried Ubuntu for about 10 minutes, I was sold. I decided to dual boot my computer into Windows XP and Ubuntu.

About a month later, I stopped using Windows almost completely.

I really really enjoy using Ubuntu. I’ve been using Windows since around 1990, Windows 3.0. But after less than a year of using Ubuntu, I have found it to be way easier to use than Windows.

See my signature, I love Ubuntu.

If you know how to use Grub (the Linux bootloader) or are fairly good with a computer and can read a tutorial, you can set the computer to give you a menu of whether you want to boot to Linux or Windows just after you start it up. However, even dual booting two versions of Windows takes some fairly advanced computer skills. I don’t know how hard it is to set Ubuntu to do it.


what a coincidence. i have a 32 bit OS and 64 bit Ubuntu Linux UE2.7 dual booted. plus i have ubuntu 11.04 installed on a pen drive (a total life saver come to think of it), that i can just plug in any time i want;).

About the topic. Yes if your processor supports 64 bit you can install both 32 bit and 64 bit OS(s) simultaneously(dual boot) or only one.