Can I upgrade from Windows 7 32-bit to 64-bit?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bob G. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks so much for your excellent, timely newsletter and for informing your readers about Microsoft's decision to extend its Windows 7 Free Trial download.

Question: I can't decide if I should download the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or the 32-bit version. Is a reformat necessary if I decide to change from 32-bit to 64-bit later? I have not been able to find a definitive answer for this. "

My response:

Yes, you would need to reinstall Windows 7 if upgrading from Windows 7 32-bit to 64-bit. Windows 7 64-bit uses 64-bit software drivers to control hardware. Without a 64-bit driver, your hardware won't function.

For example: if your 5 year old scanner isn't supported with a 64-bit driver, you won't be able to use your scanner.

Windows 7 32-bit: Highest Compatibility

As noted in the article yesterday: if you own Windows Vista or XP and want to try the Windows 7 trial, we recommend you go with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 as it will be the most compatible, especially in regard to older hardware.

The reason is that many hardware vendors have not (yet) produced 64-bit versions of Windows 7 device drivers. The fact is that many hardware vendors would rather have you upgrade (buy) new hardware for 64-bit compatibility then to support old hardware.

Windows 7 Free Trial Download: Article Updated

Our inbox was buzzing yesterday with the extension of the 40% discount on Acronis True Image in lieu of Microsoft's choice to renew the trial upgrade to Windows 7.

Earlier in the day we did not include all links to the trial downloads. This has been corrected, and we have also included the 64-bit downloads as well. The 32-bit version has 3 parts to it, whereas the 64-bit has 4 parts.

Backup *Before* You Install Windows 7

As a reminder: you can use Acronis True Image to backup your existing Windows (XP, Vista, etc) before you install the Windows 7 trial. Before the trial expires, you can revert back to your old Windows using True Image (if you choose).

Acronis True Image is one of the very few programs on the market that can do this. Most all backup programs *cannot* backup the operating system, but True Image can.

It's also worth noting that if you decide to keep Windows 7 installed, you can use the backup you made using Acronis True Image to recover and reinstall your data from the previous Windows installation.

The 40% discount on True Image has been extended and is good until Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 11:59PM EST exclusively for our readers. Acronis rarely ever offers such a deep discount -- so don't wait on this most excellent offer. Full details here.

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