I have a retail version of Windows 7 that I bought from a shop, It came with windows 7 32Bit and 64bit versions but only 1 product key, so I installed the 32Bit version, but now I want to use the 64 bit version on this computer instead of the 32 bit version,
can I still use the product key that I used to install the 32 bit version?
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Yes you can use the same product key, you might have to reactivate by telephone:
Activate Windows 7 manually:
1. Click Start, and in the Search box type : slui.exe 4
2. Press ENTER on your Keyboard
3. Select your Country.
4. Select the Phone Activation option, and hold on for a real person.
You will have to do a clean installation, there is no in place upgrade path from Windows 7 32 Bit to 64 bit.
Using the Windows 7 64 bit disk, install the Windows 7 Windows Easy Transfer Utility from the DVD (To find it, just navigate to x:\support\migwiz, 'x:' represents the name of your disk drive. In this folder, you will see a collection of files, the important
one you need to look for and double click is 'migsetup'.) , run it and create a WET file (Windows Easy Transfer file), if you have an external hard disk, you can have it stored there so you can access it later when you do a clean install of Windows 7 64 bit
Once you have done that, simply do a clean install of Windows 7 64 bit disk. In Windows 7 64 bit disk, launch Windows Easy Transfer, follow the on screen wizard, point to where you stored the the WET file (external hard disk), and it will restore your personal
files and settings. Reinstall any necessary applications.
32 vs 64 bit
Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?
Windows 7 64 bit comes in handy when you need to address at least 4 GBs or more of RAM. Windows 7 32 bit can utilize up to 3.2 GBs of RAM. Because the memory address space is much larger for 64 bit Windows, that means, you need twice as much memory than 32
bit Windows to accomplish some of the same task, but you are able to do so much more, you can have more applications open, do things like run an Antivirus scan in the background without it affecting your system performance. Windows 7 64 bit is more secure
too, malicious code cannot easily infiltrate it, drivers are more reliable since they must be signed before they can work with 64 bit Windows 7.
As for compatibility, you will need 64 bit device drivers for any hardware devices you might have. Also, there is no 16 bit subsystem in Windows 7 64 bit, which means, your applications must be 32 bit only, not 16 bit installer or uninstallers.