Q: XP(32bit) to 7(64bit): "setup.exe is not a valid win32 application"

I got this copy form as a student offer. But after downloading the files and getting this error, i waited for the disk to come as well and got the same error.
Windows 7 upgrade adviser says im clear.
searched to see if there are solutions and nothing jumped out at me.
what am i missing?



Step 4.

32bit to 64bit Custom Clean Install Steps

You can use an upgrade disk, but you can't do an in place upgrade from a 32 bit system into a 64 bit system, the only way is to do a custom clean install. This means you'll have to reinstall all your programs, but you can save your files and settings to an external storage before doing so with Windows Easy Transfer. Here are the steps according to Microsoft:

1. Run Windows Upgrade Advisor ( ) to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you should install the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7.

2. Back up your files and settings. To avoid losing anything you'll need to save copies of all the files, photos, and other information you want to keep on to an external hard drive. Windows Easy Transfer ( ) is a free tool you can use to copy your information (but not programs) from your PC and then put them back after you install Windows 7. If you don't have an external hard drive you won't be able to use Windows Easy Transfer, instead you can copy files you want to keep on a USB flash drive, or on CD/DVD.

3. Locate the original installation disks and any associated product/license keys for the programs currently on your computer because you'll need to manually reinstall all your programs after you install Windows 7. You might be able to download some programs from the Internet.

4. Inset the Windows 7 DVD into your PC, restart, and boot from the DVD. When asked "Which type of installation do you want?" click "Custom (advanced)."

5. After Windows 7 is installed you can use Windows Easy Transfer to restore your files & settings, and use your installation disks to install all your programs.

Unable to boot from the DVD?
BIOS - How to Enter the BIOS and Change Boot Order

The computer may not be set to boot from the DVD drive.
Every computer is different. When you first turn on the computer it should tell you what button to push. It's usually one of the following and you must push it within the first 5 seconds:

F1  F2  F10  ESC  DEL

Once in the BIOS you have to find the menu with the boot order and change it so it boots from the CD/DVD drive first. Every computer is a little different for this process as well so I can't give exact directions. Also, if the DVD drive is IDE make sure the jumpers are set correctly on the drive.
When the computer reboots if there is a message "press any key to boot from disk" press a key on the keyboard to boot from the DVD.

Have Questions About Installing Windows 7?
FAQ - Common Windows 7 Installation Questions & Answers
MCC 2011


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Yes it is 64 bit capable, but please make sure you are booting from the disk, you cannot start the installation from within Windows XP. Try powering down the system, unplug it, wait 30 minutes, connect it back again and try booting again from Windows 7 64 bit disk. If that does not work, if possible, try using another optical drive.
Andre Da Costa
Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Views: 4,339 Last updated: March 20, 2018 Applies to: