Windows 7…32 Bit or 64 Bit?

20091017windows-7-cover

The October 22nd, WINDOWS 7, release date has come and gone. Now a lot of us are getting ready to purchase and install the latest operating system from Microsoft. Unlike previous years, there is an additional decision that needs to be made. Are you going 32 bit or 64 bit?

If your processor is more than a few years old the decision may already be made for you. It’s possible your hardware is not 64 bit compatible, but if you have a relatively new system it’s going to be your choice.


WHAT IS IT?

The term 32 bit and 64 bit architecture refers to the way your systems processor (CPU) uses or addresses memory. Everyone knows how important memory is to their system. 32 bit systems, which are what most people are using now, can only use between 3.4 GBs to 4.0 GBs of memory. 64 bit architecture can take advantage of much more memory than this. I’m running 6 gigs in the system I just built and depending on which Windows 7 64 bit version you choose, you will be able to take advantage of up to 192 GBs of System Memory. Below I’ve listed the amounts of memory each can handle.

Windows 7 64 Bit Memory Capabilities


• Starter: 8GB

• Home Basic: 8GB

• Home Premium: 16GB

• Professional: 192GB

• Enterprise: 192GB

• Ultimate: 192GB


IS MY SYSTEM 64 BIT COMPATIBLE?

Earlier I mentioned that your hardware may not be 64 bit compatible. Confirm that your processor is 64 bit compatible by following the path below.

1. Click: Start/Control Panel/System or System Maintenance/Performance Information and Tools/View and Print Details.

2. In the System section under 64 Bit Capable you can see if your system is 64 Bit capable.

Alternately you may want to download and run the SIW application which will tell you the same thing. It’s listed under: Hardware/CPU/the very first listing under Number of Processors. You will also want to be sure to uncheck the Toolbar option.


WILL MY PROGRAMS WORK?

Most of your programs will work even though they may have been designed for 32 bit systems. There will however be some exceptions. I haven’t had the experience myself but I read reports of some antivirus programs not being compatible and possibly some drivers, especially printer drivers.

In the past 64 bit drivers have been the hardest hurdle to overcome. This time however it seems like that isn’t going to be a big problem. I’ve installed Windows 7 on everything from Ultimate Gaming rigs to older laptops and desktops. I’ve not had a single driver issue. I’m even using an old HP all-in-one 750 xi printer. I’m sure it’s at least 5 years old and it’s working fine.

If you want to check some of your software first, Microsoft has provided a Compatibility Center . The center was originally developed for Vista and to be honest looks like it’s been forgotten.

A better options may be within your installed copy of Windows 7. Check out this Microsoft Tutorial for making older programs run in your version of Windows.

So where’s the dilemma? Looks like a slam dunk for the choosing the 64bit flavor of your favorite Windows 7, right?
RIGHT!


WHAT WILL I REALLY GAIN?

Speed, speed, and more speed. The ability to do more and do it better. The last couple of years when reading blurbs extolling the use of 64 bit systems, it was always the same. There was mention of increased audio and video encoding followed by the perfunctory mention of increased power for CAD and engineering programs.

Now it’s different. Everything is in place; hardware, operating systems, drivers, and software. We’re poised for the switch that will force developers to capitalize on the power that’s been available for years. Finally it looks like the popularity of Windows 7 64 bit, along with it’s proven Compatibility Mode, will be just enough to finally get us where we need to be.


IS THERE A DOWN SIDE?

If there is a downside, it’s that 64 bit data occupies more space than 32 bit data. This in turn increases the memory requirements. Is that a downside? No, not really, considering the low cost of memory and the increased performance.


IMMEDIATE AFFIRMATION

Game manufacturers should be some of the first to get off their duffs, so expect to see some revolutionary changes in speed, detail and much more realistic environments. Dark dreary backgrounds have been a pet peeve since I bought my first PC game years back. No more excuses and empty hype. Bring on the sun. Get that dead dragon pumping blood in the light of day. Explode those grenades out in the bright sun with some beautiful trees in the background.

I’m also expecting an explosion from the Video presentation and editing side of things. The past couple of years has seen YouTube rocket to 1 billion daily uses and the trend has been to bigger and better clips. I even increased my IE cache size to better handle some of them. I expect changes and improvements to be fast coming.


WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Buy Windows 7 64 bit of course. If you didn’t preorder, check the news paper for Weekend Sales. Then go to your favorite Online store and check their Specials. There are some excellent prices on new Windows 7 laptops and desktops.

_________________________________________________________

SOURCES

MS Deployment Tool Kit

Microsoft Overview

WIKI

MS 64 vs. 32

(Visited 273 times, 1 visits today)

59 thoughts on “Windows 7…32 Bit or 64 Bit?

  1. i have windows vista home premium 32bit and my laptop is compatible with 64bit when i tried to format it and install windows 7 ultimate 64 in the format screen it told me that no drive found! ( the screen which it chooses to install the windows on) im confused

  2. After playing with these win 7 programs for 4 weeks these are my findings. Downsides to win7: 1)printer drivers, took me over 4 hours to get the right PD for my canon i560. None of the canon downloads from the canon website worked. The correct driver finially came through on a windows update. (YES….windows update; strange as that may be.) 2) Win 7 advertises that only win 7 professional and Ultimate are 32 bit compatible. this brings 2 problems. a) if your new equipment came with win 7 home premium; and you upgrade it to win 7 premium or ultimate (Even thjough all that upgrade requires is for one to enter the Key into a place in the software the oem supplied to you) the oem will (and did) claim warranty void and send you to microsoft if you have any software issues. (Lesson Learned: If you want to keep your warranty software support; then DO NOT UPGRADE WIN 7 from what you were originally supplied from your OEM b) the 32 bit compatibility in win 7 professional and ultimate is a VIRTual 32 bit and simulates Win XP. It is a (just like you still were using WINXP) so an additional (free) download is required from MS when you have win 7 pro or ultimate in order to go into virtual 32 bit mode and you have to change the boot (see OEM warranty above) In addition, once downloaded and set up; one must always first request (from the start menue or tool bar) that virtual feature, then select the win 32 feature and wait for each to activate. TALK ABOUT slowing down a system … the virtual is so incredibly slow one may as well not have win 7 (My new hardware and software system is Win 7, 64 bit with 8 g of the new faster ddr3, 1 tB hd and 3 gig quad processor speed and I had very noticable severe speed problems using the new win 7 Pro and ultuimate virtual 32 bit XP simulator when going to any virtual 32 bit program. (Don’t forget to include the long delay just to get into the virtual mode). MY oem supplied win 7 64 bit home premium program allowed all of the same 32 bit programs to be loaded as did the premium and the ultimate in just normal modes (the pro and ultimate also installed 32 bit programs without the virtual mode) NOte: I had several old 32 bit software programs that did not install, including a microsoft program that actually crashed the system (The program: MS picture it) It also had a proplem with pip in Xp mode that need Norton to turn off a switch. So not even programs written by MS are problem free in win 7). Oddly, almost every 32 bit program I installed would result in a window saying that there was “known compatibility problems” and would ask if I wanted to look for a solution on line …. When I elected to do so .. there seldom was a solution but the software installed anyway, and, so far, (with one, or two exceptions) all my software worked without a hitch. Even more bizzar; a warning window would often proclaim that the software manufacturer was unknown and ask if I wanted to continue installation. The oddity is that this message poped up even when it was a microsoft software program. i.e MS office xp, ms office publisher, ms picture it. (Odd, isn’t it, when microsoft cannot recognize their own software?) The one really severe fault that I had was with MS OFFICE and it came in EXCELL WHEN i TRIED TO SAVE A FILE ..IT Actually CRASHED EXCELL and I almost lost the file. (both the save, and, save as funtions) AFTER,MANY TRIAL AND ERRORS I finially resolved it by placing the excel folder two forward of where I had it (instead of my docs , ms office, excel, personal (as opposed to business or others ) year : I actually had to place it earlier under MY docs , excel and oddly that resolved the problem. (Word, power point and access did not have to be moved from simular file locations.) I am also finding that making a new catagory file and placing programs of the same catagory into the file so they appear, AND OPERATE, under that folder in the Start, ALL PROGRAMS IS A BIT TRICKIER THAN with XP. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, MY YAHOO is having problems with the address book. This seems to be a catogory problem (Not yet made for win 7 64 bit catagory) as not every software mfg or browser is fully win 7, 64 bit compatable, or ready. (I had to remove the “skins files from my newly installed and updated IncreiMail browser to get rid of a bizzar graphics problem. Thanks to the software mfg help. but it took 5 or 6 very detailed emails between I and the software OEM) to get to the solution) I also find that many sub programs from browsers have went away ( try to find yahoo intellisync to sync your outlook and yahoo contacts .. just try … (I have it) (By the way, I found the same problems with the 32 bit versions of Win 7) In conclusion: Once you have Win 7 up and running, with programs it accepts, it is faster, more logical, and has some nice features. BUT much of the existing 32 bit software out there has not caught up with win 7 in one way or another (for instance I lost my ability to sync my brand new cell phone with my outlook contacts because the phone oem does not have compatable USB drivers for win 7 for that phone. Time and again when one has a known compatability problem and goes to the software mfg one finds they may have vista software but not win 7 and vista versions may or may not work. ( either that or win 7 says everything is not compatable or has known compatibility problems just for the sake of saying it … and in some cases it was true (printer)

    Sincerely,
    gene

  3. now is readyboost on a usb flashdrive? if readyboost works with vista it just might work with win7.

    also to run WindowsXP within Windows7 in XP mode or in VirtualPC, i read that you need to have a motherboard and processor that support Virtualization. and if your motherboard supports Virtualization it needs to be setup in the BIOS setup.

  4. win 7 x64 will not choke a computer to 8 gigs. but your motherboard might. my old motherboard an ABIT Fatil1ty FP-IN9 would only handle upto 8 gigs of DDR2 ram with a 64bit Operating system. my new motherboard an ASUS P7P55D LE will handle upto 16 gigs of DDR3 ram with the 64bit Operating systems(xp 64bit, vista 64bit, and win7 64bit)

  5. Well, if win7 x64 is choking the max ram to 8 gigs, they are doing a hell of a disservice, because I am using 16 gigs with win xp x64, which I have been using for 3 years with NO problems finding drivers.

  6. I was currently running 32 bit vista which ran flawlessly and upgraded to windows home premium 32 bit.It runs great.My system is maxed w/ 4 gigs or ram and running 4 gigs from ready boost.Not sure if ready boost is even running in win 7.So my dlema is the programs in 64 bit are larger and I pick up 1 gig of ram.Isn’t that just about a stalemate.Same difference ?Is it really worth it to upgrade with only being able to run w/ 4 gigs of ram ?I think it would be pretty cool to clean install windows 7 pro. where it will run in different modes( Op. Sytems)Will win 7 64 bit reconise ready boost ?And utilise all video card ram as well as system ram ?

  7. the operating system doesn’t limit my computer to 16GB of ram my motherboard does. however a 32bit infastructure will not be able to utilize more than 3 1/2 to 4GB of ram. you could search for more info on memory utilization between 32bit and 64bit if you want too understand it more. the motherboard i had in my previous computer was limited to 8GB when you run the 64bit OS. and if you installed 4GB in that same machine with 32bit only 3GB would be utilized. it’s just the specifications for one motherboard i was referring to.

  8. I upgraded from vista ultimate 32 bit to windows 7 64 bit. Had to call MS help to get it done. It took about two hours connected to MS help via phone. It involved a clean boot using the 64 bit windows disk. The help desk even called me back to activate windows and do a few other tweeks. Runs great, tighter. I don’t miss vista which was OK for me. Windows 7 is faster.

  9. Wait, wait, so Microsoft is limiting the amount of RAM you can use with the OS? Why the hell would they do that?
    Last time I checked, 64-bit meant that there was (technically, I know) room for up to 16 exabytes of RAM. Now, I know some processors put slight limitations on this number, but by slight I mean that they’ll limit it to (only?) 256 terabytes of RAM.
    So, with that in mind, why the hell is this OS limited to SIXTEEN GIGABYTES of RAM for most consumer versions!?
    I absolutely guarantee that within the next five years, we’ll see gaming computers and their builders attempt to skyrocket past that number, only to be smacked in the face with such an arbitrary limitation!

  10. I downloaded and installed the new 64 bit Ubuntu Karmic Koala linux version and that runs flawlessly. Once again the new Windows version doesn’t work well at all for me. Runs slow. Wireless driver crams up. Why is Windows always pushing the 32 bit all the time.

  11. I have both the full version of windows 7 premium and the upgrade. I have installed 64 bit on a new build pc. It took just slightly over a half hour to be up and running no driver problems. The upgrade I used on my lap top and only did a 32 bit upgrade as advised by windows upgrade advisor. This took a little over 3 hrs. as windowshas to gather all your files and then intigrate it self in place of vista. When you run the windows advisor and it completes if it only hasadvice for 32 bit system than they are saying do not upgrade to 64 bit. Unfortunetlyt this is not explained anywhere. If you canupgrade to 64 bit you will be able to see what there advice for both are there will be two tabs at the top left onesays 32 bit and the other 64.

  12. This article is a clear explanation of the pros and cons of switching to 64 bit. Thank you from one whose technical skills are minimal.

  13. if you install 6GB of ram the 32bit OS will only recognize 4GB. the 64bit OS will recognize all 6GB and then you would notice a difference in performance. my motherboard will handle 16GB of DDR3 1600Mhz ram with a 64bit OS but only 4GB on the 32bit OS. that is with the i5 processor. with the i7 processor i can install 16GB of DDR3 2000+Mhz ram. so 4GB is the max you can utilize with 32bit. this computer with vista ultimate 64bit and the i5 quad processor with 4 GB of DDR3 1600Mhz ram was 3 times faster than my old system with xp pro 32 bit and a core 2 duo processor with 2 GB of DDR2 800Mhz ram. if i had xp installed on this new computer i could give you a more fair comparison to answer your question better. and the new computer is even faster and more stable with win7 64bit upgraded from vista 64bit. hope that helps.

  14. I have 4 rigs, 3 desktops and 1 laptop, the desktops al run XP home…(with never a problem) and the laptop has vista home.
    I dont run alot of highend shit on my rigs with the exception of my gameing rig, would MS 7 64 bit improve my gaming over the XP 32 bit to the point that I would notice it, making it worth spending the money???

  15. im thinking that 4GB of DDR2 will be fine it’s just that DDR3 ram runs with less power consumption from what i read. 64bit OS should work just fine on your system.

  16. running a new computer with i5 750 processor and 4 GB DDR3 1600Mhz ram and GTS250 512MB video card. preloaded with Vista Ultimate 64bit with free win 7 ultimate 64bit upgrade offer. first off the windows dreamschene background was causing my system to act slow. and dreamschene is removed in windows 7 do to instability. also if you run a spyware program and windows defender together it will also cause slowdowns. since my upgrade to win 7 ultimate 64bit i have had a little bit of improvement in stability and performance. i recommend 6GB of DDR3 ram or more which only a 64bit OS will recognize. 32bit applications run fine in windows 7 usually and if they don’t a compatibilty troubleshooter test can be run to find out what setting can be done to achieve compatibility. if an xp appliction still wont run in win 7 you can download and install the xp mode software or the virtual pc program to run xp as a virtual OS. if an xp program will run in win 7 without the xp mode than it is best just to run it in win 7 as is. xp mode is only for xp applications that will not run in win7 as is, and xp applications you absolutely can’t live without. and if you have vista 32bit or win7 32 bit and you want to go to win7 64bit you have to do a clean full install of win7 64bit. if you upgrade from vista ultimate 64bit to win 7 ultimate 64bit all files will be saved during upgrade and reloaded into win7. with exception to punkbuster. i tryed to play cod4 modern warfare and my punkbuster was out of date. i wanted to update PB files for cod4 and i could not find PB updater. it showed as installed in the add remove programs so i uninstalled PBsec and downloaded and reinstalled PBsec.
    also my VIA HD audio drivers worked fine in vista but my speakers had feedback in win7 after upgrade so i uninstalled the audio drivers and downloaded a newer version and my sound is better with win7 than with vista. i noticed a glitch already with the context menu getting stuck when i right click on the taskbar tray icon for the VIA HD vdeck icon and it causes other icon’s context menu’s to get stuck that way. that is the only glitch ive found so far. the stickynote widget has been removed from the sidebar and is now a stickynote program included with win 7 and can be pinned to the taskbar and has extra functionality now. with the 64bit OS 2 versions of internet explorer are installed both a 32bit version and a 64bit version. i haven’t noticed any difference in the two. except i installed the yahoo toolbar to the 32bit version and it’s not on the 64bit version so i guess it has to be installed on each or is maybe not available for 64bit??? not sure.

  17. wHAT I CAN’T GET OVER IS HOW EVRYTHING IS WORKING NO DRIVER PROBLEMS IN 32 BIT AND IN A NEW OP SYS I ALMOST AFAID TO GO TO 64 BIT, MY SPECS ARE ATHLON DUEL CORE BLACK EDITION RUNNING AT 3.2 GHZ EACH 4 GB DDR2 800 MHZ RAM SOUNDBLASTER X-FI , RAD HD4870 1GB DDR3 WILL THAT FLY IN 64 BIT ?

  18. I’ve been running W7 64-bit RC for a while on a quad-core and 8 GB of RAM and although some things are still slow most processes are very fast, some mind-bogglingly so. I have had some issues with drivers where even Vista 64-bit drivers wouldn’t work. It has not been the walk on the park you describe in your article. But since I know these issues will be resolved I’ll eventually get a retail copy and run 64-bit. There’s really no going back to 32-bit. My most complicated decision right now is whether Pro or Ultimate.

  19. There are a few things that Steve didn’t pass on. First and foremost, not all systems are compliant with 64-bit. Not only does your processor have to support this but so does the motherboard. Some motherboards (older ones or laptops in particular) aren’t capable of accepting more than 4GB Ram ALTHOUGH 64-bit can still help. Ever noticed in a 32-bit system how you can have 4GB of RAM installed but the OS only “sees” 3GB?? There are several reasons for this but in a 32-bit scheme, the OS also has to map your graphics card. Say you have a 512MB graphics card and 4 GB of RAM. The OS has to use part of the 4GB of “available” space to map the 512MB video card BEFORE it can map the remaining for useful RAM. This doesn’t include any other hardware such as an audio card. If you have installed Windows 7 32-bit, the only way to switch is to do a fresh install or partition your existing drive and installing the 64-bit there. A system will “dual boot” a 32-bit OS and a 64-bit OS. You cannot use the Windows 7 upgrade to switch from 32 to 64-bit, you must use the full install so you will have to reinstall the programs. What Windows does is take your 32 bit programs that are normally in “Program Files” and installs them in “Program Files (x86)” which allows the OS to treat them as 32-bit programs. You should ALWAYS watch and pay attention to the install program and where it wants to install items. Yes, 64-bit is better no matter what BUT not all systems can handle it. There is no price difference between 32-bit and 64-bit either.

  20. Hey all, I’ve been considering getting Win7. My question is, how well does the Win7 touchscreen/tablet functions work. I’ve had problems in the past with Vista and XP. And is Win7 going to be compatible with USB install of the OS or do I have to mess with this version also to make that happen.

    To those asking about dual boot. you can dual boot any OS as long as you know what your doing and do it correctly. My friend and I sat down once with a Apple Macbook and put a dual boot of Vista and one of the many sweet flavors of Linux. If I remember correctly it was Fedora Core.
    Cheers

  21. I started using 64bit several years ago when I was able to get XP64 on a closeout (now using Win7 64). Best move I ever made!!
    The first thing I noticed was that XP64 was using the SERVER updates, NOT the normal 32bit ones. Investagation confirmed XP64 was built on SERVER code!! And sure enough my 64bit machines have been MUCH more stable than the 32 bit.
    A few years ago drivers WERE a problem but not now. Most any popular device made in the last few years should have 64 drivers for it now.
    And then there’s the memory thing,, 32 bit can normally only read 3-3.2 or so gig RAM (even if you put 4 in it normally won’t see all of it). 64 bit can run more than you probably can afford, 7 home premium @ 16gig, Pro & Ultimate are 192 gig!!!
    Like Dave W above,, I won’t go back to 32 bit!!!
    But HEY,,, that’s just ME!!

  22. I had always heard that there was a lot of software, non drivers, that wasn’t 64 bit compliant and I thought that meant it wouldn’t run on a 64 bit system. Will those aplications run OK with the change to 64 bit?

  23. I’ve been running a 64-bit HP desktop rig with Vista Home Premium SP2 for 18 months. This weekend I picked up a three-license copy of Win 7 Home Premium that comes complete with both 32- and 64-bit disks. Problem solved!

    BTW: I wouldn’t go back to 32-bit if you paid me. . . .

  24. I have a relatively new machine (one year old) and I have just done the check you suggested. I am informed that the operating system is 32 bit. If possible how can I upgrade it to 64 bit and where can I find out more

  25. Though I’m currently running W 7 RC in 32 bit, I’ve carefully checked my processor as well as essentially all the programs that I’m currently running, and it seems that all of them are compatible with 64 bit, so that is for sure the way that I’m going. I also checked with iYogi and they said that it won’t be any trouble to install the 64 bit, even without losing any data or even any email from Outlook or writings from Word, both 2007. This ought to be fun.

  26. I just installed the 32 bit win 7 cause I heard I would have to reinstall programs with 64.
    Is this true?
    Can I still switch to 64 now?
    Please reply Steve or someone who know for sure…thanks

  27. I have installed the 32 and 64 versions of Windows 7
    on a partitioned drive,also I tried the rc in 32 bit
    form.I have tried vista 32 bit also xp 32 bit.Up to the present 64 bit Windows 7 running on a dual core athlon 5600 2.89Ghz with 8Gb of ram and have had one problem with a canon printer but apart from that it appears to be fine.I have AVG 9 security for win7 and a nvidia Geforce 8400 card.All the programmes I have tried are working OK.Dare I say it Microsoft appear tohave got it right this time.I even paid only £49.99 for a full version from PC World on pre-order.

  28. You wrote
    /copy/ WHAT WILL I REALLY GAIN? Speed, speed, and more speed. The ability to do more and do it better. /paste/

    /copy/ There was mention of increased audio and video encoding… /paste/

    Have you done any tests? Not as fast as you may have hoped or been told. Beware of marketing hype. The difference is there, but not that great a difference.

    Facts: Using “UserBench Encode 2009” test suite, and with all audio /video tests run on the same PC, Windows XP Pro SP3 was faster than Windows 7 Ulimate 64 bit.

    Examples: Video tests, converting a 12 minute video stereo WAV file into 5 different formats and encoding a 1,5000 frame AVI file into 5 different formats:-

    VIDEO results, presented as minutes:secs and FPS:

    Win XP Pro SP3 0:58 / 128.97
    Win 7 Ult 64 bit 0:59 / 126.99
    Win 7 Ult 32 bit 0:58 / 127.31
    Win 7 Starter 32 bit 0:58 / 127.61
    Win Vista Ult 64 bit 0:59 / 125.42
    Win Vista Ult 32 bit 0:59 / 126.97
    Ubuntu 8.10 32 bit 1:08 / 110.04
    PC UserOS 9.04 32 bit 1:08 / 198.95
    Ubuntu 9.04 32 bit 1:09 / 107.33

    The tests were run by “Australian PC User” magazine and published in NOV 2009 edition. Any errors in re-typing their results are mine.

    Some

  29. Processor
    Memory (RAM)
    Graphics
    Gaming graphics
    Primary hard disk
    Windows 7 Professional
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz
    4.00 GB
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    2303 MB Total available graphics memory
    115GB Free (175GB Total)

    AppDataLocalTempPrintPreview.hta
    Subscore
    7.1
    7.1
    6.9
    6.9
    5.9
    System    ManufacturerSystem manufacturer  ModelSystem Product Name  Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM  System type64-bit operating system  Number of processor cores 4

    Storage    Total size of hard disk(s)466 GB  Disk partition (C:)115 GB Free (175 GB Total)  Disk partition (D:)101 GB Free (115 GB Total)  Disk partition (E:)129 GB Free (175 GB Total)  Media drive (F:)CD/DVD Graphics

    Display adapter typeNVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT  Total available graphics memory2303 MB        Dedicated graphics memory512 MB        Dedicated system memory0 MB        Shared system memory1791 MB  Display adapter driver version8.16.11.9107  Primary monitor resolution1920x1200  DirectX versionDirectX 10 Network    Network AdapterRealtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
    Print this page
    Base score 5.9
      Determined by lowest subscore

    Get a Dual core 64 bits, better get it with Virtual implemented in the CPU and offer in the BIOS if you want to try Virtual OS.

  30. Triple boot, XP SP3 32 bits, Vista SP2 32 bits, Win 7 Pro 64 bits,

    I have put that because some ask will it work, yes, and the easiest way is start by XP install and create all your partition but don’t format the other partition yet other than the one for XP (It will format that one anyway during installation).

    My installation was I deleted all my partition, reinstalled XP SP3 doing a clean install after) start by the oldest OS first and work your way trough up to Win 7 and at every time go back in the OS that you just have installed and disable restore on their other partition then the one you just have installed and do the same on the other OS *(you don’t want XP to try restore on your Vista anyway, same for Vista with XP).

    The boot option are handed automatically by the New OS that is installed on the second partition and follow by the third one on the third partition and voila you are set for the odd time you need it.

    Why I have triple boot, it because I can and want to play old games also in XP during it is still supported by Microsoft and because I still like Vista but now prefer Win 7 64 bits, it work very great and it is meaner and lean if you have the capable hardware requirement and double their minimum for CPU speed and RAM, my PC is a Quad 2 Core but my son is only duo single boot Win 7 Pro and he play the game right on the second day. You should see how many windows and chat windows and pop up open at the same time on his pc LOL AND I got a thank you Dad for installing me Win 7 so that a great seal of approval for me lol.

    Your mileage will vary but without proper setup your will not have any good result with any OS anyway.

  31. I have 4 rigs, 3 desktops and 1 laptop, the desktops al run XP home…(with never a problem) and the laptop has vista home.
    I dont run alot of highend shit on my rigs with the exception of my gameing rig, would MS 7 64 bit improve my gaming over the XP 32 bit to the point that I would notice it, making it worth spending the money???

  32. I bought and installed Windows 7 64 bit Pro. I bought the upgrade version and when I tried to upgrade install from Vista 32 to 7 64 it would not let me do the upgrade. I then did a clean install of 7 64. I am happy with it so far, but I would highly recommend the Pro version because of the Virtual PC/Xp Emuulation that is no available on the Home version. The XP mode takes care of a lot of the backward compatibility problems with software. If it ran on XP, it should run on XP emulation.

  33. I have just installed W7 64bit and Im finding that Im having the same problems I had with vista which was a slow OS and programs failing to respond all the time and explorer crashing frequently. My PC is a quad core, 4gb memory and only 3 months old. Plus after installing the 64bit driver for my Epson printer I find that it causes my NVIDIA driver to crash every time I want to print.

  34. I bought my 64 bit system in early August, because I needed something faster to run the Firewire mixer for recording multi-tracks, but a lack of 64 bit drivers left me in limbo, nothing I had worked in Vista, and it’s not that fast, lots of pauses, all I kept hearing from the companies was new drivers are too expensive for us to buy the license, so install Win 7 it won’t have that problem, so I waited out the additional 8 weeks to the 22nd for my ?free? upgrade, and I am still waiting on the 28th, another 6 days of a non working system, for Win 7 to show up in the mailbox. And if it doesn’t work, then I’m going back to the old multi-track tape recorders that work every time I press the record button, I can’t afford the overpriced Mac.

  35. Hi,
    I’ve got a Dell Dimension 9100, it’s approximately 4 years old now, running 32 bit XP. I have the max memory it can handle 4GB, but XP recognizes it as 3.5. I keep it well tuned, yet it’s still too slow for the applications I run (Adobe Illustrator, and others). I assume it doesn’t make sense to upgrade to Win 7, the money would be better spend with a new system 64 bit with Win 7 on it. Appreciate any input on this and whether I should build my own or buy from HP or Dell. Thanks!

  36. I can’t find out whether my system is 64 bit compatible.
    I downloaded SIW, but where do I look inside there to see whether my system can work with Win 7 64Bit?

  37. mongo,

    I think you are taking that to literally. Yes there were 64 bit options for those OS’s as well, but they weren’t really a realistic consideration. Too many hardware and driver issues to make the upgrade worthwhile. I think this was the point, that the 32-64 bit decision with Win7 is now something worth considering.

  38. Regarding anti-virus programs. When I loaded my Vipre Anti-Virus with anti-spyware using the CD, the active protection did not work at first. I simply told the software to look for updates. It found updates, installed them, and the software is working great.

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit was the fastest and easiest OS install I have ever had. It is running flawlessly on my system. (Athalon 64×2 6000+ / 8gb dual channel DDR2 800 / Two each Nvidia 9800 GSO in SLI mode / Soundblaster X-fi Titanium PCI-E)

  39. It is not quite as simple as upgrading. You should check that all your equipment can use, or can be supplied device drivers for 64-BIT. I have a DVR card in my PC and no makes 64-BIT drivers yet , so be carefull.

  40. I insalled the 64 Bit OEM version of Windows 7. For some reason its not quicker than my Vista 64 Bit. When i double click to MSN, Yahoo, etc it pauses for like 4-5 seconds before it opens. Is there a setting i need to set to correct this. Thanks

  41. Your instructions re: the SIW software don’t seem to be correct. I have downloaded and run the program. Under Hardware, you say that the first listing is: “Number of Processors”. I can’t find that anywhere. On the copy I installed, the first listing is: “System Summary”. I still can not find out if my system is 64bit compatible. Am I doing something wrong??? Please email me and let me know. Thanks,

  42. Of course! Sitting here wondering what to do and here is the answer. I had a dualboot Vista/XP system, each operating system having its own hard drive. I upgraded my XP disc to Win7 32 last week and have been so impressed with its competence that today I have formatted my Vista drive, which is much bigger than the Win7 32 drive, with the intention of transferring Win7 to it. Instead I will dualboot with Win7 64, which came with my pre-ordered copy of Win7 delivered on the launch date as planned. Have Microsoft got it right for once? Certainly, in the space of a few days I have gained sufficient confidence in 7 as to be prepared to ditch Vista.

  43. “Unlike previous years, there is an additional decision that needs to be made. Are you going 32 bit or 64 bit?”

    Really? You don’t remember Windows XP 64bit and Windows Vista 64bit?

  44. I just upgraded to W7 32 bit Home Premium. (Both disks are included for 32 or 64) I had 32 bit Vista, so i just assumed it was the safest path. Can I “re-upgrade” to 64-bit??

  45. ok Ive installed 32 bit version and It says I am 64 bit
    capable do I have to reinstall?? or is their a way to change to 64??

  46. I have upgraded my Vista to 32 bit Windows 7 but after reading this article I find that I can do 64 bit. I have the disks…can I upgrade my 32 to 64 bit by just running the 64 bit disk?
    Thanks!

  47. Yes, I did that with botht he RC and RTM. I haven’t installed the released version yet, but can’t see why it wouldn’t work there.

  48. Presently running Vista 32bit, but would like to cross over to win 7 64bit. Will all my files etc transfer across from the older OS?

  49. Frank… you can dual boot anycombination you’d like, the 64 bit is irrelevant.

    As for the Antivirus mentioned in the article. During release candidate, compatibility was a big issue with either version. But by the time Windows 7 released all the major companies had new programs out that are both 32 and 64 bit compatible.

    M

  50. If one would like to dual boot with XP Pro and Windows 7, is it possible that with XP being 32 bit, you can still use the 64 bit version of 7 on the other partition?

  51. This time MS is including the 64 bit version on the same disk as the 32 Bit. I tried to install the 64 bit RC but it kept giving me a white screen after the last reboot on installation, windows was running I just couldn’t see what was happening nor click on any needed info. Athlon 64 x 2- 2.10 ghz, 4 gigs ram, ATI x1200 integrated graphics- don’t know what was happening.

  52. What if I have 32-bit Vista Business on one drive and want to install 64-bit Win7 Pro on a new drive? Will I need a “full” version of Win7 Pro or can this be done from the “upgrade” version? BTW: I’ve used the NeoSmart dual-boot products with great success in the past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *