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Author Topic: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit  (Read 2638 times)

wraith808

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Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« on: December 20, 2013, 08:42:37 PM »
So, I made the mistake when I set up my box of setting up Windows 7 32-bit.  I've been putting off correcting that error just because I really haven't wanted to deal with it.

Is it possible and/or does anyone see any pitfalls in doing an install on the same partition that I have my 32-bit OS of the 64-bit OS?  I know I can't upgrade... but it would help if I could have both running at the same time.

Anyone have any insights on this?

cranioscopical

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 10:48:49 PM »
It's only a guess, but I'd be unsurprised by some hassle over activation.
 

Shades

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 10:58:11 PM »
If you just mean to install 2 versions of Windows on the same partition than the answer is not really, the Windows folders will be separated, but the other folders will be shared. This will give a lot of access right conflicts because of folder ownerships, I can tell you that much. Separate partitions for each OS where only one OS will be up and running applications at a time will work.

Both running at the same time...if this means that both OS's are up and running applications at your leisure, then you will have to revert to virtualization. Not something you are going to like as it will take quite a bit of steps to do so. Microsoft Hyper-V from Windows Server 2012 (which is free) is likely the most convenient candidate, if you value performance and least amount of Windows licensing problems.

For virtualization it is best to have a "beefy" PC that can handle the load of running both the 32-bit and the 64-bit OS's at the same time with ease. Although you can have impressive specs with laptops, I wouldn't even consider these type of PC's to do this kind of setup. Lots of RAM, fast hard disk(s) and an i7 processor will get you a long way. Maybe an i5 processor will do. In any case, get a processor with lots of L1, L2 and L3 cache, that is more important than the GHz's!

You could also get a spare hard disk of ample size, although I wouldn't use a hard disk of more than 2 TByte as bigger drives could be problematic to boot from (depends on the age of the motherboard and/or what the UEFI BIOS supports). You could divide the new hard disk up in at least 2 partitions and virtualize your 32-bit OS using P2V software packages onto the last partition.

Most P2V software is free, but make sure you select the correct one for either the VMWare Player or VirtualBox software. Converting it later is in most cases still possible, but will take time and success is not guaranteed.

Disconnect the hard disk with the 32-bit OS and start installing the 64-bit OS on the 1st partition. When that is all done, install VMWare Player or VirtualBox in the 64-bit OS and create a new virtual machine using the virtualized 32-bit OS files. If all that went successful you can run applications at your leisure on both OS's at the same time. If the virtualized 32-bit OS works as you expect it to, you can use the original hard disk again for other purposes, you could even add it as a shared drive between both OS's if you want.

Lots of steps, I know. The latter virtualization solution is called tier-2 and most people have not much problems grasping the concept behind it and software to make this kind of virtualizations is freely available. VMWare Player and VirtualBox won't cost you a dime, VMWare Workstation is rather expensive. VMWare vSphere and it's predecessor ESX(i) are similar to Microsoft Hyper-V and also here you have to pay high license fees and make sure you have supported hardware, adding again to the price.

The first virtualization method (with Hyper-V) is called tier-1. Not as simple to grasp for most people, although it is not that hard. Main advantage of tier-1 solutions is the level of performance, which is very close to "bare metal" speeds.

If you have setup your current Windows 32-bit OS in non-standard ways such as lots of partitions, adjusted default folder paths and what not...expect a lot of problems getting it correctly virtualized.

Just making a working backup and doing a complete re-install now sounds about right, does it?  ;)  

*edited - I should proofread more often  :-[*

techidave

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 04:42:59 AM »
I made the same mistake as you, wrath.  I don't know how or why i ended up with 32 bit of win 7 on my 8 gb of Ram but I did.  so very soon i will end up doing a fresh install of 64 bit win 7 and then will have a virtual win 7 probably 32 bit running as well.  I just need to do this since I try out so many different software and be religious in putting them in the virtual drive.

I could virtualize my existing 32 bit, but I would have to really clean it up first as it has most of my 500gb drive full.  I was wanting to put windows on my new 250gb SSD and then store my stuff on an internal 1 tb drive.  but i don't have enough sata ports (only 4)  to accomodate one more drive as i have 2 drives that are dedicated to storing my ghost images, one is a backup.  the DVD drive is SATA also.  my motherboard has no IDE ports on it.   :(

wraith808

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 07:42:03 AM »
So when you say you ended up with a fresh install of 64-bit; on the same partition?  The reason I'm wondering is that I need to be able to work through this, so don't have the time to reinstall from scratch without having my other to fall back on, so a 'good backup' wouldn't mitigate this risk.  Thanks for the responses- just wondering if this is possible or if I have to wait for my next upgrade to correct my error.

Ath

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 08:09:16 AM »
You can't have a parallel install of 64 and 32 bit of Windows 7 on the same partition, as Shades already explained. In fact, the last installed OS will replace the existing OS. Separate partitions (or disks) is the way to go for this feature. It would require a reboot to switch to the other install, though.
Hassling with Hyper-V from Server 2008R2/Server 2012 is only for the not-fainthearted (IOW knowledgeable) IMHO, so instead of that, I'd advise to create a clean install of Windows x64, and run (after possibly doing a P2V conversion) the 32 bit incarnation in a virtualized solution like VMWare Player (or better the non-free Workstation) or VirtualBox. Ample RAM memory is a requirement for such setup ofcourse, but 8GB for the host system should suffice, allowing the 32bit install 2 GB with enough space for normal use.

A re-install of Windows x64 is required, and advised, though.

If there are no reasons to keep the 32 bit OS around, then that's an easy solution as well, bite the bullet and just stop running the (virtualized) 32 bit OS :D

wraith808

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 09:13:15 AM »
As mentioned above, I have to keep working during this, so reinstalling everything on the fly isn't an option.  :-\

I think I've got a handle on what I'm going to do, however, to make this possible.  Thanks for your input everyone!

techidave

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 11:09:41 AM »
I am not wild about reinstalling all the software either.  Do I have time?  Kinda of.  Since I reinstall on a different hard drive I do have a good backup and can reinsert the old drive if it comes to that.

Going to a smaller had isn't that big of a concern as my docs and desktop are redirected to the server.

mouser

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 11:13:01 AM »
i'd suggest you buy a new hard drive, do a fresh install of 64 bit on that.
with a cheap $30 usb dock you will be able to access your old documents and data on the old hard drive whenever you want, and revert back completely if you have issues.

wraith808

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2013, 05:15:48 PM »
i'd suggest you buy a new hard drive, do a fresh install of 64 bit on that.
with a cheap $30 usb dock you will be able to access your old documents and data on the old hard drive whenever you want, and revert back completely if you have issues.

Well, I actually already have an extra 2TB drive in the machine... so my idea was to install to that one, but let windows handle the dual booting.  I'd been keeping an eye on that drive b/c I'd had problems before, so don't really have anything on it currently... and it's not had any issues, so a good test of the drive and controller, and a good option that keeps my work drive intact.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 06:22:11 AM »
Is it possible and/or does anyone see any pitfalls in doing an install on the same partition that I have my 32-bit OS of the 64-bit OS?  I know I can't upgrade... but it would help if I could have both running at the same time.

Being a fan of having your cake and eating it too solutions ... I'd say yes, if you have either Ultimate or Enterprise edition. Either of these allow you to boot from a vhd file, which means that both (put the .vhd on C:\) can be on the same partition without conflicting with each other.

Otherwise, no...for the various reasons given above.

wraith808

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 09:12:16 AM »
Ok... still preparing; one final question.  I know it was that the alternate windows partition had to be marked as inactive on boot, i.e. you can't have two partitions with windows active.

Is that still the case?  Just wanted to know if I needed to move my documents to a different directory for them to be accessible across versions.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Upgrade to Windows 64-bit
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 01:42:35 PM »
Oh this is a fun one...The system partition must be marked as active not the boot partition. The boot partition contains the OS, and you can have multiple boot partitions (e.g. OSs). But the bootstrap and boot loader goes on the system partition, which has to be active.

Permissions may still flake a bit as "disk ownership" "changes hands", but they should be accessible...(admin acct)...this is the kind of thing where domains are handy (just don't use a dynamic disk or the same machine name for multiple OSs).