Upgrade to Windows 7 installation questions

User avatar
Pilgrim
2StarLounger
Posts: 177
Joined: 25 Jan 2010, 00:50
Location: Swanzey, NH

Upgrade to Windows 7 installation questions

Post by Pilgrim »

It's been a looooooong time since I've done an upgrade to my custom built PC. I'm currently running Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit and I need some reminders with plus & minus information on upgrading to Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate.

1. How about a "Repair" install, if possible to correct any/all current system issues?
2. An upgrade is most attractive since it retains all compatible programs and data. However, what if the system has unknown problems? Would they be an issue?
3. A Clean install typically is what many recommend for obvious reasons, e.g., #2 above. But that requires the installation of all programs and copying over of all data saved on another disk. Is there something that allows easy transfer of currently installed programs with the Clean install?
4. Lastly, what are the pros and cons of going with a 64-bit version of Windows 7? I believe that would require a Clean install since from what I've read, you cannot upgrade from a 32-bit system to a 64 bit system. Would most of my current programs work on a 64-bit system?

Any wisdom on the above would be greatly appreciated. I remember about 15+ years ago having to do a clean install of my then current system and it took me 3 12-hour days to get everything installed, adding all the personal 'tweaks' etc. and working properly. I dread the thought of having to do this again at my age! :hairout:
Jeff

Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 73830
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Upgrade to Windows 7 installation questions

Post by HansV »

To begin with 4: the 64-bit version of Windows can handle much more RAM than the 32-bit version.

The 32-bit version supports a maximum of 4 GB RAM, of which at most a bit more than 3 GB will be available to you. If you want to run memory-intensive programs, or if you often open many applications, that is rather limited. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 Pro / Ultimate can handle up to 192 GB, although not many users will have that much. 8 GB or 12 GB is plenty for most purposes.

64-bit Windows fully supports running 32-bit applications; you shouldn't experience problems with those. If you have still older 16-bit applications, compatibility mode is available, but you'd have to experiment.

However, you are correct that an in-place upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit is not possible; you'd have to perform a clean install, so you'd have to reinstall and re-configure all your applications.

3/2/1: If you decide to stay with 32-bit, an in-place upgrade would be possible. You'd still have a completely new Windows (the entire Windows folder would be replaced), and if your current system doesn't have serious problems, I see no objection.

Keep in mind that Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in January of 2020, some 10 months from now. You might consider moving to Windows 10...
Regards,
Hans