changing windows 7 32bit to windows 7 64 bit

I originally had XP on my laptop and last January "upgraded" to windows 7 32 bit.
I now need to run 64 bit applications.

I know I must do a clean install, but my question is do I have to reinstall XP so that I can "upgrade" to windows 7 64 bit? Or is there a way to avoid the XP step?


You should not have to. I bought an upgrade disc (64-bit) and was able to perform a clean install with no OS present.

Thanks for the quick response! I have been trying for the last few hours to get this done.
As an additional complication, this his a macbook pro running windows 7 32 bit. In bootcamp I have it boot off of the CD already in the drive, but it simply restarts on the partition and not the disk.

Any thoughts?

This is where the "Doing a Clean install with an Upgrade disc" workaround comes into play..

Since directly Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 isn't really a good option for multiple reasons.. Doing a clean install is the way to go.. ;) I always recommend a clean install over an upgrade anyway just because it is 99% of the time much easier and leaves you with a good fresh install...

That being said there are a couple of different ways you could do this..

The first being to install as normal using your Windows 7 Upgrade media, the installation will search for a previous version of Windows.. If you have a previous (qualifying) version of Windows installed (and it's legit of course ;) ) then the installation will continue as normal..

The second being the workaround.. Which is a fancy way of saying that you can use the Upgrade media to perform a clean install without having any previous versions of Windows already installed.. So a blank HDD in other words.. The catch to this trick is you may have to physically install Windows 7 twice.. Reason being, you have an Upgrade key, so in order to activate this key you need to have an Upgrade installation..

There are guides posted on this forum that explain exactly how to perform this trick.. There are also various guides online that explain a couple of different methods to perform this trick..

The easiest method (in my opinion) is to insert your Windows 7 DVD and boot from it as normal. Proceed with the installation as you normally would but when you get to the screen that gives you the option to pick a Clean Install or Upgrade, choose Clean Install. The next screen gives you the option to format, create/remove partitions. After you have finished setting up your partitions continue with the installation as normal. Once it has finished DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ACTIVATE! Go to Windows Updates and install all available Windows Updates as well as any driver updates that may be available to you.. Once finished, reboot and boot off of the Windows 7 installation DVD again.

Proceed as normal but this time choose Upgrade install rather than Clean install. The installation will continue.. Since this is the Upgrade install, it usually takes a little longer to complete. This is normal so don't be alarmed. Once this installation has finished you can now activate it using your product key. :)

I have included a link to a guide that explains this trick in a little more detail.

I wish you luck with your installation and please don't hesitate to ask for help should you run into any problems during the process..

Thanks for taking so much time to lay this all out for me! It all makes perfect sense--my issue right now is that can't boot from the windows 7 64 bit disc provided to get started. I have gone into bootcamp and selected to windows disc to boot from--i shut down and restart--then the 32 bit windows OS starts up. I have tried updating bootcamp to the 64bit version, but since it is the 32 bit version installed--I get an error message. I have tried to click on setup from the disc and that does not work. (error message) I have tried restarting and clicking on F2, F3, F5, F8, F11, and F12 as you would in just about any windows based machine and it does not work--I have reinstalled OS on many machines in the past and this is the first one that I have not been successful in getting started. My first Mac with windows 7, bootcamp, or something else is causing issues.

Any advise?

Thanks to all that helped me out. I was able to install the 64 bit OS!!
The info from Radenight was priceless.

all the best!

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.