Upgrade from XP 32-bit to Win 8 64-bit

Not sure if this is the right place to post this one so forgive me if it's not.

Apparently you cannot update from a 32-bit version of Windows (XP in my case) to 64-bit Win 8 using the Windows Upgrade Assistant and the downloadable $39.99 version, you have to purchase a boxed DVD set and do it that way.

No problem, I go to JB Hi-Fi and buy the $58 retail pack. Get home, do some backups, image of my C partition etc etc. Now I'm ready. I put the 64-bit DVD in the drive and stand back, waiting for Windows 8 loveliness to enter my world, but instead I'm greeted by this message:

"Your installation media cannot be used to install Windows"
"Your current version of Windows is 32-bit and does not match the architecture of the 64-bit installation media. Please insert the 32-bit media and restart Windows setup."

If I use the 32-bit disc, it gets further, to the point of going ahead.

Except I don't want 32-bit.

My machine has a Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 mobo with Athlon II 635. The Windows upgrade assistant makes no mention of this being unsuitable. The reason I'm running 32-bit XP is because it's all I had at the time I built the box and just didn't get around to buying a 64-bit version of Win 7 (which were outrageously priced here in Oz).

I'm thinking I will just use the 32-bit disc and then upgrade it with the 64-bit disc but I don't really want to get all the way through and find that it won't do it then either.

Anybody else seen this behaviour? If I use the 32-bit disc will the 64-bit disc upgrade it afterwards?





Windows Forum Admin
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It is simply not possible to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit. The changes between the two are substantial enough that nearly every system file and configuration would need to be replaced in ways that no installer could calculate. In essence, there are too many variables at work. While I know what you mean by upgrading Windows XP to Windows 8, as you would retain none of your settings, but still have working files on the drive, it really is a doozy. At this point, to initiate this type of "upgrade", you will really want to do a full install and not an upgrade. While this complicates things quite a bit, because you already have a valid copy of Windows XP, and just not the 64-bit version, and do not really want to retain your system settings from Windows XP (who would? who could?), you may even want to consider calling Microsoft to see if they can help you bypass the upgrade and let you do a one-time full install to get around this.

However, in general, it is widely known that an upgrade from a 32-bit operating system to 64-bit is impossible. Perhaps for licensing purposes, they have also made it impossible without thinking much about it. All the best, and please let us know your outcome.


Windows Forum Admin
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Yup as Mike explains your only route to use 64bit is to do a clean or whats called a 'custom install'. Just change your boot order to boot from disk and then when asked which type of installation you want choose 'custom'. You'll also have chance to decide it's destination as well.

Thanks fellas for your quick responses.

While I understand that you can't convert 32 to 64 bit, I figured the upgrade would simply wipe what was there and put new code over the top. That's what the 32-bit upgrade would do anyway so I don't see why it couldn't do it for the 64-bit.

I tried booting from the 64-bit disc but it never went anywhere - it put a little blue Windows logo in the centre of the screen and there it sat for about half an hour not doing anything. So I aborted at that point.

I will follow up with Microsoft. It was an article in a newspaper that quoted Microsoft as saying you could upgrade from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win 8 by using the DVD. I guess someone got their wires crossed.

Thanks for your help so far.




Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
You should have waited. The blue logo is there whilst files are being loaded to continue with the installation.

An article I read:
Upgrade from Windows XP/Vista/7 32-bit to Windows 8 64-bit

So wait a second. Is there a way to actually upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8?


Yes, there is. But you can’t do it electronically. Instead, you will need to purchase the retail Windows 8 Pro Upgrade media, which is currently $30 more expensive (or $69.99) than the electronic upgrade. This package provides both 32-bit and 64-bit media, so you can choose which to use. (In case this isn’t obvious, you can’t actually do an in-place upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version fo Windows 8. Only clean installs (“Custom” install type) are supported.

Read the article

LOL, so I wasn't dreaming after all. Yes I read the same article, well a similar one I guess, because it didn't say that you couldn't to an in-place upgrade, just that you had to buy the DVD package.

I will have another crack at booting from the 64-bit disc tonight. I will leave it longer than half an hour, though I still think 30 minutes is inordinately long to load some files from a DVD.

Will report back after that.



So I booted again from the 64-bit DVD. I left it longer this time and after about 40 minutes, it finally asked me to enter my Language, Locale and keyboard types. Another 5 minutes or so before it started doing anything.

During the first 40 minutes it must have been downloading stuff (don't have fast internet where I live, I am lucky to get 5M/sec). It didn't start hitting the DVD until well into the second half, i.e. after I'd entered the Language, Local and Keyboard. After that, it took about 15 minutes before rebooting and then running through the customisation. This is where it got weird.

After entering my choice for colour scheme and computer name (which didn't stick, at least the colour scheme didn't), it asked me to create a login and so on, and then suddenly threw an error that said "Windows cannot be installed on this computer, please restart the installation". I hit Ok and it rebooted and went through the same process (i.e. I didn't restart anything except for rebooting). This time it appeared to work and went on and eventually I was able to log in to Windows 8. And the colour scheme was the default blue.

But eventually, it was finally installed. Not what you'd call a smooth process.

Most of my devices it found ok, but it thinks my monitor has speakers, which it doesn't. And my motherboard has a Realtek 7.1 sound device but only the front left and right are making any noise at the moment.

At that point I decided to call it quits and went to bed. I will try installing the vendor's drivers tonight (Gigabyte mobo).



I'll apologize @ the onset, I have not read the entire thread in detail.

x86 XP > x64 Windows 8.

1. DL the Win8 Upgrade on a 64-bit OS & burn the DVD.
2. Take the HDD holding the XP & format it (or when installing delete all drives, format & create a drive/partition for it (Windows8).. the remaining space will become a Data drive.
Install 8 telling it to "Keep Nothing".
Upon competition, assuming it's going on 64-bit H/W, is Windows 8 x64 on a 64-bit box. After Win8 is live, format the 'other' drive & use it as the Data drive.

This is clean install of Windows 8 using x64 $40 Upgrade DL of .ISO & burnt DVD to a 64-bit box that had x86 XP.

I just did this yesterday remotely for a client in Edmonton. He is ecstatic to be enjoying Windows 8. He migrated from Vista but, the methodology is the same, be it from XP or Vista.


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