Upgrading from Windows 7 32-bit to Windows 10 64-bit

Back when I was young and foolish and installing Windows 7 I didn't understand the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit and just went with 32-bit and now I'm paying the price for my ignorance. I'd like to correct my past mistakes and upgrade to Windows 10 at the same time, but the process for doing so sounds like a massive hassle.

My current grand plan is to put a 2nd hard drive into my computer and install Windows 10 on it using the key from my original Windows 7 install and have Windows running off the new hard drive while using the old hard drive as storage and preserving all my files and (hopefully) programs in the process.

Is my plan feasible in any way and if so, how would I go about it?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
If I understand correctly, the new releases of Windows 10 will allow you to do clean installs using the prior OS License Key. Since we all know the EULA states the prior OS is no longer usable, I do not know what might happen to your old install if you were to try to boot to it after you have done the upgrade.

Whether a License key from a 32 bit version will work for the 64 bit version is hard to say. If it were to be an OEM license or perhaps one of the Student Licenses, it may not. But I suppose you will find out during the process.

Thanks for the reply but I actually got this done yesterday!

What I did was download the Windows 10 installer to a USB, unplug my old HDD, plug in the new SSD and turned it on with the USB drive in, Windows 10 installed (no issues with the key) and then I just plugged my old HDD back in and they're running side by side with no problems!

If I had any complaints it would be that I have to keep telling programs which drive to install to so I don't accidentally fill up the relatively small SSD :D:up:

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