Upgrading Windows 7 32bit to 64 bit

Alright so I'm having a bit of trouble with this damn upgrading.

I recently got a new computer, built it from the ground up for gaming. My school is part of MSDNAA fun time so I was able to get a free version of Windows 7 64bit service pack 1. I downloaded the files and it was an .iso file.

The first try, I ended up burning the .iso file its self to a disk with out mounting it then downloading the files onto the disk that way. So that didn't work.

The next thing I tried was downloading the actual files needed to install the OS onto a flash drive. The reason that didn't work was because I didn't format the flash drive correctly before I downloaded the files onto it. I then tried to format the flash drive but now I can't even open it or do anything else with it.

I ended up asking a friend who had a boot disk for Windows 7. The only problem is that he didn't know if it was 32 bit or 64. This disk actually worked... the only problem is that it's 32 bit.

I ended up getting another disk and downloaded the, what I believe, right files onto it. Popped it into my new computer to hopefully install the 64 bit version of the OS and over right the 32 bit version, or have it reformat my hard drive then install the OS. So far it isn't working.

Is there any advice I could get from you guys. I was thinking about wiping my hard drive and starting from scratch, hoping that the 64 bit disk I burned would work. So far, I haven't been able to actually wipe it, so I'm at a bit of a cross roads.

If someone could help it would be greatly appreciated, if you want more information just ask, I'll see what I can do.



Senior Member
When you download the iso file, you have to burn it to a DVD to make it bootable. I assume you downloaded the official iso file including SP1 from Digital River. Click on the file (both right click and left click will work) You cannot just download the iso file to DVD because it is NOT bootable in that format!

Left Click the file:


Right Click the file and choose Burn Disc Image, gets the same as above:


Your original key should work but I have heard of some that had to phone MS to activate.

Edit: I probably should have said that you should make sure your PC CPU is 64 Bit compatible. You should be able to check the manufacturers specs or go into Device Manager and check under Computer.


Also if the PC came with Win 7 32 Bit installed, it might be an OEM edition and the OEM key is only good for the PC and version it already has. For example an OEM 32 Bit key is only good for 32 Bit installations on the original PC, an OEM 64 Bit key is only good for 64 Bit installations on the original PC. A retail key is good for either 32 Bit or 64 Bit but not both.

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Says it's a x86 based Pc. I'm pretty sure that means 32bit. I find it a little hard to believe that it Ian 64 bit compatible.

I Built the computer from the ground Up. Actually used This website to build it, How to Build Gaming Computers it has a "best build" tab that helps picking the parts, being new at this, I just did the "mid-range" build part by part. So it would seem like everything will be at the best at that price range, so I would assume the CPU would be 64 bit compatible.

The CPU it's self is here: Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500 Unlocked Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.70 GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 95W, Fan, Retail at TigerDirect.com

The CPU is a Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500 Unlocked Processor - Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 1MB L2 Cache, 3.30 GHz (3.70 GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 95W, Fan, Retail

I dont have any empty disks or I would try burning the iso again. Also I'm not at my computer right now anyway


Senior Member
I can find no information that this setup is 64 Bit compatible so I would suspect you are stuck with the 32 bit OS.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
The Intel i5 is x64 compatible so your good go with a 64bit install :)


Senior Member
Thanks for the info. The Intel site and Tiger Direct site do not specify 32 or 64 Bit, and I am not cognizant enough with the designations to know for sure one way or the other. It's been many years since I was into building systems and have not checked any of these in recent memory.

Why would the OP's Device Manager state the system is x86 if it is 64 Bit compatible?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Just in case there are some minor misunderstandings.

In order to install a x64 version with a prior 32 bit install, you have to boot to the DVD and do a custom install. This will wipe out your previous install so if you have any data you need to keep, save it elsewhere.

The x86 (32 bit) message you reference concerns the OS, not the processor.


Senior Member
When you install Win 7 over another OS (Including Win 7) a folder is created called windows.old in the C Drive. This folder contains the entire old OS and can be opened like any folder. You can grab all you data, pics, music, favorites, etc from the folder. Unfortunately you have to reinstall all apps and updates and redo all customization, but hey you get a pristeen OS afterward. Once you get all the stuff you need, you can delete the folder as it is quite large. MS shows the proper method to delete this folder.

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