Vista 32-bit to 64-bit question

Gooberlx2

Lifer
May 4, 2001
15,381
6
91
Just bought an OEM computer and am considering using the "Anytime" program to upgrade from premium to ultimate. But since I'm a bit clueless I have to ask: is one able to just upgrade from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Vista...without having to format the HDD and reinstall everything? I'd just love to avoid such a PITA.

Also, as I understand it, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are included on the Ultimate retail DVD. Is this the case with the upgrade DVD as well?
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,430
10,102
126
I don't know if you can do an upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit using the Anytime Upgrade feature. It downloads a file on your HD that you use to perform the upgrade, you do not get a new CD-key. This is very unfortunate, because if they did give you a CD-key, all you would have to do is obtain 64-bit install media, and use that CD-key with it. I have my strong doubts that the upgrade install file is both 32-bit and 64-bit compatible.

If you plan to move to 64-bit, then I would perform a 64-bit install, and then do the Anytime Upgrade from there, going from 64-bit Home Premium to 64-bit Ultimate. It should theoretically work then.
If you don't have 64-bit media, then you can (if you have a retail and not an OEM copy) order media from Microsoft for a nominal fee. If you have an OEM disc you are screwed. (Insert spiteful comment about MS not wanting to foster 64-bit adoption here.)
 

Gooberlx2

Lifer
May 4, 2001
15,381
6
91
Ooohh...crap...so it sounds like I'm cornered into 32-bit. Because I have recovery discs (HP), not even an OS disc. So, without retail, I can't get a 64-bit OS disc replacement. Without a 64-bit OS I can't get a 64-bit anytime upgrade.

I suppose I might be able to grab a premium 64-bit torrent. I mean, I do have a Premium license key for the system after all. But since it's OEM who even knows if it'll allow for a x86-->x64 transition? Hell, for the price and hassle I might as well just hop on Newegg and grab a 64-bit OEM version of Ultimate for $189 (vs $159 for the anytime upgrade IIRC) and a usb cable or something.
 

ViRGE

Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus
Oct 9, 1999
31,516
167
106
Find a copy of an x64 disc and you'll be fine. There is no such thing as a 32bit-only key, even when it comes to OEMs. The key that came with your computer will allow you to install the x64 version of the Windows edition you have.
 

Skeeedunt

Platinum Member
Oct 7, 2005
2,777
3
76
Larry and ViRGE have pretty much covered it (though I've never heard of anyone actually doing it... there might be a small chance that Microsoft will send you a 32-bit upgrade file because that's what corresponds to the key you enter, but I doubt it). I'll just add that the anytime upgrade price is indeed a joke, as you can get Ultimate x64 OEM from mwave for $172.
 

pm

Elite Member Mobile Devices
Jan 25, 2000
7,419
22
81
Is it possible to upgrade from any 32-bit OS (either 32-bit Vista or Windows XP) to 64-bit Vista without having to reinstall everything?

I am running Windows XP Pro and bought Vista Ultimate Upgrade... but it says that I can't "upgrade" to Windows Vista 64-bit and need to reinstall everything. The upgrade button is greyed out and I'm left with the "custom" button... which is a clean install (without erasing the hard disk... but still, I have to reinstall everything).
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,866
105
106
Anytime upgrade isn't just a key.

It's an installer you run WITHIN the OS you're updating.

This means you must first install the x64 version of your CURRENT OS before running the anytime upgrade to get to 64 bit!!!

^^ important.

You CANNOT take a key from anytime upgrade and just use it during the install process. You absolutley must be running the OS being upgraded and run the anytime upgrade file within that for it to work.

 

Skeeedunt

Platinum Member
Oct 7, 2005
2,777
3
76
Originally posted by: pm
Is it possible to upgrade from any 32-bit OS (either 32-bit Vista or Windows XP) to 64-bit Vista without having to reinstall everything?

Unfortunately, no, it's never possible to upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa.
 

pm

Elite Member Mobile Devices
Jan 25, 2000
7,419
22
81
Thanks for the replies, Skeee and Morph. I suspected as much, but thought there might a sneaky way to do it (like XP to Vista 32-bit to Vista 64-bit).

I have been upgrading my computer since... well, a really long time. Like Windows 98. I just buy the upgrade edition and upgrade. I haven't done a clean install in... it seems like a decade or so. Even if it's only been five or six years, it feels like a decade. It's all been stable under Windows XP for ages even with all of the stuff that I carried forward from upgrading. But I have 4GB of RAM, I wasn't using a lot of it under Windows XP, so I bit the bullet and I'm typing this now on Vista 64-bit, trying to get my system back to something resembling what it was. It's going to take a while... probably a very long while.
 

Mem

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
21,476
13
81
Originally posted by: pm
Thanks for the replies, Skeee and Morph. I suspected as much, but thought there might a sneaky way to do it (like XP to Vista 32-bit to Vista 64-bit).

I have been upgrading my computer since... well, a really long time. Like Windows 98. I just buy the upgrade edition and upgrade. I haven't done a clean install in... it seems like a decade or so. Even if it's only been five or six years, it feels like a decade. It's all been stable under Windows XP for ages even with all of the stuff that I carried forward from upgrading. But I have 4GB of RAM, I wasn't using a lot of it under Windows XP, so I bit the bullet and I'm typing this now on Vista 64-bit, trying to get my system back to something resembling what it was. It's going to take a while... probably a very long while.

It should not take you too long to get use to Vista x64,personally I find it far more enjoyable then my old XP PC,unfortuantely the others are right ,no way to do a upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit ,from what I have read Vista x64 is a leaner OS,no 16 bit legacy support in Vista x64 so probably one of the main reasons a clean full install is needed,good thing Vista installs a lot faster then XP.

You got me thinking now wonder if down the road we'll be able to upgrade to Vienna 64 bit from Vista x64 without a clean install,guess only time will tell.

 

QuixoticOne

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2005
1,855
0
0
I haven't read the thread super thoroughly but a few of the comments I scanned
seemed wrong so I'll add my $0.02.

1) Anytime Upgrade -- it's a bad joke in pricing compared to the prices you sometimes
see for just buying an OEM or Upgrade or Retail OS from various legitimate vendors.
So shop around and see what your best "deal" is.

2) Anytime Upgrade EULA says (according to some interpretations -- check into it for
yourself to verify) that it may be tied to the *PC* you initially are upgrading / using it on.
I.e. the EULA may not clearly indicate that you *CAN* transfer the license to some other
replacement PC whenever in the future if you wish to do so.
In that specific way if that's "accurate" then it may be no better than an OEM license which
may be construed to be tied to that specific hardware, though, again, the legalese and
actual intent / implementation of the license is up to various interpretations and YMMV.

3) Will they sell you an anytime upgrade? Maybe. Only way to know for sure is to
try and see given your existing product key (or whatever alternative processes they
support). If they SELL you the upgrade license then it's pretty clear you "can" legally
use it. The posters above who said that you have to run the "anytime upgrade install files"
from within an existing OS are correct AFAIK. You don't get a CD or ISO image for one
from Anytime Upgrade you get some executable files that you run that installs the OS
on that computer, and those executables have to run from some kind of Windows
OS to start the install process. But IF you can get the AU license, AND you can
actually install it somehow, I'd imagine it'd be OK from there, though reinstallation
may be an inconvenience if you ever need to do that versus having a real boot CD
you can easily use.

4) You can't necessarily IN PLACE UPGRADE 32 bit to 64 bit OS, but that doesn't mean
you can't *UPGRADE* from a 32 to 64 bit OS. It's horribly misleading for people they
way they market that. Basically it won't or may not (AFAIK) *AUTOMATICALLY
UPGRADE* an installed, functioning 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS when you run the 64 bit
installer. There's no reason you can't MANUALLY do it though - back up your data,
your settings, etc. so you don't care about the 32 bit OS install at all, then run
the 64 bit installer, do a "clean install" (or similar) of the 64 bit OS which will NOT
preserve your 32 bit OS data / settings, and then MANUALLY restore / reinstall your
data and programs on your new 64 bit OS. You're generally ALLOWED to UPGRADE,
but it's not an AUTOMATIC PROCESS ( * which I wouldn't trust ANYWAY even if it
OFFERED the option of doing it automatically -- nothing substitutes for a good backup
and a clean fresh install!).

5) 64 bit? Yeah Vista 64 mostly works for a lot of things, though it has its problems,
same as Vista 32. But mainly you'd only NEED/WANT a 64 bit OS if you plan to have
4 Gigabytes or more of RAM (now or in the future on a replacement/upgraded PC).
Otherwise you don't necessarily gain much by 64 vs 32, though I can understand
having OTHER REASONS to want the 64 licence / CD / whatever, future use,
convenience, etc. Just keep in mind what limitations you may have in moving a
OEM or Anytime Upgrade license to a wholly different PC with more than 4GB in the
future due to the license EULA junk.

6) They give people the option to order 64 bit install media if you have a license
of something BEYOND Vista Starter (which I guess they dont' let you get 64 bit
versions of). I don't know about OEM licenses and getting the 64 bit install
media and being able to use the OEM key to run the 64 bit install. Someone above seemed
to be saying it'd work according to some reports. I don't see why not, it'd be stupid
of them to limit people from upgrading their OS to 64 bit, then again Microsoft IS
OFTEN STUPID, so YMMV. Here's AN order link:
http://www.microsoft.com/windo...rdermedia/default.mspx
You MAY ALSO be able to order 32 bit or 64 bit install media or upgrades from
your hardware's OEM too.

7) When I ordered a 64 bit install disc from that link I got an install disc that can
install almost ANY Vista 64 bit version from the one DVD, home basic, home
premium, business, ultimate. Now you can only ACTIVATE the edition you already
have a key / license for, but the point is the install media may be generic, so even
if you can borrow / copy an 64 install disc you may be able to install the 64 version
of Vista you want from it and then activate it with your existing key.

8) There are ways to find out the OEM product key, e.g. some program called something
like magic jellybean key finder or something like that. Search around and be sure you're
getting the legitimate version if you want / need it, it's FREE AFAIK, though I don't
know if there are malware fakes of it floating around too and I forget the site's URL
at the moment. Anyway that can be handy in case you have some OEM preinstalled
image and can't find where they tell you what your own key is or if you just can't
find the paper / record and want to know what you have
installed / activated on what machine, etc. etc. YMMV as to whether you can
use the OEM key for a non-OEM install disc or whatever, obviously you have
a valid license / key and are willing to pay for an upgrade / install media, so
it should be possible SOMEHOW.
You can also install VISTA from a Disc and NOT specify a key which gives you
your evaluation mode and then you can use things like the slmgr -ipk command or
other such utilities to specify the correct license key before you activate it if that's
of any use.

9) Actually for that matter *IF IT WORKS FOR YOU* you could probably find someone
who has upgraded to 64 bit to give you an useless (to them) 32 bit install
disc if all you need is install media for the version you already have paid for
and are licensed for for repair / reinstallation uses. It may or may not like your
hardware/key though, IDK enough about Vista to know all the incompatibilities.


Good luck.