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How to switch from 32 bit to 64 bit system

By Leona65 · 18 replies
Aug 20, 2016
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  1. Hello,
    I have several questions at once, so without further ado here there are:

    What happened:
    I installed a Windows 10 Technical Preview and it expired while I was on a business trip. When I was back a blue screen was waiting for me. So I booted my system with Hiren´s, backed up my files and wanted to reinstall to Windows 8.1 64 bit. A that time I forgot or did´t know that my system was a 32 bit, so obviously the installation of Windows 8.1 failed/was not possible, so I installed a Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit OS.

    My questions:

    1. Is there a possibility to somehow reinstall a working version of Windows 10?
    2. How can I change my system from 32 bit to 64 bit and afterwards install the Windows 8.1 64 bit?

    The system is as follows:
    Processor: AMD A8-7600 Radeon R7, 10 Compute Cores 4C+6G 3.10GHz
    Installed memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (1.98GB usable) why only 1.98GN usable???
    System type: 32-bit Operating System I checked and it upgradable to 64-bit
    Disk C: 111GB Patriot Blast ATA Device
    Disk D: 1TB ST1000DM003-1ER162 ATA Device

    Any suggestion or help is more than appreciated as I´m totally lost :oops:
    Thanks a lot!

  2. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 191   +45

    1. Unless you opted for the free upgrade while it was still on offer you may have to buy a copy of Windows 10. I don't think Microsoft are offering upgrade versions, but the full retail version is cheaper than previous editions.

    2. The only thing you should need to change is the OS. If your attempt to install Windows 8.1 was a clean install then it shouldn't have failed. Do you remember the error message it gave?
  3. Leona65

    Leona65 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Now it even won´t boot from the Hiren´s disk.
    The message I get now is on a black screen and it says:
    Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:
    1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer. _NOT WORKING
    2. .....
    3. ......

    Status: 0xc000000f
    Info: A required device isn´t connected or can´t be accessed.

    I really don´t know what to do next at all.
    I think it said that it cannot install a 64bit on a 32 bit system.

    Thank you! I
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    . If you've got it screwed up, (or it screwed itself up) to this point. You really might have to put a completely empty HDD into the machine, install the OS to that, and then put your now defunct system drive back in after you're up and running, to retrieve your files.

    With that being said, you might have to "jiggle the handle" on that toilet to get it to flush. I'm speaking figuratively of course, but as unlikely as it might seem at the moment, "the "device not attached" message, could mean a bad cable on the HDD, or dirty contacts at the board or drive.

    The likelihood the your board is only 32 bits is very low. AFAIK, the only recent CPUs or boards which are 32 bit only, are laptops / mobile hardwear

    I suspect Windows 10 may have installed so many junk drivers, or alien drivers in your system, it's preventing you from reloading a different OS.

    So, reset to CMOS in your board's BIOS to the defaults, (take out the battery for 5 minutes or so), then try to get a hold of a clean drive to install your old OS to. After that, you should be able to rescue you files from the old drive. Something you could also do with a clean drive and a recent copy of Ubuntu Linux.

    You could then reformat your current system, and install your Windows 8 to it.

    This is controversial but, I don't recommend updating the Windows 8 installation after you get it working. Just activate 8, and leave it at that.

    Granted, some people regard me as a bit of a kook and perhaps a Luddite. Keep in mind, crazy though I may be, all my rigs are working just fine.

    EDIT; FWIW, AMD was the first to come out with 64 bit CPUs, this was more than ten years ago. Since I can still buy your CPU at Newegg, and it's listed as a "desktop" processor, the chances are slim to none that the chipset in the board, isn't 64 bit as well.

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  5. Leona65

    Leona65 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Big thank you to both of you! :)
    Woow, it sounds radical, but I will give it a try because it sound totally logical to me. I have to say that I´m a bit scared as it would be the first time for me to do such an "operation" but I think there is no other way to clean the mess made.

    I will be back with the follow up or even new questions in between the steps. Starting later tonight.
    Thank you again!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    @Leona65 Well, take your time, don't panic, and let us know if we can be of any more assistance. I think you'll be able to work this out. As long as you didn't surrender your Windows 8 license, you should be gold.. (y)
  7. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 191   +45

    Windows has no involvement in booting, so you're seeing that message because it's failed to boot from a disk and has gone on to boot from the hard drive. Have you changed any BIOS settings or anything?

    That's correct, but you don't have a 32-bit system. You have a 64-bit system with a 32-bit OS currently installed.

    Windows 8 doesn't isn't receiving any more security fixes (only 8.1 is) so I wouldn't recommend that to anyone without a good knowledge of computer security.

    In fact you may want to snag the latest Windows 8.1 installer from Microsoft's website so you won't need to install all the updates released after your current install disk was printed:
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    Since it was 6 o'something clock in the morning when I posted that, I decided not to make any distinction between those "2" OS'es. She should have gotten the idea. (In other words, I thought we were dealing with 8.1, but I abbreviated it to "8").

    If the TS is going to try a clean install, then the TS needs to understand what the "boot menu" is, and what the boot menu does.

    Since in desktop computers with an optical drive, that drive is more often than not, the default first boot device anyway, I recommended a BIOS reset to restore the ability to boot from an optical disc. After all, the TS was talking in terms of "booting from "hiren's disc". Whatever the hell that is

    As far as that goes, now that M$ has decided to "offer cumulative updates", you can no longer opt out of "telemetry" based, "invasion of privacy". There's a general principles component to my preference.

    The douches in Redmond have decided to "bring the mountain to Mohammad", so to speak. In less abstract terms, since they failed to get people to accept the "free offer" of Windows 10, they're just going to backdoor you with the spyware, without the added "features" of Windows 10".

    Besides, how much is there to know about security? M$ formulates its hot fixes with the idea there is no other security software installed. Of course the "security center", does nag you to install it.

    Accordingly, you can pretty much parade around the web using XP, as long as you're you're using a secure browser, and not that crap IE. Add an anti-virus program and Firefox, along with the "NoScript" extension, and surf in peace with a strong well founded sense of well being. "CCleaner" should take out much of what detritus remains.

    M$ should still offer monthly updates to "Windows Defender" which as you likely know, does protect Windows, but not anything which matters to the user.

    It's more or less incumbent upon today's user, to know what software they need to install for security's sake, to protect them from malware AND M$. Final answer.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  9. ibuildpcallday

    ibuildpcallday TS Rookie

    1. install 8.1 on a PC rated 64bit, make sure to get all updates and drivers.
    2. remove the drive, and install it in a 32bit PC, upgrade memory up to 8gb.
    3. I did this today on this PC, so far runs like a champ. Good Luck!
    4. fyi im no rookie.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    For all intents and purposes, there is no such thing as a "32 bit PC", at least not in a desktop, and very conservatively, not the last 5 years.

    Moving along, a 32 bit OS won't take 8GBs of RAM. 2^32 is 4GBs, and that's all the memory addresses it has. Nor will a 32 bit board. Thus, IMO, you did no such thing.
    In fact, the last 32 bit board I remember was possibly Intel 915, and later versions were upgraded to 64 bits, so they could accept the brand new 64 bit, $1000.00, "Pentium Extreme".
    FWIW, neither am I.
  11. ibuildpcallday

    ibuildpcallday TS Rookie

    " you did no such thing"
    PC rated 32bit? Want to make a little wager? Look up Dell Vostro 400
    and tell me the mobo isn't 32bit? Do I detect a maven? This is going
    to be fun. *****! Trophies Awarded to ibuildpcallday.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    Right. The Vostro board is LGA-775. All LGA-775 are 64 bit.

    Here's the earliest C2D e6300:


    Hint, "Instruction set 64 bit"

    The last 32 bit Intel desktop CPU series were the Prescott Pentiums. The newer Cedar Mill Pentiums and Celerons are 64 bit. They will not run in a 32 bit board. If a board has C2d (first issue) or later, it is 64 bit. No matter how many bits the OS was it shipped with.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  13. lazer

    lazer TS Enthusiast Posts: 95   +24

    Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit OS? STAY WITH IT!

    win10 is a trojan horse (or cow) will steal your personal data and eventually give ad, not work with older paid for programs.

    win7 is the best the Micro$lime has given us. win8 was a disaster. now they are forcing us to win10, DON'T TAKE THE BAIT, YOU WILL GET HOOKED AND REALLY STUCK WITH IT!
  14. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Millions are running Win10 and just because there's a "phone home" technique being used, does not substantiate your ridiculous assertion.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    Well, perhaps the post you're responding to is a "bit overstated". Still, the acceptance of keyloggers in your OS, requires a faith which I do not possess, with respect to the "righteousness and purity", of M$' purpose(s).
  16. Leona65

    Leona65 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hello to all,
    I still did´t fix the problem, there a two reasons for it

    I have to borrow a second disk to do it by your instructions and for backup
    I´m a bit afraid as a rookie
    Hopefully tomorrow I will have all things at hand and will start to try to do it by myself. An yes, the Bios was changed I put the Cd/dvd to be the first boot and now it is reading the boot disk (similar to rufus) but 2 times it did´t want to read it instead of booting I got a black screen again with the info that a device is not connected as it should be
    Will keep you informed.
    Thank you again
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,532   +2,316

    OK, at some point you have to consider that the DVD drive is defective, or the cable connecting it to the computer is bad.

    DVD drives have to be considered as "expendable" nowadays. They're down to about $15.00 on sale from Newegg. I usually keep a couple around the house just so that I can feel good about myself.

    Another thing, I have no idea why you're screwing around with this boot disc or that.

    First, if Windows won't boot, it either has to be repaired or reinstalled. As you've likely got the installation screwed up to the point where it's time for the big reformat and reinstall anyway.

    Second, as I told you before, you can download a free copy of pretty much any Linux distro, and boot from that. That's an actual operating system, and you can gain access to your files via a, "live run". The OS doesn't get installed, it runs from a CD or USB drive.
  18. Leona65

    Leona65 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    here I am again, still no progress as I can´t get the necessary time from work, it seems to be a crazy week for me :(

    Thank you for all the advices and suggestions!
    Yes, I think I have to check the DVD drive and even buy a new one, as this behaving "funny". But first I will open "Pandora`s box" and check all connecting cables.
    Could you send me the link to this Linux distro, so I can try it out. Until I did´t use Linux but I´m open minded for trying it out. I will put it on an USB due to the possibility that my DVD driver is "in error mode".
  19. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 2,636   +491

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