Need advice on replacing a Windows 10 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation

ravisunny2

Posts: 1,043   +11
I have a PC with the following specs:

Processor Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G2030 @ 3.00GHz 3.00 GHz

Installed RAM 4.00 GB (3.41 GB usable)

Partitions (all NTFS, non-GPT): C (System partition), D, E, F (Data partitions)

Presently, I have a 32-bit installation of Win 10 Home 2020 H2 on my PC.

My activation status is “Windows is activated with a digital license and linked to a Microsoft account.” But I am not sure which MS Hotmail (MS Outlook) account I used for the linking. I have more than one account. Is there any way to find out which MS account my installation is linked with?

Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

I want to install a 64-bit version of Win 10 Home 2020 H2 on the same PC in the system partition (C). I wish to keep the three other partitions unchanged.

One way I can do that is by using a bootable USB drive (16 GB).

I have the Windows ISO file downloaded on a data partition (E).

I can make a USB drive bootable with Rufus (using partition scheme MBR and target system BIOS).

I am not sure whether I should format the USB as Fat-32 or NTFS.

Another option appears to be installing the 64-bit version directly from the Win 10 ISO by mounting it and running setup (setup.exe in the root of the ISO or setup.exe in the Sources folder?).

There is no point in trying to save the apps (as they are 32-bit installations, even MS Office).

Also, I think there is no sense in retaining the data folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures etc.) in the system drive.

Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation using the ISO in partition E?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Quick summary of questions:

1) Is there any way to find out which MS account my Windows installation is linked to?

2) Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

3) Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation using the ISO in partition E?

4) Can I use “Reinstall Windows 10 using installation media” to install the 64-bit version?

Apparently, “Clean install of Windows 10 using installation media” will delete all partitions on the hard disk.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...ndows-10-d8369486-3e33-7d9c-dccc-859e2b022fc7
 

Kshipper

Posts: 280   +49
TechSpot Elite
I would get yourself a fresh hard drive to install Windows 10 on (just disconnect the old drive for now), That way anything that goes wrong you can boot up your old system. I would determine what the original Windows 7 product key is (there might be a license sticker on the outside...it looks like this BCDFH-7H4TDD-XXXXX ...you get the idea). The license is for Windows 7 but you can type it in during the install of Windows 10 and it probably will work. If you can find a sticker there a tons of utilities out there like Jellybean Keyfinder (just Google for one).

The MS account you are using is for login to the machine I suspect so you an just do the same thing on the WIndows 10 machine. It is an email address and a password. It is not necessary but Microsoft kinda nudges you in that direction during setup. I always make a local account instead.

To make good install media for Windows 10 just Google> Microsoft media Creation Tool (Free from Microsoft). It will prep the USB and format it correctly.
 

ravisunny2

Posts: 1,043   +11
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Hi Kshipper,

Thank you for the tips.

I already have the ISO downloaded (for 32-bit and 64-bit versions). Can the MCT use that ISO or will I need to download Win 2020 H2 again?

I am planning on creating a recovery pen drive before the installation, just in case anything goes wrong. Perhaps, I’ll create a system image if I can get hold of another hard disk.

I think the activation is linked to a Microsoft Onedrive, and I know which hotmail account that is linked to.

I also have the original product key.

I have been searching the internet and it turns out I need to use partition scheme MBR and target system BIOS. My motherboard has Boot Mode: Legacy BIOS in UEFI.

The USB drive can be in Fat32 or NTFS, preferably NTFS.

The idea of getting another hard disk for the new installation is interesting, but won’t that cause a significant difference from the previous installation (in terms of activation)?
 

Kshipper

Posts: 280   +49
TechSpot Elite
Nahhh you are going to a whole new OS so ...fresh activation from the Win7 key.

When you use MCT it downloads the correct files and makes the key. It doesn't ask for or even use the ISO you have already. Sorry. -(
 

ravisunny2

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Hi Kshipper,

Thanks again.

I already have a licensed version of Win 10 2020 H2 (32-bit), and I have the product key of Win 10.

The fears of driver problems with the 64-bit version (as expressed by my hardware guy) turned out to be unfounded.

So, I am now installing the 64-bit version.

If a fresh activation from the Win10 key is required, so be it.

“When you use MCT it downloads the correct files and makes the key. It doesn't ask for or even use the ISO you have already.”

BTW, I downloaded the ISO for Win 10 2020 H2 using the MCT, but I chose “ISO file” instead of “USB flash drive.”
 

ravisunny2

Posts: 1,043   +11
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I have found the answers to the queries I posted here.

Please see this link: https://www.techsupportforum.com/th...tallation-with-a-64-bit-installation.1245181/

Here are the answers in brief:

Q1) Is there any way to find out which MS account my Windows installation is linked to?

A1) Yes.

You can go to the Accounts section of the Settings app. Under Your info, you will find the Manage my Microsoft account link.

Q2) Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

A2) No.

Q3) Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation directly using the ISO in partition E?

A3) No. You must boot from (bootable) Windows installation media. Use the ISO and Rufus to create MBR bootable media for legacy bios boot. NTFS will do and Rufus should set this automatically.

Q4) Can I use “Reinstall Windows 10 using installation media” to install the 64-bit version?

A4) Yes. It's the same thing as booting from Windows 10 installation media as per answer #3 above.

Q5) Apparently, “Clean install of Windows 10 using installation media” will delete all partitions on the hard disk.

Reinstall Windows 10

A5) No, partitions are NOT automatically deleted.

You manually select and delete those you want to replace and leave those you want to keep.
 
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Kshipper

Posts: 280   +49
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When you install Windows 10 it creates 3 partitions. When I have installed Windows 10 on a machine that had Windows 7 and didn't delete all the partitions I have found that Windows 10 will sometimes install a key booting partition on the drive where Windows 7 was and if I left that old Windows 7 drive connected at the time now it is required for all future boots.

I avoided answering that particular question to save you any headaches down the road.

I have never purchased Windows 10 and had it tied to a Microsoft Account before. When I buy Windows 10 I just get a digital license and a product key that I enter at installation time or even after installation (So I can do testing). I never need Rufus for the media creation. If you have an ISO that is used for virtual machines or creating a DvD and/or easy storage of the files. An ISO burned on a disc (like a file) won't boot to install Windows. You must use a ISO to create a bootable DvD.
 
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