1. Churella2's Avatar
    I had a validated install of Windows 7 on my system and I let Windows update to Windows 10 32 bit. I want to upgrade my free 32 bit version of Windows 10 to the 64 bit version without having to purchase a new product key. Can I do this if I create an installation thumb drive and follow the clean install steps provided by Microsoft even if I am going to install Windows 64 bit on a brand new SSD instead of the old HDD that the operating system was originally on?
    Last edited by Churella2; 01-15-2018 at 11:16 PM.
    01-15-2018 10:48 PM
  2. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    You can't upgrade Windows 10 32 bit to 64 bit. It requires a clean install.
    Laura Knotek and xandros9 like this.
    01-16-2018 07:22 AM
  3. DOGC_Kyle's Avatar
    Yes you'll be fine, as long as you don't change the motherboard. The license is linked to the motherboard, so any drive connected to it can have windows installed, and it'll activate.
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-17-2018 09:00 PM
  4. mjperry51's Avatar
    Yes you'll be fine, as long as you don't change the motherboard. The license is linked to the motherboard, so any drive connected to it can have windows installed, and it'll activate.
    But is his current license limited to 32 bit? As orlbuckeye noted, one cannot "upgrade" a 32bit installation to 64 bit -- it requires a clean install.
    01-18-2018 08:22 AM
  5. DOGC_Kyle's Avatar
    But is his current license limited to 32 bit? As orlbuckeye noted, one cannot "upgrade" a 32bit installation to 64 bit -- it requires a clean install.
    Windows licenses are not tied to architecture. There is no such thing as a 32-bit or 64-bit license, they're all the same. You dont upgrade to 64-bit, its not an edition of windows. The only difference between 32 and 64 is the hardware its designed for.

    The only thing that matters for licensing is the edition (Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, Server).
    01-18-2018 06:38 PM
  6. xandros9's Avatar
    But is his current license limited to 32 bit? As orlbuckeye noted, one cannot "upgrade" a 32bit installation to 64 bit -- it requires a clean install.
    mjperry51 covered the licensing part well.

    But as for the clean install, they simply meant that 32-bit Windows cannot be "upgraded" to 64-bit without losing data. By changing from 32 to 64-bit you're essentially changing the foundation and you will be required to metaphorically "build a new house" and start fresh.
    01-18-2018 10:39 PM
  7. mjperry51's Avatar
    Windows licenses are not tied to architecture. There is no such thing as a 32-bit or 64-bit license, they're all the same. You dont upgrade to 64-bit, its not an edition of windows. The only difference between 32 and 64 is the hardware its designed for.

    The only thing that matters for licensing is the edition (Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, Server).
    I understand that's how it was -- my XP package included both 32 and 64 bit versions. I don't know if that licensing paradigm survived in the brave new MS world of SAAS. . .
    01-19-2018 05:00 AM
  8. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Yes you'll be fine, as long as you don't change the motherboard. The license is linked to the motherboard, so any drive connected to it can have windows installed, and it'll activate.
    Actually it is possible to change the motherboard should the current one incur a fault or you are moving your windows install, you need to 'generalise' the install using sysprep.
    @Churella2.

    I would also recommend splitting your operating system partition into two, so if you need to do a clean install or need to a o/s repair your data is still intact. However you should still do regular backups just incase. Especially with cheap ssds, have seen many cheap ssds fail pretty quick.

    Or Alternatively just install your o/s on the ssd and keep the data on your old hdd and use that as a secondary drive. However make sure there is no audible clicking, as that is the first sign of mechanical hard drive failure.
    01-19-2018 05:12 AM
  9. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    OEM Windows 10 32 bit and 64 bit are sold separately and have a separate license and key. Retail Windows 10 both 32 and 64 bit are sold in the package and use the same key and same license.
    Last edited by orlbuckeye; 01-19-2018 at 08:26 AM. Reason: added something
    01-19-2018 08:25 AM
  10. Joe Churella's Avatar
    Thank you for the info.
    01-20-2018 08:50 PM
  11. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    Typically in the industry upgrade means to update the current OS on the PC. Windows 10 was only upgradeable from Windows 7 and 8.1. If you had Windows Vista or any earlier Windows instead of the OS being updated it's replaced. The same goes with moving from 32 to 64 bit. The advantage of upgrade is you can keep all installed applications of the previous OS. A disadvantage of upgrading versus a clean install are the things that slow you down in the previous OS will still be there after the upgrade. That's why some people prefer to do clean installs periodically.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    01-22-2018 09:15 AM

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