A Qualified Yes-More Info
by John Farber - 5/8/10 8:31 AM
In Reply to: A Qualified Yes by Flatworm
We need to be careful here in using the word upgrade. If a person means "Is it possible for my computer to run a certain operating system?" when they ask can my system be upgraded, that means one thing. It means is their microprocessor capable of running a certain operating system, in this case the 64-bit version of Windows 7. In the case of an Intel chip this is known as an X86 capability. You can easily find out if your microprocessor has this capability by going to the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools and then System Information, and then scrolling down until you see the line that says X86. A second method is if you know your exact processor make and model, you can go to its manufacturer's website and find out if the chip is capable of 64-bit instructions. That is the first meeting of the term "upgrade".
The second meaning of upgrade, is "Can I pop in the DVD and install the O/S without losing any of my old programs or settings?" That is a very different meaning. According to Microsoft you can not "upgrade" from a 32-bit system to a 64-bit operating system. So you cannot go from Vista 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit without doing a Clean Install which wipes out everything on your drive and then you rebuild it with the new operating system. If you go this route you'll want to back up everything you want to keep, and you will have to reinstall all of your programs. Microsoft has a chart which lists the so-called "upgrade path" for all of its O/Ss. You can Google for it. "Windows 7 upgrade chart" found it for me. I hope this clarifies things for you.
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