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Question if you don't mind Answering for me

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 22, 2009 8:24:45 PM

Hello, first time poster and rather new to Tom's Hardware site. I have a couple questions if your community would'nt mind answering for me. I have 2 computers the first is HP a1730n it came with vista 32bit Amd Athalon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 4600+, I added 4 gigs of ram Kingston 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) , I changed the video card to a 9600gt 512mb. The second computer is Dell Demension E520 Intel pentium D cpu 2.80gigs came with windows vista 32bit I updated the video card with a 8600gt and 4 gigs of Kingston 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400). We mainly use our computers for gaming, I know they are not the ideal rig to use for gaming but its what we have to work with. My question for you is I am thinking about purchasing Windows7. I am not real computer savy but am I correct saying that because we have 4gigs of ram windows vista 32 does not use all the ram, Also am I correct in thinking that only 64bit versions will allow the use of more ram. Are our computers not running as well as they could because we have 32bit version of vista? Now for Windows 7 if I purchase it which version would you suggest I buy that would best suit or computers so that they would perform to the best of their abilities in your opinion? I would be looking to buy the upgrade discs and not the full version because I do not know how to reformat harddrives. Would we be able to upgrade to 64bit windiws7? Thanks for your time.
October 22, 2009 10:33:25 PM

Get home premium 64bit
It will suit all your needs and you should see some performance gains over vista
Hope this helps
Stagga
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October 23, 2009 8:05:59 PM

Thanks for the replies sad to see there are not more though. I took a look at windows 7 family pack and it says the following
•Designed as an upgrade for Windows Vista; if you are upgrading from Windows XP, you will need to back up your files and settings, perform a clean install and then re-install your existing files, settings and programs.

Now that makes me have another question,if it acts as a upgrade for vista does that mean its not a full version? What I mean by that is if I buy a new hard drive at the same time I buy windows 7 family pack will it not install windows 7 on the new hard drive because its just a upgrade pack. If that is correct then I am back to having to do a fresh install on the new hard drive which would then turnout that I would need a full version and not an upgrade of windows 7 64bit. I am confused now :??:  :( 

One of my biggest concerns is still unanswered, I have read that some people can not upgrade to Windows 7 64bit from windows vista 32bit. Unless they do a fresh install, again that comes down to reformatting your hard drive and that is something I have never done before. I was hoping that I can just upgrade to Windows 7 64bit from vista 32bit but that is not the case am I correct?
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October 23, 2009 8:32:16 PM

I was under the impression that Vista 32 could handle up to 4 gigs of ram, you would need 64bit for anything higher. The AMD Athlon could handle a 64bit OS but I doubt that the Pentium D would be able to.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 23, 2009 8:37:22 PM

On a new/clean drive you need to install and activate the previous OS before you can use the upgrade.
To replace a hard disk with a new one, you can use disk cloning software to copy the contents of the old drive onto the new one. You can usually get it free from the drive maker, or you can Google to find free cloning software, I use Acronis True Image but it's not free ($50).
When upgrading from a 32 bit to 64 bit a clean instalation is required, meaning you need to backup and reinstall your software and data.
DO NOT format the drive before starting the instalation, Windows 7 requires the presense of your previous OS for the upgrade.
Start the upgrade and select Custom install. A clean install doesn't mean you have to format the drive first, that's the one thing you don't do with the W7 upgrade.
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October 23, 2009 8:50:09 PM

Ok so the Windows 7 family pack is just upgrade discs and not full version discs correct?
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October 23, 2009 9:19:16 PM

@ Filorux

Since you have Vista 32bit installed already there are only a few options you have.

First of all, you cannot just upgrade from Vista 32bit to Windows 7 64bit, it cannot be done. You would have to buy the full version of Windows 7 64bit and do a clean install in which case you would lose all programs and drivers that you have on your current system.

Also, even if you wanted to do that it seems like the Pentium D computer probably couldn’t even handle a 64bit operating system anyways so it would be pointless.

Vista 32bit has a 4GB RAM limit, it might not show up when you look under the system properties (prob 3.2GB or so) the remainder is used by the system and not presented to the user. If you want to install more than 4GB of RAM you would also want to make sure that your motherboards on both computers can actually handle that amount too.

In my opinion, if you really want to get Windows 7 and you are not too familiar with completely upgrading your OS with a clean install and having to reinstall all of your programs and new drivers, I would recommend that you buy the Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade. It comes with both the 32bit and 64bit versions but once you start to upgrade it will know that you have Vista 32bit and install Windows 7 32bit.

And to answer your last question, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack (3-User) is just the upgrade, not full version. In your case, if you are going to upgrade from Vista 32bit to Windows 7 32bit on multiple computers it is actually a pretty good deal.
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October 23, 2009 9:32:48 PM

Ok that clears it up thanks again for the help everybody I appreciate it. Will come back if I have any new questions.
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