Moving from Windows 7 32bit to Windows 7 64bit

Sorry if this is in the wrong place.

I've recently upgraded to a CPU that supports 64bit OS, and so to utilize my full 4GB of memory, I've decided to go from my current Windows 7 32bit environment into a 64bit one.
I have the Windows 7 disk/serial already. My questions are:

What would be the best way to "upgrade" to the new OS? I realize many programs and files will be incompatible, but I'd like to keep as much information as possible.
Can I install the OS from within the current Windows environment and have my old data remain in an old partition like Windows.old (did this going from XP -> 7)? Will only some programs remain incompatible? (for example, I'd like to keep Starcraft installed without having to do a fresh reinstall).

I've read up and I know I'll likely have to do fresh reinstalls of a lot of software, but I'd like to know what the easiest way to make the move is.

5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    you can't do an in place upgrade to the x64 version of windows 7
    (i'm nvr a fan of doing upgrades to begin w/, a fresh install leaves a much cleaner system)

    I would install Win7x64 on a new partition so that you can move your files over @ your convenience
    All of your software that doesn't have a 16-bit installer (aka most software from the late 1990's on) will install just fine. I've used x64 operating systems for the past 4 years or so and have never had a software issue.
    If you have some older hardware (scanners, ect.) you may find that the manufacturer doesn't have x64 drivers (i'd check their site first)
    I doubt you'll have any incompatibility issues
  2. Alright, tell me if I'm doing this right
    I've made a new 40GB volume.
    I plan to boot from the disc and select custom install, then install the 64bit OS to the new volume. After that, I can access all my old files from the rest of the HDD.

    Also, will I have to reinstall drivers for GPUs and things like that?
  3. Fiddling with multiple volumes and partitions will just make your life more difficult. You can't move programs from one OS to the other simply by copying them. All drivers and all software will have to be reinstalled. Make backups of everything you don't want to lose, and just do a clean install.

    By the way, don't worry about compatibility. 32bit software runs perfectly fine in a 64bit environment.
  4. Alright. Sounds like a hassle but I guess it's worth it.
    Thanks for all the answers.
  5. Best answer selected by klbg.
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