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Stupid question

Last response: in Systems
December 11, 2009 11:56:49 AM

I know this is probably a stupid question but here it goes:

I just finished a new budget gaming build. It's a 64 bit build. I am at the stage to install the operating system. I only have access to a 32 bit windows vista install disk (ran out of money for the time being). Can I install a 32 bit vista on a machine designed for 64 bit?

Thanks for your help.

More about : stupid question

a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 12:23:39 PM

You can, but it will ignore anything that's not compatible. Most parts say 64-bit compatible, meaning they will work for both.

The main thing that will be effected is the amount of RAM you can use. 32-bit maxes out at 4 GB of RAM, but programs will only be able to use 3.25 GB.

If you only have 4 GB of RAM, it won't matter too much, except if you ever want to upgrade with either more RAM or Windows 7. You CANNOT upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit from Vista 32-bit.

Go out and buy an OEM copy of Windows 7 64-bit for $100. It will make it all better...
December 11, 2009 12:29:13 PM

So if I install a 32 bit vista right now.... than do a clean install 64 bit 7 later I should be alright? I only have 4 gigs a ram right now anyway. Will my video card be affected by this? VGA SAPPHIRE 100283-2L HD5770 1G RT

I planned on buying a windows 7 disk but had some unexpected bills.
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December 11, 2009 12:32:33 PM

If you are in college, or know someone who is, get them to buy you a copy of win 7. They should be able to get it for like 30$ Right MadAdmiral?
December 11, 2009 12:35:44 PM

(a) yes, if you later do a clean format and install Win 7 64bit, you'll be fine. you'll be able to utilize all of your RAM at that point. until then, on a 32 bit system, you are limited to approx 3.5GB of ram.

(b)Your graphics card won't be affected by this. However, i think the limitation of 3.5GB system memory in a 32 bit architecture includes your graphics memory. So, in a situation where your system is utilizing, say 500MB of your video ram, that only leaves you to use 3gb of your RAM.
December 11, 2009 12:36:30 PM

I have not read anything other than RAM and software being handicapped by a 32 bit operating system. A 32 bit installation will not effect a future 64 bit installation. You will just be able to use things that you couldn't use with a 32 bit OS.
December 11, 2009 12:37:00 PM

yes....I actually already bought windows 7 for my laptop. Unfortunately, they will only let you purchse one liscense at that discount. I plan on asking a friend from class to use his email. Until than, I'm not very patient and want to get this computer working for WOW.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 12:50:22 PM

The clean install should be alright, but you'll need to back-up everything first, so you need another HDD. Also, it absolutely will be a hassle.

I would also look around the Windows 7 forum. They'll have the answer in there for sure.

EDIT: Other people answered the same while I was doing some searching...
December 11, 2009 12:52:20 PM

Thanks everyone for your help. I guess I should just be patient and wait till I have the extra money for the 64 bit OS.
a b 4 Gaming
December 11, 2009 12:55:20 PM

BTW, the OEM version is still cheaper than the upgrade version...