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Upgrading to 64-bit

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

Brittany from Wooster asks:

A while back, you talked about the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems. I’m considering an upgrade, but don’t know if my system can handle it. Can you tell me how to find out?

Thanks for the question, Brittany, and for the reminder, as this is a subject I’d planned to return to sooner. In the earlier articles, 32-Bit and 64-Bit Explained Part One, and Part Two, we attempted to define–and illustrate the differences between–the two system types. If, like Brittany, you’d like to upgrade, your processor must be 64-bit capable. Here’s how to determine whether your system will support the change.

In Vista and Windows 7, type Performance Information in Start Search and click the Performance Information and Tools link.


In Vista, click the view and print details link, found in the Performance Information and Tools dialog box.


In Windows 7, click the View and print detailed performance and system information link.


In both Vista and Windows 7, in the System section, look for the System type and, if yours is a 32-bit operating system, check for 64-bit capability.


In XP, click the Start button, right-click on My Computer, and select Properties.


In System Properties, if x64 Edition is listed under the General tab, you’re already running a 64-bit system.


If nothing is indicated, you’re running a 32-bit system, but you may still be able to make the conversion to 64-bit.


To learn whether or not your system is 64-bit compatible, download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. As far as I could tell, no XP or Vista 64-bit upgrades are available from Microsoft. So, in addition to upgrading to 64-bit, XP or Vista systems will also be upgraded to Windows 7,

On the site, click the red Download button and follow the installation instructions.


Once installed, click the Start check button. This check may take some time.


When the report is complete, click the 64-bit report tab at the top, to see what’s required in order to make the conversion.


Thanks again for the question Brittany. I hope this helped.


Tags: , ,

4 Responses to “Upgrading to 64-bit”

  1. Pete Mitchell says:

    “type Performance Information in Start Search” is NOT available with “Classic Start Menu”.

    MS key + Pause/Break is and does not require any typing.

    Thanks for all your tips.


  2. ron says:

    EXACTLY Why do you want to upgrade to 64 bit?

    Unless you plan on upgrading your RAM significantly it’s probably not worth the bother. So you have to make sure your motherboard will support the extra RAM.

    If you are looking for better “performance” pay attention to the WEI entries. On the the example provided, you would get a more noticeable performance boost by upgrading the Video system. Focus on the parts of the system with the lowest WEI ratings, they are the system bottleneck.

  3. Mark says:

    I have a 32 bit dual core HP laptop with Vista Home Premium. I checked it out and it says it is 64 bit capable. I had no idea I could upgrade to Windows 7 64 bit by simply installing a Windows 7 64 bit disk. I thought you would have to do a hardware change like changing the processor. This is great news because I was going to do the upgrade but I thought I would have to stick with a 32 bit operating system.
    How do I find out if my laptop can handle more RAM?

  4. Jim says:

    I didn’t see ANY explanation of what the difference is,,

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