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360 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 138289 28-Dec-2013 19:09
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A year ago I took advantage of the Win 8 upgrade offer from MS for $50.  The upgrade was for XP to 8.1 PRO through the standard MS process at the time.  I have since upgraded to 8.1 PRO.

I never took much notice of whether the Win 8 upgrade installed the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Win 8 pro.  The PC had 2 gigs on RAM (1.75 gigs after shared video ram) so I put a 4 gig stick in today.  BIOS registers 6 gigs as expected but Windows shows 4 gigs.  So I have the 32-bit version of Win 8.1 installed.

The CPU shows as this:

" AMD Athlon II X2 255 Processor 3113 MHz".

Google shows this as a 64-bit processor.  I wonder why the Win 8.0 upgrade installed the 32-bit version - bit more importantly how do I go about getting the 64-bit version installed?

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Uber Geek
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Biddle Corp
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  # 958403 28-Dec-2013 19:24
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The upgrade would have simply upgraded the existing version of Windows which was obviously 32 bit.

Moving from 32<->64 requires a complete fresh install.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 958404 28-Dec-2013 19:26
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It installed the 32bit version as you were coming from a 32bit OS (XP).

There is no simple upgrade path from 32bit to 64bit Windows 8.1 - the easiest method would be to do a clean install of Windows 7 x64 (see for an iso), then run the downloader for Windows 8/8.1 which will give you a 64bit iso ( The 64bit ISO does not appear to be downloadable directly.


Mad Scientist
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  # 958416 28-Dec-2013 20:17
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There is no upgrading 32 bit to 64 bit. They are competely separate things.

Backup your data and wipe your hard drive and install 64 bit and then install all your programs then copy back your data. It's not that hard but it is time consuming and guaranteed to learn a few things along the way to set it up correctly.

Do you have a desktop or laptop? If desktop buy a new solid state drive to practice on that way your old data is still safe until you get it right and the plug the old drive back in and use it as data drive.

That's what i'd do

Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 958555 29-Dec-2013 11:01
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Thanks to all for responding.

A clean install though poses a few more questions:

a) Is there somewhere online I can get a copy of 64-bit 8.1 that will allow a clean install?
b) Given that the 32 bit version of 8.1 currently installed was an update to 8.0 which was bought and downloaded online (with no COA therefore) are there any precautions needed against possible licencing/activation issues?
c) IIRC a 'clean install' affects C drive only - any other partitions are not affected.  Is this correct?  As far as possible I don't have personal files on C drive.

Thanks in anticipation....

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 958562 29-Dec-2013 11:18
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I recently (about a week ago) reinstalled Windows 8/8.1 on my PC, so here are my thoughts...)

There is a procedure that will let you download a windows 8.1 ISO, however there are a number of caveats. First, you need to be running a 64 bit windows already to download it. Also, your windows 8.0 key can NOT be used during the install :(, although a generic windows 8.1 key is available to install the OS.

With the upgrade license, you are supposed to only install Windows 8 from within the old OS, but you have to start from a 64 bit windows...

Probably the easiest thing to do is try and obtain a windows 8.1 ISO, install windows using the generic key (google them) and then change to your win 8 product key once installed.

Activation wise, chances are you will have to call MS to get windows reactivated. I know I had to. Also, note that if you need to do this, the process is no longer entirely handled by a robot - you will need to talk to a CS rep.

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