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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Lightbulb Can I use a 32 bit system image on a new 64 bit machine?

    I have a Windows 7 32 bit system restore on an external hard drive. I need a new computer and want to know if I can use the system image on a 64 bit computer. Will the system image overwrite the 64 bit, or can it upgrade to 64. Would I be better off just restoring the files and reloading all the software (groan) from scratch.

    Thanks
    Phyllis

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    I can help, but the answer isn't exactly straightforward, in light of the details you have provided.

    1. You can restore a saved win7 32 backup image onto your new "64 bit" machine. When restoring the image, it will overwrite the existing OS on the machine, if there is one... You will just have that exact win7 32 image installed on the new machine.

    2. It is often better to just restore the files and reload the software. Two main reasons - BIOS configuration, and motherboard chipset.

    2. a. Regarding BIOS configuration: If the old image was created from a computer that had IDE enabled in the BIOS, and your new computer has AHCI enabled in the BIOS, you will get a BSOD at the windows loading screen. This means if the original system had IDE enabled in BIOS, the new system must also have IDE enabled. And the reverse is true as well, if the original system had AHCI enabled in bBIOS, the new system must have AHCI enabled as well. This setting, for the storage controller, must match between the new and the old system in order for Windows to get past the loading screen successfully.

    2. b. If the motherboard chipset is different between the original backup image system and the new system the backup image will be restored to - you may get a BSOD when the image is installed on the new machine. That tells you the old image isn't compatible with the new system's chipset. However, if the old motherboard chipset is fairly similar (or identical) to the new motherboard chipset, the image should work fine. Most often, the old backup image would have been made on a system several years older than whatever computer you are replacing it with, and hence there are usually considerable differences between old chipset and new chipset, which makes restoring the saved image problematic.

    3. If your new machine has 4GB of RAM memory or greater, you are better off with win7 64 - only win7 64 will allow you to use the full capacity of 4GB or greater of RAM memory.

    It doesn't hurt to try to restore the image and see if it works. That is what I would do. However, I would do this being aware that if it doesn't work, I then have to use the recovery disk that came with my new machine to install a fresh copy of windows 7 64. So, if you want to try to restore the image you can do so, but it may end up creating more work if it doesn't work out. If it does work out, it may work only partially, and you may have to jump through some hoops with loading proper drivers on the new machine after the image is loaded.

    Bottom line, you are less likely to encounter problems which will require some technical troubleshooting if you just restore the files and reload the apps. I can answer or explain more specifically if you like, I'm trying hard to explain this simply, while sharing a basic understanding of the problems you could encounter.
    Matt Bidinger
    Online Community Engagement

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  4. #3
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdriggs View Post
    Will the system image overwrite the 64 bit, or can it upgrade to 64. Would I be better off just restoring the files and reloading all the software (groan) from scratch.
    Phyllis,
    Hello...Yes it will overwrite the 64 bit system... What i would do...

    1. On your old 32 bit system Install EasyBCD and make a Full OS Image useing Macrium Reflect Free and save it to your external HD.

    2. Install EasyBCD (Free) and make your 64 bit the Default OS...Then Install Macrium Reflect Free on your new OS (64 bit) and make a full OS Image and save it to your External HD (just to be safe)

    3. Partition your new PC HD into two , and install the 7\32 bit Image to the 2nd partition.

    4. This way at boot time you will have a choice of systems... and you then can take your time migrating your programs to the new OS. Just a "Geek's 2" Regards Fred

    PS: EasyBCD
    PPS:
    Macrium Reflect Free
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-05-11 at 11:16.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks so much. I sort of knew the answer, but hope for the best.

  6. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Fred's advice is very sound. You might find more than just the MB chipset differences in the old 32 Bit Image on the new system. There may be other devices that are different as well and require new drivers.

    I believe you will find that after migrating all your settings and data from the old OS to the new OS you will prefer the 64 Bit system. it should be peppier than the old system. It will be able to access more Ram. After a while you will most likely delete the old 32 Bit system all together.

    One other thing. Make sure to start imaging your new system, then recreate images when you make changes or at least once per month. This way your system Image will be kept up to date. This will make restoration very quick should that ever become necessary.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  7. #6
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to all who answered. Looks like being lazy is not the way to go.

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