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  1. #1
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    Question Downgrade new 64 bit machine to 32 bit Win-7?

    I am considering replacing my old laptop before it gives up the ghost. I have found a very nice new machine, that would more than meet my needs, except that it comes with the 64 bit version of Win-7. I have a lot of old 16 bit software that is running very well on two machines that I upgraded from XP to Win-7 (32 bit). For a lot of very good reasons, it is completely out of the question to try to find newer software that would be acceptable 32 or 64 bit alternatives to what I'm running now.

    I still have one more upgrade license for Win-7. I bought a the three license "family pack" when it was still possible to get it. So, I have two questions.

    Can I do a clean Win-7 32 bit install from the upgrade disk in place of the existing Win-7 64 bit version on the new machine, or will I wind up with activation problems?

    And, am I likely to run into driver issues?

    The machine I am considering is an Acer laptop, and the tell me that the machine I'm looking at is not available with a 32 bit version of Win-7 preinstalled.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You can do a clean install with the licensed copy of a Windows 7 32 bit installation disk.
    Like any form of clean installation it should be well planned ahead of time with drivers located and downlaoded to a safe and easily accessable location beforehand.

    Activation should not be an issue either if you have the licensing you mentioned.
    Drivers for your laptop should not be an issue either.
    The best place to query drivers will be from the laptop manufacturer's website.
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  3. #3
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    Did you try the Acer driver support site to see what OS drivers are available? Acer is international so you might also check the Australian, Europe or Asian versions as well. I once found XP drivers for a closely related system on the Acer Australian support site that were otherwise unavailable. My guess is that the 32-bit drivers will be available somewhere since the 64-bit drivers of the same OS obviously must be available. Windows 7 is also very good at self-determination when it comes to drivers it already has available; as long as the components of a system are not too proprietary.

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    The disk I have is from a Windows 3 license upgrade, that I bought in anticipation of the end of XP support. I've used 2 of the 3 licenses to upgrade from XP, with no problems. But I was a little concerned that I might have trouble, because I believe that the upgrade disks look for the presence of a legitimate version of Windows on the disk to upgrade from. In my case, I want to simply replace the 64 bit version with the 32 bit version, and I am a little concerned about whether the upgrade disk would consider that a legitimate change.

    And, yes I did contact Acer support to determine whether the machine was available with the 32 bit version installed. Answer was no. I didn't specifically ask whether they had 32 bit drivers.

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    If your software runs on Windows 7 then it should be fine on the 64bit version - you should test it on a friend's machine. The only issue may be drivers for existing hardware.

    cheers, Paul

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    @PaulT

    The OP mentioned it is 16-bit software. Won't run in 64-bit Windows.

    Joe

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    When I got my 3 license upgrade it came with both 32 and 64 bit disks, so I don't believe MS really cares which of them you use, the license was valid for both.

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    If you have decided that this machine is the one for you, and that you can consider no other, then disregard the following:

    You can get some really nice refurbished Dell machines with Windows 7 Pro 32-bit installed on them for nice prices (at least compared to new machines)

    http://stores.ebay.com/dellfinancial/

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverglen View Post
    The disk I have is from a Windows 3 license upgrade, that I bought in anticipation of the end of XP support. I've used 2 of the 3 licenses to upgrade from XP, with no problems. But I was a little concerned that I might have trouble, because I believe that the upgrade disks look for the presence of a legitimate version of Windows on the disk to upgrade from. In my case, I want to simply replace the 64 bit version with the 32 bit version, and I am a little concerned about whether the upgrade disk would consider that a legitimate change.
    When you do your clean install you do it from the DVD while booting, NOT from a running Windows environment.

    And, yes I did contact Acer support to determine whether the machine was available with the 32 bit version installed. Answer was no. I didn't specifically ask whether they had 32 bit drivers.
    Go to their website and plug your serial number or SNID in here to see if there is 32 bit Windows 7 drivers available.
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  10. #10
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    I believe that when you do an upgrade install from a CD/CVD the installer checks what version, if any is already present on the machine. If there is no acceptable version of windows on the machine, you're supposed to install from a more expensive full install disk. I've already bought and paid for my upgrade disk. I asked this question in another forum, and one of the responders told me that what I wanted to do "technically violated the license".

    I haven't made the purchase yet, so I don't have a serial number. But I did manage to track down the model from the link you provided and they do have 32 bit drivers for the machine. So, I think I'm probably OK in that regard.

    I did also look at the link to the page of Dell factory refurbs, and they do look pretty attractive. I'm still leaning toward getting a new machine. I'm kind of shy or refurbs, since I keep seeing customer reviews from people who bought one and have found it to have various problems. If the machine was refurbished by the manufacturer, I suppose you are less likely to have trouble. The machine I'm replacing is a 10 year old HP laptop, that I upgraded to Win-7 a couple of years ago. Works just fine, but I had a shot across the bow a while ago (video problems). So, I'd prefer to get something new vs. a machine that has 5 of it's 9 lives used up already, even if it is still back from the vet with a clean bill of health.

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    @Clint - When I was checking out the Upgrade option after booting up with a Win 7 install disk, I came across MS instructions that the Install should be done by inserting the disk after booting up - although http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ndows-7-a.html supports your advice.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-05-17 at 11:50.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Make sure you create an image prior to the clean install, for whatever you decide to do on that machine.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    @riverglen

    You can do a clean install from an upgrade dvd. See Clean Install Windows 7 from the upgrade disc.

    Joe

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    If your machine comes with Win7 64 bit installed you do not need to use one of your three-pack licenses. The downgrade from 64 to 32 bit is included. I recently followed the instructions I found at
    http://www.raymond.cc/blog/downgrade...it-x64-to-x86/

    It points you to a tool to save your licence (and reapply it after you install the 32 bit version.
    Also, where to download ->from Microsoft<- an ISO image of Windows SP1.

    Do remember to check for 32 bit drivers before you begin, and save them elsewhere if you are going to reformat your disk.

    The text at that site is not the most easy to follow, but really it just sounds complex.

    Before you begin to apply updates you should download and install IE 11. You'll still need about to apply at least 50 odd updates plus about 50 more if you use Office. Have a book to read (or another computer) ass you'll spend a few hours waiting for the machine.

    Oh, I spent 35 minutes getting through to Microsoft to verify that whthis was all within the bounds of the license.

    Good luck (if it's not too late already).
    Tom
    Last edited by toshea; 2014-05-18 at 19:04. Reason: Additional info

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    riverglen (2014-05-18)

  16. #15
    New Lounger
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    Tom,

    Thank you very much for your input. It seemed to me that what I want to do OUGHT to be legitimate. I really appreciate your taking the trouble to verify it, and for the other info you provided.

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