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  1. #1
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    Should I move to a 64 bit Windows or not?

    Hello everyone

    I'm considering on moving to a 64 bit Windows. However, I've read a lot on the web for a long time now that 64 bit Windows have a lot of instability problems, and also incompatibilities with hardware and software, especially drivers. On the other hand, I have 16 giga RAM, and at the moment I'm not using all of it. And also, maybe it's time to just move on to a more modern operating system...

    Current OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit.


    So, what do you say? Should I move to a 64 bit Windows or not?

    TIA

  2. #2
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  4. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    1. Instability? - All 64 bit Windows OSes developed after XP are just as stable as their 32 bit cousins
    2. Drivers. A small percentage of peripherals will not work with 64 bit Windows. Most will. The older the peripheral is, the more likely a 64 bit driver is not available.
    3 Ram - 32 bit Windows only supports around 3.6 Gigabytes of Ram so most of your 16 Gigabytes is wasted.

    My take, upgrade to 64 bits unless you know a needed peripheral doesn't have a 64 bit driver. This is unlikely unless it's an old device.

    Ideally, I would make a backup image of your current OS drive before doing the upgrade in case something goes wrong. You will have to do a clean install since an upgrade install is not supported when going from 32 to 64 bits. That means you will need to reinstall all your programs.

    Good Luck.

    Jerry

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  6. #4
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    This mostly depends on the age of the system and its peripherals. 64-bit Windows is very solid. Driver incompatibilities are largely a thing of the past especially for relatively new hardware. The problem you may have with software is if you have 16-bit programs. You can't run 16-bit programs on 64-bit Windows.

    If your current system is running well there is no good reason to switch.

    Joe

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  8. #5
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    Also, Windows 7 64 bit or Windows 8 64 bit?

  9. #6
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    If you are not in a big hurry wait for Windows 10. It will be a free upgrade. If you feel you must do it now choose Windows 7 if you don't want to have to change anything in the way you operate. If you'd like something new to which you'd have to adjust a bit choose Windows 8.1.

    Joe

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  11. #7
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    However, I've read a lot on the web for a long time now that 64 bit Windows have a lot of instability problems, and also incompatibilities with hardware and software, especially drivers.
    All of that can be true but take it with a grain of salt. I've been running 64-bit versions of Windows beginning with Vista and not had much problem, now running Win7, Win8.1 and Win10 TP as 64-bit. The only issue with drivers that are not included in the Windows install is assuring the manufacturer of devices has 64-bit versions available, can be issues with older devices such as printers, scanners, etc. Some people like to call it planned obsolescence but really it's progression of technology.

    As for memory, 32-bit versions of Windows usually will not display more than about 3.2GB to 3.4GB but there's anomolies, I have 4GB in a Dell Dimension with 32-bit Vista and it shows all 4GB.

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  13. #8
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    Joe said it for me. Wait until Win10 is released and upgrade for free.

  14. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    An upgrade to W10 might be free, switching to x64 will require a fresh install though, upgrades are not possible.

  15. #10
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    I moved to 64 bit Windows when Windows 7 was released. That was back in 2009. I have used Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 since and I have never had issues resulting from running a 64bit Windows version.

    My current work computer is a laptop running Windows 8.1 64 bit. I wouldn't trade Windows 8.1 for any Windows 7 version (and I have 7 Utimate 64 bit on my desktop). It's definitely the most stable Windows version I have ever run (and I started with Windows 3.0).
    Rui
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    R4

  16. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    I was running Win7 Pro 32bit on this PC until about July 2014, mainly because I had seen too many problems with customers' Vista and early Win7 64bit systems (mostly driver problems). But as time went by the 64bit problems seemed to be mostly fixed.

    July 2014 I decided to upgrade to 64bit (clean install) on this PC, mainly so I could run more RAM.

    I have had few, if any, problems running 64bit compared to 32bit. In fact it now seems to me that the opposite is becoming the case, in that because most new systems have been 64bit for the past few years 32bit is no longer receiving as much attention from OEMs, developers, etc.

    Have also found 64bit considerably faster than 32bit even if running the same RAM (also have two Win7 Pro 32bit OS partitions on this PC).

    As to upgrading to Win10: I will stick with Win7 until at least a few months after the public release of Win10, just as I waited when XP, Vista, and Win7 were released.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

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  18. #12
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    I used Win7 for years and replaced my hardware recently, loading Win8.1. Apart from the lack of a Start button I reckon it's the best and most stable version yet, I even have proper functioning of my ageing HP 5590 scanner, something I didn't have with Win7.

    cheers, Paul

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