Windows 7 install confusion

sgtoverlord used Ask the Experts™
There is no way I am going to come out of this question with my pride, so here it goes...
I rec'd the email from the Microsoft Store that I can download my pre-ordered Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional.  I click on the link and it takes me to the Microsoft Store site that is shown in my included screenshot.

CURRENT OPERATING SYSTEM:  a full version of Windows XP Professional 32bit

GOAL:  I want to UPGRADE to the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Professional.

I am confused as to which file I am supposed to download in order to run the upgrade for Windows 7 Professional.  I have provided a screenshot of the site with the 4 different versions that I can download to install Windows 7.

Displayed are both 64 & 32 bit versions of either an "ISO" file or an "Executable" Install file.   I would prefer to download the ISO file version and burn it to a DVD.  This way I have a solid copy in case I have to re-install later.

My confusion is centered around the 64/32 bit-specification of the install files shown in the screenshot.

Does the bit-version specification mean what I want to upgrade to?
--- OR ---
Does the bit-version specification mean what environment the upgrade process will be executing in?

(Believe me folks...I know I am over-thinking this, but I am confused)

I am confused because I cannot confirm the exact steps to initiate the UPGRADE.  Using the ISO option, How do I initiate the UPGRADE?  

METHOD 1:  Do initiate from within my current Windows environment ???
--- OR ---
METHOD 2:  Do I insert the DVD, Shut-Down, and then Boot-Up to begin install ???

If "Within Curr Windows Environment" is used then that would imply that I need to get the 32bit ISO file so that the install will properly execute in my current Windows 32bit environment (and then later during the UPGRADE process, declare that I want the 64bit version of Windows 7)?

If "Re-Boot" method is used then that would imply to me that I should get the 64bit ISO file so that my UPGRADE will be a 64bit version of Windows7 Pro.

Is there anyone who can clear this up for me?
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Does the bit-version specification mean what I want to upgrade to?
--- AND ---
Does the bit-version specification mean what environment the upgrade process will be executing in?

Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows?

No. If you are currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can only perform an upgrade to another 32-bit version of Windows. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you can only perform an upgrade to another 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

Lastly better to
Insert the DVD, Shut-Down, and then Boot-Up to begin install.

There is no upgrade path from Vista, 32 to Windows 7, 64. You can only upgrade your 32bit system to Windows 7 32bit. If you want 64, then you will have to do a fresh install.

If you download the ISO you will have to burn it on a DVD before being able to use it, the other option is for when you don't want to burn the files on a DVD and just run it straight from your computer.



Thanks for the quick reply.

I read that FAQ statement you pasted about upgrading from 32 to 64 bit, but that wasn't the whole story.  

The very next paragraph stated that  you have to perform a "custom" install to go from 32 to 64 bit.   ( and this info was from a Vista FAQ page, I don't have Vista)

I am already going to have to do a custom install since I am upgrading from XP to Windows 7.

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I do not have Vista.  My current operating system is Windows XP Professional  32 bit
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

To be clear:
1.  You CANNOT upgrade DIRECTLY from Windows XP to Windows 7 WHERE you DO NOT otherwise have to reinstall all your applications.  There IS a migration option which has REPEATEDLY been misreferenced as an upgrade scenario by both IT professionals and Microsoft themselves (I and other MVPs have had discussions with Microsoft about the documentation...).  

2.  You CANNOT upgrade DIRECTLY from ANY 32 bit operating system to any 64 bit operating system WHERE you otherwise DO NOT have to reinstall your applications.



My apologies:  I thought I had stated in the "Background" that I was fully aware I would have to reinstall all of my programs and files and such.  I accidently left that out.  

A while back I  tested my system with the Windows 7 Compatibility advisor thingy.  The results stated that I since I had WIndows XP, I wouldn't be able to do an "in-place" upgrade to Windows 7, but I would have to do a "custom" or "clean" upgrade.

My question isn't concerned with whether I have to reinstall all my programs & files.  

My question is:   Which file I am supposed to download in order to run the upgrade for Windows 7 Professional.   Keeping in mind that I currently have WinXP Pro 32 bit and I want to end up with Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.

I have already backed-up all my files, and I have all the discs and keys needed to reinstall all of my programs.
You will have to reinstall the whole system.
From scratch.


Yes, I understand that.
If you are using Windows XP, then there is no upgrade option to Windows 7. Windows 7 does not provide an direct in-place upgrade for Windows XP that will retain users applications, programs, settings, customizations, personalization and data while setup performing installation of Windows. If you try to upgrade to Windows 7 from a system which is using Windows XP, you will be shown this error report which informs you that direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 is not available.

So you need a full install disk.
That's what I meant by you having to reinstall from scratch.

Good day.
Download the 64-bit ISO, every edition of Windows 7 (Home, Professional, Ultimate etc.) is on the DVD.
Burn the ISO, reboot and startup from DVD.
During the installation it will ask you for the product key and/or version you purchased, this is where you tell it you want Windows 7 Professional.
Also during the install you will have the option to install into a new folder or if you choose custom options you can reformat your existing drive. I recommend you format as you have backups of everything.


ok.  I guess I haven't made it clear but I will try again.  

I am fully aware that I will NOT be able to retain user applications, programs, settings, customizations, personalization and data during my install of windows 7.

But just so I am understanding what you are stating:  
-I cannot perform any kind of install of Windows 7 while in my current environment of Windows XP Professional.

-I will have to download the 64bit ISO file to install Windows 7 Professional
-Burn that ISO file to a DVD
-Insert that DVD into my DVD-ROM
-Reboot my computer
-Select "CUSTOM INSTALL" when the Windows 7 install begins?  (which will subsequently destroy all my previous data, programs, and settings?

Is this correct?
Yes :)


FYI, my previous post was not in reply to your post.



That is the exact answer I was searching for....I will give that a try tomorrow first thing and let you know how it turned out.
Top Expert 2010

Commented: not install   XP x64 bit windows because you do not need to.
windows store is just 'reccomending' you x32 bit version based on what you have right now.
if you want ,just download the x64 bit version and do a clean install (your computer hardware must be
able to run x64 bit).
I suggest you do a x32 bit install because of total lack of decent drivers for x64 bit versions.
Top Expert 2010

another mistake...
You will have to
change the BIOS boot sequence so that the system loads from your DVD !!!
Otherwise nothing will happen ....
Hint. If you download an ISO before you burn it to a DVD you can find a program such as MagicISO from and look for a file called ei.cfg. If you delete that file or rename it to something like ei.cfgold and then burn that you will have a choice of every version of Windows 7 to use. Hopefully you have downloaded the 64 bit version. The trick works on both the 32 and 64 bit ISO file.
Oh, one other thing. If you try to install XP Mode and Virtual PC (required for XP Mode) Virtual PC will NOT install if you haven't activated Windows 7. Also, XP Mode will only work on Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate. There might be a problem installing it on Professional or Ultimate 64 bit though. But I'm not sure of that.

It is not true that the ISO downloads contain both 32bit and 64bit.  Only the retail disks offer this.

If you have not done so already, get the Win 7 Pro 64 ISO. That is what you want.
I didn't say that the ISO contained both 32 and 64 bit versions on one ISO. I specifically said, "Hopefully you donwloaded the 64 bit version." meaning there was a 32 bit ISO available for download. I should know I downloaded both of them and have been using the 32 bit Home Premium and Ultimate versions since August.

It wasn't you, it was Databitz's comment 25640369 I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion.  
Top Expert 2010

and believe'd be much happier with x32 version.
I am using x64 and this lack of drivers is really getting me pissed off.
also very few prorams run in x64 bit mode...
Drivers will continue to be a problem for 64 bit versions for quite a while I believe. There must be a reason for that and I think that reason is $$$$. I'll give you an example.
When I installed Windows 7 didn't matter whether Home Premium or Ultimate my printer died. Seems as if HP isn't going to write drivers for my F2110 All-In-One for Windows 7. Well you know what that means. Either I get a new printer that does have drivers for Windows 7 OR print in XP Mode which does have drivers for my printer. This is really not a 32 vs 64 issue but it makes the point. $$$$ is the bottom line. You'll need to buy hardware that has drivers for your 64 bit OS. Somebody will make a buck or six increasing their bottom line.
A friend of mine has a Sony camcorder. Guess what. There arein't any drivers for it if you have XP Service Pack 3 installed. Yep, I had to uninstall Service Pack 3 for him so he could download his videos onto his computer with Service Pack 2 drivers the latest and last according to Sony for his camcorder. Now ain' that cute. Again my guess is that Sony wants to sell newer camcorders.
Top Expert 2010

I tried to install my company printer on my x64 laptop and it was a  real quest...
finally I used vista x64 drivers and got the printer to work.
if I was a CEO I would sack all IBM/Lenovo,HP staff....shamefull really..
now I have a problem with Benq STWeb drivers whatsoever....
Top Expert 2010

not much of an expert in buying from M$ but I think that you do not need to dll the ISO.
You have the dll 64 bit over there....i think it has direct setup option which means it dowloads
to hard drive initiate the upgrade you just run the setup.
dll iso only if you want to have the thing on a dvd.
setup must be carried within the current enviroment since it is an can not boot with it...

arixsin: I didn't say that both downloads contain 32-bit and 64-bit either. I specifically say to download the 64-bit version.


I just haven't tested it yet, but the topic was being hijacked so I wanted to close it up.
I downloaded my Windows 7 ISOs from Bit Torrent. Both ISOs had only the Ultimate version at first. I checked the hash to make sure I had the real deal but had read somewhere about the ei.cfg file and checked it out. When I renamed the file all of the 32 bit versions appeared on the 32 bit ISO and all of the 64 bit versions appeared on the 64 bit ISO after burning to DVD and starting the install. By the by there is a bootmgr on both of the ISOs I have. Since the installation I have checked with Microsoft directly and verified that I have the real 100% actual Windows 7 operating system. Now all I need is a Product Key and that has been procured but has not yet arrived since I purchased the Vista Ultimate Upgrade with free Windows 7 Ultimate in order to upgrade my Vista Home Premium PC. Now all I have to do is enter the Windows 7 Ultimate product key when I receive the disks from directly from Microsoft. I purchased from them so they couldn't say I had an illegal version. I've been through that with those guys with Office and their Office Validation tool.

I hope you don't run into a problem with using your upgrade licenses on a full version install. Good luck.
That's why I'm doing minimal stuff with the installation so far. As a matter of fact I reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate last evening. I had buggered up the accounts on my first install. I'm just trying to find the potholes I'll run over before I get this new OS set up the way I want.  It's not that I don't trust Microsoft, but well, I don't trust Microsoft. I don't mind doing clean installs early on but if I can take a shortcut so much the better.

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