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I have a user with a Mac + VMware Fusion with a 32-bit Windows XP virtual machine. He needs a 64-bit OS for a project he is working on with the development team. It appears that the upgrade process to Windows 7 will most likely result in a clean install. I would like to avoid that as much as possible because he required a couple days worth of hand holding to get his current environment up and running, and that leads me to my question.

Can I use a Windows XP Pro 64-bit installation disk to run a repair install on his Windows XP Pro 32-bit VM, so that all settings are mostly retained? I know it's a long shot, but I'm hoping someone has a good answer for me. :)

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can't upgrade from a 32bit Windows OS to a 64bit Windows OS.

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@pk: Did you actually read the information at the link you posted? You can't upgrade a 32bit Windows OS to a 64bit Windows OS. – joeqwerty Mar 18 '11 at 18:37
Thanks. I guess I'll bite the bullet. – Matt Beckman Mar 18 '11 at 18:40
@joeqwerty: easy bud... I just posted the link to back you up. If you're wondering where the upvote came from on your response, that was me too. I simply though he might like to see some official documentation. – pk. Mar 18 '11 at 18:46
As stated, you cannot upgrade 32 to 64 bit. You MIGHT be able to migrate user files and settings with a tool like the User State Migration Tool or Windows Easy Transfer. But other than that I would consider any attempt to do something like this that is not supported in a business environment is a bad idea as unexpected problems can occur. – Multiverse IT Mar 18 '11 at 18:51

In short: No.

None of the current 32 bit applications would work correctly, because Windows secludes most of them in SysWOW64 at installation time.

It's theoretically possible, but not without a massive amount of time investment.

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