Convert new HP 32bit Vista home premium to Vista 64bit Ultimate

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    I just bought a new HP a6350z AMD dual-core computer with 32bit Vista Home
    Premium. I own a full retail license for Ultimate which is installed on an
    older computer. I plan to remove it (or whatever's necessary to free the
    license) so I can install the 64bit ultimate license on the new HP.

    How disruptive is that? The new computer is almost unchanged from getting it
    out of the box. I uninstalled Symantec AV and installed Windows OneCare for
    which I already have a license. I installed the driver for my wireless HP
    AIO c7820 which HP describes as being compatible with Vista 64. Not much
    else is personalized and I haven't invested much time in it.

    Am I basically starting from scratch? Or will existing programs that are
    compatible simply work after the 64bit installation?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Chris Cowles
    Gainesville, FL
    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
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  2. You will need the 64bit versions of the drivers and you must do a custom
    install, meaning you will have to reinstall your apps, files, and settings.
    Make sure that the drivers and utilities cd from HP contains the x64
    drivers. If not, download the x64 drivers and utilities from HP and burn
    them to a cd.

    There is no upgrade path from any x86 to any other x64 version of Windows so
    you cannot perform an upgrade. You can use Windows Easy Transfer to save
    the files and settings from and restore after x64 is installed. WET is both
    x86 and x64 compatible. Have you asked HP about the warranty implications?

    Having said all that, not all dual core processors are 64bit processors. If
    you have a Core Duo you cannot run x64. If it is a Core 2 Duo you can. All
    AMD64 cpus are 64bit processors.
    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
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  3. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    I have not but the system was available for purchase as either 32 or 64. I
    doubt there's a difference except the OS and drivers.
    It's an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5600+ 2.8 GHz. That will do,

    I believe I will benefit from 64-bit and the dual-core CPU because I often
    have multiple applications running concurrently. What I'm not looking
    forward to is the time required for a full reinstall.

    Is dual-boot installation a practical approach? Can I maintain the existing
    32-bit home premium and install the 64-bit next to it, using the same
    partition for data on both? I saw some vague references here to MSKBs but no

    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
  4. The problem with warranties is that HP support may demand that you return
    the system to the factory configuration before they will address a software
    support issue. You really need to ask them. Warranties are not done by
    logic but by the written warranty terms and conditions. Ask.

    Dual booting with Vista x86 and Vista x64 is fine since you have a separate
    product key for x64. You will need to boot the computer with the x64 dvd
    since you cannot run the x64 Setup from the x86 desktop. A Custom
    installation takes only a few minutes. It is an upgrade that takes a lot of

    Each Vista will be able to see the other's drive and a common data drive is
    also no problem.

    The only issue you may have that I can think of is memory. If the HP only
    has 2GB consider increasing it to 4GB for Vista Ultimate x64. When I ran on
    2GB I had constant disk drive activity (paging). Now that I have a lot more
    ram I can see that around 3GB is the sweet spot for VU x64. That is
    actually a good thing because you want as much running in memory as you can
    in order not to have to use the hard drive so much (hard drive access is
    much slower than memory access). If you can't do the extra ram don't worry
    too much about it, but anything less than 2GB simply is not enough for
    Ultimate x64. In fact when you choose VU x64 in HP's configurator for a new
    machine, a message displays that HP highly recommends 4GB for that option.
    I agree with them.
    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
  5. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    I'm not worried about the software support issues. I'm probably better than
    most techs I'll get on the phone and I didn't get the extended warranty.

    I have 4 GB of RAM. Vista32 only sees 3.5 GB. I assume Vista64 will see all
    4, less whatever's used by the video card, if any?

    Programs: I'm under the impression that each application/package (e.g.,
    Office) must be installed separately for each OS. Assuming so, do I end up
    with duplication of files? Or, if I just let it install to the same
    directory, it won't duplicate what already exists? Are there 64-bit versions
    of programs that will overwrite 32-bit versions, disabling the 32-bit
    version? (Or vice versa?)

    Is there any advantage to having programs in a separate partition? Those
    that came with the HP are already on C: and I can't reinstall some of them.
    (The DVD viewer, for one.) The reason is the only copy I have is on the
    recovery disk. I don't think I can reinstall it selectively. Since HP
    already installed programs on C: for Vista32, I see no reason to change.

    I'll may create a separate partition for data. I can resize the existing
    partition and create a new one with the system management tools, I think.
    What, if any, is the advantage of doing so? I've read somewhere that putting
    the page file on a separate drive improves performance, but does that really
    mean separate hard drives, vs separate partitions?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Chris Cowles
    Gainesville, FL
    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
  6. Chris Cowles

    John Barnes Guest

    Programs: I'm under the impression that each application/package (e.g.,
    You will have separate program files for each install, but you can share the
    data created between the systems so you don't have to manually keep in sync.
    You have somewhat limited ability to shrink partitions and create a new one
    in Vista. You can help by getting rid of certain files before a defrag and
    see if an otherwise unmovable file was at the end of the partition.
    Separate drives can be used and occasionally benefit the pagefile placement,
    but separate partitions on the same hd will degrade performance with your
    heads thrashing due to the increased movement necessary to use the other
    John Barnes, Feb 24, 2008
  7. Vista x64 will report all 4GB on the system properties page and when you
    type "winver" in Start/Search. Vista x86 will report less than 4GB on both.
    When SP1 is applied to Vista x86 it will start reporting 4GB on the system
    properties page but continue to report less in winver.

    You will install programs for each OS the same as if each OS were a
    different computer. They will not be installed on a common Program Files
    folder or on the same volume. If VHP x86 is on drive 1 all programs will
    install in the Program Files folder on drive 1. If VU x64 is on drive 2,
    32bit programs will install in the Program Files (x86) folder on drive 2 and
    64bit programs will install in the Program Files folder on drive 2.

    32bit programs run natively on 64bit processors so there is little need for
    64bit versions of programs like Office.

    You need to think of the two operating systems as separate computers. When
    you install a program on VHP the installer writes many entries to VHP's
    registry. VHP's registry cannot be used by VU. Likewise when you are
    running VU and install a program the installer will write many entries to
    VU's registry. Keep things simple and think of the two operating systems as
    different computers. While you are running VHP don't worry about VU and
    vice versa.

    Do not try to play around with the page files now. While they could share a
    common drive the days are past when you could gain much by manipulating the
    page file. The page file manager is sophisticated and the hard drive
    capacity in modern computers makes most of the reasons for playing around
    with the page file pointless. Let the OS manage the page file. The answer
    to heavy page file usage if you experience it is simply having ample memory.
    Your 4GB is ample for VU x64. A ReadyBoost flash drive is also a very good
    tool for handling page file usage.

    You are trying to anticipate a lot of things that just won't matter. Just
    set things up according to their defaults and use the system for awhile
    before you start tweaking. You have to know what you have before trying to

    Forget about the way things were done back in the days of Win95 and Win98.
    Computers have changed radically with regards to resources. What we did to
    improve performance on Win95 machines is counterproductive now. Hardware
    and software vendors have incorporated features to address those old

    Learn how Vista works, don't try to turn Vista into something you got used
    to years ago. Vista belongs to the NT branch of Windows and the NT branch
    handles a lot of things differently from the DOS branch (Win9x/ME).
    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
  8. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    Well, this experiment succeeded in proving to me that I cannot upgrade
    the computer I bought from VHP32 to VU64. I thought it could but
    apparently it can't. At least the hardware I got can't, even though it
    might be theoretically possible. When VU64 install completes, I
    consistently get a BSOD on the second reboot. The page fault contains
    nothing useful to me - just a memory address but no reference to
    drivers, etc.

    I called HP and they offered no help, of course. I didn't expect help
    but hoped they would say definitively that the hardware (a6350z) would
    or would not support 64-bit. I went back to the web page to simulate
    buying it again and find that x64 is not an option. That's not
    defiinitve that it's not possible with this mobo, but suggests so.

    I've got an RMA on the box and ordered a different model. The new
    m9100t with is sold with VHP64 at no extra cost above the 32bit
    version. At least this way I know that 64bit works. Can I then do an
    anytime upgrade from VHP64 to VU64, by entering my key? Assuming so, a
    benefit of that approach is I get to keep the DVD stuff that comes
    with VHP, that is absent from WU.

    I discovered last night a reason I definitely want VU, not VHP. After
    completing the VHP32 tweaking, I disconnected the mouse, keyboard and
    monitor, set the new box in a corner with a USB wireless adapter
    plugged in, and tried to RDP to it. No dice. VHP includes Remote
    Assistance but not Remote Desktop.

    A positive outcome of this is that the new box is actually cheaper
    than the previous, and has a better video card and larger hard drive.
    The AMD CPU was 2.8GHz and the new Intel is 2.3, but I don't know if
    those numbers are directly related. I gave up 1 GB of RAM compared to
    the earlier box but figure I can add RAM easily in the future.

    I was going to ask questions about the drive 1/drive 2 discussion
    below but, if I can use the anytime upgrade, it won't be a dual-boot

    Thanks to the assistance.
    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
  9. Yes, you can use either Anytime Upgrade or buy a VU upgrade edition
    (retail). The difference is that you can transfer the AU upgrade license to
    another computer only once but you can transfer the VU upgrade edtion
    license many times. Since the base VHP license is not transferrable to a
    new machine at all (because it is an OEM license), the distinction may not

    If you do AU be sure to order the optional dvd, especially if your new
    computer does not come with a Vista hologrammed dvd.
    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
  10. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    I already have a full retail license for VU. I assume I can use that
    for the upgrade? I could then transfer it to another, and also sell
    the computer with the original VHP64 OEM. (That's unlikely though
    because, like cars, I generally keep my computers past their useful
    resale life.)

    Does 4GB RAM make a dramatic difference vs 3GB? An increase to 4GB
    adds $200 to the price because 3GB is a free upgrade from 2GB, but
    also because it's a change from 667 MHz (3GB) to 800 MHz (4GB). The
    3GB takes up 4 slots, so upgrade to 4GB later requires 2GB, by
    removing out 2x512MB.
    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
  11. Since the VHP is x64 you can start the VU setup from the VHP desktop and
    just choose Upgrade Install. No problem. You do want to enter the product
    key when given the opportunity but uncheck the activation box and give
    yourself some extra time to evaluate how the upgrade went.

    The sweet spot for VU x64 is 3GB. Save the bucks. I don't see much usage
    above 2.5GB on my box and only then when I am running a virtual machine.
    You should be fine with 3GB.
    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
  12. Chris Cowles

    Chris Cowles Guest

    It also gets me 800MHz vs 667MHz but, as you say, I don't think the
    incremental gains justify the incremental cost.

    Now I'm waiting for delivery on another system.
    Chris Cowles, Feb 24, 2008
  13. Enjoy!

    Colin Barnhorst, Feb 24, 2008
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