If you are running a 32-bit version of a Windows operating system and wish to upgrade to a 64-bit version of the operating system, you won't be able to do a strict upgrade. This is because there are vast technological differences between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems that prevent upgrade installations. Therefore, the solution is to back up your files, install a 64-bit operating system on your computer and then restore your files onto it.
Make a backup of all of the files you wish to save from your current Windows installation to a backup media, such as an external hard drive or a flash drive.
Insert your 64-bit operating system installation disc into the computer and restart the machine.
Upon start-up, press the boot menu key to gain access to the boot menu, and then choose to boot from the CD or DVD drive. The boot menu key is usually DEL, F11, F12 or something similar and is briefly displayed on the screen when the computer is first started up.
Begin the installation process of the operating system. If you are installing a 64-bit version of Vista or Windows 7, select which hard drive you wish to install the operating system to, whether or not you want to format it and whether or not you agree to the installation Terms of Service. If you are installing a 64-bit version of Windows XP, you'll need to first agree to the installation Terms of Service, select which hard drive you wish to install the operating system to, choose whether to format it, and then the installation will start. In both cases you will be asked for the installation serial number during the installation process.
Log in to your freshly installed 64-bit operating system once it has finished installing. Attach your backup media to your computer and copy your files over that you backed up.
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