The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.



Windows 8 64-bit Upgrade problems

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I bought a Windows 8 upgrade from Microsoft’s website to upgrade my Windows XP PC to Windows 8 64-bit. The computer has a 64-bit processor but the Windows XP installed on it is 32-bit. When I upgraded using the online installer, it installed Windows 8 32-bit without asking me which version I wanted. What should I do?” – Joseph M., USA

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: I see that you are trying to upgrade your Windows XP computer to Windows 8 64-bit. Make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements for installing and running Windows 8. If you are sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements for running Windows 8 64-bit and that your computer’s processor is a 64-bit processor, then we can proceed with how to install Windows 8.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 System Requirements

Windows 8 system requirements are the same as that of Windows 7.

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX9 compatible graphics card with WDDM driver

Is my computer’s Processor 64-Bit?

You can check whether your computer’s processor is a 64-bit processor by looking at the System dialog.

  1. In Windows 8, right-click the My PC icon and select Properties.
    Windows 8 64-bit - MY PC - Properties - WindowsWally
  2. In the System Dialog look for x64 based processor. This means that your computer’s processor is a 64-bit processor. If it says x86 than it is a 32-bit processor.
    Windows 8 64-bit - System - 64-bit - WindowsWally

Problem

The Windows 8 download installer does not upgrade the computer to Windows 8 64-bit despite having a 64-bit processor.

Cause

The computer that is being upgraded must have had a 32-bit version of Windows already installed on it. Using the 32-bit Windows operating as the base will result in the download installer installing a 32-bit upgrade automatically.

Solution

You will have to get a full version of Windows 8 and install it from scratch. The problem is that the Windows download installer does not give users the option to choose whether they want to install a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows for the upgrade. If you already have a 32-bit version of Windows installed on your computer, then the Windows download installer will only install the 32-bit version of Windows 8. So, if you want to install Windows 8 64-bit on a computer that already has the 32-bit version of a Windows operating system installed on it, you will need to run a clean install.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.