We had the first of our 'Ask the Expert' sessions this morning (you can still register for the others, here!) and there were a load of great questions - some even had us stumped!
One of the questions that we were asked was around upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista Business, but on different architecture, so from x86 (32-bit) to x64 (64-bit). Initially, I thought this couldn't be done, and would require a clean wipe, and a reinstall with the full Vista version rather than the upgrade version. I was a little bit wrong...
This KB Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932795/en-us details the ways you can upgrade from x86 to x64, in a number of different scenarios. In response to the actual question, to go from x86 XP to x64 Vista Business, you need to do the following, but before this, there are a few pre-requisites:
You need to have purchased the Windows Vista Upgrade (Or Full version) - in this case, we'll be using Vista Business 32-bit Upgrade. You will then have to access the 64-bit version (unless you are running Ultimate, as this ships in the box) from here.
After you get hold of the editions, x86 and x64, follow these steps:
OK, so that was pretty straightforward - if you want any further info on 32-bit upgrades on their own, you can read this KB Article here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932616/en-us
This link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/64bit.mspx is working for me - I've followed the links right through to asking for a Product Key.
With regards to programs - this is where it may get difficult, as there is no way, without reinstallation, to move Program Files between PCs. You wouldn't necessarily need to buy it again (Office), but I would call Microsoft (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950929) - you should be able to contact them with contact details provided within Office 2007. They should be able to help you activate, seeing as it's the same PC, just with a different OS version. In terms of Norton - you could call them, or alternatively, use a free alternative, like Microsoft Security Essentials.
You could, finally, contact Acer about your x64 media. Regardless that you bought it from Comp USA, Acer make the machine, so they should provide you with guidance, should the top suggestion here fail.
Hope that helps,
Well it is now 5 years into the future since this conversation was started. As you know 64 bit is where it's at now and Vista has been booted out by Windows 7.
I recently bought a new Acer i7 laptop with all top specs and Windows 7. I hate Windows 7. I like Vista. So what I did was buy a Vista home basic installation disc from a mall in Bangkok and I am so much happier using good old Vista than horrible Windows 7 - I guess it's all about what you are used to using and feel comfortable with.
The Vista basic disc only cost £20/$30 so pretty cheap nowadays.
But I will be starting again with a fresh install of either Vista Premium 64 bit or maybe go for Vista Ultimate 64.
But this thread here is very interesting and useful to read. I hope all you guys have managed to sort out all your 32 to 64 problems in the past 5 years ;)
I'm sure you've all got new computers by now with loads of RAM an GBs and x64s and all .... I guess I'm going back in time by going back to Vista but I do like Vista ...