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Appeal for help! Bios, Disc Partition, Win 7 wrong bits!

By bemused_noob ·
Reply on the discussions board where I originally posted this suggested I repost here, hence duplication.

I have inadvertently installed windows 32bit instead of windows 64bit on my computer but I did not notice this for about 8 weeks - the implications are such that I can now not run some applications because the system sees only 25% of my installed RAM. I know very little about such technical matters but I have trawled for hours looking at various very informative posts but they do not directly answer my questions as follows:-

(I can confirm that my computer is quad core and has 8gb of ram and is capable of running 64bit)

1. Rather than format my drive and do a clean install as the posts state is the usual resolution I wonder if it is possible to create a partition on the 2tb hard drive aka drive c: install the 64bit windows 7 onto the partition eg drive k ( Am I correct in my assumption that if I do this then the software updates installed bios and motherboard won't then have to be done again. The system disk I have to put in after installing windows so far as I know will reinstall the old ones and thats why I thought a partition could be an alternative answer.) Do I use the windows tool in the 32 bit installation to do this?

2. Could I then instruct the bios to boot from that K drive?

3. If so can I then delete the contents of the partition c: where the original misinstallation 32bit version of windows currently sits or make it inactive once the 64bit os is fully functional - or would windows create files from the 32bit software onto the new partition as part of the partitioning process making this idea impossible?

4. If it is possible how does the computer know where to install the windows 64 bit when I shove it in the dvd for installation as the first time I did the installation it was just a matter of switching on the computer with the installation disc in it and hey presto installation commenced?

5, Are my 32bit drivers also suitable for the 64bit ie are there both sitting in the 32bit somewhere - I can't find them, they dont appear to be in the driver store at any rate.

6. Windows easy transfer - is this an option for this process and do I download the 32bit or the 64bit (ie source or destination) if it is? Microsofts help page on this is confusing as it says you cant use the 32bit files anyway!

7. My bios and motherboard software had to be updated when my computer first came (skeleton system/components put together by a friend who is no longer able to help) if it is that I have to format the drive will I have to update them again?

8. I do not understand the operators for the format command at all from the detailed technical posts I have read I would be very grateful if someone could just write the line I need to type if partitioning isnt the solution. I really havent used the pc much so the hard drive shouldnt need defragging first.

9. I have both onboard graphics and a gaming graphics card Imm not sure and I don't know how to check but I think the onboard was disabled or something will i need to do that after reinstall and if so how? I had a job setting up the graphics card correctly for my games is there anyway I can save the settings on the 32bit for use on the 64bit and if so how?

Please help me I so do not want to format there were so many issues getting the computer to work properly I just don't have the knowledge as you can see.

Big thank yous in anticipation of your very kind help.
Jessy.
so many issues! yikes I am scared!

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Your proposed approach would take years to sort out

by robo_dev In reply to Appeal for help! Bios, D ...

Windows has enough issues booting on single partition system...trying to build a multi-boot system is an exercise in frustration, futility, and pain.

I have been working with Windows since the early 1990s, before it had icons.

The installation programs all expect to install Windows on the primary partition and there are all sorts of related issues that can occur, such as the installation program wiping out your boot partition.

Based on my time spent installing Windows, I would bet a new Porsche that the install attempt would result in a non-bootable system.

While it's true that Win 7 (and Vista) has a new boot manager which is slightly smarter than the older versions like XP which used ntldr, I would fully expect something to go terribly wrong.

Hacking around with Gparted and Parted Magic is fairly advanced stuff; one slipup and you hose the partition and need to load the OS, which you could have completed by the time it took to download/install/learn what's involved with moving around disk partitions, editing the boot manager settings, etc.

Drives are cheap. If you want this to work, install one OS per hard drive, and connect a secondary drive or data drive after installing the OS if you need to recover data.

And not trying to be mean, but some of your questions indicate that there are some gaps in your knowledge of how the OS, partitions, and drivers work. There are all sorts of issues related to

a) If you have no data on the drive, the Windows install program can reformat it if you tell it to.
b) identify the make/model of graphics card, motherboard, etc so you can get the right drivers
b) pop in the Windows install CD and run the install
c) Once connected to the Internet, download and install the drivers for your hardware.

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To support robo_dev

by cpguru21 In reply to Appeal for help! Bios, D ...

some of your assumptions are incorrect (OP). The easiest thing to do in this situation (IMHO) is either back up existing data, and re-install the correct version of the OS or buy a new hard drive (they are really cheap enough) and install the OS version you want on a clean drive, then copy data over.

Re-read this from robo_dev:
"And not trying to be mean, but some of your questions indicate that there are some gaps in your knowledge of how the OS, partitions, and drivers work. There are all sorts of issues related to

a) If you have no data on the drive, the Windows install program can reformat it if you tell it to.
b) identify the make/model of graphics card, motherboard, etc so you can get the right drivers
b) pop in the Windows install CD and run the install
c) Once connected to the Internet, download and install the drivers for your hardware."


Agreed that you seem to lack the skill set to make this process (booting multiple OS's) successful. But be that as it may, there is no time like the present to start learning so I tried to answer your questions below.

1. Yes you could partition the 2tb hard drive, but:
"Am I correct in my assumption that if I do this then the software updates installed bios and motherboard won't then have to be done again."

No you are not correct. If you get the multi-boot option working (I have had it working easily enough) you are installing a whole new OS on the partition. You will have to re-install all the drivers and software as well.

2. from the "k" drive no. from that partition, yes.

3. technically if you have all this working than yes, however note robo_dev above. you then defeated the purpose of dual boot and now have to clean up the boot loader.

4. I dont remember the options on the screen, but you have the option to choose where to install the os. We are getting trickier here, and a wrong move could overwrite your current install.

5. you will need to re-install all the drivers. This is easier than finding, then copying over to the new partition.

6. windows easy transfer 32vs64 bit depends on where you are running the easy transfer from. I do not have much experiance with this. It is always cleaner to just re-install everything. fresh.

7.bios software is independent of the operating system. You will not have to udate it again. Motherboard software you will need to re-download/re-update.

8.there are plenty of GUI format utilities out there. If you are unfamiliar with this then you probably should take it to a professional.

9.no. It has been years since I have had to go into the bios and disable an on-board video. However if you have problems with video displaying on your video card(not onboard) this would be one step to try to resolve. You computer should detect which video card and port is in use.

good luck, and at this point I would try to get a professional involved.

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