How can I re-install software from an external hard drive after re-installing Windows?

Alan Trinder August 23, 2012
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Following all the disk size problems I have had, I am thinking of changing my operating system from 32bit to 64bit.

I have the windows DVD so no problem there but I will need to back up my software on to a hard drive to reinstall as many do not have original DVDs. My files are all backed up on a WD 1TB book drive so I should be able to recover them no problem.

I would welcome any comments on the best way to do this or even if I am silly to do this. My understanding is that I will need to back up all software and then reinstall them (if I still want them) one by one. Will  Windows do this? Please note, I am a user, not qualified as a Geek.

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  1. cypherinfo
    September 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Hello, Paragon Backup and Recovery is the best application to do the job: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
    On the web site you'll find the free version and the complete explanation on the different scenarios it may fullfill. Copy from one hard disk (smaller) to another greater; from an hard disk to an SSD drive (smaller) and so on ; without the need to reinstall anything?

    Thank you.

  2. FIDELIS
    August 27, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Hello, as long as have the .exe files for the programs and also the license keys needed for them, there should be no problem with installing them on a 64 bit environment.

    With programs that were obtained via a download link, you could probably visit the manufacturer of that program and log in to your account. The download links should be available for you there to re download if needed.

    Once you have the backups, just proceed to reformat your computer and installed the 64 bit operating system.

    • Alan Trinder
      August 27, 2012 at 4:32 am

      Many thanks Fidelis, clear enough for a novice like me!

  3. Mihai Triboi
    August 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I guess it's not possible to just back-up software on a 32 bit system and restore it to a 64 bit system. A fresh installation of each application is required on such emigration.

  4. Alan Wade
    August 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Make one of the first programs you re-install your AntiVirus and if you do switch to 64bit then download a 64bit version of it.

  5. April Eum
    August 24, 2012 at 2:57 am

    you might have to fresh install all of the applications as any resort. what i would have suggested that you did, in the near future where similar problems might occur, try to save all the programs in another external hard drive like you did and reinstall all of them. then again, you can run into softwares that you might have not needed and install all the important ones.

  6. Alan Trinder
    August 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I would like to thank the input I have received so far. It look like this should not be too much of a problem if I follow the following steps;
    1 Copy all software keys for future reference
    2 Copy the software I do not have on dvd onto an external hard drive as a back up using windows
    3 format/install the 64 bit version of windows 7 ultimate from the dvd's
    4 Re install software from dvd's and external drive.
    have I missed anything?

  7. ha14
    August 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    the thing is that there should be two program files folder so when you install applications
    32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/32-bit-and-64-bit-Windows-frequently-asked-questions

  8. GrrGrrr
    August 23, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    no, the copy-paste from external drive to 64-bit Win7 will not work for the programs They have to be installed fresh.

  9. susendeep dutta
    August 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Since,all the programs will not work as stated by others,if you don't have any proprietary softwares and use free softwares,then you can get setup files compatible with 64-bit Windows 7.Most of the softwares(not all) will work with 64-bit OS.

  10. Aditya Roy
    August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Softwares would need fresh installations.

  11. jrasulev
    August 23, 2012 at 6:38 am

    What applications do you want to re-install on 64bit OS from 32bit?

    • Alan Trinder
      August 24, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Microsoft office 2007 and others with disks so I don't envisage a problem there. Most of the free download stuff like DVD video studio no problem I feel as I can just re download and install. the essential stuff will be things like ACDSee Pro 5 and other photo and video software I have purchased via download. I am assuming I can do a back up copy of these programmes onto an external drive using windows and then do a clean installation of windows 7 (including a format of my internal disk) then re install the programmes that I have copied from the external hard drive to my c drive?

  12. Bruce Epper
    August 23, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Backing up your software from a 32-bit system and restoring on a 64-bit system may not give you the results you desire. The layout of the filesystem is not identical between the two. Links that would be made during the installation won't be there. Some registry entries will end up being incorrect. Going from a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit OS requires a clean install followed by manual installation of all of your applications again and finally the restoration of your data files.Since you are running Ultimate, you could use Paragon's P2V capabilities to create a VHD of your existing environment, install the 64-bit version, copy the VHD to your hard drive, use EasyBCD to add a new boot menu item pointing to the VHD so that you can boot into either environment as you need to if you don't have the media to reinstall your existing programs.

  13. Suman Acharya
    August 23, 2012 at 2:31 am

    to move from 32-bit to 64-bit, you need to re-install the applications (as you already know).

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