Will upgrading from XP to 64-bit Windows 7 cause me compatibility and driver headaches?

Joe Videtto August 16, 2012


I’m upgrading a Windows XP system (150Gb of programs and data), and looking to decide whether to upgrade to 64-bit or 32-bit Windows 7.

I don’t plan to look up drivers for each of my programs (maybe just the most frequently used), but has anyone chosen to stay with the 32-bit Windows for driver or program compatibility, given how long the 64-bit version has been out at this point?


  1. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    what I can say is, lot of your applications may work under windows 64 bit. it won't matter when your are going from 32bit to 64bit. all the software will work. you have clearly said that you are going from 32bit XP to 64bit w7. the thing is if you are going from 64bit to 32bit, most of your applications will fail. so go ahead and upgrade! :)

  2. sanjay_addya
    August 26, 2012 at 7:04 am

    You cannot upgrade from WIndows XP to Windows 7. You have to make a clean install on your system. I would recommend running the WIndows Upgrade Adviser found at the Microsoft site. It will tell you which softwares are compatible with the new Windows & and which needs to be updated. Also I would recommend you upgrade to the 64bit version of WIndows 7

  3. Ben Mordecai
    August 25, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I agree with Bruce but I would personally always recommend upgrading to 64 bit OSes.

  4. Usman Mubashir
    August 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I don't think you'll encounter any driver problem but use windows 7 upgrade advisor to see if all your programs will run smothly

  5. Mauro Vitali
    August 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    you can do it
    you can pass from the 32-bit XP to the 64-bit 7;
    it won't work the best for some programs but (at least) it will work!
    after the SO upgrade you could update only the mportant drivers... the ones that you use the most...

    August 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Hello, the first question you should ask yourself would be: How much RAM is installed in the system? If you have 4 GB in the system and you are willing to add more RAM provided the motherboard can support more RAM, I would install the 64 bit operating system. Most recent program will work on it without an issue whether they are 32 or 64 bits. Unless you are using programs that are really old, you will not have an issue.

    Other thing is I always recommend a new install instead of an upgrade. In my experience, upgrades cause problems down the road....As mentioned before, if you get the 7 operating system with at least the Pro version, you can get and install the free XP PRO in a virtual machine so that you can still use older programs that work ok with XP.

  7. pankaj soni
    August 20, 2012 at 3:29 am

    actually can you just reply me with ...... what is your machine's configuration???

  8. Kaashif Haja
    August 20, 2012 at 1:19 am

    I was using 32 bit. Few months back i changed to 64 bit, i had some troubles installing some softwares. I realized that few of my drivers weren't installed, i downloaded them. and now, everything's fine!

  9. Timothy Liem
    August 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I think it won't messing around since it's supported widely and much better than Vista.

  10. Oron
    August 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Regarding 32 vs 64, I usually upgrade systems that have 3GB RAM to 32bit on the grounds that they will not benefit from the advantages of 64bit, but will benefit from slightly lower memory footprints. For larger system, I'd go for 64bit unless there was a specific reason (driver, applications) that would force my hand otherwise.

    There's pretty good driver support now for 64bit, but less so for external peripherals (printers etc), so I'd suggest you follow Bruce's advice and run the u/g advisor.

  11. Gian Singh
    August 16, 2012 at 8:43 am

    probably no more than usual.

  12. Kannon Y
    August 16, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Hello Joe!

    I suggest that you run some kind of SSD alignment utility after the clone procedure has finished. The reason is that a cloned system won't properly be configured to run on an SSD - rather, it will be aligned to run on a platter drive. Because of this, without alignment, you should experience substantial performance loss. However, it's possible to create an aligned partition on the SSD, using the command line, without resorting to paid for alignment software, like from Paragon.

    In all honesty, I can't tell the difference between a 32-bit and a 64-bit system. Supposedly, a 64-bit system runs faster and is more secure and robust but I've never noticed the difference. However, I have noticed that 64-bit mobile devices (particularly upgraded systems that weren't originally designed to operate as 64-bit) can have terrible battery life, compared to the 32-bit version.

  13. GrrGrrr
    August 16, 2012 at 4:01 am

    1st go for Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor as Bruce suggested.

    Do take a backup of your data separately.
    Make a list of all the programs you currently have.

    I have 64-bit Win7, but only 32bit supported programs install and work fine.

  14. ferdinan Sitohang
    August 16, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Some applications can be installed and run under windows 7 64 bit, because it has an option where it will be installed, as 32 bit program or 64 bit program. I suggest you follow what bruce said at first, then you can decide whether you will upgrade or not.

  15. Bruce Epper
    August 16, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It will tell you if something you are currently running is incompatible with Win7. For the most part, you are better off going with the 64-bit version unless your machine only has a 32-bit processor. If you are worried about program compatibility, get the Pro or Ultimate edition of Win7 so you can use XP Mode or use MS Virtual PC to run any incompatible programs that cannot be upgraded or you do not wish to upgrade. If you have ancient hardware you still wish to use, drivers could be an issue and they will show up in the Upgrade Advisor report.

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