In this tutorial we will see step-by-step how to migrate Windows 10 32-bit to the same version of Windows in 64-bit. What interest would you say? Besides the possibility of having more than 3.5GB of memory, a small fluidity difference (especially if you have a PC a bit old), the 64 bits version allows to install software that is not available in 64 bits. In the field of DIY, the biggest interest is to be able to install the Linux Bash on Windows, which makes it possible to run Linux software on your computer.
Make sure your computer is compatible with Windows 10 64-bit
The first thing is to check the version of Windows installed on your machine. To do this, open the control panel from the start menu
Go to the System settings.
Then go down to access System Information. The processor must be x64 type, that’s already good sign.
To be completely certain that the processor is able to support Win64, go to the Microsoft site and download Coreinfo
Open the downloads folder and unpack the archive. Open the command prompt or PowerShell.
Move to the Coreinfo directory and run the coreinfo command. Press CTRL + F and verify that the following instruction sets are PAE, NX, SSE2, and CX16. If these four sets of instructions are present, you can upgrade to Windows 10 (x64).
If you still have a doubt, do not hesitate to prepare an installation key with both versions (32 bits and 64 bits). What is likely to get stuck is to find drivers in 64 bits for the various devices. If you encounter a problem, you can reinstall the 32-bit version. Get a quality USB key of at least 4GB (for a version) and 8GB (for both versions).
Check that drivers exist in 64-bit version
Last point to check, the drivers of the various components of your computer. If you have a recent computer, this should not be a problem. If on the contrary your computer starts dating, take a little time to go to the manufacturer’s website. Check the graphics card, audio card, network cards (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth) as a priority. This is also true for peripherals: printers, scanners … You should not have too much trouble with equipment from major brands under 3 years.
Make a full backup
The switch to 64 bits can not be done via an update. It is necessary to make a clean install, ie format the current partition and reinstall everything. The operation is irreversible, all documents that have not been saved will be lost. Before you start, make one (or 2) backup of all your documents, photos … If you are using OneDrive, make sure that everything is synchronized.
Prepare a USB flash drive
Get a USB key of 4GB or 8GB minimum and go to download this page
Launch MediaCreationTool.exe by double clicking. Accept the terms of the license
Select Create installation media for another PC and then
Uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC. Verify that the version matches your current version. Check the language and finally choose 64 bits or the 2 then do next.
Connect the USB stick. Choose USB flash drive and Next
Select the USB key. If it is not present, you can refresh the list. Click Next to start preparing the key. Windows must first download the system image.
Depending on your internet speed, you will have to wait long enough.
Installing Windows 10 64-bit
Restart your PC. At boot time, choose to boot from the USB flash drive. The option is available from a function key (eg F12). Otherwise, you will have to go into the BIOS to change that. The installation of the x64 version is identical to the 32-bit version.
Enable 64-bit Windows
Since this is a new installation, you must activate your Windows license. If you are using a Microsoft account, simply sign in to activate Windows 10 x64. Otherwise, it will be necessary to re-enter a serial number of a valid license located on a box at the bottom of the drawer on the left 😉
Benefits of 64-bit version
There are no major differences between the two versions. The first advantage is the ability of the system to handle more than 4GB of memory. If you want to inflate your configuration, it is the necessary passage. You can run more applications simultaneously. The system should be faster for some operations. Finally, and this is what will interest us, it is the possibility to install the Linux Bash and to be able to enjoy both worlds on the same computer. This will be the subject of the next tutorial.
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