64-bit pc is now 32-bit pc?

pipmaster0125

Prominent
Oct 26, 2017
19
0
510
0
So I've had the same PC for about 4 years now. Its an HP Compaq dc5800 SFF, and it had windows vista running on it. Well, about a month ago I restored my PC cause it was in storage and it was really slow when I booted it up for the first time. I had to restore it to XP (SP3), because that was the only disk I had and I needed a fast PC for my games. The problem now is that I used to have 64 bit java and I could allocate more RAM for a game i played but now when i tried to get 64 bit java, it says my PC isn't 64-Bit anymore. I'm guessing that maybe XP cant be 64-bit or maybe i used a 32-bit CD when I restored? Any help would be great!

Thanks ;)
 

pipmaster0125

Prominent
Oct 26, 2017
19
0
510
0


so to make things simple, the 32/64-bit is from the OS not the CPU? I thought it had to do with the CPU?

 


It's from both. You need a 64-bit capable CPU to run a 64-bit OS. You need the 64-bit OS to run 64-bit software.
 

COLGeek

Titan
Moderator

To add to this excellent answer, a 64-bit CPU can run both 32-bit and 64-bit OSes. In your case, it seems you have a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit CPU.

There is no upgrade path from any 32-bit version of Windows, to any 64-bit version of Windows. Rather, this requires a full, clean install (not an upgrade) to make the transition.
 

sebastianpalm7

Prominent
Nov 15, 2017
15
0
520
1
As COLGeek points out, 64-bit CPUs can run 32-bit OSes - this was common near the tail end of the XP era, and even into the Vista era, because of the extra overhead of 64-bit Windows (it needed more RAM to run the same apps) and the abysmal driver situation for x64.

Also, while you will need to boot from a 64-bit media and install it from there (as the installer on 64-bit Windows DVDs is a 64-bit program itself and will generate an error if run on 32-bit Windows), you do not need to format your drive, the installer will normally dump most of the contents of your boot drive in "C:\Windows.old" and you can restore it from there.

There are still legit reasons to run 32-bit Windows, which is why Windows 10 still exists in a 32-bit version for example. One of them is on low-end hardware, such as tablets, many of which still come with 2 GB of RAM and a 32-bit CPU; the other is for legacy 16-bit apps, as the 64-bit versions of Windows removed that layer of compatibility. Most people who seriously need this should be running it in a Virtual Machine though.

Also, final thing about getting your hands on bootable media for Windows. If you own a legit Windows Vista license, it is legal to download a 64-bit Windows Vista ISO and make a bootable USB stick from it - Microsoft even provided its own tool for the purpose. Have a look here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool

I don't know if they still supply the ISO files through some FTP service as they used to, though.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS