32 bit Windows 10?


  1. HTH
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       #1

    32 bit Windows 10?


    Greetings.
    As a hobby I help a few of the older members of the community with their computers.
    I recently took in a computer to look at with the usual complaint that "its slow".
    What I did find upon investigation was that the system MAY have been upgrade to W10 from maybe W7 or 8.1
    This in itself is not a problem but what is, is that a 64 bit operating system has been leveraged on to a computer with only 4 gigs of RAM
    Now, I need to ask some questions of you smarter types out there in W10 forum land:
    1) Is it possible to upgrade a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS? I only ask this because if it is not then the OS that was on the computer previously would've had to be 64 bit in the first place (which seems counter productive with only 4 gigs of RAM installed)
    2) Is there only way to discover what Windows was previously installed?
    And
    3) With only 4 gigs loaded is it possible for 64 bit W10 to be removed and 32 bit W10 to be clean installed in its place?
    Thanks
    HTH
      My Computer

  2. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,754
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #2

    1) No, needs to be a clean install.
    2) Yes and No, generally it would be up to the COA sticker on the case or on Notebooks in the battery compartment but the SPECCY program from Piriform may give some indication and checking the BIOS of some machines will list the factory installed version, also the OEMs may have the information if looking for updated device drivers.
    3) Yes, only issue would be the 32-bit version doesn't show the full 4GB usually about 3.5GB but there is no hindrance in operation.

    As to RAM/Random Access Memory the 32-bit only requires 1GB and the 64-bit needs 2GB, doubling that or more to the maximum supported on the motherboard is always good.
      My Computers

  3. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,465
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1288
       #3

    HTH said:
    … is it possible for 64 bit W10 to be removed and 32 bit W10 to be clean installed in its place?
    You'll need to find 32 bit versions of the hardware drivers and they might not be available.

    Denis
      My Computer

  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 21,233
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    HTH said:
    ....64 bit operating system has been leveraged on to a computer with only 4 gigs of RAM....

    The minimum specs for x64 Windows 10 is 2GB RAM, and I have three laptops that run x64 W10 perfectly well with 4GB.

    1) Is it possible to upgrade a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS?

    No, a clean install is required. It will however activate from the same digital licence, it's valid for both 32 and 64 bit installs.

    2) Is there only way to discover what Windows was previously installed?

    For the major brands like Dell or Lenovo then go to their support pages and enter the PC's serial number. Amongst other information it should tell you the specifications of the machine as originally supplied including which OS it had.


    If the original OEM Windows was upgraded to W10 and there has been no clean install since, then there will be a record in the registry. You can read all previous upgrades using ShowKeyPlus

    For example, this machine is System One in the 'My Computers' specs below. It had its OEM x64 Win7 upgraded to Win10 in 2015, then upgraded through every version of Win10 up to the 21H1 it runs today (in 4GB RAM, by the way).


    32 bit Windows 10?-showkeyplus-upgrades.png

    3) With only 4 gigs loaded is it possible for 64 bit W10 to be removed and 32 bit W10 to be clean installed in its place?

    Yes, and it will no doubt run faster. But I suspect a clean install of x64 Win10 will also run faster. 'Running slow' is more likely to be due to junk accumulated over the years, or OEM utilities/junkware retained from its original OEM OS, that run at start up IMHO.
      My Computers

  5. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 4,387
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H1
       #5

    1st thing I would do is a Repair Install, then defrag windows until it`s 0% Fragmented.

    Then install a Samsung SSD and don`t install 32 Bit if you can add any memory at all to the PC.
      My Computers

  6. colinp's Avatar
    Posts : 21
    windows 10 Home
       #6

    My old "senior citizen" Dell 1545 Inspiron (4GB RAM) came bone stock in 2010 with Win 7 64bit. It ran not too shabby, for a whole 3 months until I erased the HD and put ubuntu 8.04 64bit on it. It now has 20.04 but is starting to show her age.
      My Computers


  7. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,754
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #7

    The requirements for x64 versions of Windows is 2GB but doubling to 4GB is quite useful, I have a couple older Notebooks with 4GB, no problem. I also have Notebooks with 6GB and 8GB.
      My Computers

  8. ThrashZone's Avatar
    Posts : 7,596
    3-Win-7Prox64 3-Win10Prox64 3-LinuxMint20.2
       #8

    Hi,
    I would only do 32 bit if the system only had 3gb or less memory which I have one with 3gb and it's just sluggish on 64 bit seeing it's also just a dual core processor too.
      My Computers

  9. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 11,754
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #9

    I had an older Dell Latitude with Win10 Home 32-bit and 4GB RAM, worked fine, just couldn't display but about 3.4GB. It now is living happily in Honduras as part of 4 donated to Vision Beyond Borders.
      My Computers


 

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