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Ryanhabs

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Okay, so I can build pc's all day long but I was stumped when asked a question about having an old boot drive with windows 7 32 bit installed. The guy has about 500GB of info he doesn't wish to wipe. I'm building him a new system and talked him in to the benefits of 64 bit OS over a 32 bit OS. He is all for 64 bit but only if he can still use his old HDD to at the very least access the files on it.

 

I was trying to explain the best way to do this but I think I'm beginning to get a bit lost. So the question is...

 

Which is going to give him access to his old files and cause the least amount of confusion, getting an extrenal sata to usb drive enclosure and using that to attach his old HDD to the new system, or setting up a dual-boot for the 64 and 32 bit versions?

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Okay' date=' so I can build pc's all day long but I was stumped when asked a question about having an old boot drive with windows 7 32 bit installed. The guy has about 500GB of info he doesn't wish to wipe. I'm building him a new system and talked him in to the benefits of 64 bit OS over a 32 bit OS. He is all for 64 bit but only if he can still use his old HDD to at the very least access the files on it.

 

I was trying to explain the best way to do this but I think I'm beginning to get a bit lost. So the question is...

 

Which is going to give him access to his old files and cause the least amount of confusion, getting an extrenal sata to usb drive enclosure and using that to attach his old HDD to the new system, or setting up a dual-boot for the 64 and 32 bit versions?

[/quote']

 

I use external drives between 64 bits and 32 bits windows all the time, so shouldn't pose any problems doing it that way. dual boot is just waste of resources if it's for that reason only

 

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Just set it up as an internal data drive, you can delete the system files. Personally, what I would do is set up and install the new drive and operating system, load in the old drive, copy over everything he wants to save and then format the old drive and move the stuff back. Little more work, but it gives him extra storage and speeds up access, internal sata/ata is lots faster than usb/firewire interfaces.

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LOL, building this system for my buddy got me all worked up making the list of parts he will need to buy, so I decided to clean up my spare parts bin in my home workshop and had a great idea. I'm going to build a slightly out of date "spare parts" pc and see how well it stacks up to my i-7 950 system. I can pretty much build it with all the same stuff minus mobo, cpu and ram.

 

The stuff I have for my spare parts pc are:

cpu: intel core 2 quad extreme qx9650 3.0Ghz

mobo: Evga 780i FTW black pearl edition

ram: 8Gb G.skill ripsaw 1066 DDR2

hdd: intel 120GB ssd and 2x WD 500GB black 7200rpm

gpu: 2x evga GTX 560 ssc ftw 1GB cards

os: windows 7 ultimate 64 bit

 

should be interesting seeing how it will stack against virtually all the same shit minus the i-7 950 cpu and evga x58 motherboard. Actually, if I remember right the qx9650 could overclock like a mofo with just air cooling, this will certainly be liquid cooled. If this goes as well as I think it will go I might just sell him the i-7 950 system and enjoy playing around with the spare parts pc for a bit. ;)

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Theoretically, 32-bit applications and files should be usable on a 64-bit architecture, but not the other way around. So you could just have a Windows 7 64-bit PC with that 500GB as a secondary drive and access files from it. Unless, for whatever reason, the files need to be run in a 32-bit environment then at that point I would either recommend dual-boot or by means of virtual machine. But if it's like normal files like movies, pictures, music, and even most documents, then that 500GB could literally just be either an external hard drive or (as I said earlier) a secondary drive to read/write with.

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A couple of you are correct on bits and pieces of this. There is a little bit more than drivers and the like.

 

1) 32bit applications can run in the 64bit environment but Windows will call the 64bit to 32bit driver for this. You probably won't notice the difference anyway.

 

2) 64bit has a higher limit on RAM but in effect, it uses more RAM than 32bit. So any advantage is slightly negated with the 64bit instructions loaded. My 32bit Windows 7 used to use about 800MB - 1GB in memory. This is just the bare minimum. 64bit Windows 7 used about 1GB - 1.2GB in memory. A slight jump but that's necessary for the 64bit instructions.

 

3) Most applications are still being written in 32bit given how software developers aren't moving on with the times so the use of 32bit Windows is still valid until developers actually catch up. Most games aren't true 64bit, more a mish-mash of 32bit with the option of 64bit.

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I recently took the plunge from 32bit XP Pro to 64x Win7 Ultimate. I was already running a second HDD for all my files, and had simply redirected My docs etc to the other HDD.

 

I've also managed to get it working with Win7, and will gladly go through it with you if you want. Makes things so simple as I set up a 10GB partition purely for the OS, and everything else is on the other partition or HDDs. You can even tell win7 to pull files from multiple locations when you click Music or Pictures in the explorer.

 

If its about installed programs/games though, they will need to be reinstalled- its to do with the registry. However, the 32x progs should work with the 64x OS, but perhaps having a virtual XP 32 might help for those really old games.

 

In regards to RAM, I will point out that 32x OS' can handle only 4GB max. This includes any RAM on your GFX card. (Which will be used over regular RAM first)

64x OS' can have stupid amounts... I think you'd be more limited to what you can physically fit on your mobo, because Win7 Professional and above are capped at 192GB. O_o

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I have just started picking up all the parts he is going to need for his build, I got him a sweet deal on the nvidia edition cooler master HAF x case! 99 bucks baby. :D

 

He told me his main concern about his old HDD is not really the installed programs but his "set up" as in favorites in his browser and such. I gave him 3 32GB flash drives I had laying around and told him to start loading them up with the files and pics and such he wants, that way I can just load them up once the system is up and running.

 

I thought of dual booting 32 and 64 bit only if the info on the 32bit HDD would be accessible while booted in to windows 7 64. I'll assume he wont be able to access the programs that were installed via windows 32, correct? If thats the case there is no reason for him not just wipe the old HDD once the new set up is running and have an extra 500GB of storage.

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Sounds like the best idea to me Ryan, and thats correct- you won't have access to installed software on OS A if you boot into OS B.

 

I've gotta get me an SSD for my next build. Been holding off due to them being so pricey, but slowly, slowly they are getting cheaper.

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Might as well go SSD now, have you seen the prices of regular HDD's due to the Japan natural disasters. You can get a 160GB ssd for 20 dollars more than a 500GB WD caviar blue hdd. I tried to talk him in to one ssd for just the OS but he wasn't going for it.

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1tb WD caviar blue 129.99 at newegg' date=' thats pretty reasonable.

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Yeah its not bad, but the blue line for WD is their one step up from budget line. So its not as good a deal as one would think. I typically only go black line from WD.

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  • 2 weeks later...

well the machine it up and running windows 7 64bit... I did actually get 1 bad stick of ram so for now its sitting on 6GB. Got the qx9560 oc'd to 3.83Ghz on air with temps not going over 59 degrees Celsius during prime95 torture tests. Just waiting on the new cooler, Coolermaster v10. Should drop the temps down a bit more than the good ole' artic cooling freezer 7 pro I have in there now. Then we'll look in to bumping that oc to a 4.0 or 4.2Ghz and check temps and stability. Overall I'm pretty pleased for just slapping parts together that were just laying around my test bench here at home.

 

Ohh and fyi: Windows 7 swap of HDD's went flawless. Just have to delete all the chipset drivers and any specific controller drivers (nvidia and such). I actually swapped 3 motherboards, Asus p5n32-e-sli to evga 780i ftw to asus p5n-d. Soon will be a 4th looking at a Msi p45 platnium or an Intel dp45sg extreme.

 

I have 2 screenies on page 5 of this thread. http://www.loverslab.com/showthread.php?tid=3380&pid=74611#pid74611

 

One showing the processor read out and temps as I was ending prime tests and the other just looks nice imo :)

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