There is a little known “gotcha” when upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP.

Microsoft doesn’t make it real well known, that if you upgrade from Windows XP 32 bit to Windows 8, you will end up with the 32 bit version of of Windows 8. You will not get the option to install the 64 bit version “even” if your system is 100% compatible. Really it isn’t the fact that its XP, it’s the fact that it is a 32bit version of the operating system, it can be Vista, Window 7, or any other 32 bit operating system.

This was verified on a Dell Optiplex 745 and a Dell Optiplex 960.

What I did, was actually call Microsoft, explain the situation and simply cancel my order. Then I installed the Trial/beta/pre-release edition of Windows 8 64 Bit which allowed me to upgrade to a legal licensed copy of Windows 8 64 Bit.

After much research, I was able to find this on Microsoft’s website. Which means until January 31st, 2013 instead of paying the special upgrade price of $39.99, Microsoft will get you for the DVD version at $69.99, which is still a fair price for an operating system. You could always do what I did and install a 64 bit version first though. Regarding the special upgrade price, see this article.


Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8?
Yes, but you can’t do this using Upgrade Assistant. If your PC has a 64-bit capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro, but you’ll need to buy it as a DVD and perform a custom installation. If available in your country or region, you can buy Windows 8 Pro from a participating retail store. You can also buy it online from the Microsoft Store in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
Please note that the Windows 8 Pro Pack is used to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro, and is not for cross-architecture installs and does not include any media. If you want to change architectures, purchase Windows 8 Pro.
You won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or apps when you upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.”

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