I had big plans to upgrade my main desktop PC to a 64-bit OS when Windows 7 came out (which is tomorrow). I currently have Vista 32-bit OS installed on it, with 4 GB of memory (although the system can only utilize 3 GB currently under the 32-bit OS). More memory, possibly faster execution was the main reason to go to 64-bit. Also, 64-bit OSes (Windows and Vista) have been around for a significant number of years now, so you would think now is a good time to jump from 32-bit to 64-bit. In fact, all Dell systems that have more than 2 GB of memory seem to come installed with Vista 64 (and now Windows 7 64) bit OSes.
So in preparation, I download and ran the Windows 7 Advisor program supplied by Microsoft which scans your current computer (and attached peripherals) and reports back which devices are compatible with Win7 and which are not (for both the 32-bit and 64-bit OSes). I discovered through this program that my CanoScan 30 scanner does not have a 64-bit driver available (and Canon isn’t planning to release one). Also for my Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150 TV Tuner card, the provided 64-bit driver will only work on machines that have less than 3 GB of memory. For some reason there’s a hardware/firmware limitation which causes the tuner card to operate erratically if the system has 4 or more GB of RAM!
Since I use my home PC to record TV shows on a daily basis, this is a real consideration to NOT upgrade to a 64-bit OS. It makes me wonder what other hardware issues I might have if I jump to the 64-bit realm. And how much benefit will I gain going to 64-bit? I have a feeling not so much, considering I would have to probably get a new scanner and TV Tuner card.
So the real issue isn’t upgrading from Vista to Windows 7, but upgrading to the 64-bit OS. So my big plans of making the switch have been shot down, and I’m going to stay in the 32-bit world for now. Maybe in a few years when my TV tuner card fails and my scanner conks out I’ll make the switch, but for tomorrow I’m staying with the trusty 32-bit OS.
Here’s a link to a posting that has some good information regarding the 64-bit OS upgrade.
So if you’re planning to do the big upgrade, I highly recommend you use the Windows 7 Advisor program to scan your system and give you a prediction to what devices you might have issues with after the upgrade.