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You can't do an in-place upgrade from 32 to 64 bit, but you can do a clean install.

The older machines that had 32 bit Windows on 64 bit hardware were usually done that way for software compatibility back when a lot of devices didn't have good 64 bit support. Also out of conservatism in corporate sales.

It was a clean install. If you use the upgrade tool to upgrade a 32-bit version of Vista or Win7, the version of Windows 8 that is downloaded (and which you can burn to DVD) has no 64-bit support.

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