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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a PC with the following specs:

Operating System:
Windows 10 Home Version 2020 H2 (OS build 19042.572)
Install Language: English (United Kingdom)
System Locale: English (United States)
Boot Mode: Legacy BIOS in UEFI (Secure Boot not supported)

Processor:
3.00 gigahertz Intel Pentium G2030
128 kilobyte primary memory cache
512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
3072 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Not hyper-threaded

Main Circuit Board:
Board: BIOSTAR Group H61MLV3 7.0
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
UEFI: American Megatrends Inc. 4.6.5 03/20/2014

Drives:
SAMSUNG HD321HJ [Hard drive] (320.07 GB) -- drive 0, s/n S1HLJ9AZ211751, rev 1AC01118, SMART Status: Healthy

RAM:
Installed RAM 4.00 GB (3.41 GB usable)

Disk Partitions:
Partitions (all NTFS, non-GPT): C (System partition), D, E, F (Data partitions)

I already have a licensed version of Win 10 Home 2020 H2 (32-bit) installed on my PC, and I have the product key of Win 10.

The fears of driver problems with the 64-bit version (as expressed by my hardware guy) turned out to be unfounded.

So, I am now installing the 64-bit version.

My activation status is “Windows is activated with a digital license and linked to a Microsoft account.” But I am not sure which MS Hotmail (MS Outlook) account I used for the linking. I have more than one account. Is there any way to find out which MS account my installation is linked with?

Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

I want to install a 64-bit version of Win 10 Home 2020 H2 (overwriting the 32-bit version) on the same PC in the system partition (C). I wish to keep the three other partitions unchanged.

One way I can do that is by using a bootable USB drive (16 GB).

I have the Windows 10 2020 H2 ISO file downloaded using the MCT on a data partition (E). I chose “ISO file” instead of “USB flash drive.”

I can make a USB drive bootable with Rufus (using partition scheme MBR and target system BIOS).

I am not sure whether I should format the USB as Fat32 or NTFS.

Another option appears to be installing the 64-bit version directly from the Win 10 ISO by mounting it and running setup (setup.exe in the root of the ISO or setup.exe in the Sources folder?).

There is no point in trying to save the apps (as they are 32-bit installations, even MS Office).

Also, I think there is no sense in retaining the data folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, etc.) in the system drive.

Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation directly using the ISO in partition E?

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Quick summary of questions:

1) Is there any way to find out which MS account my Windows installation is linked to?

2) Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

3) Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation directly using the ISO in partition E?

4) Can I use “Reinstall Windows 10 using installation media” to install the 64-bit version?

Apparently, “Clean install of Windows 10 using installation media” will delete all partitions on the hard disk.

Reinstall Windows 10
 

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There is no direct path to upgrading Windows 10 32bit to 64 bit. You have to do a Clean Install. Product keys are not architecture specific, they work regardless if its 32 or 64 bit. You shouldn't have to type in the product ke.y. Once you type in your Microsoft Account it will activate Windows 10 64 bit from MS's servers.
You cannot use the ISO in the E: drive because you have to Boot the computer with the Windows installer
To do a Clean Install and keep your partitions, Boot off the Windows installer DVD or USB Flash drive, at the part where it asks "Where do you want to install Windows?" You will delete the partitions to the LEFT of the 3 partitions you want to keep, leaving that space before those partitions as Unallocated Space. Highlight that Unallocated Space and click Next. Windows will create partitions and format them during the install to the Unallocated Space only, and should leave your other 3 partitions alone. Of course backup any files you want to keep on the other partitions in case things sideways.
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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Quick summary of questions:

1) Is there any way to find out which MS account my Windows installation is linked to?

2) Will I need to enter the Windows key during a clean install as the activation is linked to a Microsoft account?

3) Can I overwrite the current 32-bit installation with a 64-bit installation directly using the ISO in partition E?

4) Can I use “Reinstall Windows 10 using installation media” to install the 64-bit version?

Apparently, “Clean install of Windows 10 using installation media” will delete all partitions on the hard disk.

Reinstall Windows 10
1) Open the Settings app. At the top, you should see your MS account name and email address. Use that to log in to your MS account via a browser and you'll be able to see all devices that have been linked to it. The My Microsoft account link will open in your default browser. Alternatively, you can go to the Accounts section of the Settings app. Under Your info, you will find the Manage my Microsoft account link. In other words, whichever Microsoft account you're currently using to sign in to Windows 10 is the one that the PC is linked to. Log in to that account via a browser and confirm.

2) No.

3) No. You must boot from (bootable) Windows installation media. Use the ISO and Rufus to create MBR bootable media for legacy bios boot. NTFS will do and Rufus should set this automatically.

4) Yes. It's the same thing as booting from Windows 10 installation media as per answer #3 above.

Clean install does not necessarily mean deleting ALL partitions. Boot straight from Windows installation media and start the installation wizard. One of the stages is to select where Windows 10 should be installed. At this stage, you're given options for managing partitions. Partitions are NOT automatically deleted. You manually select and delete those you want to replace and leave those you want to keep. I suppose the extra (data) partitions come AFTER the existing Windows partition, correct? If so, then you simply need to delete the Windows partition and those BEFORE it. On an MBR disk, there should be only one such partition, labelled SYSTEM RESERVED. Delete it and the Windows partition. If you have a Recovery partition BEFORE the Windows partition, delete that as well IF you're sure it's NOT one of your extra storage partitions. You should be able to tell which of the listed partitions are the ones you want to keep (contain your data). The remaining ones need to go. The spaces of the deleted ones will merge into one unallocated space IF the partitions were right next to each other. Select that unallocated space and click Next. Windows setup will take care of the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, spunk.funk.

This is extremely helpful.

I have already backed up the three data partitions (D, E, and F) to an external SSD, and I intend to make a recovery pen drive, just in case things do go sideways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, Stancestans.

Wow! What a fantastically precise answer!

I was able to see the account via Settings>Accounts

It shows one of my email IDs (let’s call it email ID1) and the fact that I am the admin
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When I clicked on “Creating a Microsoft account Logging in to your Microsoft account,” I was taken to another email ID (let’s call it email ID2).

Initially, my OneDrive was linked to the first account, email ID1. Then I deleted that link to OneDrive and set up OneDrive with the second account, email ID2.
 
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