Upgrading from NixOS 17

I found an old laptop with NixOS 17 on it. I’d like to upgrade it to the latest version, but every nix command I issue, gives me a “cannot execute binary file” message. Any ideas?

I might be a vague advice, I solved this by preparing a system closure on another machine, rsync it to the target and run switch-to-configuration.pl define.
That turns even other Linux’es to NixOS

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Do you have any reason to believe the Nix commands have been compiled for the wrong platform? Seems unlikely, but that is a common source for that error message.