I had Vista 32-bit. I upgraded to Windows 7 32-bit on accident, then I upgraded again to Windows 7 64-bit. The problem I am having is when I upgraded to 64-bit I was hoping it would wipe my drive and I could start clean. I had 3 years of junk on my drive and I backed up the things I wanted to save. It turns out this isn't the case, as I have a folder called Windows.old and Windows.old.old000. Can I just delete these folders? They are hogging up enormous amounts of space. Also, I have Program Files and Program Files (x86). Why do I have two program files? Should I reformat and reinstall Windows 7 all over again so I can have a clean drive?
Also what is a good free virus protection program that I can download? Also I notice it says 3 days till Windows activation, but I can activate Windows now. What does this mean how come it isn't already activated?
Well my final question is, since I am not reformatting, is there any risk that stuff from my old OS could slow down the peformance of my new one? I deleted both Windows.old folders and now I have a ton of free space so I am hoping most of the old junk from my old OS are removed now.
Since you went from 32 to 64-bit, the upgrade should have been forced to do a clean install because it's not possible to do an in-place upgrade unless you are going 32 to 32-bit. You have to re-install all of your programs correct? That verifies that you've got a clean install of 64-bit and not an in-place upgrade.
It's the in-place upgrades that you get problems because the new OS tries to maintain programs and registry settings, etc.
"I notice it says 3 days till Windows activation, but I can activate Windows now. What does this mean how come it isn't already activated?"
Because you have reinstalled you need to reactivate, do it now before the time expires or your system could be disabled.