hey, i currently have vista home premium 32-bit and i want to get windows 7 home premuim 64-bit can an upgrade disc do this for me? i asked this in pc world came out with major headache and still not knowing straight answer would b great thanks guys
The reason there's confusion about this is because "upgrade" can refer to two different things:
1) Licensing - the ability to purchase an "upgrade" copy of the Windows 7 at a reduced price based on having a licensed prior version. You CAN do this for if you have ANY version of Windows since Windows 2000 as long as it's a comparable edition (ie, "Home Premium to Home Premium"). The new license is valid even if you install the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and your previous version was 32-bit.
2) Installation - the ability to install the Windows 7 on top of your existing system while keeping all of your current accounts and installed software intact. With Windows 7 you can only do this if the previous system was Vista and only if it's a 32-bit to 32-bit upgrade or a 64-bit to 64-bit upgrade. All other combinations require you that you migrate your accounts and reinstall your software after installing Windows 7.
since 32 bits and 64 bits don't really have the same file needed, you cannot perform an upgrade. But you can do a clean install with an upgrade disk. All you have to do is to backup all of your personnal data. And since Win7 don't have a mail program, you will need to download windows live mail, and use it to transfer you email to it.
Once done, insert the upgrade disk, let it run, but don't choose upgrade, choose the other option. This will create a Windows.old folder with your vista in it and Windows 7 will be installed. This procedure don't format the drive.
If you format the drive, then decide to use an upgrade disk to clean install, it will work but you'll be warned that you cannot use this key on a full install, only for an upgrade. At this point, you have two option. you can try updating you new Windows7 or simply take 30 seconds to modify a registry key and validate your clean install as an upgrade. I would use google to find the way you want.