Considering a reformat or upgrade to Windows 7

My mom gave me her old laptop to use at school. The hard drive is probably pretty fragmented, there is some malware on it, and it's loaded with old business documents that I don't need. I want to reformat the hard drive but I'm not sure how I should go about it. I was thinking about upgrading to windows 7 but I would want to get the cheaper price for the vista-7 upgrade. I don't think she still has the recovery or vista disk.

So should I reformat first, then upgrade to windows 7 or should I upgrade now then reformat with the product key Microsoft gives me?

The computer has a dual core T4200 @ 2.0ghz and 3.5gb ram. (not sure how you get a half gig or ram?) Would that cheap dell stock memory and cpu be able to run Windows 7 well?

Thanks.
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More about considering reformat upgrade windows
  1. hmmm... anyone?
  2. What brand of laptop?
  3. Dell- Inspiron
  4. When you power on the laptop, hit F8, choose Repair Your Computer and then Restore Dell Factory Image.
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