I now have windows 7 32 bit Home premium, which was kindly given to me by a friend. However, now I want to use 64 bit since I'm sure I can benefit from it since I have 4 gigs of memory and a q9400.
So my question is how can I go about changing the operating system? Will I have to wipe the hard drive clean so that I can install the 64 bit operating system? If so can someone tell me how to, or point me in the right direction?
You have two options, once you get Windows 7 64-bit
1) You can do an "Upgrade" during your install process, which converts your current setup to the 64-bit version. This migh be the easiest method for you since you already have Windows 7 installed. During the install, it will let you know what might not work on the 64-bit system, so those programs/drivers will need to be updated.
2) During the install process, you select custom install, which will allow you to do a fresh/clean install of Windows 7. During the process, you will be given an option to format your hard drive. Select/click on that option will take you through the reformatting process. Just make sure to select "quick format" or you will be waiting for a while. Afterwards, finish installing Windows 7 and all your drivers/programs/games you previously had installed.
No. If you are currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can only perform an upgrade to another 32-bit version of Windows. Similarly, if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you can only perform an upgrade to another 64-bit version of Windows.
If you want to move from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or vice versa, you'll need to back up your files and then choose the Custom option during Windows Vista installation. Then, you'll need to restore your files and reinstall your programs. For more information, see Installing and reinstalling Windows Vista.
For detailed information about installing and upgrading 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, go to Installation choices for Windows Vista (32-bit) or Installation choices for Windows Vista (64-bit) online.
I still use XP and I have 4 gigs of RAM (recognized as 3.25 Gigs) but I haven't switched to a 64 bit OS because my apps won't gain much from it. Unless you plan to use apps that uses and benefits from as much RAM as possible (8 gigs or 16 gigs) you really won't notice the performance difference.