Just as an FYI, as many folks in the forum have given you good advice. Here is what you should know about the differences:
Here is a bit of info to understand the issues with 32-bit and 64-bit OS upgrades and later options that may or may not be available to you later:
When upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 you must upgrade the version currently installed within Windows Vista to the corresponding version in Windows 7. I.E. Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium; Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional; and Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate.
Additionally, you will not be able to "upgrade" from a 32-bit version of Windows 7 to 64-bit -- the architecture between the two is too drastically different to allow such a change. Upgrading from a 32-bit operating system to 64-bit will require a custom install. To learn more about the differences between a 32-bit operating system and 64-bit please go to the following link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows...asked-questions
Lastly,Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum specifically for IT Pros located here http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums...tegory/w7itpro/
. It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to also check the threads available there for additional assistance and feedback.
Microsoft Windows Client Team
Thanks for the information. I have already muddled through the MS website about 32- vs 64-bit Windows 7, and "upgrading" from 32=bit XP. I also ran the Windows 7 upgrade advisor and found that my hardware is suitable for the 64-bit Windows 7. Here is what I now understand, and the steps I'm taking:
1) I now have the Upgrade version of Windows 7 Ultimate, and will do a "clean" install of Windows 7 64-bit.
2) I made a regular backup of my C: drive and am currently in the process of making a bootable clone of that drive onto an external drive, "just in case."
3)When that finishes I will do my install of Win7 on the my C: drive and begin the process of installing those drivers that are newer than those I had been using, and wherever there are drivers for 64-bit available.
4) I will then upgrade my memory to 8GB.
5) I will reinstall my applications, downloading 64-bit versions where available.
I do believe I have done what I need to survive this.