Performing a clean Windows install

I am preparing to install Windows 7 64bit onto a laptop which has had Windows 7 32bit. I am prepared to make a backup of my files, but what else should I do or be mindful of? Should I reformat the hard drive?



1. After backing up, create more than just one (usually the "C" drive) partition, and install the operating system into one such smaller partition.
Benefits:1.1. If a disaster hits (eg, a virus attack), you will be salvaging the operating system with data (most likely) intact;
1.2. Option to have multiple operating systems on one computer
1.3. The bigger the partition, the costlier is the data recovery

2. Back up the Master Boot Record (MBR) as well.



1. After backing up, create more than just one (usually the "C" drive) partition, and install the operating system into one such smaller partition.
Benefits:1.1. If a disaster hits (eg, a virus attack), you will be salvaging the operating system with data (most likely) intact;
1.2. Option to have multiple operating systems on one computer
1.3. The bigger the partition, the costlier is the data recovery

2. Back up the Master Boot Record (MBR) as well.



Thank you. My drive is 280GB; any recommendations on partition size? Would that include a reformat?

I'm not sure I understand backing up the MBR; wouldn't it be different with a new OS?



1. My Windows XP OS sits on a 12 GB partition. 20 GB is the recommended minimum for Windows 7
"Windows 7 Hardware Requirements" . This is for the operating system. Data partition can - and should - have more. You can even reuse the same data off different operating systems.
The total number of partitions per hard drive: one to four (compatibility).

2. MBR gets overwritten most of the time when a new operating system is installed. The MBR is small, about a kilobyte, and its backup should fit on most backup media.
MBR is where your "boot" takes place; it is whence the boot menu is shown (for multiple-OS computers)



Thank you.



You have to do a fresh install - you have no option when moving to 64-bit from 32-bit.

If the computer manufacturer has recovery DVD's you can order, you are always best to use these (drivers will always be correct amongst other things).

If not, then yes, after you have backed up documents, format the hard drive. If the Windows 7 install gives you the option, delete all partitions first. Your drive is not very large so I would not further partition it. Just use the whole thing for Windows and your documents.

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