Just got a new laptop and win7 32 bit was already installed. The laptop is a 64 bit processor so I need to upgrade to 64 bit Win 7 as I am not presently able to access all 6 GB of memory. IS it possible to upgrade without loosing all my settings or will I have to do a clean install?
It's not possible as the OS architecture is different, it has to be a clean install. You could backup your files and settings if you know where the folders are located. For the most part they should be compatible. I kept the settings for Firefox, Chrome, uTorrent and several other apps and they worked fine when I added them back into the clean install. Don't forget to backup other possibly important folder groups like 'My Documents' too just in case
To add to Gavin's post, if you choose not to format your hard drive, Windows will put your old installation in a folder named "windows.old" where you will be able to access your user files and copy them over to your new installation, if you don't want to backup.