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I have a Dell M4400 with 32-bit Windows 7 and a solid state disk. Will I run into any problems installing 64-bit Windows 7 on the SSD? Should I reformat the drive? Any other tips?

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When upgrading from 32-bit windows to Windows 7 64-bit, the Windows installer requires you to use the Custom installation option--Upgrade will not be available. The Custom install will require you to reinstall your applications. Given this, I would recommend backing up your files and have the Windows installer format the drive during the install.

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There should not be any issues using a 64-bit OS instead of a 32-bit OS, as far as the SSD is concerned. It may, as you mention, be worth completely wiping the SSD (doing a secure erase) before installing the new OS. This is because it "resets" the SSD and restores all free space, which is important for the performance of the drive.

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Actually, doing a secure erase is quite bad for the drive, as it basically decreases the health of every cell of the drive. Like defragmenting an SSD drive, except a lot worse. – Hello71 May 30 '10 at 17:15
    
@hello71 No, overall, it should be better for the drive (as well as performance). In the long run, a secure erase will help minimise the write amplification ratio, which means less “waste” is written to the SSD, which should help towards a longer lifetime. Plus, performance will be significantly better. Of course, wiping the entire SSD will erase every cell (so, for MLC, using up 1 out of each cell’s ~10,000 lifetime writes), so you wouldn’t do this often. Also, if TRIM has been in use, then a secure erase may not yield a huge improvement. – sblair May 30 '10 at 17:54

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