You can also copy the contents of /etc to the USB stick (or somewhere on /home if you keep it) but don't try restoring them en masse to the new system. Instead, use them as a reference when setting up the new system.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
Find yourself a small, cheap SSD drive. Even the slowest of the SSD type is faster then an HDD. I've found the Kingston SSDNow S200 SS200S3/30G on the site of my regular supplier for less the 40 Euro, so 30-35 GBP should be feasible. It's only 30 GB, but that's more then adequate for the system itself. That leaves the entire HDD available for /home. Mind, you need some brackets to mount the 2.5" SSD into a 3.5" slot
Thanx guys for your advice.
DM I hear well what you are saying but buying yet more storage seems to me wasteful. I will be 72 in a few days so I doubt I would see much difference in speed. Great price. tho´
Thanx also Towy for your help.
I wonder if now would be a good time to investigate a VM on a part of the huge storage space. Maybe 50Gb would allow me to have a play at all sorts of interesting things without comprising my existing system. I remember there were some interesting articles of late and I have it mind to look them up. How might a suitable partition layout be formed and what types of partitions would I need to specify?
I suspect 4Gb of fast Ram should be allocated to the Volume when I get to install and use it. Would I lose the Ram even when the VM was not called into use?
Backup and partitioning info are my first concerns.