Greeting earthlings.... uhm I'm considering switching to one of the linux products but I have a number of switch over questions. I'm presently using a pirated xp pro OS that won't upgrade explorer 8 on my "06 gateway laptop 1.6ghz double core processor, 2g ram and limited storage ( about 7gig of 80 left, lots of pictures and music that I could clean up), also a lot of the add o ns ( JAVA,directx, ect) are getting dated and won't update because of the explorer issue ect,,, get it? time to move on. Now I've loaded OS's before and had issues like word processor not working, loosing data ( from reformatting) and driver issues,,,,, so I guess my question is: should I totally backup the still functioning, yet getting clunkier daily, system and data before switching, and what can I expect to loose ( and need to replace) I presently do some web search/purchasing/ writing in word/ picture editing/ music??? any suggestions would be great. thnks.