Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better
Linux Mint derives from Ubuntu, and is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS version. Mint 17.x versions do have changes, they're in the same territory as a Service Release. The new Mint 18 should last as long as any version of Windows.
Windows gets awkward over hardware failure-and-replacement. And upgrade versions of Windows had led me into a chain of sequential installs from whatever the last full version had been. The hard drive had lasted a long time. Either find a whole series of Windows install disks, or install Linux.
I switched to Linux. It was Mint 17.2 and the upgrade to Mint 17.3 went well. I have Mint 18 waiting. There are programs I use which don't have Linux versions, but they run fine with the WINE package.
I can see how software that messes with partition tables might be a problem. I am not sure I would want to take the chance.
A few months back I has the hard drive I was using under Linux start showing failures. New drive, install same Linux version, temporary hook-up of old drive, copy stuff over, it all worked.
One thing to be careful of: there are some very old, effectively obsolete, answers out there to some common questions. And there are a lot of Linux distributions. I don't want another Windows monoculture, but a bit more support competence all around would be A Good Thing.
This post now comes to a .