Thanks again Husse:
I'll bear that in mind when I next upgrade - at present everything immediate is working and for the time being I must get on with actually using the machine.
Some time I shall have to tackle remaining problems with non-working hardware lacking Linux drivers - webcam, scanner, & slide scanner - I briefly tried wine and virtualbox but haven't time to spare at present. I also have some currently unusable software, but the same applies - it will have to wait.
One final question for now - I have tried to find a definition of "desktop configuration files" which appear as icons on my desktop screen representing partitions. These belong to me, are quite small (194 bytes) and act effectively as dynamic links.
Others. representing the same set of partitions, are folders, belong to root, and act in exactly the same way but give me read-only access. They all regularly appear now - previously it appeared to be a matter of chance. Can I safely delete the icons for folders belonging to root? The others give me read/write access to the same partitions.
Strangely, if I open the icon "Computer", it lists them all showing "Type" as "desktop configuration file" but if I click on them and select Properties, half of them are described as folders belonging to root.
Apologies - this really ought to be a separate topic - but I've raised it before and it was ignored.
Yours hopefully -
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.