... and some of the more adventurous not-technically competent among PCLOS users have been able to upgrade their systems to the 'new,
Do I sense that you may perhaps be referring to me? ;-)
No worry... mea culpa. All I wish to post here is this brief comment: if done in the correct manner, there is no risk at all associated with being so "adventurous", as you put it - so; by all means, please feel free to experiment! On a fresh install, you are truly free to do anything
you wish... and if something should break down or go wrong, there's no loss at all; you simply wipe the botched effort and start over again. Please trust me; it really is the very best way to truly learn how to grapple and come to some terms with this whole linux thing - by doing 'crazy' things, and breaking it! It is oftentimes very frustrating, this method of learning... but it is occasionally flecked with fun and elation, too.
Either perform the experimenting upon a spare computer entirely, or, if you do not have ready access to such, then simply swap out the existing hard drive. Nearly any old hard drive would be adequate, assuming you've booted the Hiren's, tested it, and found it to be defect-free... for example; the system I am typing on right now is running from an old 4GB SCSI drive that I truly did pick out of the scrap bin - for free
. The same situation exists for old IDE drives as well, of course, and also for some of the older, 'smaller' SATA drives too (40GB, for example). Anything of 4GB size or larger is adequate for experimentation. In short, such experimentation is really quite easy, and may truly cost you absolutely nothing
, save for the expenditure of time and perhaps also the minor effort involved in swapping a drive.
I heartily encourage any and everyone to attempt it, at least once or twice. The more capable amongst the crowd may be smiling at us from their VMs, but so what? We're new drivers, buddy - says so, right there on the back of the car. ;-)
If you are running a netbook, on the other hand, then make use of its BIOS bootdevice selection menu function, and perform the 'experimental' install upon a 4GB-or-greater SDHC card or USB stick, instead.
My point is simply that even for those whom are unfamiliar with the technical details of linux, this procedure is indeed very simple, and easy. Having a separate computer is obviously the safest; however, the driveswap method is also safe - your existing setup does remain on the removed drive, and is restored to exactly the same condition it was in previously, when that drive is swapped back in again. If it's not connected, then it cannot be affected.
For the netbook users, just be mindful of which partition your original install is on - and then be sure to leave it alone; don't mount it, always use Custom partitioning, and make certain there that the installer does not bother it either. Slightly more tricky, yet perfectly safe regardless, so long as one pays attention and knows where everything is.