On 11/17/2017 10:45 AM, Terry Barnaby wrote:
Just to answer the OP's question on SSD's.

Yes, they are non volatile and older spinning HDD's can be replaced with them assuming your system has at least a SATA disk interface. There are different types.
They do have limited data retention times though, earlier versions could start to lose data after about 4 months if left un-powered. The latest generation is better (> year ?) but figures are hard to come by and depend heavily on temperature. For normal use this is not a problem. There are much faster especially when accessing multiple small files as there effective random seek time is very very fast compared with a mechanical HDD.

Yes, the latest KDE5/Plasma is horrendously inefficient when it comes boot times due to disk access requirements. With a spinning HDD system boot times are really bad (minutes). A SSD helps this but obviously the issue is really in KDE5/Plasma. With this aspect improved systems would be so much faster better even with SSD's. I suspect the use of the QtQuick (QtSlow!) technology is to blame reading loads of small files describing GUI interface parts rather than just using C++. With a standard fast HDD, a 3 GHz quad core i5 type machine takes much longer to boot than an old 400 MHz single core Pentium Laptop with 256 MBytes of RAM and an slow 2.5inch HDD running an old Fedora with KDE3. The price of bad software "progress".
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The latest upgrade from F26 to F27 might have solved the problem. The problem was never booting (though that does take a long time), but a gradual slowdown in the course of my work. That's why I have to keep shutting down and rebooting. The upgrade seems to have made things stay faster longer.

Nevertheless I am going to accept the suggestion of Ed Greshko and others. I have ordered an HP SmartBuy 1-TB SSD with a SATA bus to match the bus in my present system. (That system is also an HP, FWIW.) I have also booked an appointment with a professional to see to its installation and the data migration. Frankly I've been worrying about the HDD for some time--it makes an awful lot of noise sometimes, and a noisy HDD is one wearing itself out, IIRC. Sure I'm paying a bundle for the new drive--but I did not wish to sacrifice capacity. I'm also reasonably sure I would not be leaving the computer powered down for four months at a time. A week, maybe. Two weeks at the outside. I gather I shouldn't lose data during such an interval.