Have a dialup modem and have spent hours bringing things up to date, way beyond my 7.2 disks, which I bought two months ago. So I want to back this work up and save it,
against the utter messup that newbies just seem to make.

Fresh Linux-formatted partition (hda1) for just this situation.
I think I need to backup home directory, and /etc and
poosibly even /root. (Would this save the updates,settings?)

Now, what app would do this best, and if a Terminal
command, I am still weak there. Would I have to do
it in sections of "cp X, cp Y, cp Z" or is there some amazing
ONE command that would do this?

I await your expertise. And Thanks.