I was able to archive quite a few files.
* The files from a Linux server that I hadn’t saved
* The files from a 1TB drive from an old computer
I restored the files from the archived system onto that 1TB drive.
When I booted that restored system, the hard drive was making extremely loud seeking noises. I looked quickly at the drive performance statistics and they were the same as the original drive. I shut the system down and checked and the drive wasn’t damaged.
I was able to reset with the recovery partition and now I’ve got plenty to do and the system appears stable so far….