upgrading a system,

should follow all instructions in shutdown.txt
(up to actually turning computer off)

Binary data should be elsewhere. If not, export that now.
ls /c/binaries-local
ls /c/out-backups

move personal data to a separate location

be sure that all personal data and settings are backed up.
Settings should be backed up in the form of notes and install procedures.
Once a structure is in place that is used, everything should be in that structure, and nothing unnecessary should be in it.

(currently under /c)

if backing things up to an NTFS drive, it might be better to make a tar file of everything so that permissions are preserved correctly (otherwise scripts get reset as not executable... a hassle)

sudo tar -zcvf /media/charles/DRIVE/20130514-old_macbook-c.tgz /c

creating a bootable USB:
will need to do this before starting fresh. On Ubuntu, there is usb-creator built in...
you can use that on a standard Ubuntu machine, but XUbuntu does not run on Gnome, so usb-creator is not available for it.

Can either make the USB manually:

or try this utility:

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

make sure any data stored in browser extensions (link router) is also backed up

make sure to synchronize /c