For less than $200 I was able to find a pocket-sized USB hard-drive that holds about 80 gigabytes. (Try searching Amazon for "datastor.") Some of the units advertised hold considerably more.
will give you a very-reliable "place to put your data," such that no matter what
you do to the data
on the hard-drive, the essential stuff is entirely safe (as long as the drive has been dismounted and unplugged from the USB-port). The drives normally take power directly from the port. If you have USB 2.0, they run at very high speeds; USB 1.1 is downward-compatible even if not mentioned. Linux USB storage drivers recognize and handle them just fine... so does Windows, OS/X and everyone-else.
This will be well worth the investment... I use them as a primary backup-media and keep one in a safe-deposit box. It enables you to approach the task "with nothing to lose."