I've noticed that ZorinOS doesn't have an upgrade tool hopefully ZOS 16 Pro will have an upgrade tool to ZOS 17 Pro even if you must purchase a new licence.
How do you set up your drives?
With Ubuntu based systems I always use the following partitioning layout. There is no swap partition as the system always creates a swap file automatically in the installer even when you chose 'something else' this makes your system files and personal files seperate and easier to reinstall fresh systems.
I still backup my whole PC to the cloud and my external SSD.
My partitioning layout
600MB - EFI at FAT
85GB - 100GB at /
rest at /home
I use the default ext4 file system and gpt partitioning table with all sections primary not logical partition type.
That's pretty much similiar how I set it up.
The only two things I install on pro is a better torrent client as transmission always gives me problems then flatseal for managing flatpak permissions which I feel should be installed on pro as default
I don't use SSD in desktops. You should never have any form of swap on SSD's. For traditional drive I don't use GPT. For EFI I create 512 Mb partition, then an 80 Gb '/' partition formatted to Ext4, then an extended partition where at the end of which I create double the physical RAM for swap and everything in front as '/home'. The only time I have ever used '/boot' when my manager was having issues with an Eeepc netbook that had WinXP on it. It had a 10 Gb SSD formatted into two partitions of 4 Gb for the OS and 6 Gb for data. Windows could not be installed to the larger partition. The problem the manager faced was the fact Windows updates had eaten up all the space on the 4 Gb partition. Solution? I installed Zorin 6, creating a 512 Mb '/boot' partition on the 6 Gb partition, where I also placed GRUB, the rest as '/'. I then formatted the 4 Gb partition as '/home'. I installed Office 2007 Standard that the service had purchased, using WINE. I then naughtily added Win7 2.2 theme that added the Win7 boot logo which also added all the Office shortcut icons. Solved the issue but the manager never used it! It went for recycling.
In respect of SSD's I used to recommend Ext 2 as SSD's last longer if they don't have a journaling system installed OS and to activate TRIM. I now recommend Ext4 for SSD and don't activate TRIM as it makes data recovery impossible, the latter being another reason I prefer a mechanical HDD in my desktop. I have upgraded a Latitude E6500 from 2Gb RAM to 8 Gb RAM and installed a Crucial M.2 SSD. I tried Devuan 4 but wouldn't install. Tried Zorin 16 Education, installed but kept crashing and freezing. Had to resort to installing Linuxfx 10.5 then adding all education apps that would install.
I use as well an EFI at >750Mb , a "/" at 100Gb and a separate disk for /home. So 2 disks in my laptops, all of them.
This Dell E6510 has a 2 x 500 Gb hardware config, but I remained at my usual part. sizes. Set /home to the different disk, and got a 'spare room partition' of +- 320 Gb.
I use a SWAP-partition on my disk as well. Turn the swappiness to a low value so the system won't 'burst as a maniak' to my disk for swapping. Of what I monitor Swap is rarely used at all, so I freed up some RAM for severe Chrome-browsing with a lot of tabs opened.
My Latitude E6500, Dell, is my main backup computer at 8Gb RAM DDR2 carries as well 2 SSD's from China (Goldenfir brand) and runs like a sweet baby.
My testcomputer is also a Dell, an Inspiron 1545 of built Vista time-stamp, runs on 4 Ram, and an SSD ... also partitioned with a SWAP to the disk and a low swappiness. Logs read almost 0,0 swaps been done out of Ubuntu 22.10 for now.
Target is Zorin Pro 17 on that or .... go for Fedora 38 or 39 by then, as they carry a much more up to date kernel.
On my 6510 I installed the 6.0.9 - mainline kernel from Ubuntu's repo's. A recommended upgrade away from Zorin's schedules. This upgrade runs 100% fine on the Zorin Core 16.2 system. My laptop gets less heated by this newer kernel. I work +- 9 hours a day 7/7 on that laptop. It has sadly a Nvidia GPU but I noticed going to Xorg solved the problems of Gnome freezes after a suspend;
The several different versions of Linux i have tried, and now Zorin which i stick with, were all formatted the same. Efi overwrites the windows boot manager partition at 120MB. My root partition is 60GB, mainly for applications. I dual boot, so there is an 80GB Windows 10 partition for my gaming (the only thing I do in windows). And a backup partition for timeshift. That's one terabyte NVMe drive. The other is simple, 500GB home partition and Data partition formatted as ntfs to transfer data between OSs. I use an external 5TB partition black drive for my games. Another 4TB black drive for rescuezilla drive images (backup). It's a rather solid setup.... plenty of redundancy and recoverability.