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Yes "Mike the Engineer", good point.  About the SSD drive, there was a lot of discussion about this in the Intuit support questions forum, but, believe it or not, they have deleted MANY of these questions and discussions.  Customer service even got to the point of asking me to change my system memory settings (to which I laughed, yeah right, change my system memory to use TurboTax).   Here is one discussion they left, but it never went into the back and forth details like the ones deleted:

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4566617-my-turbotax-premier-is-crashing-frequently-while-attemptin...

I was hopeful and signed up for notifications of progress/updates that they suggested at the end but I have heard NOTHING. 

 

Anyway, SSD drives were discussed and that is why when you explained your experience it made sense to me, also knowing my situation and that was the ONLY thing I could not try.  I did try what you suggested though.  I attached a WD My Passport drive via USB.  I put my TT tax files on there.  I started TT and opened the tax file from there.  It still crashed.  It crashes at random times, not just saves.  I imagine the program is using something like you said on the SSD drive because that is where the program is installed and running.

 

Thanks so much for the input and suggestion and I would love any other ideas....but I need a backup anyway 🙂