Installing a new operating system—especially one that makes relatively radical changes to your system, as Windows 98 does—is definitely a “look before you leap” operation. Your computer's operating system is just too important; you shouldn't dive blindly into the installation process. To make sure that things go well, and to prevent any permanent damage in case disaster strikes, you need to practice “safe” installing. This means taking some time beforehand to run through a few precautionary measures and to make sure that your system is ready to welcome Windows 98. To that end, the next few sections run through a checklist of items you should take care of before firing up the Setup program.