Just now upgrading to Tiger? Before you do, follow these guidelines to ensure a painless, stress-free upgrade and get up to speed on the newest coolest features in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, including Dashboard, Spotlight, and Automator. First, you need to be prepared.
The first step in any system upgrade begins before you open the shiny box (and maybe even before you've ordered the new software): backing up. The key to a stress-free upgrade is to completely back up EVERYTHING on your hard drive and have a disc to boot up from should anything go terribly wrong. Back up absolutely everything that you can't recover from your old system discs or other sources, such as iTunes playlists, iPhoto libraries, important text documents, and so on.
If you still have Panther or other system discs, you don't need to create a bootable disk image—simply backing up all your important files is sufficient. If you don't have your old system discs, you should create a bootable disk image of your hard drive. Depending on the size of your hard drive, this might be a complicated process, but it can generally be done using Disk Utility. For more information on creating disk images and other backup methods, consult Disk Utility's Help or the Apple Web site.