How do you prepare a computer for your parents?

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/07/2010
Posts: 4

Hello there!

Since this is my first post on the forums here, I think a little introduction is in place. I'm Joshua Mononoetoe. So why "Joel"? Well, Joel is just an alias ;) My mother and I see it as my unofficial third name.

Anyway, so I have three wasted computers over here. One from my aunt, one from my mother and one from my mother's friend. And I'm gonna fix them. One thing I've been annoyed with ever since they got their computers is that I had to come over and fix all their problems all the time. Windows got slower and slower, system files got corrupted or there was some weird virus infection.

I decided to make it my summer vacation project to fix these computers. I thought about installing Linux Mint on the computers instead of Windows, but then I remembered that they all need Microsoft Office. OpenOffice is not a very good alternative (although opinions seem to vary), and Wine doesn't fully support Office 2003 (my family couldn't get used to 2007), so that means that I'm going to have to install Windows.

So, I'll probably install Windows 7 on these machines. Windows 7 by itself is a very solid system, but you know not-so-tech-savvy family members... They'll always find a way to break something.

So, my question to you is: What can I do to make these Windows installations as foolproof as possible? Letting them use a limited account already came to mind. Do you have other tips you'd like to share? :)

Edit: Sorry guys, the topic title somehow changed to "Re:" for a moment! Edited :)

AtomicBomb's picture
Joined: 02/21/2009
Posts: 8

I would start by removing any trials and useless software that's taking up space. But since you said you might be installing Windows 7, I assume you can just reformat and install a fresh copy with nothing on it. You should install some security software. Don't install anything you don't need or it will just slow the system down and waste space.

AtomicBomb's picture
Joined: 02/21/2009
Posts: 8

aigamerDS's picture
Joined: 03/28/2010
Posts: 94

You can try Advance System Care, which will clean up your computer and fix any errors. You can try it free with this link below. The pro version will clean up computer 100% automatically.

You can also try smart defrag, which will automatically defrag your hard drive when computer is not in use. It's 100% free.

Hope this helps.

Tiv's picture
Joined: 08/12/2009
Posts: 3584

What I did for my mother was install a second drive and I have windows 7 making weekly full backups. Over all I think Windows 7 will give you less problems in the long run. Go ahead and install a free virus scanner like Avast Free.

I sleep fine at night knowing we are banning people who deserve it.  Tivon
Don't test my skills, I was trained by myself! Check out my Gaming Videos!

Joined: 07/15/2010
Posts: 1

well windows 7 is pretty sturdy, so it should be pretty good in and of itself, just set up some security like microsoft security essentials and malwarebytes antimalware, both of which are free and schedule scannings and windows 7 has many features that dont really require 3rd party programs, so just scan through those and set it up for them

Statphxsuns's picture
Joined: 02/08/2010
Posts: 27

Definitely use a few "cleaning" programs.


Spybot search and destroy

Another GREAT program I recommend for speeding up a pc is Game booster ( ) it shuts down unwanted processes.

I don't know if your family can run these programs weekly to keep it clean, if not you can use LogMeIn and remotely do it for them!

Just some ideas.

ATX's picture
Joined: 03/29/2010
Posts: 139

Create an Administrator account for yourself and max out UAC.. Give them a Standard User account so when they'll want to install something or modify system files, they'll need the administrator agreement.