idiot proof laptops

a tech savvy friend of mine wanted to buy a laptop for his grandparents and wanted it to be idiot proof, this was my advice:

ok, assuming you are using a windows os (i recommend windows 7, stay the hell away from windows 8) , buy a program called deep freeze. its a software that allows you to “freeze” your computers software environment and restore it to that frozen state just by rebooting. its about $65 for the personal version. follow these steps:

1) first thing, wipe the hard drive and install 2 partition a C: and D: drive. make sure that the C: drive is at least 100gb, the rest to D:

2) install the windows OS and any other programs he needs in the C: drive.

3) insure that you point all the app configuration data to the D: drive. also make sure you configure the malware and antivirus to scan the D: daily.

4) point his user folder into on the D:, optionally you might have to rename it “my documents” then tell him to store everything on his “my documents” folder. make a shortcut to the “my documents” folder on the desktop.

5) install deep freeze.

6) next time he messes up his computer just tell him to reboot.

viola idiot proof!┬áthis is assuming of course that they don’t need the laptop for more than just office work and browsing the internet. “thawing” the HD and installing new software is still required, and most of the time you can do that that remotely. this method may reduce your family tech support calls, which is good. Sadly my extended family still manages to call me once a week with problems, but that again is one of the pitfalls of having ‘family in the computer business’.

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About roland

The adventures of a combat correspondent turned IT contractor!
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