Geek to Live: How to fix Mom and Dad’s computer (Lifehacker)

by Gina Trapani

You’re headed home next week to a turkey feast with all the trimmings – and Mom and Dad’s computer. You know what’s going to happen.

I keep getting these pop ups, he’ll say. It’s just been so slow lately, she’ll say. I keep seeing this flashing picture of a roulette wheel that just won’t go away. Can you take a look at it?

Fear not, my friend. The annual Family Computer Fixing event is upon us, and you are the emcee. Before you nobly trudge into helpdesk hell, here’s a little checklist of ways to get your parents’ creaky PC back in tip-top shape – at least, until next year.

  • Kill the spyware
  • Update Windows
  • Switch the system’s default web browser to Firefox
  • Uninstall unneeded programs
  • Trim down the startup program list
  • Install a firewall
  • Scan and defragment the hard drive
  • Add a hard drive or PCI card