Schedule

Schedule

Tuesday, April 21

1429635600 Tech News Today
1429639200 MacBreak Weekly
1429648200 Security Now
1429657200 Tech News 2Night
1429660800 All About Android

Wednesday, April 22

1429716600 FLOSS Weekly
1429722000 Tech News Today
1429725600 Windows Weekly
1429732800 This Week in Google
1429743600 Tech News 2Night
1429745400 Android App Arena
1429750800 Ham Nation

Thursday, April 23

1429808400 Tech News Today
1429812000 Know How...
1429817400 Marketing Mavericks
1429822800 Home Theater Geeks
1429830000 Tech News 2Night
1429831800 The Giz Wiz

Friday, April 24

1429894800 Tech News Today
1429898400 This Week in Law
1429909200 Before You Buy
1429916400 Tech News 2Night

Saturday, April 25

1429984800 The Tech Guy

Sunday, April 26

1430071200 The Tech Guy
1430085600 This Week in Tech

Monday, April 27

1430154000 Tech News Today
1430157600 Triangulation
1430163000 iPad Today
1430170200 Coding 101
1430175600 Tech News 2Night

Tuesday, April 28

1430240400 Tech News Today
1430244000 MacBreak Weekly
1430253000 Security Now
1430262000 Tech News 2Night
1430265600 All About Android

Wednesday, April 29

1430321400 FLOSS Weekly
1430326800 Tech News Today
1430330400 Windows Weekly
1430337600 This Week in Google
1430348400 Tech News 2Night
1430350200 Android App Arena
1430355600 Ham Nation

Thursday, April 30

1430413200 Tech News Today
1430416800 Know How...
1430422200 Marketing Mavericks
1430427600 Home Theater Geeks
1430434800 Tech News 2Night
1430436600 The Giz Wiz

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Know How... 24

Fix Your Parents' Computer

December 20 2012

It's time to travel and visit the folks. You're likely going to be fixing your parents' computer. Here are the tips, tricks, and tools we've found work the best.

Carry Anti-Malware on You
Grab yourself a USB key and load it with some tools. We really like Hijack This, which is a great way to find out what exactly is going on a hosed computer.

You can also install a couple of tools directly to your USB drive thanks to PortableApps.com. Install portable antivirus with ClamWin. Do yourself a favor and run ClamWin before you get to your parents' place and update the virus definitions while you're on your home machine. To search for spyware, try out Spybot - Search & Destroy Portable.

Handling Toolbars
When you find a toolbar installed on Internet Explorer, there is an easy way to get rid of them. Go to Tools > Manage Add-Ons and find the offending toolbars. Disable them. From there, go to Control Panel > Programs and uninstall to your heart's content.

MSConfig
Don't forget to see what services are running. Use the Run command in Windows and type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks). Go to the Startup tab to see what services are slowing down your machine. If you have any question about a service, definitely do a quick Google search to see what that service does before you disable it.

Iyaz's Favorite Trick: Make Chrome into IE.
Make a shortcut to Google Chrome (or your browser of choice). Then change the icon to Internet Explorer's. For the icon, put the following path C:\Windows\System32\ and find the shell32.dll file. Select it. Then you'll see a bunch of icons, the IE icon is about 3/4 of the way to the right. Head into your browser's settings and make it the default browser. Then go to Internet Explorer, click Tools, then Internet Options. Uncheck the box that says "Tell me if Internet Explorer is not the default web browser." Replace all IE icons with your new tricky browser.

Remote Access
Before you leave your family's home install Hamachi and a VNC server. We showed you how to use Hamachi to make your own VPN on a previous episode of "Know How." Iyaz likes RealVNC for his VNC solution. That way you can remotely administer that computer wherever you are.

Leo's Picks
Leo liked a bunch of tools including Darik's Boot and Nuke which is designed to completely delete the contents of any hard disk it finds. If all else fails, wiping a drive and reinstalling the OS may be the best bet.

There's also Deep Freeze, which allows you to preserve a computer's configuration (it's like System Restore, but good).

Feedback:
Almost every week, Iyaz asks the audience a question on Twitter. This time, we asked ""How do you fix your parents' computers?""
- EricSchneck: @iyaz I'm a big fan of TeamViewer. I install it on their PC and can remote in when needed. #twitkh
- Jeremy Lusk: @iyaz Backup, wipe, re-install. Because when all you have is a hammer... #twitkh
- merelyjim: @iyaz install #LinuxMint and don't give them root-password. Worked for 3+ years and counting #twitkh"

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People: Leo Laporte