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How do I explain to my family that updating software is essential?

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Last response: in Windows 7
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January 15, 2012 2:38:16 AM

My mom's and my sister's laptops still have Firefox 3.5, Windows xp SP2, Adobe Reader 9, and a McAfee OAS (copyright: 2005-2007, and hasn't been updated for a while).

Oh, and both of their hard drives have over 30% fragmentation, and my mom's laptop's C: partition has only 3 MB free space left (out of 40 GB) but D: partition has 30 GB free out of 40 GB.

My dad, like the rest of my family, does not care, and also uses the same outdated AV on Window 7 (no service pack). He doesn't understand why running an outdated OS and anti-virus software, and a fragmented full hard drive is bad, and has a strong mentality of "If it isn't broken, don't fix it".


I tried explaining to them the dangers of spyware and botnets, and that there's a thing called "drive-by download".

I tried comparing the issue to a car, reasoning that not maintaining a car for several years, including checking tire pressure or changing oil, is bad.

I tried explaining the importance of preventive maintenance.


None of the tactics worked.


On a side note, my sister's laptop consistently stays at above 50% CPU load and there are random yet noticeable internet traffic coming in and out of the computer. Botnet infestation for sure, but I can't do anything about without getting yelled at.
a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 2:51:55 AM

Ignore what they do and turn off windows file sharing on your system and keep your self up to date. Let then format and loose things all they way.

The only one i would not care about would be fragmentation(as it does not actual damage to the system). The 3mb free space is funny, can not even start anything that writes temp times to the computer. Moving the page file to the d: will at least stop the low space warnings.

Is it possible they have non legit versions of the software and do not update for that reason? Many people buy computers from "Computer people" and get then with non legit software and are told, yeah, never update this....

Maybe telling them it is like closing a door without using the dead-bolt, Sure its closed, but anyone can walk in. No way to say when or if someone will, but when it happens, don't come to you about it.

My real question is why did windows not just update for them(again, is it non legit?)?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 2:52:55 AM

Sometimes you just have to be an asshole in the right and to the right people in order to get your point across. If you want them to upgrade, you need to give them a reason to. Let them get infections, let them deal with popups, crappy performance, etc... and when they complain about it you need to pull the "I told you so" card like you've never done before. Then and only then do you redo things on your own terms
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January 15, 2012 2:54:22 AM

What if you explain to them that they're aiding in illegal activities like DDoS attacks, and that at ANY TIME, their financial information could be stolen and they could be dragged into an identity theft mess?
I think that the car analogy is a good one. You could reason that, since my car has not yet broken down, I have no reason to fix it. But what if the mentality of every single person who knows anything about cars is that you must maintain your machine so that it doesn't break down? What if preventative measures are easy to take and have been proven to be effective? Jeez, these preventative measures are free!
If they're willing to reformat, why wouldn't they be willing to defrag?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 3:10:10 AM

Maybe give them a mock up virus infection.

Change their RAM to like 512MB or below in msconfig and give them a taste of what a virus infection is like.

Then when they approach you, you tell them it was infected and you change the RAM back, backup the data within and reinstall OS and everyone.

Then you claim you "clean out" the virus and tell them that the virus was fake but the effect is very real.
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January 15, 2012 3:23:18 AM

Let us know when you find out your answer, cause all of us IT pros have at least 1 of them in the family lol

Some people just have to learn the hard way it seems, no amount of warning will fix it. Same people often neglect their car till it doesn't work.

I personally manage my mother's system remotely and do a checkup about once a month to make sure all my scheduled updates, defrags are successfully completing. My sister on the other hand, shes on her own, I quit worrying about it long ago, good news is when it gets so bad they think they need a new PC and just go buy 1 w/o even asking your advice, maybe you'll get lucky and can add another PC to your personal lab lol, what I do.
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January 15, 2012 3:25:58 AM

just jump on their pc's and fix it for them. They likely will not notice anything has changed and you will know you have helped them... sorry it's hard to understand why this is an area of contention lol
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 3:31:54 AM

Pyree said:
Maybe give them a mock up virus infection.

Change their RAM to like 512MB or below in msconfig and give them a taste of what a virus infection is like.

Then when they approach you, you tell them it was infected and you change the RAM back, backup the data within and reinstall OS and everyone.

Then you claim you "clean out" the virus and tell them that the virus was fake but the effect is very real.

Drop the hard drive in to PIO mode while you are at it :p 
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 3:36:28 AM

^Good one. May as well make all process and service to start during start up and uninstall some drivers for extra realism. Running Sim Virus on ultra high detail. :lol: 
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January 15, 2012 3:46:02 AM

I know how you feel, its like ocd or something, this used to happen to me, when i was 10 (6 years ago), I knew alot about computers and if i touched a computer everyone will say "The KID will MESS it up" even though i knew more than them at computers, i am a genius lol really
If the computers are really bad secretly update it and tell them that you did after and they should notice the difference.
if you have the guts tell them- If you dont change the oil in the car you will f**** it up like if you dont maintain the computer you will ..... (clog the cpu?)
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January 15, 2012 4:03:39 AM

Quote:
Running Sim Virus on ultra high detail

And I thought there was already every Sim possible ...

The old "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" vs. "Prevention is better then cure".
Not being rude, but this sort of issue is similar to general cleanliness - do your folks believe in that?
Do you only buy ingredients when you run out? Do you buy locks for your house only after someone breaks in?
Do your folks believe in insurance?
The list is endless.

Quote:
My real question is why did windows not just update for them?

THIS. Just enable windows updates, overtly or not. It should take care of itself. If it doesn't, they have malware and you can prove it.
Show them http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/end-support and tell them if anything does go wrong and they haven't updated, they get no support.

Quote:
McAfee OAS

Really? MacAfee is rubbish, I've tried it and it is rubbish (memory hog, splash screens everywhere, slow scans, not integrated, generally annoying). When they turn auto-update on, get them Microsoft Security Essentials which is free, lightweight, AA grade AV, and auto updates.

Quote:
Is it possible they have non legit versions of the software and do not update for that reason? Many people buy computers from "Computer people" and get then with non legit software and are told, yeah, never update this....

If that is the case, they were sold them a bot net PC from day one... they are screwed.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 15, 2012 4:22:05 AM

just format there systems, then upgrade them and dont tell em... they probably dont know what half the stuff on the lappys are anyway... so are unlikely to notice the changes.
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January 15, 2012 4:38:40 AM

nukemaster said:

The only one i would not care about would be fragmentation(as it does not actual damage to the system). The 3mb free space is funny, can not even start anything that writes temp times to the computer. Moving the page file to the d: will at least stop the low space warnings.

Is it possible they have non legit versions of the software and do not update for that reason? Many people buy computers from "Computer people" and get then with non legit software and are told, yeah, never update this....

Maybe telling them it is like closing a door without using the dead-bolt, Sure its closed, but anyone can walk in. No way to say when or if someone will, but when it happens, don't come to you about it.

My real question is why did windows not just update for them(again, is it non legit?)?


On my mom's computer, I noticed a popup repeatedly warning about low disk space while adding in a wireless profile (because I added WPA2 encryption to our router). I had no idea how low it was until I went and check.

I know that Window xp's service packs and some updates don't automatically install, you have to manually do it, and that's the part where my mom and my sister treat it as if it was the plague. I had to do it manually before the reformat as well.


HEXiT said:
just format there systems, then upgrade them and dont tell em... they probably dont know what half the stuff on the lappys are anyway... so are unlikely to notice the changes.


They got tons of stuff on their computer that they do use, and I'm fairly sure my dad has some work files on his Window 7 laptop.

I know my dad used Dell's "Window xp repair discs" to install Window xp on two of the laptops. Before I got my new laptop, my old laptop (the one my sister currently using) updated perfectly fine. Had to reformat it because the OS was becoming insanely unstable.


mattyg_nz said:

Quote:
McAfee OAS

Really? MacAfee is rubbish, I've tried it and it is rubbish (memory hog, splash screens everywhere, slow scans, not integrated, generally annoying). When they turn auto-update on, get them Microsoft Security Essentials which is free, lightweight, AA grade AV, and auto updates.


I talked to my dad about it, he told me as long as it scans fine without crashing, it's fine. I used the arms race between pests and crops as an analogy because he worked with animal and insect DNA in his job. It didn't work.


Pinhedd said:
Sometimes you just have to be an asshole in the right and to the right people in order to get your point across. If you want them to upgrade, you need to give them a reason to. Let them get infections, let them deal with popups, crappy performance, etc... and when they complain about it you need to pull the "I told you so" card like you've never done before. Then and only then do you redo things on your own terms


I did that a few years ago when somehow, my sister screwed up her old laptop. However, she told me I could only repair on her terms, aka, I can never touch her laptop again until it's really borked again because she was afraid I would break it. So I changed my tunes and said, "Sorry, it needs a reformat". That's when I begin to leave her laptop alone.


mattyg_nz said:

The old "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" vs. "Prevention is better then cure".
Not being rude, but this sort of issue is similar to general cleanliness - do your folks believe in that?
Do you only buy ingredients when you run out? Do you buy locks for your house only after someone breaks in?
Do your folks believe in insurance?
The list is endless.


Typically, my parents have the mentality of "Better safe than sorry", except when it comes to computers for some reason. One great example is that we have two additional wireless routers that haven't been unboxed yet, and they are the same ones that we are currently using. I think the two unboxed routers will become very obsolete by the time they're needed.

My sister? Lazy when it comes to computer ("Why can't I leave it on overnight? It turns on so slow.") and paranoid of me touching her laptop.


Pyree said:
Maybe give them a mock up virus infection.

Change their RAM to like 512MB or below in msconfig and give them a taste of what a virus infection is like.

Then when they approach you, you tell them it was infected and you change the RAM back, backup the data within and reinstall OS and everyone.

Then you claim you "clean out" the virus and tell them that the virus was fake but the effect is very real.


Door opens

Someone gets booted out

Door slams
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