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PC ideas for the elderly?

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September 4, 2012 7:39:27 PM

I'm looking for PC ideas for an elderly man (90 yrs old) who keeps mucking up his current computer. My parents are tired of having to pay to get his computer cleaned up and/or reformatted every few months because he can't stop getting viruses and generally bogging the thing down with everything you can think of. I spoke to my Dad this afternoon; he said when he went over there yesterday the computer had, wait for it...... six different anti-virus programs installed on it as well as the 'As Seen On TV' software from 'speedupmypc.com'. His current PC is also quite old so it's time to move on to something a bit quicker. I'm looking to purchase parts and the built the computer myself, then box it back up and ship it to my Dad.

He isn't capable of learning anything new, so please no suggestions of Linux, iPads, etc. He needs to stick to a basic Windows PC. I know there are copious amounts of DIY combos on Newegg, but does anyone see anything on there that jumps out at them?

Must haves: Must run Windows. Must have an internal optical drive so my Dad can easily reinstall Windows when needed. With the bargain price of optical drives these days, I don't want to bother teaching anyone how to reinstall Windows over a USB.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week.

Budget Range: $300-600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing the internet, checking email, occasional Office use. No media, no gaming.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com, or similar.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: No specific preference, but I don't want cheap junk either. Major brands only please.

Overclocking: No.

SLI or Crossfire: No.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do not deviate from what I'm looking for or dismiss what what I need en lieu of what you think is best. PLEASE stick to the list above.

More about : ideas elderly

September 4, 2012 7:49:13 PM

What's the old guy using the computer for? maybe don't give him administrator privileges so he can't install software. Run Win7 with MS Defender and MS Security Essentials.

Give your dad a USB DVD drive so if he needs to reinstall, he can do so, but the user can't install software via optical drive.

even $400 is a quite a bit for a machine that doesn't need to do any gaming. My honest assessment is to buy a $300-400 laptop that comes with restore disks so you don't need to muck around with drivers during the setup.
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September 4, 2012 7:53:08 PM

I don't know what OS he runs now but likely windows 7 will be a lot to learn for him and he'll be calling everyday asking "where is this", "how do I do this".

Re-install windows on his current machine, install MS security essentials and Malwarebytes and tell him not to install ANYTHING or your done helping him. PERIOD>
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September 4, 2012 8:07:05 PM

Ugh.... sheesh guys. I took the time to write a very specific post and specifically asked NOT to suggest the USB thing, and the first 2 posts and asking me to do that .

"What's the old guy using the computer for? " - See first post.

"Give your dad a USB DVD drive so if he needs to reinstall, he can do so" - No. See first post.

"My honest assessment is to buy a $300-400 laptop that comes with restore disks so you don't need to muck around with drivers during the setup." - Desktops only. See first post.

"+1 to usb re-installation, takes hardly any time at all..." - No. See first post.

"Re-install windows on his current machine..." - It's very old and slow. Again, see first post.
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September 4, 2012 8:21:50 PM

buy or build a cheap desktop like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and an ssd:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

install windows on the ssd, and save a fresh system image (install all device drivers and necessary programs) on the hdd. create a system repair dvd using windows 7 - this will allow the ssd to be completely restored to the system image saved to the hdd.
a system like this will be extremely fast for this type of usage, and you wont have to reinstall from a usb key because apparently its just so so so hard.
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September 4, 2012 8:38:32 PM

My suggestion is to let him do whatever he wants to do and to bail him out whenever he needs it. Maybe someone will be as kind to you someday.
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September 4, 2012 8:40:22 PM

Graves73 said:
Ugh.... sheesh guys. I took the time to write a very specific post and specifically asked NOT to suggest the USB thing, and the first 2 posts and asking me to do that .

"What's the old guy using the computer for? " - See first post.

"Give your dad a USB DVD drive so if he needs to reinstall, he can do so" - No. See first post.

"My honest assessment is to buy a $300-400 laptop that comes with restore disks so you don't need to muck around with drivers during the setup." - Desktops only. See first post.

"+1 to usb re-installation, takes hardly any time at all..." - No. See first post.

"Re-install windows on his current machine..." - It's very old and slow. Again, see first post.

The issue is one of software, more than hardware. Almost any computer will do. Main thing is make sure it's got TWO hard drives. (whether it's worth making one of them SSD is debatable).
Put OS, and software etc on "C" drive, and just have "D" drive, for back-ups. Put on a DECENT back-up program, like Acronis TI, and set it up to do a sensible schedule of back-ups, to "D", automatically. Then you can almost forget it, knowing it's easy to fully recover, from virtually any disaster, in about 10 minutes.
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September 5, 2012 4:47:16 AM

malbluff said:
The issue is one of software, more than hardware. Almost any computer will do. Main thing is make sure it's got TWO hard drives. (whether it's worth making one of them SSD is debatable).
Put OS, and software etc on "C" drive, and just have "D" drive, for back-ups. Put on a DECENT back-up program, like Acronis TI, and set it up to do a sensible schedule of back-ups, to "D", automatically. Then you can almost forget it, knowing it's easy to fully recover, from virtually any disaster, in about 10 minutes.


But with my grandfather being so virus-prone, wouldn't those carry over to the other drive as well? What would stop those from getting entrenched on the second drive? And viruses aren't even his main problem, what with his half a dozen AV programs installed. It's the spyware and 'As Seen On TV' type software that embeds itself much like a virus that are tough to get rid of. Again, I don't see how the secondary/backup drive would be immune to these.
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September 5, 2012 4:54:30 AM

I think you need to lock the system down. No admin rights, first and foremost. If there's anything that needs to be installed, it should be done by someone who's knowledgeable. You can have any hardware, but your problem is mostly a software issue.
Or you can install linux and Windows on a VM. Auto start the VM when the PC starts.
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September 5, 2012 5:26:05 AM

proton007 said:
I think you need to lock the system down. No admin rights, first and foremost. If there's anything that needs to be installed, it should be done by someone who's knowledgeable. You can have any hardware, but your problem is mostly a software issue.
Or you can install linux and Windows on a VM. Auto start the VM when the PC starts.


None of my own personal computers have ever had anything more than an Admin acount so I'm a bit in the dark here. Just so I understand, are you saying that I can:

1. Set up an admin account, secured with a password for a responsible party. All software installs for any users would be required to be installed via this account.
2. Create a second user account (the grandfather account) which is unable to install any software of any kind?
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September 5, 2012 5:43:28 AM

Hi. I made two PC's for you.The first one is the one i think you should buy and the second one is your bugdet option.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP900 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Raidmax Reiter ATX Mid Tower Case ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ 800W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($24.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $598.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-05 01:42 EDT-0400)






PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G540 2.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI H61M-P31 (G3) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS224-06 DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $275.92
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-05 01:43 EDT-0400)


The second PC also doesnt sacrifice on quality but it does on speed.
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September 5, 2012 5:43:53 AM

And ugh yeah i forgot to add the OS to the second PC
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Best solution

September 5, 2012 5:47:04 AM

Graves73 said:
None of my own personal computers have ever had anything more than an Admin acount so I'm a bit in the dark here. Just so I understand, are you saying that I can:

1. Set up an admin account, secured with a password for a responsible party. All software installs for any users would be required to be installed via this account.
2. Create a second user account (the grandfather account) which is unable to install any software of any kind?



Yes.
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September 5, 2012 5:59:20 AM

How about this PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($194.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $520.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-05 01:58 EDT-0400)
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September 5, 2012 6:00:19 AM

Kamen_BG said:
And ugh yeah i forgot to add the OS to the second PC
+1 so did i :pfff: 
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September 5, 2012 6:05:38 AM

Here with os PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $525.89
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-05 02:07 EDT-0400)
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September 5, 2012 6:20:06 AM

I just scanned this really quick. you can have good intentions by buying all the great parts you want. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, can help the computer illiterate.
People will go where they go, click on what they want to click on, fall for pop ups that say your computer is infected... install this BS that permeates the internet and complain their computer runs like crap. See this in my own family too.

Do a reformat of what he has now. Install microsoft security essentials anti virus and maybe malwarebytes or super anti spyware and hope that the person in front of the machine actually runs a scan once in a while.

DO NOT run internet explorer ( delete the shortcut so he can't click on it ). get something else like firefox and install some of their addons that block stuff or install another browser.

and you need to explain how the computer even go to the desktop with all those anti virus programs running. Back when I was a kid at this I found that only running 2 the machine would just freeze because they were battling it out.
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September 5, 2012 7:38:13 AM

Rather than spending all the time building a machine, reinstalling, backing up, restoring etc etc, could you not just take some time out and help him to learn the way to use a computer?

Hell, save the money from what your spending on a computer and send him on one of the many silver surfers courses out there. It would save you time and he would have a better understanding of what hes doing.

I know this isnt what you asked for but blind ignorance isn't good when there are other options available.
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September 6, 2012 5:50:00 PM

Best answer selected by graves73.
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