My dad is an idiot when it comes to computers

So I built this great computer for my dad. I set it up perfectly and everything was working great when I gave it to him. The only problem is he calls me all the damn time with stupid software problems that aren’t really problems but just settings in programs. It’s driving me nuts because I’m sure most of you know how much fun it is to do tech support over the phone with someone who has no idea what’s going on.

It is unbelievable how the settings on his computer always mysteriously change on their own. It’s weird because that somehow NEVER happens to me but it seems to happen to him all the time.

I think what I’m going to have to do is set up remote desktop so I can fix his problems from home/work without having to talk him through it. I’ve tried to set up remote desktop before though and could never get it to work. Anyone know of any good tutorials?

I’m really a bad teacher, I don’t know how to deal with people that don’t know a lot of computers …it’s a problem I have, but I’m trying to improve :slight_smile:

The best thing you can do, like you said, is to get remote desktop/admin to works - it’s a big step to fix problems.

I’m constantly being called by my friends or family friends because of the problems with their computers. The best way I have to teach them is to right step-by-step what to do in case the same situation happens.

I can’t really recommend good tutorials, but those like ‘Introduction to computers’. He could probably learn by watching you ‘work’ since that’s how I learnt too (and by reading a lot…).

Sorry for not being more helpful :slight_smile:

The best tutorial I can give you is to say this when he asks again,“I can’t remember how to do it”.I said that last night and a few times last week.

Easiest solutions:

-Use System Restore


-Create an image file of the partition

well i am lucky my dad is one of them that dont like the internet cus hacker’s see what you talk about and steal everthing you have though the pc even the T.V :stuck_out_tongue: that is why i am lucky cus he just say’s to me can you do this and goes away.

That’s a great one, man. I feel bad not helping him though even though it’s annoying as hell!

You only have one dad. Help him as much as you can before he goes away for good.

Btw, I would never say my dad or mom as an idiot. They are far more clever than us, children, in their own time. We were just lucky with these techs nowdays.

Back to the topic. I use remote desktop quite often. The user (your dad’s username) needs to have a password in order RD to work. If you’re dad is using a modem or a router, you need to route the port 3389. I would strongly suggest to change the default port number (3389) to something else.

Helping parents is …something you do feel guilty in not doing…but now my friends…

after all the 2 am phone calls and stupid questions…i just started telling them…I’ll come over…but if i come now …its 200 bucks…

in the morning … i’ll be 100 bucks

in my own time…then i’ll just charge ya for what i do…or a flat rate of 50 bucks an hour…

amazingly…they have started calling at decent hours…and saying…just when you get a chance…

Oh yeah do I know that problem. It’s not only parents that keep asking me stupid questions, but lots of others as well. Especially parents of friends and such… as they don’t know what’s going on and they describe everything in a not-so-understandable way, I sometimes really get tired of their phonecalls.

For example: “my computer is broken, there is a blue bar over te screen; I can’t see parts of my progams anymore, because there is this blue bar”. Guess what… she enlarged the Windows startbar… grrr.
Or: “I have this problem with Spyware; I noticed there was this spyware program on the computer called AdAware and since I don’t want spyware I deleted it from the desktop and now my emails don’t come in anymore”. WTF???

Etc etc…

Maybe we should start a thread on stupid questions :smiley:

I know what you mean Dee-ehn, I think we dont realise how little people know about their computers, its like they just go out and buy one coz someone tells them too, or they want one feature it offers. Analogy - You dont buy a car without learning to drive and getting licensed.(maybe that would be a good idea with PC’s) My wifes friends love to try to take me for a ride. In one case my her best friend said her system was getting really slow, so I went round installed AdAware and AVG Free, found 866 counts of spyware and 6 low threat viruses. I have to say my parents are getting pretty good, my mother did a ‘pc for dummies’ course and very rarely rings now.

Couldn’t have said it better…30mins phonecalls are really boring :frowning:

got a call last week from a buddy in atlanta.Took three hours for him to explain the problem to me in a way I could understand and at the end of that 3 hours it came down to,Ad-Aware for a 5 minute scan and emptying the 400 pieces of spyware he had on his PC.He asked,"how do I prevent this from happening again?"I said “you can disable cookies and get a couple of firewalls or just quit visiting porn sites”.Here’s the kicker,I’ve explained this to him 4 or 5 times in the past few years.Sometimes I wanna pull my hair out for this kinda simple basic crap.

I know how you feel i have the smae problem with my dad it gets annoying after a while of why doesnt this open (answer not giving it time to load). All the simple things that even a kid could do

Yeah, so I managed to get into a fight with my dad about it at dinner last night and he got all mad and said he would never ask me for computer help again. I felt bad for a while but then I realized it’s for the better. He should learn how to look stuff up on the internet and fix his own problems. I mean he HAS been using computers for even longer than I have. I build him a computer, he screws it up repeatedly, and then gets mad at me for getting annoyed about having to help him ALL the time. The way I see it, he can put up with my attitude or pay someone else for tech support. I sent him an email today with links to get started searching for help. I feel I’ve done enough now.


Same issue with my parents.

I once spent 90mins on a phone trying to get my parents to understand how to use nero…
Hit the burn symbol, it’s the little fire button at the top …
Which button? Can’t see it.
Um, what can you see …

And so on …

After 90mins I realised they’d moved the nero window 1/2 off the screen and couldn’t see the burn button, or any of the menu’s …

I’m not gonna mention how screwed up the PC becomes with my father bashing it all day… he’s worse than a virus…

He destroys his account, 1 application at a time …

So my mum calls me up and asks why application (x) worked yesterday, but not today … Incidentally, it’s the same one that my dad had issues with last week …

So after he trashes his own account, he logs in under my mums account and continues his wholesale destruction …

I go up for a visit, and find it easier to just format & reinstall everything, than try and figure out what my dad’s been playing with …

i agree with Namoh on this one…it’s a royal pain in the ass, but be generous and kind to your parents as they have been with you more than you will ever imagine (i would hope).

simple solution, get them a Mac. my dad doesn’t touch the electronics in the house and my mom is quite good with her mac with the basic email, web surfing, etc.

Netmeeting is great, but only if got broadband, otherwise it won’t work out too well. I actually noticed it is faster than other Remote Softwtware.

However, Dameware is free and also kind on resources, also fast like Netmeeting, maybe even faster, with tons more options.

True story:

Dad: “I need a new computer!”

Me: “Okay, let’s search for one.”

Dad: “Okay.”

Me: “I found this Dell Dimension. It has exceptional good warranty!”

Dad: “What do you mean?”

Me: “It has 3 years 24 hour on site support. I think that’s very important!”

Dad: “You? It’s gonna be my computer!”

Me : “I know, that’s the beauty of it. You have three years 24 hour on site support. You will never have to call me in case of trouble, you just call Dell. Since you have on site support for three years. Therefore I think it’s the best computer you can buy!”

Dad: “Uh, okay. Thanks!”

Me: “You’re most welcome!”

And the world rejoiced :slight_smile:


Smart dad you’ve got. :smiley:

Mind that he has never had to use the warranty and rarely calls for software support.Yay! for Dell , yay! for me.

My mom passed her MS Word examn last week and is doing an Excel course right now. She is also very proud about her emails with background images. She now knows more about Word than i’ll ever know :slight_smile: