My elderly neighbor who clicks on everything in every spam email he gets has downloaded a ton of viruses onto his 2005 frankenstein desktop PC and asked me to help him fix it. There are no documents or programs that need saved except the Wi-Fi dongle software. He just uses it to browse the internet.

I thought it would be a good idea to just wipe everything to get rid of all the viruses and install Reboot Restore Rx to keep it that way every time he turns it off. Like the computers at my school. :)

Since it's so old I was looking into running puppy linux in his system via usb, but I'm too much of a newbie with that kind of thing and mostly I'm nervous that he wouldn't be able to use it anyway. So sticking with windows xp is best. The disc drive doesn't work, so I can't do a normal reinstall.

What are my options? <3

  • 1
    "Sticking with Windows XP" and "browse the internet" don't work well together, not for quite a while now. Jul 15 '16 at 0:23
  • A linux distro is clearly the answer here. If you fix XP, he will break again within a week with another virus, how many XP re-installs do you want to do per week/month. At least with a linux distro most viruses won't work at all, then you won't have go over there once a week. Delete everything from the desktop, just put a FireFox/Chrome icon there an email program if he doesn't use web mail.
    – cybernard
    Jul 15 '16 at 2:28

Speaking as someone who used puppy Linux to get files off of a PC, it is a lot easier than it looks at first (you basically burn a file to a CD, Google is your friend). The harder part is making sure you wipe everything off the computer, but you don't wipe XP system files so you can reboot XP.

As ChrisInEdmonton said, Windows XP and web browsing are not a good mix, because Microsoft stopped patching XP. If his main goal is just browsing the web, go a step further and put a simple Linux OS on his computer to keep it secure, once again Google is your friend.

  • Could you expound on this? I would like to do this but I feel like I need a bit more information on it.
    – L.B.
    Apr 8 '17 at 20:25

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