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Windows 7: How to disable making changes on computer?

04 Feb 2014   #1

Win 7
How to disable making changes on computer?

Please help me.
It’s my mother’s win7 Compaq laptop.

She has to take it in with major problems every few months or so, has had to reinstall windows numerous times and lost her data as a result, had to replace hard drive and even battery, all at considerable cost. I live and work halfway across the world and many’s the time we couldn't talk on skype because of this problem.
What problem, you ask? My 13-year old nephew. He comes over every weekend and installs and plays games like Minecraft (often installing viruses/malware right along, being an idiot). It’s he who cooked the battery with excessive use. He’ll sometime set up different accounts on the computer, so my mom can’t even log on. She is too soft-hearted to refuse him (and he does have a tough family situation; computer, in his own words, is his very life). As you may imagine, mom is not computer savvy enough to make any changes herself.

I am visiting now, first time in years. I want to do a factory restore and then somehow make sure he can never use it for anything other than simple browsing. He of course has his own computer, but he whines that it’s too slow.

Here’s what I’d like to do:

Set up a password admin account for myself. That way if some changes need to be done after I’m gone again, I can have mom log in and talk her through it over the phone.

A guest account for her (and him) to use with very limited privileges. Of course, ideally this account could make zero changes, but then she’ll need to pull photos off her camera and such.

Internet explorer is the plague, but if I didn’t install any other browser, there is a way to disable downloads in ie, isn't there? This is a huge inconvenience, as she’s used to firefox and would need to download stuff sometime, plus he could in his deviousness just download whatever he needs on another computer and bring it over, but better than nothing.

The most important thing would be to prevent this guest account user from un/installing anything whatsoever, or making any system changes.

I can just think of these two things, try to disable downloads and making changes like un/installing programs. But perhaps you can think of other things that should also be done to make sure the computer stays untouched. Perhaps there is a free program I should install that would do this better than just windows settings.
If it's possible, the goal is to let her continue normal use (pretty much just browsing) and disable any installs and if possible, playing off/online games.
I'm no computer wiz, so please use instructions anybody can follow.

Many, many thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

There is no easy way to do what you want done.

If your mom cannot tell the boy no - then do not expect her to withhold the admin password from him.

Instead of you telling her the password, install Teamviewer. Then you can remotely control her laptop using your computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

If the boy has physical access to the laptop, then he can remove your admin password. To make that harder for him to do that, you would need to feel comfortable changing BIOS settings so that the laptop can only boot to the hard drive. Then you will need to use a BIOS password to prevent changes. I cannot walk you thru the steps needed to change/protect BIOS. There are just too many BIOS variations out there. Also, given enough searching online, the boy can overcome that BIOS password.

If you get the BIOS settings wrong, someone will be paying for yet another computer repair. If you don't want to change/protect the BIOS settings yourself, then consider visiting a computer repair shop and asking them to show you how to make the changes that I mentioned above.

I've not played with the guest account in a long time - so I'm not sure if it will do what you want. I'll let others speak to that. I would just start with making her a standard user. You should be able to do most things from her account by just entering the admin password when prompted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

The privileges of the Guest account are the lowest of the low. It cannot install software or make system changes. Only an admin account can install software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How to disable making changes on computer?

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