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Harmless (but Hilarious) Pranks for Hacking Friends Computers

written by: R.L. Flowers•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 10/12/2010

Its time to get evil. Its time to prank your friends! What better way than to mess with their computer? This article will show you a few ways to 'hack' your friends computer and really mess with their heads. We cover the basics like screenshotting to a few more sinister hacks.

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    Computer Pranking 101: Harmless but Hilarious

    Is one of your favorite computer nerd friends deserving of a good prank? Maybe a little workplace rivalry is prompting you to get even with a harmless little hack. Either way, we're going to cover a few harmless (but hilarious) pranks for hacking friends computers.

    Goal: Evil but not Sadistic

    There is a fine line between evil and sadistic. The best pranks are ones that are so simple that the victim is even more frustrated when you show them how easy it is to fix it. The victim shouldn't lose any data, but giving them a few grey hairs should be fun! The hack should also be easily reversible. Sometimes its as simple as changing a setting back, and sometimes its a little harder. Now let's get to it, shall we?

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    Simple 1 Minute Hacks and Prank

    screenflip Ah, one of my favorite pranks. The screen flip. There's nothing difficult about this one. Go into the screen properties and on some video cards there is an option to rotate the screen. Rotate the screen 180 degrees and voila! Now they will have to turn their screen upside down to get anything done.

    Next we have the classic Screen Shot. Take a screen shot of their desktop, and then set it as their background. You'll need to look up how depending on the operating system being used, but next hide their desktop icons. When they go to click on an icon, nothing will happen. This one is also easy to reverse.

    Moving on, we come to Mouse and Keyboard tricks. Go to the Windows control panel and change their mouse from righted hand to left handed. It'll take a while for them to figure out. Next change their keyboard layout from "qwerty" to "dvorak". This will rearrange the keys on their keyboard and make it impossible to type properly. This one can take a while to figure out but it is very easy to fix. One of the fun things about these is that if they ask you about it you can suggest that they try a new mouse or keyboard.

    Last on the Keybaord and Mouse tricks, take a piece of clear tape (a small piece of packing tape works great) and tape it to the bottom of the mouse over the light. If you press down on it, it'll practically disappear and be really hard to find. The mouse simply won't work!

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    From Slightly Evil to Downright Mean Pranks

    "Dirty Mouse" is a program that you install on the victims computer. It mimics a mouse that has fuzz or dirt in it that makes it seem as though the mouse is dirty. This one is very very frustrating because it comes and goes. It is highly recommended for those who are especially high strung.

    Last on my list is the 'no boot' pranks. When the victim turns on their computer, it will say "non system disk or disk error" or "device not bootable", perhaps even another error. These are quite easy to do. If they have a floppy drive, put a blank floppy in the drive and make sure the BIOS is set to boot first to the floppy drive. If they do not have a floppy drive, then set their BIOS to boot from USB first and put in an empty USB flash drive. You can also make a Linux boot disk and make it boot that CD instead. A great one is Web Converger because it'll actually make their computer usable on the web, but they won't be able to print or do anything else. For the true neophyte, they'll never know what hit them.

    So there you have it. Have fun, be safe, and run!

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