What do you do with your old Computers?

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John sent an email to me the other day, with his tips for what you can do with old computers. Don’t send them to a landfill to rot! There are many other options.

  • Donate it to the local school district. The school district uses old computers for parts to refurbish and maintain their current computer stock. If it’s a new enough computer, they may even use it to replace one of their older ones.
  • Donate it to City Hall. Again, if it’s in good enough shape, they may use it as is. Or, they may use some of the parts to maintain their emergency service department units.
  • Send it to an Electronic Recycling center. They will strip out all the useful chips, gold and silver and resell them. Normally, they will pay the donator of a unit a nominal fee.
  • Give it to your local homeless shelter, or Women’s shelter. Some shelters allow the less privileged among us a chance to use computers for job searching, and Emailing family.
  • Your church. They always know of some one who needs a good computer.

Keep in mind that if you donate your computer(s) to anywhere other than a recycling center, you can then write the donation off on your taxes the following year. Being generous really does pay off!


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232 thoughts on “What do you do with your old Computers?”

  1. i like those ideas but me i like to find uses around the house. Like a linux server for backing up my files or running web server. Also you can make a DVR player with the right software.

  2. If I had an old, unused computer, I would use it as a Web Server running in Apache, PHP, and MySQL. Or use it as an Mp3 Storage house.

    The Local School nowadays wants new computers because lots of applications nowadays runs in newer ones (the faster ones), including Microsoft Office.

  3. I’ve given mine to the local Women’s Shelter, to school groups, to people that don;t need bleeding edge computers and just want to learn “computers.” I’ve re-purposed some of mine to be streaming audio machines in my backyard, connecting the sound card to a stereo and outdoor speakers.

    Most people just want a machine that’s reliable and just do web, little WP’ing, and printing photos.

    If it’s still good, pass your old computer on to someone that can use it, and keep them out of the landfills (which is illegal in many states) or the recycle centers.

    Don’t forget to wipe or reuse old hard drivers too. If the HD is dead, use a 1/2 inch titanium drill bit to destroy the platters to make them unreadable.

  4. I’ve passed through alot of computers in my time, I’m obsesses with staying up to date with the latest desktops.

    I have never thought of leaving it to the landfill, the earth has enough to deal with. To tell you the truth, I used to, but not anymore.

    Donate it to the local school district? Well, I’ve never tried that, but I suppose I could. You learn something new everyday, eh?

    The City Hall donation option is one I’ve done before. I have no clue what they did with it, but I’m sure I put that extra bit towards saving/helping the planet. This is the one I’d recommend doing.

    The Electronic Recycling center option is also one I’ve tried before, I’m happy with what I got back and I’m sure they were happy with their donation.

    The homeless shelter is, again, one I’ve had a go with before (this is how many desktops I’ve been through – I’m obsessed). I could tell they were happy with my donation, and it’s good to know you’ve done something good, you know?

    I don’t go to church personally, but if I ever have an old computer I don’t need, I’m sure I could give it to someone who goes to church, so they could give it to them.

    The tax thing I didn’t know, thanks for telling me that!

  5. Usually I load my old computers up with hard drives and use them as a networked server. It works really well and I love it.

  6. These are great ideas Chris. I had an old CPU and I gave it to a local school nearby. It wasn’t much but I felt good knowing that I had done something positive

  7. I either a) cannibalize them for spare parts if they’re really old, b) give them to friends or family so they can become more computer literate, if they’re at least internet capable, c) make windows puke, reformat (I love both equally;-)) and install linux, or d) run over them with my car then upload the vids to youtube.

    I have donated one to the Salvation Army before. It was a really old IBM laptop with Win95. memories man!

    BTW, d) above, was a joke.

  8. i usually save the hard drive if it’s not in bad shape (virus wise) but the computer will usually get tossed due to ware & tare.

  9. Let’s not forget folks that a basic internal terminal does not require any of todays fancy gadgets, a massive hard drive, or a wicked fast processor.

    I just took out a five year old Dell P4 on the closet, cleand and vacuumed the dust, tightend the screws and cables, and loaded a fresh copy of XP on it. It’s more than enough for web surfing, MS Office, and the majority of applications. Always good to have an extra web terminal in the office.

  10. What I do with my old computers well some I keep because I love them like my old HP OmniBook 5700ct running Windows ME on it, it was my first Laptop and it still runs great until this day and use it time to time but their are some computers that I got rid of like my custom built PC, I just gave that away to my friend because he needed a computer for school, and the rest of my old computers I just use them for spare parts to build simple computers for other people that needs them for doing simple task on a computer.

  11. These are all really good tips. I turned my last desktop into a media pc, and plan on turning this one into a server when I build a new computer.

    I run into way too many people that say their computer broke so they threw it out (monitor and all) and bought a new one. I tell everyone I can that if they are throwing out a old computer, throw it in my trunk, I will take care of it. When I get these, I find out whats wrong with it and fix it or scavenge parts from it. I sometimes give them back once they are working again (depends on who it was).

    Every geek needs a sandbox PC and a server or two. You also got to have a few backup machines too!

  12. Well, in exchange for my desktop pc, which I built about late Fall 2007, I am required to give my old desktop to my little sister. She still has not gotten it yet, we are waiting for a good time to get her desk preped for a computer, and not to mention we are fresh out of wireless cards.
    I’ve heard of electronics recycling before, sounds neat, but yeah, there can be better things. So I’d probably donate my computer to the school or something if I weren’t required to give it to my sister. (It’s not like my parent’s bought the whole PC, they paid for a little under half of it, and approved of me cutting my bank account in half, so yeah.)

  13. Doing volunteer work for a local charity, I’ve learned that most people will donate only very old, almost worthless PCs. When they do donate decent machines (less than 10 years old) They seldom include the licenses or hard drives, these computer are worthless to the typical non-profit.

    Dell provides free recycling on their equipment: http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/recycling/en/product_recycle
    I use this every time I come across old Dell systems. Other wise the light budgeted non-profit I help would have to pay to get rid of them.

  14. When I ever have a computer to get rid of i always strip it down to the case and save the parts in zip lock bags. I save the hard drives, power supply, the ram chips, and all of the wiring harness’s then I put all of the parts that I can fit into my new computer. Then I build a new computer when I get enough parts and sell it for $50.

  15. I have a computer that used to run Windows 98. Now I now run it as a powerful external firewall with this program called IPComp

  16. I gave mine to a computer store that distibuted them to the needy. I was not going to send it to the landfill, I hate the thought of all of the toxic chemicals that get into the environment.

  17. I mostly hand them down to my family members. Unless they are completely crap then I scrap them for parts. Like taking the fans out to make cooling pads for my macbook. Maybe I’ll take some to some of these other places named.

  18. I throw my old computers in the trash! They usually get overridden with virusses and dont seem worth the trouble to scrap the OS. These ideas are really good. I woulda also add that you can download emulators for old gaming systems like the super nintendo. I suggest that people go find their favourite games from the past and fill the old computer with such games.

  19. Those are all really great ideas. I never thought about donating one to a women’s shelter. I have however donated one in the past to a family who needed it for their child to do homework on and where not able to afford a basic computer. You can also give your old computer to Goodwill or to a non-profit organization called World Computer Exchange. World Computer Exchange take donated computers and send them to places like Asia, Africa and South America to help the youth with their education, etc. You can go to http://www.worldcomputerexchange.org/node to find out more about them and what they do with the computers as well as how many more they are in need of.

  20. I still have them. Mostly in the garage. I have 2 old computers and an old laptop. I have another older computer in my bedroom that I access once in awhile..

  21. These are great ideas! I’ve never had to get rid of my old computer. It’s actually useful for still doing school assignments, printing, and other productive things. The one I’m on right now is more powerful and helps me multi-task really quickly.

  22. I don’t think my dad has ever given away any of his old computers. He has computers dating from the early 80s. He usually plays around with them and puts Windows 95 on them (you don’t know what runs slow until you put Windows on an 80s-era desktop). For 4 years, I haven’t been able to get my mom’s Pentium III computer to boot up even into the BIOS. Deep Googling finally got to the problem: the RAM. Taking a stick of RAM out of my dad’s non-working newest desktop and putting it in my mom’s computer fixed the problem. I’ve put a hard drive and new video card in it and slapped Ubuntu on the machine, continuing to squeeze more out of the hardware for years to come.

  23. I have no idea what this computer will end up doing when I get my quad-core this Summer. I’ve debated over turning it into a Media center, media storage center, file server, streaming PC, or what.
    I do know the two small HP ePCs my younger brothers used to use are being put to use. One is going to be a MAME boxx, and the other is currently my Ventrilo box as I have made the move to Ubuntu, and can’t use Ventrilo within my favorite operating system.
    Anyway, whatever I do with this system when I’m done with it, I know it will be put to good use.
    Oh, and great video.
    ~ Condoulo (Tyler J. Brown)

  24. Well, this old hunk of reliable junk if getting replaced with a laptop sooner or later, so, one of two things will happen when it’s gotten replaced. I’ll either give it to my boyfriend to play with, or I’ll install Ubuntu on it permanently….Though, I’m pretty sure if Rod gets his hands on it, he’ll install Ubuntu anyways. πŸ˜›

    If we were both to get ourselves new computers, I’d probably bring this thing to the recycling center. Very few second hand shops deal with second hand computers these days, since there are taxes and bylaws that make dealing with them difficult.

    I would consider reformatting it, and donating it to a family that needed it, however, since I am sure there are many families that I am connected with that could very well use a computer.

    There’s also the idea of Freecycle. There’s groups all around the world, where you can trade or give away items for free.

  25. those are nice idea! i use my old pc as a file server and for file sharing. and also as a dummy server where i can test things without compromising my main system.

  26. Hmm…what do I do with old computers?

    I take them apart, and make different ones out of many. I enjoy building one, and then when I am finished I put linux on it.

    If I decide to give a computer away I would definitely donate it to a church or a inner city school.

    Speaking of inner city schools and linux…I was reading an article about an inner city school that for cost reasons switched over to Ubuntu. The school board was approached by a tech guy, who developed a detailed plan (with facts about how much money the school would save) and presented it to the school board. They liked it and now they run linux….!

  27. I actually volunteered in a program called free geek and it was pretty neat because we took everyone’s old computers and recycled them and cleaned them out and then prepared them for donation. It was good experience learning where all the old computers go. There are actually a lot of people that will take old computers for free.

    Likewise, I donate any old computers I come across to this program. Although, I think the idea of using the computers as a home server would be something neat and I will look into that.

  28. Throwing computers away is a bad thing to do, not to mention bad for the nature since we dont need more problem waste. Thankfully my little brother still has quite modest needs from computers that he is more than happy to take what I leave behind… infact he demands me that I give my computers to him (and to think he’s only 9 years old).

    Once my little brother gets a new computer from me, thus leaving the older one useless, I usually try to sell it really cheap or just give it away. I am sure there would be organizations that could use very basic machines, but I’ve yet to find one.

  29. Some good ideas, my cousin used to take me to some shooting ranges with some old computers and shoot them or have other people shoot them was quite interesting.

  30. i sell them off online, normally i sell the part separately since not much ppl willing to buy old CPU. So i sell the hardware 1 by 1 because some ppl may just only need 1 of the hardware. And mostly can get more $$ by this instead of selling the wholeCPU once, but this need patient πŸ™‚

  31. I gave my last ‘old computer’ to a neighbor of mine who was in desperate need of a machine for simple tasks. So mine fit the bill and I gladly gave it away to her. With the one I have now I will most likely not give it away when it get old. I will keep it and load it up with drives to store all my data.

  32. those ideas are great chris and the person who suggested it has a good heart because he thinks of the people who are in need… some things are trash for us but it’s a treasure for others… keep it up chris… let’s help each other for a better world…

  33. I know this sounds wrong, but I keep them. I don’t know why, but I do. Theres times where I may have 3 or 4 FULL systems, monitor and all, sitting in my basement. And my systems are not cheap! Because of the line of work that I’m in, there are times where I may have a Ten Thousand Dollar computer sitting on the floor in my basement. I know that sounds wrong, and I should donate it, but I’ve had problems before where I’m glad I’ve kept them.. so thats what I do with them.

  34. Those are some nice tips, however I usually don’t buy a new computer unless my own one’s dead. Or I guess untill I’ve skipped so many windows editions it can’t do anything anymore.

    I’ve been pretty much using windows 98 untill just before windows XP SP 2. Which was kinda when I wanted to play new games. Since then I’ve had a couple of laptops which all died misterious deaths. One boot sector destroyed, and a friend harddrive. Which doesn’t really leave me with any options to do with it.

    I did buy a new computer recently as a server/fun machine to offload traffic on my own so I don’t host the game server and play on it. The last desktop PC that went out which was btw after my laptop had troubles starting.
    We bought a new pc, put the data we still needed from one to another and then pulled all the good hardware out leaving basicly the shell and some wires.

    long story short: in my opinion I don’t really buy a new computer unless necessary and see what I can use from the old computers.

    PS. I’m actually thinking of buy a desktop computer instead of a laptop whereas this laptop’s only 2 years old. Although I’ll probably just use em both.

  35. I keep my computers for as long as possible. The computer that I recently replaced a Dell Dimension 4500 with a MacBook Pro. The old computer is now running Windows Server 2003.

  36. i’ve never donated a computer as this is my first computer. but i’d be happy to install linux on it and donate it to wyldryde to be used as a server.. lol

  37. Most of the time I play around with the hardware on my old computers , such as overclocking etc. Or I give them to my poor friends. But if they dont work I shoot them very fun!

  38. I do nothing productive with old computers

    I just took apart our old Dell and just saw where things went and what the parts look like lol πŸ˜€

  39. I have a lot of friends who enjoy receiving a year old computer from me every year. Anything more than a Pentium III class machine is still very relevant for today if there is no gaming going on. Very useful for Web browsing and email.

  40. Recently, my college upgraded their machines. I don’t really know what they did with the old ones. I have been meaning to ask them. They ran fine, slow but good enough. There are places that need more computers for public access like the local women’s homeless shelter. They should set up a public computer lab for email connections and access to job opportunities. As for City Hall, the government has the latest computers out there so they are all set. The schools can use them as well. They can replace their dinosaur aged ones. I have seen that in action. There are many ways for computers to be recycled.

  41. i need to learn how to setup servers, that way I can use old computers as servers. But unfortunately the thing i did with my last old computer was throw it away.

  42. Personally I’d like to give it to the school, since I’m the most knowledgeable on how urgently the school needs them. Our Windows XP Pro computers we got last year are already starting to die, and the Macs in the library haven’t even gotten a software update since 5 months ago! (Although the Mac problem is kind of the librarian’s fault) Most of our classrooms don’t have computers.
    But the only reason I don’t donate them is because they’re already beyond repair. Then I bring them to the recycling center. Hey, if I can’t donate it at least recycle it πŸ™‚

  43. Just this Christmas I got a new computer and my old computer I had no idea what to do with so I did turn it into a server. No we are trying to figure out what to do with the old laptop. :p

  44. In my family we have a pass down policy. When one of us gets something new we pass the old one down to someone else who doesn’t have one of what ever it is. By the time something reaches end-of-life, it is truly done.

  45. For my old computers I see if theirs family that could use them. If i can’t find anyone to give it to then it usually goes to an organization somewhere. I’m not going to let a computer just sit their and collect dust, your not going to use give it to someone who will. After you hand that computer over it just feels good to do something good for someone.

  46. Hmm…having an old computer ?

    Well, everything has its price. I mean even if it is old, it can still be used.
    I have a “4-year-old”…..computer of course hehe which I use every day. And if you really look at it. The old computers and new ones don’t really differentiate. Well that is if you don’t play games, nor use some software that requires some a good “engine”.
    And just look at the other side. If you plan on hosting. You could use that old computer as a server.

    However you turn it around OLD COMPUTERS CAN STILL BE USED.

    In conclusion, what I’de like to say is that if you cant use it by any chance, give it to someone. Who knows maybe that inspires him and gives him potential to work ?

  47. For me its simple. With three adults and two kids that all use the computers and the net, we have many computers…. replacing each when they wear out, with one as close to top of the line as we can afford, then handing the eldest, if still functional down to the one of us most needing of one, though some how, I always end up being the one with the lowest end machine, probably because the others, both other adults as well as both children are in school, and need the most functional machines. This is why I am currently using a laptop, which is a 5 yr old hand me down now.

  48. I still have my old computer with me because it was the machine that made me so much intelligent and because of that I have a lot of knowledge. I always turn it on once a day and talk with my old friend.

  49. My 486 was the only one to go out to the curb. My Dell Dimension I bought in ’97 was upgraded from a Pentium II 400mhz 256mb of RAM, 2GB HDD, ATi Rage Pro. I put a 600mhz Pentium III in, with 2 GB of ram, ATI Radeon x1600 512mb AGP video card.

    It’s being used for file storage, lan gaming, and a iso/video/game burning center.

  50. I also thought to make some fileserver or else from my old computer but it was as god as wanted to have it, it slowed down my internet connection, it was very loud, so I gave it to my parents the previous computers I just sold and I’ve still got a not working laptop in room with which I don’t know what to do.

  51. Great tips.
    When I build or buy a new computer, I usually give my old ones to friends or family, or someone that I know really could use it. I upgrade alot so my old parts usually go in one of theirs as an upgrade for them. All my friends and family love my computer obsession, it means they get regular upgrades.

  52. I usually gift them to my siblings and with 6 of them with 11 nieces and nephews so there will always be an outlet for my old hardware not that I go through that many computers. But being the only computer knowledgeable person in the family I am also the adjunct tech support. I try to get them to learn about computers by telling to Google their problems and try to fix it which has worked for some of the more basic problems.

    I’ve been playing around with turning the last one into a file server but I really don’t need it at present so I’ve not put much time into doing that. I’ve only recycled one computer after it physically broke it was a pain finding a center so I just waited until a eTrash day in front of Best Buy.

  53. Here’s something useful.

    If you had an old hard drive that you are certain is trash, disassemble it.

    The hard drive platters make excellent (unbreakable) mirrors for backpacking!

  54. testing & trying some new crappy software for windows for safety & performance before you actually install it on your main machine,

    an old computer is great for running or testing a different OS like SUSE or Ubuntu ???

    or maybe installing Windows DOS, win3.1 XP or VISTA so long as it never goes online, so that we don’t keep hearing these WINDOWS BABIES crying and whining all the time about how screwed up their computers are. wah wah wah.

  55. I got started with computers as a kid thanks to a friendly neighbor that handed me down an Atari 800. As an adult, i like to return the favor to kids who migth not get to have a PC until they are adults . What i do is gut my old builds into kid friendly pc to give to a needy child. i clean out the hardrive and install a simple ,free version of linux , like gOS rocket, and install a cheap video card with tv out so it can be used with a regular tv instead of a monitor. i also like to customize the cases to give it more kid appeal ,and cheaper to build, such as gutting broken down X BOX cases or Barbie and Sponge bob tv sets with broken built in dvd.

  56. Blah, first off, I see what I can keep, you know, sometimes there are good parts, the rest, try to sell, normally this won’t happen cause it’s old, and last, give it to someone who can give it a use, normally I give all my old stuff to my uncle…

  57. I’m thinking about recycling my old laptop. Why i am getting rid of it, I have made a switch to a mac, and like it. Also, my old laptop is broken, and i had it for a while, and was too much to repair. I took some essential parts off and getting rid of the rest. My mac is great, using boot camp sometimes. So yeah, i am planning to recycle it.

  58. I don’t dump my old ‘puters, you’re quite insane. XD

    It’s cool to extract what you NEED then send off what you don’t for recycling. I have my first computer still. (Packard Bell Legend 100cd c. 1995) It’s not difficult to string a few together and use them as servers for, well, I only use mine as AmericasArmy servers.

    PLEASE don’t throw them away, if you absolutely don’t want it and can’t sell it, donate it! Computers rotting in trash heaps is just…heart breaking.

  59. I have given older computers to friends when it’s a step up from what they have. I have donated monitors and computers to a vocational school in LA. They fix them up for their students. The real junk goes to E-Waste. In all cases wipe the hard drive clean.

  60. Actually when i upgrade my PC, i give away a few parts to a school near me.Sometimes i also sell some of them to collect money out of them so i can upgrade my PC.

  61. well i tend to drop them from very high places, or drag them behind cars/golf carts, or maybe run them without the cpu heatsink and watch them fry

  62. My OLD PC which is probably 7 years old now is a P3 with 128MB RAM etc etc (Specs aint too great to tell!)

    So anyways, what I did is to convert it into a Media Jukebox by loading a Linux Jukebox OS and connecting it to my HDTV. It also serves as a Home server and a download box so i dont need to keep my laptop on in order to download anything!

  63. Well, i haven’t donated , sold it or destroyed it yet, when i get a new computer because it’s old i usually store them up at the attic so last year i decided to dig them out, i took out the best components and made a new computer so i run Kubuntu now , internet works but i have trouble with the videos, i can’t watch them properly so i thinking about installing windows at it because i’m afraid of getting annoying viruses and hackers.
    an other idea is to give your computer to Kipkay so he can do a Howto Hack your Computer Video, like macgyver and put it on Metacafe.com.

  64. I gave my old computer to my younger brother. Now he plays command and conquer on it all day.
    I definitely think that I will continue to use my current one for its DVR capabilities for many many years even if I do get a newer better computer. Being able to watch and record TV on a computer is just too convenient.

  65. well, I’m not up-to-date with technology these days, but I know what my dad does with all his old computers hanging around!

    For the computers that work, he uses them as a storage place. He has lots of important files and downloads that he gets from work, and doesn’t want to pile them all into 1 computer, so he organizes it using the other computers that are just sitting in the dust.

    For the computers that are malfunctioning or are broken, he takes them apart and uses the computer parts for another computer or device.

  66. What I do with my old computers is recycle them. But first, I put the important files and programs on an external hard drive then erase the old computer hard drive, when done, I recycle the whole old machine. Then rip the files to a newer computer which is most used for work.

  67. What I do is keep computers that have the current OS and previous OS (ie. Vista and XP) and I use them to help in Networking skills.

    Besides my mother needs it anyway.

  68. Donate it to the local school district:

    Maybe, depends on what school… I would probably send it to a public school which doesn’t have enough moola to get their own, I guess in a way to jump start them.

    Donate it to City Hall:

    I would never give mine to my city hall! They have inflated municipal taxes big time over here in MontrΓ©al and I would never even think of giving anything other than taxes to them. But then again it varies on what city your from, and I would have no problem giving it to a small city hall if I lived near one.

    Send it to an Electronic Recycling center:

    NEVER! I don’t even trust the Apple Recycling Plan, let alone any other type. I just don’t think sending it their will benefit anything… Apple is also considered one of the most wasteful and environmentally UNfriendly companies.

    Your church:

    Great idea, but will it get me into heaven ;? Naw, but I think it’s a great thing to do, especially if your parish has no technological influence.

    Best regards,


  69. Easy: use the old computer as a gateway for your new computer.
    This will make it less harmful to virus and hacker attacks.
    Your old computer has one single task: act as a filter for your new machine.

  70. Yeah, Just make sure that you definatly delete everything if your seling it on, Better putting in a new hard drive than wiping it.

  71. Most of the old computers that we have around here have all been thrown into a parts pile…that is until I was introduced to Linux.

    Now, most of the old machines have had new life breathed into them through nice, low memory distros like Xubuntu, Fluxbox, Slackware, and even regular Ubuntu. These are all great Linux distros for getting your old dusty machine back off the ground.

  72. If you plan on purchasing a new Apple computer, I would suggest recycling your computer through Apple:


    I have done it before with my old Power Macintosh 6500/300. Best of all, you do not even have to have a Mac to recycle your computer. It can be any manufacturer. There are three restrictions, however.

    1. You must purchase a new Macintosh computer to recycle your old one.
    1. You must ship the computer and monitor in two separate boxes
    1. The boxes can weigh no more than 70 pounds.

    I cannot remember if I paid for shipping or not, but I believe Apple paid for the shipping. They also have a similar program for cell phones and MP3 players.

    At least it is better than the landfill…

  73. I usually take it apart and keep the functional parts for future computers or when I want to fix other peoples computers, but those ideas are also good.

  74. I use mine for parts or use them to fix my friends comps when they have problems with something. I find collecting my old cables, hardware, etc.. has saved me a lot of money or someone else money.

  75. We’ve cannibalized our old computers to make one for the kids. It runs Firefox with a filter and very limited user accounts.

    That said, sometimes there is only so much you can do with the parts. We have too many computer carcasses in the dining room, although not as many as we used to. He finally pulled all of the plastic off of some and stuck the metal in the recycling bin at work.

    I almost forgot what our dining room table looked like.

  76. there is this thing called ip cop and you can turn your old pc in to a main firewall
    all it does is it just scans all of the incoming packets before the packet enters the network

  77. I was thinking of burning my desktop but that’s not option because I need that old crap. Anyway if I would win one i would donate my old computer…

  78. What bugs me the most, is when you see companies throw away relatively old intel 4’s / AMD Semprons, when they could have been be donated to people that might actually need them, then maybe adding a little PR in there as a bonus

  79. I stock pile them until they rip them apart for scrap. THen recycle them. I have multiple computers so really I don’t need another server.

  80. With my old computers, I always rebuild them into a retired fleet. Such as yesterday, I finally retired my old Athlon XP web server with a new Core 2 Duo PC. But I didn’t throw it out, I put Ubuntu 8.04 on it, and now I am having my first experience with Ubuntu. IMO, you can never have too many computers. πŸ™‚

  81. Except for 2 pocket computers from Radio Shack (PC-4 and, I think, a PC-7) and 2 motherboards, I have every computer and every computer part I ever owned. The pocket computers were stolen. At some point I decided I didn’t need the 8088 (maybe 8086) or 80286 processors, so the motherboards were sold. Everything else, even my dead processors/motherboards/power supplies and obsolete laptops… I kept! I use the parts to keep my current systems going.

  82. Personally I tend to horde on computer parts, never know when they will come in handy. Also, I have done the PC DVR set up, works really nicely with a TV Tuner + Wireless remote.

  83. I like what you have put, but I have many more uses. I currently have my old Optiplex GX1 running XP Pro and it runs like a champ. I have a really old computer that my grandparents are giving me and I am going to turn that into an ubuntu web server. Whatever you do, don’t trash them cause they will be worth something to some other person.

  84. I’ve always donated any old hardware to people I knew would still appreciate having it. It was usable for low-end users, and I thought it would be better to help those people, rather than having someone dispose of it at some collection point of old electronic goods.

  85. I usually strip them down and use the individual parts to make better computers. A few years ago, me and some of my friends all took our old PCs and used the best components from them all to make a super windows 98 beast. It couldn’t do much, but it did load MS word faster than anything else we had XP

  86. I cannot picture ‘getting rid’ of an old computer in the sense of discarding it to be destroyed. There are so many uses for older technologies, not the least of which are your local schools, retirement homes, or even specific families who could have use of them. The geek level of computer ‘need’ is far different than the standard consumer – and what we have no use for, could be the very platform on which an underprivileged child could begin to build their dreams.

    Myself, I have never been in a position to be rid of a pc. I have one that became outdated for my uses – so i bought my kids a desk and passed it on to them, as it works fine for websurfing and casual gaming.

    When I am able to replace my other pc, it will swap out with that one i gave the kids, and the kids current pc will become a linux based home network file server.

    There are so many uses for older computers – heck I am sure someone brighter than me could even make good use these days of a trs-80 (I admit, I wouldn’t , but I would offer it free on craigslist rather than chuck it, or to a local school for dissection in the name of computer technology education/history)

  87. When I got a new computer about a year ago, I took my old one, popped a fresh copy of Windows on it, and used it as a file server. Backups are so much easier now that everyone’s data is in one place. I don’t even use backup software – just xcopy batch files set as scheduled tasks!

    I’ve also thought about using an old computer as an X10 server, and get into home automation.

  88. An old computer with a HDD with an ample amount of space would be good to use as a NAS device. You can backup your music and files to a central location on your network. It can share the internet connection also. It doesnt even need a moniter once it is set up! You can just shove it in a closet with your modem and router and etc. So when you set up your actual desktop station, they is a little less clutter (if its a pc that is). Your whole house would be neater and the Earth would thank you for not help kill it.

  89. Last time I had an old computer, I donated it to my local church. They always appreciate donations, no matter what it is. They can always find somebody that could use it, whether it be them or somebody else.

  90. Well i haven’t had that many computers in our home and just one computer is that broken and old enough that it’s not possible to use it. But i might sell the parts in ebay for extra cash tough and might send other stuff into recycling or build some high end pc out of the old one, don’t know yet.

  91. Our User Group has a 2-day Recycle/Trash day, twice a year available community-wide. We received more than a semi-truckload full of discards. We strip computers looking for usable components. A “refurbish” committee repairs/puts together usable computers from parts and donates to groups that cannot afford to buy them, ie., teen center, church youth groups, etc. A club-related committee uses some to TEACH how to repair their own computers. It’s a BIG DEAL here in Ohio

  92. Most of my old PCs I donated or gave away to friends who wanted to abuse some old machines ^^.

    But since now I’m an official Macintosh user, I will certainly send my old Macs to Apple for recycling.

  93. i have a old computer the i use to test out new linux distros so i dont half to risk my good computer i also use windows on it to test software trails. im thinking useing it for network file sharing.

  94. I usually gift them out to people that really need them. It’s a good way to make them go to good use and steer clear of the land fill. It’s good for the environment!

  95. Well Chris , the only computer that i have is what i am using presently.
    I bought it when i was in engineering first year.
    Now i don’t have that much money to buy a new one, because i am not in a good job, but when i join a good job ill definitely donate it to others who don’t have like you do.

    That is why i also participated in the hp giveaway contest.

  96. I have two old computers : a Pentium I and 80286 machine.
    I use the 286 for testing old software. I am not afraid if the harddisk is formatted, or something wrong. I still use the Pentium I for music engine, lightweight Windows software and many things that can run on it. I also make a somple installer for the DHPOS (www.dhpos.com), unfortunately using the compressor engine I made, it can only run on 32 bit based processor such as 80386. I tried to run it on my 286 and it didn’t work. I installed it on a 486, and it worked successfully. I made the installer as simple as I can. I also made a batch file to modify Autoexec.bat, so it will execute DHPOS before DOS prompt appear.

  97. Sold old computers and its parts mostly. Got friends with someone from another city. He gathers different computer parts, old computer parts from his friends and puts up a computer running which will do basic things.

    Then he gives it away to poor students who need a computer but cannot afford paying for it. Giving him my old cd/dvd-roms which still work and an old motherboard plus a casing.

  98. As a professional builder I get a ton of old used PC (and some much newer and fully repairable/cleanable/usable) PC equipment given to me gratis. I store it in a storage unit until I hit a slow time in the business. Once that slow period hits I’ll put together units (after a full government wipe of the drives of course and a nice full low level format to clear the drives), then reload the fully licensed OS w/ a fresh install using the restore setup disks and update to the latest patches. And then I go to http://www.freecycle.com or out to a local school teacher (My own wife and her school teacher colleagues in the community), for the names of underprivileged children who would not otherwise have use of a computer beyond those at school…Then I donate them to those children for homework use.

    Keep the planet green…There is always someone in need. Those that aren’t fixable (very rare given my own parts inventory and e-bay), are stripped, and scrapped/recycled. But not 1 part ever has gone from my hands to a landfill.


  99. I just upgrade the hardware, and then the software, so i can use them for a long long time its much cheaper than buying new computers all-the-time

  100. I personally keep them as long as possible, i mean, the more the merrier right? I try to pass them down to family members, or if needed, i take it apart and use the parts for building a new computer if i come across one that could need it. I haven’t had that many computers, me being 14, but I try. Thanks For listening

  101. These ideas are much better than what my dad does. Whenever a computer is replaced, it gets to go sit on a shelf in our basement for ears to come. Although i have found one good use for them. I get to strip them apart and tinker with them, which helps to see how everything actually works and goes together without having any ill effects if something bad should happen. πŸ™‚

  102. I once took and old PC and made it a jukebox with software called SK Jukebox added a external hard drive and was done big hit at parties.

  103. I destroy the hard drive (for security reasons) and I give the rest of the parts to my high school because they have a class which look at the parts and study them and what not.

  104. if usable still most of the towers are turned into servers, and the monitors sold to repo stores for small amount of money. I tried giving a few to the town here but because of state law they can’t take them due to security questions.

  105. those are some great ideas. Instead of throwing them out you can donate them or use them for testing things out like updates to your OS or Programs that you have. Or use them for Backup or a Server. There are many uses for old computers instead of throwing them out.

  106. Everyone has great ideas. TJ and I have a business called TJENN Electronics. We find old part and TJ fixes them right up. His mom never wanted a computer of her own but one day for her birthday we suprised her with one and she loves it.

  107. I usually build my computers so I take parts that I want and keep them. However, if you are to just dump your old computer, I would say giving it to good will is one of the best options. We need to get technology into the hands of the less fortunate as soon as possible so that they aren’t left behind.

  108. I often find tons of old computers on the side of the street. I either salvage the parts or if they are really in good shape, I beef them up and use them as either test machines or give them to family that needs a basic internet computer. I have 3 old systems that I run Linux on. I even have one that I run [email protected] and [email protected] on.

  109. I agree with what a lot of people have said. Organisations like schools etc. want new computers. Old machines are best recycled or used for something like a router. This can be done pretty easily from scratch using a light Linux distro, for example Debian, and some of the packages that come along with it.


  110. I have turned one into a server using Vertrigo, I have two other ones that are sitting on the floor waiting to be fixed. Whatever you do, don’t throw them away, send me an email and I’ll take at least the RAM!! πŸ™‚

  111. my old computers are usually given to my friends, or stripped for parts. (usually RAM and hdd) the rest like the motherboard/processor get thrown in the landfill.

  112. I’ve never thought of giving my old pc’s to the church.I will probably do this from know on.Thanks for the tip!

  113. My household has only discarded of a single computer thus far–an old machine running Windows 95. We still have two desktops running Windows XP that were produced between the years 2000-2002. My parents are fairly reluctant to buy anything new, unless they actually start having issues with what they already have.

    Fortunately, my parents are finally ready to replace the old HP Vectra in my younger brother’s room with something a bit more modern. Hopefully, my parents let me choose the computer this time…

  114. I don’t save old computers… because my current one is pretty old lol! But, I have recycled one through a program. Old computers have so much junk in em!

  115. I would probably install Linux on my old computer or use it as a media server. Thanks for offering some options on what to do with old computers.

  116. I usually find a family member or a friend that is in need of a computer or hardware. I try not to throw it away.

  117. This is a great idea! I had a couple of computers lying around that I was already thinking of updating and, well, have them lie around my house. Good thing I now have an idea as to what to do with the computers!

  118. Some sweet ideas here.

    Gives me an idea of taking my old computer apart and selling them or donating it to my highschool for their Computer Engineer course.


  119. I cycle through them…

    I still use a computer from 2001 in one in the basment for a media hub…VAIO-MX. It runs well, and life is good. For more taxing applications such as photshop, I use my never computer. I’ve never thrown any out though, I still have DOS machines from the 80’s.

  120. I still use mine. I don’t throw it away until it is completely inoperative. I still have a Tandy 1000 TL on my networrk that is an 80286.

  121. I usually upgrade anything that needs to be replaced and then setit up for my parents.

  122. I usually throw mine away (dispose of properly). I usually BUY mine used from whatever places, so when I’m done with them, no one would want them anymore. But if I DID have one that was useful, I would give it to my Uncle, who doesn’t have one.

  123. I have in the past donated my old computers. Very good thing to do and its also environmentally friendly

  124. I think that giving away old computers is a great idea. it does no harm on the earth, as well as make them happy

  125. i took my old computers and built one pretty good computer and gave it to one of my friends that dident have a computer it worked for him pretty good we just had to get a new graphics card i got it for him since i work at bestbuy (-=

  126. I usually upgrade anything that needs to be replaced and then set it up for my parents. or if they or noone else wants it,then I recycle the parts.

  127. Schools probably won’t take them. My college has rediculous hardware requirements mandated by the state. If you give it to them, they will just reject it.

  128. I use my old computer as a backup for all of my work. But I would use it as a DVR if I had more memory. Thanks for the ideas.

  129. those are nice idea! i use my old pc as a file server and for file sharing. and also as a dummy server where i can test things without compromising my main system.

  130. Hi, well for my old computer is like my child because its my first computer I ever had and it’s been with me for over five years. I would never get rid of it because I bought this Toshiba notebook with my own money. I was sixteen years old and my parent never could of afford to buy me a computer. So I worked so hard to get what I wanted

  131. I tried once to make a server out of a computer. My god! to my suprise. it didnt work πŸ˜›

  132. If you have absolutely nothing to do with the computer, recycle it. Don’t just throw it away in the trash. Most laptops contain things such as mercury that are toxic for the environment when placed in landfills. It would sure be the “green” thing to do. If you don’t know where to dispose of it, contact your local waste management to find out where you can take it to get the computer disposed of safely.

  133. I save the parts in case i need them for later. Just recently I had to reformat a friends PC. It was an old HP so not only was I able to reinstall XP. I also gave him a larger harddrive and more RAM! He was so excited. It ran much better than before.

  134. I usually give my computers to someone else, so that they can use them. Usually people actually need them.

  135. Nodes in my network may change their rank. But are almost never completely disposed of. I have a limited budget, and replacing a computer is put of the question. I will make every effort to repair and restore a computer before I consider disposing of it completely.

  136. If you have nothing to do with your computer and you want to be “green,” go to your local waste management to dispose of your computer. It contains materials such as mercury that are toxic for the environment once placed in a landfill.

  137. my comment never posted )-= guess the Dragons not mine my comment was……… With my old computers i take then a it i can build one ok computer and give it away to anyone that doent have a computer

  138. I still have the first two computers I ever built. One was an Alienware which I modded from an AA8XE to a P5W DH Deluxe and an ATI 850XT to an 8800GTX. The computer I am running on right now is my own custom built computer. That said I like to keep any of my old toys. I will usually put them in a corner in my basement somewhere.

  139. I usually keep all of my old toys. My two previous computers are acting as “server esque” PCs for CSS. Any of my old things I usually put in my basement if I cant find a use for them. If someone I know needs them I would gladly give them away if they aren’t serveing a purpose to me.

  140. I have several old computers and I have uses for them for linux boxes, or spare parts for something for the kids to have use of. If and when I want to toss it in the trash I take it to a second hand store and donate it.

  141. I have a few computers that are too old to even do those things (Windows 95 and 98) I’m just gonna huck them in my closet one of these days

  142. Wow, there awesome tips. Ive got 10 old computers out back and about 5 modems that ive kept from previous ISP. Thanks for the tips
    And thanks Chris your an inspiration

  143. well since im only 18 and have nothing better to do with the.m i give all mine to my dad , hes a big geek so he strips them down and uses them for parts and stuff!

  144. I usually donate my computers to churches, goodwill, rec centers, schools and to those who are less fortunate and in need.

  145. Since I’m one of the only people who do computer repair in my area I usually end up with lots of older computers. Mostly I strip them down and use them as repair parts. This comes in really handy since most of the older people in the area have very old computers and being on fixed incomes they can’t afford to buy new ones when something goes out. In instances like that where its a senior citizen who is probably using a their kids old computer anyway I never charge for the part and only ask that they compensate me for the gas I’ve used to get to their houses. It may not be the best business model but it helps them and keeps old computer parts from the land fill.

  146. i generaly strip them down for parts and sell them off or give them away , it helps the enviroment abit πŸ™‚

    recycling the possabilities are endless

  147. I haven’t had enough computers to need to make this decision yet, but I recently built myself a gaming rig and took my old Dell DImension 8100 and use it to run my website. I got another old computer from a coworker when they bought a new Mac Pro. I put Linux on it to run Torrentflux and also use it as a file server for my movies and MP3 collections.
    If I ever do decide to actually “get rid” of a computer I will most likely try to find somewhere to recycle it. I’m not sure that donation will be a possibility as it will most likely be so out of date that it wouldn’t be useful to anyone anymore. I would not be opposed to donating it though; the company I work for routinely does this and donates equipment to local schools.

  148. I usually just dump my old computers into the near by river/canal/lake or dump into somebodys yard late at night or something. I just dont bother with it, I let somebody else deal with it.

  149. How about donating your old computer to a 3rd world country? Many people living in foreign, unfortunate countries aren’t able to afford such advanced devices. By simply donating your computer to a child in another country you’re opening new doors to them that they may never be able to reach. Laptops are an even more valuable resource for people in other countries as they’re portable and make it a little easier to connect to internet(Wi-Fi).

    I also recommend letting your children or your neighbors children use it. There’s no telling of what they can learn by using a computer. By giving them one at a young age they’re able to grow along with technology and know how to use it as they grow older. I personally believe that it’s crucial for children to learn how to use the computer as quickly as possible so they can evolve with modern technology.

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