What to do with old computer?

murphy_zone7January 16, 2012

Upgraded to new computer at Christmas and all is well. Now what to do with the old one. It is a Gateway purchased back in 2003. So it has been a long time since I had to dispose of one.

I know I will need to erase the hard drive but don't know how to do that. Any information on how to completely erase will be appreciated. Don't know if the computer could be donated somewhere or not. What do you do with old computers?

All ideas are welcome!


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Google search....how to erase harddrive

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 7:00AM
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You can donate it to a local charity, although a 8-9 year old computer may not have much value.

Definitely wipe the hard drive. Just make sure you have copied any data you want keep because once you run Boot and Nuke, anything on the hard drive(s) will be GONE.

Here is a link that might be useful: Boot and Nuke

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 7:07AM
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There's some geek that would love to have it.
It has some value for resale if you have a way to advertise it free in your area.

For Sale, 8 yr old working computer with no hard drive. Terms; You pick up.
Price: 4 extra large submarine sandwiches & a case of coke, delivered.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Buyer removes hard drive at purchase.
Bring your own tools & some french fries.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 8:19AM
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It takes a little work to erase a hard drive, especially if you haven't done it before. I have gotten rid of 4 computers and my view is that a hard drive on a computer that old is not of much value. Instead of going to the trouble of erasing the drive and then having someone have to go to the trouble of putting an operating system back on it so it's functional, I just unplug the computer, open the case, unscrew and remove the hard drive, and smash it with a sledgehammer. It takes about 5 minutes, and then I don't worry about whether it got erased properly. If you decide to go this route and don't know how to remove the hard drive, here's a 2-minute video demonstrating the general approach.

Here is a link that might be useful: Removing a hard drive

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 2:42PM
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If it has at least 1 GB of memory, I would install Linux on it. Might get several more years use out of it...but that's just me.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Pooh Bear

If you were close enough to me, I love being given old computers. I clean them up, make sure they are working properly, and make sure they get good homes.

Pooh Bear
(Chattanooga, TN area)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 11:07PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I agree if it still works would be a great candidate for a linux install and then you have a new hobby learning linux. If you choose to wipe it clean I would use dban as mentioned earlier and then install a free linux distro on it so it at least has a current operating system on it. There would be plenty of kids and adults that could use it.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 2:32AM
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Thank you so much for the ideas. Donating was my only thought and will check around and see who would want it, for parts or practice or whatever. The hard drive was my concern.
Also, never thought about just removing the hard drive! Duh, that would be so much better than trying to erase! From my google searches erasing didn't seem as easy as it sounds. And besides, I would have to hook it back up and reconnect to be able to do that. Far easier to just remove it.
As far as installing a new operating system. I will let the next new owner do that! I have more hobbies now than I have time to get to. My new years resolution is: DO NOT START ANY MORE NEW HOBBIES, NO MATTER HOW APPEALING THEY SEEM!
Thanks again.
PS Poohbear, I live too far from Chattanooga to get it to you!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 7:01AM
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I reformat mine and if I can't find someone that wants it I take them to the Bethesda Gently Used Store, I take everything there. There are always people in there buying them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:16AM
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When I bought my Laptop I gave my old desktop to a friend who did not have a computer for her kids to use in school. I gave her the scanner and printer That I had with it and the ink cartridges for the printer that I had. The reason I gave those items , I bought an all in one printer. Since then I use my laptop for traveling, I use a newer desktop for every day.The laptop has Vista, the new desktop has Windows 7.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:52PM
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Who would buy an old computer without a hard-drive?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:06AM
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I just replaced a 6yr old computer with a new one. My son took the hard drive out of old computer and ordered a case for it and made me a nice external drive out of it. I can still access all the old files on it but eventually will format it and use for extra files so might be an option you could do. Mary

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 12:57PM
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