What To Do With Your Old Laptop
Instead of letting it sit idle in your home, why not try one of these four options?
If you have an old laptop collecting dust in your home, youre not alone. People who purchase a new model frequently let the old one linger under the roofunused.
And that raises a good question: How do you go about finding a new home for an old laptop? If youre working on clearing out your closets to make way for holiday gifts, here are a few eco-friendly options to consider.
Types Of Data Deletion
No matter what kind of data you had on your computer before you decided to donate or recycle it, it pays to play it safe.
Remember, deleting your files from the recycle bin or trash doesnt mean the file is gone from your device. It only means its location is available. Data recovery software can easily find those files tucked away in your hard drive.
Here are a few ways to wipe your hard drive like the pros and avoid the risk of someone accessing your old data.
How To Donate Your Computer To Charity
The fast pace of computer innovation has provided us with more powerful systems at lower prices. This leaves many of us with a dilemma. Every time we upgrade one of our computers to gain more speed, more storage or more bells and whistles, we’re left with an older computer that no longer meets our needs.
For most of us, the easiest thing to do is to put the old computer system in a closet, the basement or some other out-of-sight, out-of-mind location. There are, however, better solutions, particularly if the computer in question is still operable and less than five years old.
The worst choice you can make is to put the computer in the trash. Landfills are no place for the harmful chemicals, including lead, cadmium, beryllium and mercury, found in virtually all digital equipment. With many other solutions available, there’s no reason to simply throw an old computer away.
You might find someone else to whom you can give your old computer. Nonprofit organizations are good choices, mainly because they often have to use their funding for priorities other than purchasing new technology. But that’s where the five-year limit comes in.
Generally speaking, if your computer is more than five years old, or in the case of a Windows system, has a pre-Pentium processor, it’s unlikely most charities can make use of it. It’s difficult to find software for these systems and, given the number of computers being donated, many charities no longer need to accept slower machines.
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Put Your Old Laptops To Good Use
The pandemic has highlighted that lack of online access is a serious issue that limits peoples life chances and wellbeing. Getting Oxfordshire Online will refurbish devices donated by the public and local businesses for school children, isolated older people and others in need.
While many of us have spent our locked-down lives on video calls and moved all our shopping online for our convenience, COVID-19 has shed a new light on people who are digitally excluded. Without appropriate devices, adequate data and connectivity, or the digital skills needed to get online, it is estimated that up to 40,000 people in Oxfordshire continue to be isolated even as lockdown measures ease.
As part of its pilot, Getting Oxfordshire Online is inviting donations of unwanted laptops, tablets and phones for refurbishment at newly created hubs in Oxford, Didcot and Bicester. Community partners will then work to help give users access to the best deals on data, and deliver the skills training needed to make the best and safest use of the devices.
Computers With Causes Is A 501c3 Nonprofit
Our computer donation program participates in a zero-waste recycling program. New and used computer donations appreciated. All charity computer donations, gadgets and tablet donations are tax deductible and support worthy charitable causes! Feel free to contact us with any questions.
Our highly effective charitable computer donation program produces a meaningful impact on the quality of life for thousands of people every year throughout the world.
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Dont Just Delete Files From Your Computer
You might think moving your documents to the trash or recycle bin and then emptying these locations will permanently remove these files. Heres the problem: This appears to delete the files, but often leaves them where they were, merely hidden from view. Most data recovery programs including those used by scammers and hackers — can recover these hidden files.
Heres why: When you empty files from the trash or recycle bin, the file name or the reference to the deleted file is erased. The computer can no longer see the file.
This means the space the file took up on the laptop or PC is no longer reserved for that file. But the file is still hidden in your computers hard drive. It will stay in the hard drive until its location is given up for a new file to be stored in that exact location.
Data recovery software can rebuild the file header, making it possible for the computer to see the file again.
Heres the risk: When your files are not deleted completely from the hard drive, cybercriminals can run data recovery software to access them.
Law enforcement agencies use data recovery software to access deleted files from confiscated computers. Cybercriminals can use the same tools and techniques to commit identity theft.
How To Recycle Your Old Laptop For Good Causes
Here in the UK, we have a huge issue with electronic waste discarding a staggering 155,000 tonnes of electricals every year. As consumers of electrical devices such as computers and laptops, we can all do our bit to tackle this problem by thinking about how we can best recycle and reuse our old equipment.
As a charity reuse organisation, we make your computer recycling really straightforward by giving your unwanted PCs and laptops a new lease of life before donating them to charity causes across the UK.
We actively encourage individuals and families to donate their unwanted computers by promoting socially and ethically responsible reuse to help us to support charities to make more of a positive impact in their local communities and improve the lives of many vulnerable people who desperately need help
Your computer will go on to support causes such as bereaved children, provide support to hospices, empower volunteers to make even more impact, enable veterans to get back on their feet after military service, provide computers for schools, help the homeless and unemployed and much more.
Where To Donate Used Computers
Before donating a computer to charity, back up all your files. Then wipe the internal hard drive to eliminate personal identifying information.
Even if a charity says it can do so for you, never rely on the donation center. Do it yourself before donating. If youre not sure how, follow Digital Trends instructions.
After youve wiped the drive, donate it to one of these worthy charities.
With more than 3,200 thrift stores around the country, Goodwill Industries is one of the most popular places to donate used goods to. And used electronics, including computers, are no exception. Goodwill sells your donations in its brick-and-mortar thrift stores and on its online auction site, shopgoodwill.com.
Goodwill uses the proceeds from the sale of donated goods for employment training and job-placement programs. Specifically, Goodwill serves those with barriers to employment, including individuals with disabilities, those with limited work history, recipients of government support programs, those with language barriers, and those whove experienced corporate downsizing.
It partners with Dell to collect donated computers, which Dell recycles or refurbishes if theyre unsaleable in Goodwills thrift stores.
Goodwill accepts all makes and models of computers as well as computer accessories.
2. World Computer Exchange
To donate, check the website to find a chapter of WCE near you. You can contact the chapter to schedule a delivery time.
World Computer Exchange
What Should I Do Before Donating My Device
You probably keep a lot of personal data on your various devices. When its time to donate, dont forget to electronically wipe those devices to remove that private data.
Identity thieves could use the sensitive data stored on your device for assorted frauds. Dont make it easy for them. Before you give away that old device, consider taking these steps to help to ensure you arent also giving away any personal information.
How To Safely Donate Your Old Laptop Smartphone And Other Tech Gadgets
If youve gotten a new smartphone or other tech gadget, you might have a question: What to do with your old device?
Heres one possible answer: Donate it.
Donating your old smartphone, laptop, or tablet is a way to help a person or organization in need. Plus, it might make you feel good. Weve highlighted a few organizations you might consider.*
Its also a good idea to make sure you donate your old device safely. That means protecting your personal information by saving your data and removing it from your device.
Heres what to do to get ready to donate your device.
Becoming A #laptophero Is Easier Than You Might Think
The good news is this lack of access to computers for lower-income families is a problem we can fix, and you can help. Start by finding out what employers in your community do with their used computers. If you know employers that dont donate them yet, ask if theyd consider it. The Kansas City Fed has some useful info about how and why to donate.
Many communities have one or more nonprofits certified in secure data destruction. If none exists in your community, several large refurbishers accept donations nationwide and may even pay for the shipping. If you arent sure how to find a nonprofit refurbisher, Digitunity, a national nonprofit committed to eliminating the technology gap, is one organization that can help. Digitunity connects employers interested in donating computers to a network of nonprofit refurbishers across the US.
Computers belong in the hands of people who can use them, not in a landfill. I believe that so strongly I just joined the Digitunity board of directors.
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Where To Donate Old Windows 10 Computers
There are a number of international, national, regional, and local organizations that would be happy to accept your older decommissioned Windows 10 computers . Each organization will use your donation differently ranging from refurbishing to recycling to donation to those in need. You should research each organization before making your donation, so you can predict where your devices will end up and ensure that their final destination matches your intentions.
Here is a short list of some of the more common international and national organizations now accepting computing device donations:
To find local organizations in your area or region of the United States, try the National Center for Electronics Recycling or Earth911. Both websites allow you to search local zip codes for local organizations. Local government and schools may also conduct donation drives from time to timecheck with the appropriate municipal and county websites.
Major computer manufacturers like Dell, HP, and Samsung, along with retailers like Staples and Best Buy, also have EPA-approved old computer collection, trade-in, and recycling programs that should be considered.
If you know a local organization looking for computer device donations, provide the contact information in the discussion below. Maybe you’ll make a needed connection.
Physically Wipe Your Hard Drive
If you want to double-ensure that your hard drive is wiped, its time to take additional measures. An example? You can physically wipe the drive. Just remove your hard drive and take a rare earth magnet to it. Another option? Physically dismantle your drive with a screwdriver.
A rare earth magnet, like the neodymium magnet, can be used to deform the metal plates in your computers hard disk. This makes the hard drive unusable. One warning: The magnets are powerful and can cause physical harm if used incorrectly.
A safer method? Use a screwdriver to dismantle the pieces of your hard drive to make it useless.
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Building Awareness: Employer Laptop Challenge
The Kansas City Fed launched the Employer Laptop Challenge in April 2020, an urgent call for donations in the face of COVID-19. In the first eight months, the campaign generated more than 5,000 donated devices. Some employers shared that they hadnt donated before because they either hadnt thought about it, they didnt know nonprofit refurbishers existed, or they didnt realize nonprofit refurbishers could safely remove the old data.
Federal Reserve Banks have joined other employers in donating used devices. The Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco have all launched donation programs. Governments, too, have begun donating used laptops. The cities of Denver and Kansas City each donated hundreds of devices in 2020 alone.
How The Hp Refresh Program Works
HPs free wiping and reimaging software makes it easy to safely get your laptop ready for donation, but youll need a few things before you can get started.
In addition to your donated laptop, youll also need a second, fully functional computer to help you wipe and reimage it. Youll also need a USB flash drive, and each computer needs to meet a set of requirements.
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What You Will Need:
- Your donated laptop with the following requirements:
- A 64-bit x86 processor or equivalent
- At least 2 GB of memory
- A USB port to upload the HP software
- A 4GB hard drive or larger
Can I Donate My Old Computer
The simple answer is yes you can!
It all starts with you and your ethical and socially responsible decision to donate your computer to charity.
However, when getting rid of your old laptop or PC, remember its important to do so safely and securely.
When you donate to us, not only do we make sure that you are not adversely affecting the environment, but we also make sure that your personal data is securely removed so that all your private data is erased.
In order to make sure that all computers are refurbished to a high standard we have also created some minimum requirements for equipment that we accept. Just head over to our equipment requirements page, check your computer meets our criteria then simply donate your computer.
We work with a network of established charity partners as well as leading charities right here in the UK who will make really good use of your old computer to make even more of a positive difference to peoples lives.
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How To Secure An Old Windows 10 Pc For Donation
Before donating any Windows 10 computer, you want to reinstall a clean copy of Windows 10 using the “remove everything” option. This process will leave an updated version of the operating system on the device but remove files, personal data, and all previous settings. This process acts as the foundational first step to securing your computing device for donation.
To get to the proper screen, click or tap the Start Menu button, select Settings and then select Update & Security. Now, select Recover from the left-hand navigation bar and then click the Get Started button to reach Figure A. You will want to select the “remove everything” option.
The process of reinstalling Windows 10 and removing all your personal files will take at least a few minutes. Depending on your device, it could also take more than an hour.
Once a clean version of Windows 10 installed, the next step toward ensuring personal data on your donated computer is securely removed is writing over seemingly empty areas of your storage devices . This involves downloading and using a secure deleting application.
The basic SDelete command to use for this purpose is:
sdelete -c C:
How To Wipe A Computer To Donate It
These are Windows 7 forums, not 10.
Reinstall the operating system.
During that process you can delete the existing 7 partition and make a new partition to reinstall it on.
If it came preinstalled:
Here are the Key/s to press at Boot to reinstall the operating system . Under each Manufacturer in the list below are the instructions in the respective links for you to follow on how to use their Recovery Partition
Acer Press Left Alt + F10 Keys.
And if you do have a Manufacturer’s Recovery Partition on your Hard Drive and you can Boot into Windows, you should be able to make and have your own Recovery Disks from it to reinstall the Operating System in case of Hard Drive failure.
Look under Programs > your Computer Manufacturer’s name > then their System Tools or Recovery Software Headings for them, depending how it is worded.
If you can not find any reference to it, contact the Manufacturer for advice on how to make those Recovery Disks.
You can borrow the exact same edition of Windows 7 Retail DVD and use your Product Key on the COA sticker to reinstall the operating system.
Or you can use this for preinstalled OEM or Retail Licenses. This is on a first come, first served monthly basis.
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