What Can You Do With A Dead Computer
Here are four environmentally-friendly ways to get rid of an old computer.
What To Do With Your Old Pc
ByKevin Lee07 November 2018
Nine practical and weird suggestions for what to do with your old rig when you build a new PC from scratch.
Congratulations, seasoned PC building veterans, youve been in the game for a few years now and its time upgrade your system. From adding a newer video card to installing a faster CPU, it should be easy peasy to install these new bits with one gaming PC build already under your belt. But one of the big questions you might have is: What should you do with your old rig?
One route is to upgrade your existing computer. Throwing in one of the latest and best graphics cards is as simple as popping the old one out of its PCI express slot and slotting in a new cardassuming your power supply can handle the upgrade and your case is large enough. However, adding a new processor with a different socket will require a whole motherboard swap. Add in more components like new RAM or a more generous power supply and youre crossing into the territory of a full system refresh. If youre thinking about replacing multiple components, it sometimes makes more sense to just start a whole new build.
With that in mind, these are our suggestions for what to do with your old rig when you build a new PC from scratch.
Make A Nas Home Server
A network-attached storage device is a server for your home or small business network used for storing files you share with all the PCs on the network . Prices vary from a pittance to the hundreds. But if you’ve got an old PC with lots of storage drive space, you don’t need to buy a NAS: make one.
- FreeNAS is open-source software for doing exactly that. It’s accessible by any OS on your networkWindows, macOS, Linux, you name it. It’s a perfect way to make a shared backup of your many devices. FreeNAS will also stream media to mobile OSes like iOS and Android you control which users get access. You need at least 8GB RAM and a 64-bit chip in the PC to run it properly.
- Tonido is a different kind of storageit turns a PC into your own private cloud, where the PC becomes a storage site for accessing files from anywhere, on any device. Use it at home over DLNA to stream media, or remotely from a smartphone. Tonido suggests you put it on your primary computer, but if you install it on an old, secondary computer, it’s instantly part of your backup routine. Note that Tonido is not an operating system in and of itselfyou’ll still need Windows, macOS, or a version of Linux on the PC to use Tonido.
Other software you can try to make your personal cloud include Rockstor and XigmaNAS.
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So Can Samsung Dex Replace Laptop
As we mentioned earlier, the answer will depend on the user. Dex might not be the best choice if you are a power user who works on various things and needs to be glued to the screen for a long time of the day. Especially if you do programming or graphic design, the Dex is simply not an option for you. Most of the apps for these works are not available for Dex. Even if some of them are available, they are not optimized yet, and hence they wont assure you a decent performance.
However, if you are a light user who requires dealing with documents, excel sheets, and related things, Dex is more than enough for you. Along with documents, you can also get the same PC experience while emailing, web browsing, texting, and video conferences. If your range of work is limited to these things and you only need to work for a few hours, Samsung Dex can replace your laptop.
Samsung Dex is obviously a ground-breaking creation, and who knows, somedays it may break the norms of the current standard of desktops and laptops. Although Samsung Dex is not yet fully equipped to replace the laptops, it will also not disappoint you for the basic tasks. So, if you are not a power user, Samsung Dex may be an excellent, cheap, and portable alternative to the laptop.
What Should I Do Before I Get Rid Of My Device
When you’re finished a gadget, make sure it’s also finished with you. Even though it might be old, someone just needs a charger to reboot your old phone or computer to get to your personal data.
The moral of this story: Make sure to back up anything you want off the device — photos, videos, songs — and then perform a factory reset. Don’t worry, we’ll give you pointers on wiping your device in the sections on phones, laptops and cameras below.
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When All Else Fails Recycle
Finally, if you have metal and electronic components that you really don’t want, check your city or county’s website to find out how to recycle them. Often you can schedule a pickup of unwanted electronics, or drop them off. Don’t just toss them in the trash! Because even if you don’t care about the parts, recyclers might.
Use It For Running Linux
If you can repurpose your laptop to run as a Chromebook it will likely run fine as a Linux machine as well. After all, Linux is the most stable, and infection-free OS out there. Plus, you could do almost everything that you could on a Windows machine, with added security and stability. That said, Linux isnt everybodys cup of tea. Not many people would want to fiddle around having to type commands rather than using a few mouse clicks to achieve whatever they want on their laptop. But if you have a little bit of interest in Linux, this could be one way to give your laptop another lease on life. The best way to try out if a flavour if Linux is right for you is to boot it up from a flash drive. You can download a bootable copy of the operating system for USB and make your own.
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What To Do With Old Computers That Still Work
Everything got up an update or upgrade every year, same in the case of computer systems. They are running with the time up-to-date and getting smaller and smaller but more efficient. But it doesnt mean, you have to waste the old one. So here is the question of what to do with old computers that still work? Means how we can recycle them how they are working perfectly but not up-to-date.
Here we will suggest the best ways to reuse old ones. Yes! You heard right you may use your old computers in different ways.
At a certain point in your computing period, your system loses that shiny and attractive look or its design doesnt remain in the trend anymore. But thats working perfectly, what is its mean? You have to waste that computer! No never. You can again keep that system in your room by just changing its body or design.
Its quite better to reuse that system by just changing some parts of it instead of buying, spending, and wasting money on the new one.
Donate Its Brain To Science
Remember ? It’s still a thing. In fact, it started being a thing so long ago, you might not recognize the name. SETI@home connects your PC to a distributed network, harnessing its processor to help analyze radio telescope data. In other words, now your leftover laptop can help with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
All you do is download the Boinc software , then choose SETI@home from the list of available projects.
If aliens aren’t your thing, Boinc also enables this kind of “volunteer computing” for things like medical research and climate analysis. The only cost to you is the electricity and bandwidth needed to keep the laptop running.
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Break Up Your Broken Not
You now know your old computer has virtually no resale value, but you lack the skills for a project like the ones in the video above. You can still harvest the parts for other creative projects. Some suggestions are:
- Harvest your broken machines for usable parts, then build a new one bit by bit.
- Buy some cheap RAM, format and upgrade your old PC.
- Sell the usable parts online as spares on eBay or a similar website.
- Use it a learning kit. Take your computer apart to understand how it is constructed.
How To Sell Used Laptops Online:
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Worthwhile Ways To Breathe New Life Into Old Computers
I dont like to throw away an old computer unless it truly no longer works. A computer might not work any more for a specific purpose, but as long as it can still do something, I try to find a use for it. In fact, if I have a good idea floating around in my head, Ill even look out for inexpensive older desktop computers and laptops on places like Craigslist, take them home, reformat them, and put them to some specific use. Back in the day, I also used to go to public sales at the local university where they sold outdated computers, buying them for these kinds of specific purposes.
This is a great way to take something out of your closet thats just gathering dust and is probably on its way to the landfill and turn it into something useful again. There are many, many uses for old PC hardware that go beyond writing an email or checking a website.
Here are 10 great uses for old computers, laptops, and tablets.
Sell It To Fund The Next One
You might ask why you would sell your old computer when the whole article is about using it. Thats true, but it is always wiser to invest in newer technologies. They dont just look brilliant, they are greener and a beefier performer, designed to run better and safer apps. Selling it for quick cash is definitely better than just throwing it away.
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Make Your Own Surface Computer
If you have a coffee table or side table with glass top, you can turn your old laptop into a surface computer. This only works if your laptop can open flat, with hinges that goes up to 180 degrees. You will again need to fashion a carriage or mount for the laptop in order to keep the screen as close to the underside of the glass top as possible. This will also require a wireless mouse that works on glass like the Logitech MX Master or Logitech MX Anywhere and a compact wireless keyboard. You can choose to hide the rest of your laptop leaving only the screen if you want to make it look sleek. This also works on a big desk, again with glass top for users to be able to see the screen flat on the surface and to share your view.
Signs It Is Time To Update Your Laptop
Laptops are a pricey investment that you don’t replace monthly. If you use your laptop regularly, expect to replace your laptop every few years. Depending on your laptop’s quality and the extent you use it, your laptop’s life varies.
Instead of thinking about age, consider recognizing signs of malfunction. These problems include:
- Loud Fans
- Data Corruption
- Program Incompatibility
Those inexperienced with technology should take their old laptop to a shop for inspection before giving up on it. There might be simple solutions for you to easily refurbish your laptop.
While cleaning out vents or replacing small parts helps, outdated hardware may be unrepairable. Additionally, if you require the newest programs or graphics cards for school or work, software restrictions on your hardware may force you to upgrade from a perfectly functioning laptop.
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Hot To Get Your Hands On An Old Mac
There are lots of places you can snag a legacy Mac, including thrift stores, garage sales, and eBay. Of course, when it comes to the condition it might be in, the mileage will vary.
I got lucky with mine. Not only is it fairly free of scratches or any visual blemishes, but the battery also still holds a charge.
If youre looking for a straightforward experience, look for an iBook or PowerBook manufactured after 1999. Not only will these run Mac OS X , they also typically come with built-in USB.
If youre more adventurous, you can get an even older Mac. These might come with a pre-OS X version of Mac OS . Some of the first PowerBook G3 laptops didnt even include USB, although this is easily fixed with a Cardbus expansion card. I found one on eBay for $10 in the original packaging, with the driver CDs.
For an even better bargain, you can buy a spares or repair Mac. These will likely require you to do a bit of tinkering, though.
Some older Macs that refuse to boot might only need the PRAM battery to be replaced. If youre comfortable with the process, you can also do a teardown and remove any internal dust that might be causing the machine to overheat.
While youre in there, you might also want to replace older thermal paste with a fresh squirt. When youre done, youll have a powerful workhorse.
Old Mac Games Still Run Too
Of course, its not all fun and no play. A decent amount of games were released for PowerPC Macs, and you can find many of them online. Two games Im currently enjoying are the cell-shaded shooter XIII and Star Trek: Elite Force II. While the gameplay and graphics dont quite meet the sophistication of todays games, theyre still fairly fun.
You can easily find old Mac games on eBay. Some are even free to download on various websites. Since my Mac struggles to connect to the Internet, I download them on my main computer and copy them over with a USB flash drive.
Bear in mind that some websites offer games for download as abandonware. This means the owner isnt actively selling them, but theyre still under copyright and cant legally be distributed. Use your best judgment when downloading games from such websites.
Since the FAT32 file system used on many flash drives limits files to 4 GB, youd be well-advised to reformat the drive to MacOS Extended . Its capable of storing much larger files. Youll have to copy files over via another Mac, however.
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Yes You Should Recycle Your Old Camera
If you’re still holding onto camera relics from the early 2000s, we’ve got a few places that will take them off your hands.
Best Buy and Home Depot accept cameras and camcorders. Lowe’s also takes cameras. And, of course, Earth911 and Call2Recycle are options for the breadth of your used electronics.
Large TVs may seem like a pain to donate. But Best Buy, for example, lets you drop off your TVs at retail locations to be recycled for just $30.
Experiment With New Lighter Os
Do you like to try new things? Nothing will seem newer than a freshly installed operating system on your old PCeven a downright elderly computer will feel brand new. Most alternative operating systems are based on Linux, which comes in a variety of options called “distros.” Popular examples include Ubuntu, Mint, elementary OS, PinguyOS, and Manjaro. You’ll find interfaces similar to Windows, and they come with software packages, like LibreOffice . Most work pretty great on PCs with 4GB of RAM or more, but check the specifications needed.
You might want to try creating your own version of a Chromebooka computer that’s essentially running Google’s Chrome browser as the OS. Sadly, Google doesn’t give Chrome OS away, or even sell it. There is, however, the “open source” Chromium OS project based on the same code. Even that’s not simple to download and install. Consumers are told to buy a Chromebook laptop. However, CloudReady: Home Edition, which is free for individual use, is an installer that can help you create a ChromeBook or ChromeBox. All you need is a USB thumb drive to install it.
You can read a big list of other alternative OSes for real gearheads at MakeUseOf.
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