The CNET Lounge forum

General discussion

What did you do with your last old computer?

by duplicate-3e600a16 CNET staff/forum admin / November 21, 2006 3:44 AM PST

What did you do with your last old computer?

Put it in a closet
Dropped it in a trash can
Donated it to charity (which one?)
Recycled it (where?)
Gave it to a friend or relative
Salvaged it for parts
Sold it
Other (tell us more)

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What did you do with your last old computer?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What did you do with your last old computer?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by CrazyBare / November 22, 2006 8:02 AM PST

I give to Freecycle whenever I'm cleaning out my house. There are many Freecycle groups on Yahoo. Look for one in your own area.

My last computer went to a family who didn't have the funds to buy a computer, and their eldest was starting high school.

FreeCycle groups are great. Advertise for something you need, or post an OFFER of something you'd like to forward on, and stop dumping in the LandFill sites.

Collapse -
Donated to my local equivalent:
by wuz2blu / November 24, 2006 7:12 AM PST
In reply to: FreeCycle

I donated it to my local FreeGeek operation.

They test everything that's donated to them, carefully erase any working harddrives (much more thoroughly than merely "formatting" them), and either re-sell or give away the working items (computers, peripherals such as printers, etc.). With non-working electronics, they recycle as much of the parts and pieces as they can in an environmentally friendly manner (usually breaking down components and selling the sorted materials to various specialist recycling organizations).

FreeGeek is a non-profit and at least 90% of their staff is made up of non-paid volunteers.

I live in Portland, Oregon, but there are FreeGeek "nodes" all over. Check 'em out if you get the chance!

Collapse -
what I did with my last old computer
by wmahoney / November 22, 2006 8:13 AM PST

My last two systems were given to old couples who couldn't afford a PC but wanted to get connected. I the first couple with my P-III and the last couple just got my Pentium IV. I hooked the systems up for them and gave them all the software as well and my phone # if they need help.


Collapse -
What we do with oll old computers!
by satyam90 / November 22, 2006 11:39 AM PST

My husband and I keep all of the useful working parts of old computers and use them with other computers, not only for ourselves but for friends and family. My husband loves putting them together!

Collapse -
what did u do with your old computer?
by krazzidavid / November 22, 2006 8:25 AM PST

i still use my old computer because my new computer is in the shop 3 to 4 times a year thia computer is only 30 month old

Collapse -
Give it to a relative!! I am a firm believer of helping out!
by lassean1 / November 22, 2006 8:44 AM PST

Well, I come from a family that all my brothers and relatives do not have the cash to buy a PC at all. So as they are going off to College and trying to get their lives together. I want to keep in touch with family. I give them the Extra desktop. Although I am nice I take the old Hard drive out and keep it and charge them for the shipping but hey they get a new PC out of the deal. People really need to understand that a very old PC with a sempron or celeron CPU in it may be garbage to us but to someone with out a computer it is brand new to them.

Collapse -
I reformatted the hard drive and installed linux on it.
by maldain / November 22, 2006 8:56 AM PST

I have a little garden of linux boxes that I use for a number of things but it keeps those old drives spinning and the power company happy. My oldest system in my little garden is 486DX with 4 mb of memory running RH6. The last addition to the garden was a P4 with 1.2 gig of memory and two 160 gb hdd and a 128mb vid card. It really screams.

Collapse -
pliz move em from your gardern to my bedroom
by toneo / December 4, 2006 7:45 PM PST

well believe it or not you guys do not have an idea how much it means donating an old computer to us from Africa, im not sure of other countries but as for us Zimbabweans its one of the best gift or early christmas one can get,
you said you got a P4 lying in your garden, my folks wont even believe this when i tell them. Pliz forward it to me, i do computer repairs, with a proceessors like that and such huge ram , bro i will be personaly happy to recieve that one, its very expensive for us to buy coz a P4 machine now costs half the price of an ordinary 2nd hand car and less than 40% people of most African countries own cars, then you know what this means

pass me your e-mail pliz and for any one who thinks can make my day pliz use these contacts
1682 142 close
budiriro 1

Collapse -
What did you do with your last old computer?
by George B. Lockwood / November 22, 2006 9:04 AM PST

I donate all of my hardware and software to the local school system. They are glad to have fairly new (3-4 years old) PC's , Printers, Scanners, etc.

Collapse -
Gave it to a young relative - for the price of shipping
by rje49 / November 22, 2006 9:11 AM PST

Don't most people have relatives with kids that will want a computer sooner or later? Maybe the only shortcoming of the computer as far as kids are concerned is when they find out the graphics card doesn't make the grade for the latest and greatest games! Oh well. It cost $56 to UPS the 2 boxes! Fortunately, I still had the original boxes & packing material - I move a lot.

Collapse -
nice guys get hurt
by fmartino / November 22, 2006 9:23 AM PST

The best way to dispose of an old computer is to salvage what is good, drill holes in the hard drive and dump the rest

Collapse -
My last 3 Sony laptops
by sedonakathy / November 22, 2006 9:24 AM PST

My Mac friends have liked receiving my PC's. They say it makes it easier to communicate with other PC users...but now that Mac is more compatible with PC I may have to find another solution, especially with Vista and Office 2007 about to arrive.

Collapse -
What I did with my last compter
by jgurbisz / November 22, 2006 9:34 AM PST

Well I have many "last computers" personally you could say that I collect computers. I have so many computer parts in my house that it is getting ridiculous. But I love it, I use there parts (i.e. ram, dc-drives, floppy drives etc..) over again.

Regards--- jgurbisz

Collapse -
by DiamondC / November 22, 2006 9:57 AM PST

G'Day All: The website above explains a lot about what we do with old PC's and associated gear.

This non-profit organisation provides a "Shed space" for retired blokes.

The main part deals in mostly wood/metal work but I convene a pc recycle project that helps accomadate the more technically retired as well as any one else who wants a new challenge.

We accept Pc's from corporate to Govt. departments . Refurbish them and donate to kids and families that can't afford one, to elderly retired and immobile seniors. All with tuition and back up/support.

Further we also provide equipment to other volunteer organisations with limited funding.

Within the Mens Shed we provide education to all our members who may want to know any aspect of computing.

Further we provide Power Point presntations on Workshop Safety.

These short courses are also available to the wider community.

We also recycle old printers and scanners by salvaging components and creating "new " projects from them, eg: forever torches, garden windmill generators.

Water wheel generators, Camping and outshed lamps(ccfl fluros from scanners). Small scale solar ovens and water heaters to name just a few.

These activities keep the senior's active. viable and contributing in a meaning ful way to our local communities.

This allows bond of mateship to develop and provide a "bloke space " where men can discuss and just BE, with support for all types of problems men experience in retirement.

Regards...Chris frangoff
Robertson, Southern Highlands
NSW. Australia

Collapse -
It depends...
by owilde / November 22, 2006 10:04 AM PST

Sometimes if I am upgrading, I may try and sell the item(s) for a fairly cheap price, but to get a bit of cash to help with the cost of the new machine. If there aren't any takers, I may use it for parts possibly saving pieces like the graphics card and hard drive (to use with an enclosure = an new external hard drive), or if the whole machine is in working (or mostly working) condition but just not worth alot of money or time spent trying to sell it, then I will go ahead and give it away to an organization that needs one, a friend that likes to built new computers from parts, that kid of a co-worker that could use a basic computer even just for school work... And with those parts that are just trashed and you think you can't do anything but throw them away, there are always plenty of artists around that like using weird objects as art pieces (recycling them in this fashion gives them a second chance before the landfill).

And of course, you can always turn things into usable art as well, like the person that made a bag out of old 3.5 inch floppy diskettes... Very unbelievable and usefull, as well as a great conversation starter.

Now if only we could think of something to make out of VHS tapes.... I have a few (New) blank ones left laying around from a few years ago before my roommate got his first (and later) second Tivo's... The first was a Series 2 and great, but we still used the VCR to record TV series to tape. The second and current one, is another Series 2, but a Humax DRT-800 which is the 80hr with DVD player/burner built in and hence the reason for the leftover, unused tapes... Who needs a VCR when you can burn your tv shows straight to DVD from your Tivo??? And speaking of VCRs, I think we still have that gathering dust on some shelf somewhere... Maybe we should keep it so we can take some stuff from all those shelves of tapes and put it on a hard drive instead...

Collapse -
Anonymous Gifting
by CamInDfbFL / November 22, 2006 10:09 AM PST

I put it, the mouse, and the keyboard into two Macy's shopping bags and left them in the elevator of the highrise I was living in. They were gone very quickly. That also worked with an old vcr on another occasion.

Collapse -
Donating computers
by leon1948 / November 22, 2006 10:21 AM PST

It is almost impossible to find anyone in the USA who will accept an obsolete PC, even if you offer to deliver it. Once delivered, Americans actually expect a warranty on these old computers. In most of the world, our idea of an obsolete PC is still very useful and valuable. For some odd reason, our own government keeps putting charities out of business that try to put these computers into the hands of people who are very excited to have them. If it is obsolete in the USA, the Cold War restrictions should be throw out! The foundation I used to use is out of business, but new ones are created all of the time. Try to find one by searching the Internet for "donate computer."

Collapse -
Keep the best, sell the good
by sweetchinmusic / November 22, 2006 11:04 AM PST
In reply to: Donating computers

When I got my new laptop, I still kept some parts of my old PC. For instance, I've kept the monitor (and the computer table) and occasionally hook it up as a second display - useful in some areas of work, or if you just want to expand your desktop. I've also kept my old hard disc (even though I've taken the important data out of it). I had some pretty new parts (like an NVIDIA display card) on my desktop, which I sold off. And as for the other parts, I just gave them away to friends who needed them (like the SD-RAM).

Collapse -
Gave it away
by NLANGCRasta / November 22, 2006 10:43 AM PST

I gave my old computer to a friend that wanted one but didnt have one.

Collapse -
What I did with my last old computer
by pappy45 / November 22, 2006 10:49 AM PST

Me? I have at least 6 old computers. And out of the six, I make at least one out of them. Guess you could call it recycling. I fix & repair computers. When someone doesn't want their old one anymore, they give it to me. So, that is what I do with old computers.

Collapse -
old systems
by beyondtoday / November 22, 2006 11:23 AM PST

I turned them in to testing systems so that I can check the programs I download before using them on my everyday system. this is ideal because if the system crashes well it don't take long to drop on a new os where as if I have to do it to the everyday system then you have all the extra prgrams to reload.


Collapse -
Similar to off-site storage.
by lexdee / November 22, 2006 12:26 PM PST

What I did was clean it up inside and out, formatted the HD, and set the machine up as an off-site storage system for all our digital images and other important data. This is an older E Machine computer that's totally dependable and since we don't use it that much will most likely be fine for the forseeable future.

Collapse -
Donation always feels good
by mbfan465 / November 22, 2006 12:38 PM PST

I donated it to the local high school. I plan to donate this one too when I finally get a new one.
Donating always feels great ~I recommend it to everyone.

Collapse -
What I did with my old computers
by Warzjohn / November 22, 2006 12:49 PM PST

Recycled the old computers at in Portland, Oregon. They try to re-use the better parts and install Linux on them, then return the usable computers to charities, nonprofits, and those who cannot afford them. Many are shipped to schools in less developed nations by various groups that contact FreeGeek for help. On any day 200-250 volenteers are busy recycling old computers at freegeek. And there are several new freegeeks starting in other cities.
John Warzynski

Collapse -
Stripping For Education
by CustardTheCat / November 22, 2006 4:16 PM PST

When my computers are out of date I strip them down and use the componants within my work. I am a lecturer of Computer Science and ICT. I teach Visually Impaired people how to use a computer as a communication tool and use some of the parts for this group of people to feel so they have an sence of what the theory side of it is all about. Within my teachings of Computer Science I use the parts to enable the students to build new machines - some have the moeny to buy all new parts when building machines others have little or no monies so this method of using my old parts (and those of some of my collegues) allow these students to participate in this experience and gain a technical insight in to computers.

In the past I did donate my old machines to childrens organisations such as Brownies (Guiding & Scout movemnt) or St John Ambulance.

Collapse -
yeah in the closet
by MrMe003 / November 22, 2006 6:08 PM PST
Collapse -
What I did with my old computer
by shoilee / November 22, 2006 7:05 PM PST

Our school system has a Vo-tech and one of the courses they offer is computer repair...what better place to recycle an old computer, they can practice a myriad of repair projects with a used computer. They also got my used printer and monitor and several keyboards. The instructor was extremely pleased and stated they could use any and all donations. My hard drive was dead, so I removed that prior to donating it.

Collapse -
What to do with old computer?
by divemister / November 22, 2006 9:43 PM PST

I started out with the intention of upgrading my computer. As it turned out through many iterations I could only save the power cord and the video card.The rest was replaced by the able computer tech squad at the high school where I worked. The left-overs from the original were converted to a server that handled a bunch of printers. When I went to a flat screen monitor I found a friend who happily adopted my 17", 3 ton monitor.It seems I deal with pieces and not whole packages, never sticking more than a toe in the water at any one time.

Collapse -
What did I do with my last old computer?
by Dezso42 / November 23, 2006 1:33 AM PST

I dropped it in a trash can while vacated our storage closet during an anti-garbage campaign in springtime this year. It was very obsolete, over 10 years old and to tell the truth I don't know for what reason I stored it for a long time.

Collapse -
by Cad_1.0 / November 23, 2006 3:02 AM PST

I remove the hard drive, crush it and burn it, then sell it without a hard drive

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.