What To Do With An Old Laptop or Computer

What To Do With An Old Laptop or Computer

In this era of technological advancement when the new gadgets are replacing the old ones rapidly, it is important to know the accurate methods of disposal of the old and useless gadgets to avoid any kind of environmental or other hazards. However, if you are still struggling with the question – What to do with old computer or laptop, here are the 6 best things to do with an old laptop, desktop or PC:

6 Best Things we can do with Old Laptops And Computers

1. Sell Old Computers To Generate Cash

If your computer is in an acceptable working condition but you want to replace it with a technologically upgraded gadget, then it makes sense to sell it off to another user to get rid of an old laptop. However, it is judicial to undertake extensive research about the market value of such a computer to offer/accept a justified price.

Websites like eBay are the best place to explore the various computer of similar make is sold in the market. However, selling it privately will fetch you more money and is the best way for laptop disposal.

2. Use For Distributed Computing Project

There are several computers in this world that donate their spare time for scientific projects to perform calculations. These projects vary from searching for life from other planets to finding a cure for diseases.

3. Learn PC Building

You can learn PC building by setting apart all the components of your old PC and then assemble it back. You can also use several online tutorials to understand the basics. Ensure some necessary precautions like switching off the main plug to avoid any shocks or sparks.

4. Give Away To Any Friend In Need

A computer in a good working condition might turn useless for you but maybe bliss for someone else. If you know any acquaintance or friend who is need of such a computer, you can consider it to donate them.

Especially for a novice in technology, these types of computers are a great way to explore the internet world. You can also extend technical support to them by downloading a team-viewer and help them to discover more about the computer-world as and when possible.

5. Donate Old Laptop To Someone In Need

Any charitable organization or school in your vicinity can be considered to donate working computers/laptops. You can browse the internet to find out the local schools and charitable organizations and trace their contact details.

Such computers can be used in school practical classes or where the budget for new lab equipment is low.

6. Save For Spare Parts

While a desktop computer consists of a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and CPU, even a laptop can be used to strip the components to use further. The old hard drive of PC can be used as a secondary drive in the new PC. An enclosure kit is required to convert hard-drive of the laptop into a portable USB drive. Hence remove the hard drive from the computer before recycling delicately first along with other spare parts.

You can also sell computer spare parts for cash.

Where to Recycle Old Computers or Laptops?

Once not in use, it is important to get rid of such computers/laptops without posing any threat to the environment. So, if you own the one and thinking about the recycle computer parts or recycle old laptop here are the 5 places which can assist you with gadget recycling:

Office Depot and Staples

The office supply giants are the perfect recycling agents who recycle the gadgets for free. However, for larger gadgets like TVs and Monitor, Staples charges a minimalist fee of $ 10. You can buy the boxes from the depot of varied sizes which can accumulate your gadgets conveniently and drop them for recycling purposes.

Best Buy

It is a one-stop solution to recycle an old laptop for cash and other unused gadgets in the easiest way. The customer-friendly recycling program offered by them allows discarding three gadgets per day. However, it is important that these gadgets should have a display and a plug to let them buy from you. For monitors and TV, they charge $10 but you also receive a $10 gift card, making the deal absolutely free.


It is a charitable drop-off center that has partnered with Dell to accept the monitors as well as computers and their accessories irrespective of their condition. You can browse their website to know more and the recycling program offered by them is incredibly free.

Your Cell Phone Service Provider

Almost every cell-phone provider is offering mail back services for older mobile phones. You can simply check out with your current or old mobile service provider to trace out more details. Alternatively, you can also call 911 which is a helpline for community services to know more. There are various schemes like postage-paid-mail-ins or in-store drop-offs which are hassle-free recycling deals.

Apple Stores

If you are seeking some rewards for your recycling initiatives, this is the best place to consider. You can drop only cellphones and iPods here to recycle to fetch a lucrative 10% discount on the purchase of an iPod. A prepaid shipping program is offered by Apple where the worth of your old laptop, desktop, Mac or PC which have the potential to reuse for their spare parts. You will b credited with Apple store Credits which is straight $30.

You can always search for various sites to discover the various e-cycling programs offered. EcoSquid and MyGreenElectronics are some of such examples. However, many cities and countries offer their own recycling programs.

How To Wipe Out A Computer  Or Laptop Before Selling?

In the context of computers, wipe out refer to the clearing of all the data on the hard drive to make it inaccessible to anyone before disposing of the gadgets like computer, tablets, I Pads, and smartphones. You simply need to reset the computer to delete all the personal information. It is very important to wipe a computer before selling it. Here are the guidelines to reset Windows 8.1 PC:

  1. Open PC settings in your PC.
  2. Choose Update and recovery by clicking on it.
  3. Choose Recovery with a click.
  4. Select ‘Remove everything and reinstall Window 10’ by clicking on the ‘Get Started’ button.
  5. Select the ‘next’ button.
  6. To erase everything from the device, click on the ‘Fully Clean’ option.

Now reset your computer on the default setting so that the new user can use the computer. Before formatting the computer, you can take a back up of all the information on an external storage device and copy it to your new device.

How To Remove The Hard Drive From A Laptop?

How to Remove Hard Drive From Laptop

For every laptop, the different process needs to be followed to remove the hard drive. Remember, that the process of removing a hard drive from a computer or removing hard drive from the desktop is entirely different. Commonly, an access panel is used to remove the hard drive. The power cable and battery should be disconnected to proceed with hard drive removal. Following are some of the steps which need to be followed for hard drive removal from your laptop:

  1. Take a backup of all the files stored in your hard drive using an external hard drive.
  2. Disconnect all the cables including power cable, USB cables, phone lines, and network cables.
  3. Remove the battery by pressing the latches on the reverse side of your laptop.
  4. Press and hold the power buttons for 15 seconds to discharge any remaining battery on your laptop.
  5. Remove the access panel by unscrewing the bottom of the laptop.
  6. Remove mount of the hard drive either by unscrewing the additional screws or pressing the button depending upon your computer.
  7. Separate the connectors of a hard drive.
  8. Remove the hard drive delicately from the brackets.

What To Do With An Old Hard Drive?

There are many creative ways in which an old hard drive can be used. Where functional or not, there are several cool ways than destroying a hard drive in which it can be used:

  1. It can be used as a portable drive by using as an external hard drive enclosure.
  2. Network attached storage (NAS) can be made using the old hard drive which is accessible by using Wi-Fi.
  3. As these drives contain large amounts of magnets, you can use them for a magnetic knife block.
  4. Polished mirrors used as platters can be used as a cubical rear view mirror.
  5. Create geeky wind chime using the platters inside the hard drive.
  6. The Hard Drive case can be used to make a hidden safe for your stash.
  7. Using creative D-I-Y hacks, you can create an attractive clock using the hard drive as the base.

These simple gadgets disposal hacks will help you to dispose of your old computer and laptops suitably.

2 thoughts on “What To Do With An Old Laptop or Computer

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  2. That’s good to know that you can’t just throw away old electronics. I would think that the batteries and things inside them could do some damage if not disposed of properly, so that makes sense. I’ll have to consider taking my old laptop to a recycling company as soon as it stops working.

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