What Do You Do With Old or Outdated Hardware? [You Told Us]

outdated hardwareTechnology ages at an alarming rate. There is always something new and shiny on the horizon, meaning that at some point the device you were once excited about getting your hands on is no longer fit for purpose. At this point everyone has to make a choice.

There are a multitude of different things that can be done with old or outdated hardware. From simply dumping it in the trash, giving it away to a good cause, selling it on for a fair price, or changing its use entirely. Inspired by seeing people turning old technology into musical instruments Making Music With Tech Hardware - 8 Great YouTube Videos We've already seen a list of the best music videos featuring floppy disk drives, and now it's time to broaden our horizons a little and bring more tech hardware into the mix. It's amazing the... Read More , we wanted to find out what option you all chose.

What Do You Do With Old Or Outdated Hardware?

outdated hardware

We asked, What Do You Do With Old or Outdated Hardware? The response was very good, with dozens of MakeUseOf readers revealing what they do with their old computers and associated hardware when they find they no longer have a use for it. Most of those who responded don’t just trash the hardware, dumping in the garbage for someone else to deal with.

Some commenters detailed using old computers for single-use activities such as storing files, converting video, or servers. Many people install Linux The Best Linux Software and Apps Whether you're new to Linux or you're a seasoned user, here are the best Linux software and apps you should be using today. Read More on an old machine in order to carry on using it. Others give hardware away, via Freecycle, or not-for-profit organizations who will endeavor to match unwanted machines up with needy people.

Even those who bin it try to have it properly recycled rather than added to the landfill. Which suggests MakeUseOf readers are a responsible bunch.

Comment Of The Week

Comment of the week goes to Kamal Tanawr, who gets nothing but my admiration and respect (which is surely more than anyone needs) for:

I usually donate it to an orphanage. I had an old desktop with intel P4 and another one with core2duo. Didn’t know what to do with them as I was going to buy a new one. The next day i was donating some clothes and food to an orphanage and it just clicked me why not computers? Anyways i would have either sold it @ garbage price or modified to rarely use it.

So i went to this orphanage and donated. I also taught some kids how to use it. It was fun.I purposely didn’t uninstall some games and softwares.But they don’t let them play games. It is mostly used for education purpose. I’m an avid gamer and i like to encourage people to play games. Hence, i donate my psp and nintendo too.

It really feels good when you see those kids playing. They are so excited and happy.

This comment not only revealed the way Kamal disposes of his old and outdated hardware, and a way we could all do the same, but also how going that extra mile can help change the lives of people less fortunate than ourselves. By teaching the kids how to use the technology a real difference can be made. Not bad for old hardware that has outlived the usefulness it had in its original form.

We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask You’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Thomas Claveirole

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  1. Mr.Reality
    May 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

    You can always strip down a computer, format it and install just the basic software that doesn't slow it down. It's still usable for a couple of years for a dedicated use. There's always plenty of people looking for something like that. It's no use to trash it straight away.

  2. Adriel Tan
    May 24, 2012 at 8:06 am

    I have an old laptop. Specs are

    Core Duo 1.6ghz
    2GB of Ram
    and a intel intergrated 256MB

    I used to use it for testing new OS, until the hinge broke and now I use it as a HTPC with Windows 8. Video is smooth as long as I don't put the resolution to high, and if I sometimes use it for 3 hours straight it overheats (core duo problem). It works great however and Windows 8 looks beautiful on a big screen TV

  3. Jan de Groot
    May 24, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Be carefull with giving away your old computer. It can contain confidential information.

    The best solution is to destroy your hardware via a certified data destruction company. They will destroy all your data and recycle all the shredded materials.

    For Dutch readers. This is a company who can shred old hardware: http://www.vernietigen.com/datavernietiging/harde-schijf-vernietigen-harddisk.html

  4. Juan Paulo Ducut
    May 24, 2012 at 4:22 am

    We have an old PC here, the specs:
    Pentium 4 2.4 ghz single core processor
    80 GB HDD IDE Storage
    512MB DDR1 Memory
    DLink USB wireless network card
    nVidia GeForce4 MX440 video card
    Realtek AC97 sound drivers
    Windows XP Professional with SP3

    we use mainly for office jobs, internet browsing and retro games.

    • RoachTracie
      May 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      my best friend's mother makes $60 an hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 5 months but last month her income was $16270 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here's the site to read more CashLazy.*com
      remove the *