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Old XP netbook, laptop, and PC
Old 06-07-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Old XP netbook, laptop, and PC

I'm in the midst of trying to clean out and get rid of unused/excess stuff.

In my pile of seldom-used computers*, I have an asus eee netbook (~5 yrs old), an Dell Latitude 700m laptop (~8 yrs old), and an eMachines desktop PC (~9+ yrs old). These are all running Windows XP.

For my "daily use" needs, I also have a newer Acer desktop PC (running Windows 7) and a Nexus 7 tablet (Android).

I bought the asus eee netbook for travel due to its compact size and weight. In this past year, I snowbirded for 4 months plus I took several trips of much longer duration (~3+ wks.) all while while doing some fairly intense, detailed genealogical work so the small screen size of the netbook is really starting to annoy me.

*These computers all work, but seem slow and have the no-longer-supported Windows XP. I hate to just pitch these (adding to the landfill problem), as there might possibly be someone who can make use of them. Any ideas/suggestions on what to do with them?

The netbook and laptop were never used for much more than checking email and crafting some basic correspondence and spreadsheets. Neither have ever been used to store any financial information or files. The eMachine had financial files stored on it, so it would need to be "wiped" of that information or the HD removed -- in which case I can't imagine that anyone would have any use for it.

omni
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:56 AM   #2
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I have disposed of many XP computers over the last 5 years or so. There was even an eMachine or two in there! I pull the hard drive and destroy, and this means the computer has little use or value.

Twice a year there are electronic recycling events nearby, so I take a few computers there and drop them off, with no HD or memory. You can buy an external USB enclosure for any hard drive, and maybe get some use out of the drive that way.

I tend to hang on to the notebooks, as there have been some times when I needed a clean notebook to perform some recovery with a Linux boot CD, or attach to a network I wasn't sure of.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:41 AM   #3
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Install Linux on them (Xubuntu is my Ubuntu derivative preference). it'll run great, and you will have a supported OS, with regular security updates. A spare laptop can be really handy - I use our old ASUS eee as a music player mainly.

If you don't feel up to installing Xubuntu (it's easy actually, especially since you don't care about maintaining Windows on these, the default options on the installer will work w/o fiddling), you could locate a Linux user's group, I'm sure they would put them to good use.

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Old 06-07-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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I hate throwing old electronics away so I usually either try to donate it, give it away, or sell on ebay. Even if it only sells for a few bucks on ebay at least it is going to someone who will use it.

I always wipe the hard drive with several passes writing random data to every bit and do a clean install of the OS (linux might also be a good opportunity).
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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+1 for Ununtu

I played with it three or four years ago, and then just last week. Much improved, easy to install and get on line. Took an old XP machine and put Ubuntu on it. It booted up, ran fast enough and is a great web surfing machine.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
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donate them to a local charity! Google donate computers for a charity nearby. Often there are organizations who will take these and upgrade them for the use of their clients.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I have disposed of many XP computers over the last 5 years or so. There was even an eMachine or two in there! I pull the hard drive and destroy, and this means the computer has little use or value.
+1

Personally, as much as it would pain me to do this, I would remove all of the hard drives and destroy them for privacy reasons.

Then I guess I would dispose of the computers as junk and buy a new, smokin' fast Windows 8.1 computer. If I wanted to donate to charity, I'd give them money so they could get something better than an old XP computer that can't even go on the internet these days due to lack of Microsoft support.

But that's just me....
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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I remove drives, disassemble, remove platters, beat them up.

There is no way the data can be resuscitated.

If you really want to reuse, delete partitions and install Linux. Then use a utility to secure erase free space.

What do you think?
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have disposed of many XP computers over the last 5 years or so. ... I pull the hard drive and destroy, and this means the computer has little use or value. ...
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Personally, as much as it would pain me to do this, I would remove all of the hard drives and destroy them for privacy reasons. ...

That's certainly the surest and probably simplest way to avoid having anyone get a hold of the data. But many 'geeks' will have an old, serviceable hard drive that can be used to replace the destroyed one, so it lowers the value, but could still be usable for some.



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... If I wanted to donate to charity, I'd give them money so they could get something better than an old XP computer that can't even go on the internet these days due to lack of Microsoft support.
There are lots of places that will take an old computer and put Linux on it and provide them to needy people. Linux has long-term support against security issues, and gets on the internet just fine, and runs well even on older, lower horsepower computers. No need to junk it. Of course, you could donate money as well, I suppose they could use $$ to buy hard drives or other components to restore a few ailing machines.

Here's the first one that came up in a search:

https://linux4hope.org/

Quote:
What we do

The world needs people who can make a difference, and we'd like to play a small part in fullfilling that. We are Linux4Hope: a nonprofit organization that aims to provide free computers to those in need. Our team members recycle old computers and install Linux on them to achieve this goal.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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I remove drives, disassemble, remove platters, beat them up.

There is no way the data can be resuscitated.

If you really want to reuse, delete partitions and install Linux. Then use a utility to secure erase free space.

What do you think?
As cheap as new computers are these days, it hardly seems worth the effort. Computers are getting so low in price that they are almost cheaper than toasters. Seriously, it is not worth the effort IMO.

Like you, in the past I have just removed the platters and beat them to death with a hammer. It's great therapy.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:34 PM   #11
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As expected, a lot of great responses...and food for thought.

Thanks, everyone.

omni
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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Paying clients give computers to me for disposal. So it is worth the time, for me at least.

Have to look into the Linux org just mentioned.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:48 PM   #13
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target,

Sounds like you've got a lot of computer expertise (which I am lacking).

Is there a simple tutorial on how to remove partitions, install Linux, install a utility, etc?

omni
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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Could try the linux option.

Or remove the hard drives and if you don't want to destroy them, reuse them.

I consolidated three desktops and reused their hard drives. My main one has two 1TB drives and extras I use for backups via an external dock and storage HD holder.

Amazon.com: Plugable USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Lay-Flat Docking Station (Latest ASMedia ASM1053E Chipset): Computers & Accessories

Amazon.com: ORICO PHP-35 Professional Premium Anti-Static Hard Drive Protection Box for 3.5 hard drive HDD - Orange: Computers & Accessories
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:14 PM   #15
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Try Linuxmint.Com.
In the community section there is a hardware database. In the download section you can get a DVD download to boot the computer.

When you boot, look for an option to erase the entire desk.

I believe there is still a Windows download for mint that allows you to set up a separate partition and dual boot.

Can you burn an iso DVD?
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post

Is there a simple tutorial on how to remove partitions, install Linux, install a utility, etc?

omni

Xubuntu is my preference, but that's a personal preference. Mint is a nice option as well. You can DL Xubuntu here:

Get Xubuntu « Xubuntu

And then follow the instructions here to burn a DVD that you can boot/install from on the target computer (Note that Xubuntu is just a variation of Ubuntu, the process is the same).

How to burn a DVD on Windows | Ubuntu

You can also do this by following the instructions to load a bootable Linux on a thumb drive, which is nice, but has been problematic for me (and others). The DVD approach has been dependable for me, the thumb drive not so much.

As target says, since you don't want/need Windows on these, you can just follow the very simple default install options to let Linux use the whole drive. The installer will do everything for you, you won't need to learn/worry about partitioning.

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Old 06-07-2014, 01:52 PM   #17
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Try
In the community section there is a hardware database. In the download section you can get a DVD download to boot the computer.

When you boot, look for an option to erase the entire desk.

I believe there is still a Windows download for mint that allows you to set up a separate partition and dual boot.

Can you burn an iso DVD?
I'm trying to register on Linuxmint to get access to the hardware database.

I've never tried burning an iso DVD...but I found this "how to" http://www.wikihow.com/Burn-ISO-Files-to-DVD....and the PC, laptop both have a CD/DVD tray. And I have an external DVD writer that I can hook up to the asus netbook.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:28 PM   #18
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I'm trying to register on Linuxmint to get access to the hardware database.

I've never tried burning an iso DVD...but I found this "how to" http://www.wikihow.com/Burn-ISO-Files-to-DVD....and the PC, laptop both have a CD/DVD tray. And I have an external DVD writer that I can hook up to the asus netbook.
The link led to an out of date wiki page.

But there are free programs you can use to burn an iso to a DVD.

One that comes to mind which I like is burnaware.

BurnAware | Full-Featured and Free Burning Software

http://www.burnaware.com/download/
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:33 PM   #19
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Most of these boot CD 's and DVD' s are $5 when you order.

Registration isn't required for the database.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:50 AM   #20
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You can use diskwipe. It is portable, free and does not require installation. Just download it, put it on some removable media ( USB stick ). Plug it in the PC you want to wipe and follow the instructions. Disk Wipe - User Guide

Linux is a great tool for doing almost anything. You just download the ISO file, here's a download link for mint, Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" - Cinnamon (32-bit) - Linux Mint

When the download finishes, find the ISO file, select it. You can us the built in image burner software in windows, burn it to a DVD. Note: burn the image, do not copy the ISO.

Then reboot from the DVD you just made, follow the install instructions.

I've given lots of old PCs away to charity places.
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