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Old PC's--Anything Worth Salvaging?
Old 02-02-2023, 08:32 AM   #1
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Old PC's--Anything Worth Salvaging?

I'm a homebrew PC builder so I hate to throw components away.

I've got a couple of old Dell computers that were running Windows XP. They were middle of the road machines, had separate video and sound cards, expanded memory, CD-ROM drives, etc.

I can't think of anything to salvage. The memory sticks are of low capacity and too slow and incompatible with anything of recent vintage. The CD-ROM's are obsolete. The video boards are laughably anemic. Sound boards don't change much but onboard sound is more than adequate on new machines. The power supplies are likely 400 watts or less and probably not compatible with newer motherboards.

Other than keeping the hard drives, is there anything in these old boxes that would be worthwhile saving?
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:39 AM   #2
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I have a bunch of "older stuff". Complete and functional desktops and a couple obsolete laptops, extra HD's, floppies, all sorts of special cards, CD drives and even a few old CRT's. Total value is probably almost nothing. They are out of sight in one of my overflow sheds at this time so they will be taken to the dump at some point.

I do save most of the interconnecting cables. (Power cords, Cat 5 stuff, etc) They come in useful "occasionally" but the rest of the stuff is junk.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:40 AM   #3
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Check your area for charities that recycle the copper and components
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Car-Guy View Post
I have a bunch of "older stuff". Complete and functional desktops and a couple obsolete laptops, extra HD's, floppies, all sorts of special cards, CD drives and even a few old CRT's. Total value is probably almost nothing. They are out of sight in one of my overflow sheds at this time so they will be taken to the dump at some point.
You may have to pay to dump those types of items, FYI.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:43 AM   #5
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Given that everything is from the XP era, itís highly unlikely that thereís any use for it. Iíd just take it all to an electronics recycle center.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:44 AM   #6
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I built several PCs back in the day. 10MHz XT clones w/ 20mB HDs, a 286 w/10 MB HD and a couple of 386 machines. I no longer build machines. I am not a gamer. Unless you are an electronic experimenter there is nothing of any value IMO. Even used HDs of yesterday's machines are too small for new builds. I erase, then take a hammer to the drives and it all goes to the recycler. I really need to clean out my stash of loose DVD drives keyboards, etc.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:52 AM   #7
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Unless you are an electronic experimenter there is nothing of any value IMO. Even used HDs of yesterday's machines are too small for new builds. I erase, then take a hammer to the drives and it all goes to the recycler.
I want to keep the hard drives because there might come a time I would want to take some data off of them. I have a PC I built that has a hot-swap external hard drive "bay" which allows me to take the hard drive and plug it into this bay and access the contents.

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I really need to clean out my stash of loose DVD drives keyboards, etc
You and me, both.

I had to replace my furnace last week and clearing out the utility room reminded me of all the crap I've got squirreled away in there that I haven't touched for at least 10 years.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:53 AM   #8
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There is a recycling business not too far from us that pays cash for old PC and networking components, particularly the motherboards, cards, cases, power supplies, and power cords. Not much, but it is something and much better than tossing in the trash. Check if there is something like that in your area.

I still build, but not at the same rate I used to. Every January/February I go through the older stuff and batch it up and take it to the center. At the moment I'm going through the stuff, hopefully to take them over by Monday.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:58 AM   #9
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There is a recycling business not too far from us that pays cash for old PC and networking components, particularly the motherboards, cards, cases, power supplies, and power cords. Not much, but it is something and much better than tossing in the trash. Check if there is something like that in your area.
Just did a search in my area for PC recycling facilities and there are several. So far none pay you for old PC's, but neither do they charge you for dropping them off. One place requires $10 to dispose of TV's and/or monitors.
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:08 AM   #10
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I just took my last (ever) PC to the recycling center, they segregate everything including computers/peripherals. All I care is they dispose of it correctly, if someone makes a buck, OK with me.
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Old 02-02-2023, 09:12 AM   #11
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You may have to pay to dump those types of items, FYI.
Nope, my county has an electronics free "dump day" twice a year... I just need to catch them when they are open. I'm sure (?) they recycle the stuff and/or dispose of it properly.
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:02 AM   #12
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As the saying goes, "One person's junk is another person's treasure."
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:12 AM   #13
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If you save anything long enough it might be worth something to a collector.

I'd pull the hard drives, drill through them and then recycle the rest.
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:20 AM   #14
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All old electronics: pc's, fitbits, tablets, personal devices (Alexa etc) contain components that hold rare earth materials. Most counties have a list of places that take these devices. Some are free, others not. But, what is important is that those strippable components don't end up in a land fill.
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Old 02-02-2023, 11:48 AM   #15
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Maybe install Linux and donate it?

Even old machines run well with a basic Linux install. I use Xubuntu, which is fairly lightweight, but offers tons of configurations options that allow me to make it fit like a glove. But a straight default install is fine for most people too.

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Old 02-02-2023, 11:54 AM   #16
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I'm an old PC hoarder user.

Not counting the ones in closet not used, I have an old Dell Tower as my main PC (running Windows). Then I have another Dell Tower running Linux Mint.

Have one main travel laptop on MX Linux to remote into the home PCs.

Plus have another laptop I use now and then with a linux distro aimed at privacy security.

Oh, then there's a mini pc hooked up to a webcam for my cats.

Now, all I need is an old Mac then I'd be set .
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Old 02-02-2023, 12:30 PM   #17
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I'm on my "new" refurb i7 8700 circa Q4'17. Makes no sense to buy overpriced new when benefits are so minor. I'm actually throwing out the Core2Duo at this point.
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Old 02-02-2023, 12:37 PM   #18
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I'm on my "new" refurb i7 8700 circa Q4'17. Makes no sense to buy overpriced new when benefits are so minor. I'm actually throwing out the Core2Duo at this point.
This is my “problem”. I want a new computer but, for my needs, my 10 year old computer works just fine. It won’t upgrade to Windows 11 so when they stop supporting Windows 10, maybe that will be the push to get me to buy a new one.
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Old 02-02-2023, 12:45 PM   #19
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After about 5 years, I don't see any value in trying to save/reuse electronics components. They are mostly outdated by that point.

In my location, we have to pay a recycle company to take our electronics devices. It's not all that cheap, but it's also not all that expensive. It's better than cluttering up the house. I take stuff there once a year or so. Just before Covid, they set up a drive thru drop off in a local parking lot. You still had to pay them to take the stuff, but they were doing it for 20% off their normal charge. The line was about 1/4 mile long to drop off. I wish they would do that again. I have a few things built up.
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Old 02-02-2023, 12:47 PM   #20
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My Dell desktop from 99 blew out the video card beginning of December. I use it for my Quicken99 and is not hooked up to internet anymore, it runs on XP. I had my son's zombie desktop, and cabbaged the card.

I still have my 16 laptop as well as a 22 laptop.
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