March 8, 2012

How to Get Rid of Your Old Computer

It’s a Dell! Or a Lenovo, Mac, HP or any number of other brands. You have just welcomed a brand new, full-functioned, high-tech computer into your home. Now, what do you do with the old one? Believe it or not, this can actually be a very exciting and refreshing task because it forces you to sort out all that old data that you’ve been storing on your hard drive. A brand new computer means a fresh start and an opportunity to become more organized. Here are some simple tips to explain how to get rid of your old computer: Wipe it Clean - Before you get rid of the old computer, you need to be sure all the data and files have been removed. This can be done in a few simple steps or for more sensitive data, through a hard drive eraser service or software.

  • Clear Your Cache: Erase your virtual footprint by clearing out the cache files.
  • Delete or Transfer Old Files: Delete any old files that you don’t need anymore. Depending on what type of work you do, files that are over seven years old can be deleted. Gather any files that you want stored on your new computer and save them to an external hard drive. Many IT providers or retail stores can do this for you for a minimal fee.
  • Take the Trash Out: Even though you deleted files, it’s likely that they are still stuck in the trash. Don’t forget to empty your recycling bin to ensure full deletion.

Once your computer is safely wiped “clean” of all your data, there are a couple ways you can choose to dispose of it. Donate it - If your computer is not very old and still has some life to live, you might consider donating it. Many organizations collect old computers and donate them to charities. If you’re looking for some extra pocket change, you could even try reselling your computer. Check online to see if any organizations in your area are looking to buy old computers. Dispose of it Safely - computer components contain hazardous materials such as heavy metals that can contaminate the environment. It is important to check with your local health and sanitation agencies for ways to dispose of electronics safely.

  • Manufacturer Recommendations: Many computer manufacturers have programs for recycling computers that can be found on their website or you can call their toll-free numbers for more information.
  • Recycling Programs: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has information on electronic product recycling programs. Also, check with your county or local government to see if you have a local recycling program.

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