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What to do with your old computer

Buying a new PC or laptop is fun stuff, but it also poses a problem – what do you do with your old one? If it’s very old, then taking it to an electronics recycling center is the best option – there are several in and around Austin. Most will accept both computers and monitors, but make sure you securely erase all personal data before disposing of any installed storage devices.

Throwing away a working system is a lot to ask some people though, so here are some options for putting it to good use:

Donate to the less fortunate

Whether it goes to a friend, a family member, or an organization such as Goodwill Computer Works, someone out there can probably use it. Again – remember to wipe any personal data from the system before gifting it. If repairs are needed first, Frankenstein Computers can fix you up.

Make it a File and Print Server

Most working systems, even those having a hard time being used for normal web browsing and running common programs such as Microsoft Office, have can be used for file storage and sharing. Configuring a system to share files and even attached printers on a home or business network is relatively simple – though replacing the installed network adapter might be in order for faster data speeds. If things do get complicated, the techs at Frankenstein Computers are always happy to help!

Make it a Media Server

If your old system is still in fairly good shape, take file sharing to the next level. Storing your media on a server means that you and your family can all pool your music, digital movies, books, and photos on your home network. There are many types of software for media broadcasting, organization, sharing, and manipulation.

Learn a new Operating System

Ever wonder what Linux is? There are distributions of Linux that are designed to run on older hardware, downloadable for free, and they usually run well. There are many lightweight distributions to choose from – Xubuntu and Lubuntu, Mint, Debian, Arch Linux, Elementary OS Loki, Gentoo Linux, and even Puppy Linux. Linux can give an old computer a second wind and what’s even better is that in addition to the performance, you’re also getting up to date software that is secure. The best way to put an old computer to use is to use it, and that’s what Linux will help you do. Nerd.

 Sell it

Just don’t expect a lot for it. Ebay, Craigslist, garage sale, pawn shops – all are options to make a little cash for an old system that still works. Be careful to provide software disks for any programs you previously purchased and intend to leave on the computer and always remember to erase all personal data if you’re not wiping the hard drive completely or reinstalling Window before selling.


Frankenstein Computers has been taking care of our happy clients since 1999. We specialize in IT Support, IT Service, MAC repair, PC Repair, Virus Removal, and much more.