UKC

Laptop disposal

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 Co1in H 12 Jan 2022

I have three old laptops that do not work.

I need to dispose of them safely and would like whatever can be recycled is done.

If a charity could benefit that would be preferable.

The two charity shops that my wife and I work in do not take them. (Oxfam and a Hospice charity)

Any ideas or experiences please.

 Jon Read 12 Jan 2022
 Co1in H 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Jon Read:

Thanks Jon.

These don't meet their criteria as they are nearer to 10 years old.

Thanks anyway.

In reply to Co1in H:

Try local Freegle or similar.

Failing that, our local household waste site has a skip for electrical equipment, I always assume (possibly incorrectly) that this saves old items going straight to landfill.

I'm pretty enthusiastic about keeping old computers running, but once they get to 10 years old it does start getting more difficult.

Post edited at 11:45
In reply to Co1in H:

If they've been used for personal information, I'd recommend securely erasing the HDD. e.g.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-securely-erase-hard-drives-hdds-and-solid-state-drives-ssds/

 Ridge 12 Jan 2022
In reply to captain paranoia:

> If they've been used for personal information, I'd recommend securely erasing the HDD. e.g.

Then smash it to pieces (we used to cut them into 4 bits with a grinder and a few wallops with a hammer for good measure).

In reply to Ridge:

Drilling through the platters 3 or 4 times is enough to ensure nobody can read the data electronically, and nobody is realistically going to be spending a fortune on data recovery on a drive found on a landfill site, as most likely there'd be nothing of interest on there.

In reply to Ridge:

> Then smash it to pieces

Even I'm not that paranoid... If the laptop can be resurrected with the HDD intact (but sanitised), I'd be much happier with that. It offends me that so much stuff is thrown away.

 mk one 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Co1in H:

Quite a few places will take them and re-commission them or move them on for recycling. Here is just an example, the first one i came across.

https://therestartproject.org/where-to-donate-your-computer/

 Co1in H 15:51 Thu
In reply to mk one:

Thanks everyone but on balance I think destruction is the favourite option now.

Understandably most sites are choosy about what they will take and these computers are really old now.

In reply to Co1in H:

I recently acquired two old HP ProBook 4330s laptops. One I resurrected with a clean Win7 install, the other I dismantled completely, and am playing with the motherboard with DietPi x64 running Logitech Media Server. Works very nicely, and boots off a USB stick or SD card. Took me about an hour to install & configure DietPi & LMS. Took me quite a bit longer to dismantle the thing...

Just a thought if you wanted a low power media server... It runs the xfce desktop quite snappily, too...

 Co1in H 19:47 Thu
In reply to captain paranoia:

Thanks but I'm not tech oriented. I just want safely rid.

In reply to Co1in H:

I'm with cap paranoia : erase the disks (putting DBAN on a CD is easy: then you just  boot from there, pick the "erase everything" option, and leave it overnight to do its thing).

After that, dropping off at a council recycling site is fine (and has about as much chance of getting decade-old hardware being reused as any other place)

In reply to Co1in H:

> Thanks but I'm not tech oriented. I just want safely rid.

My future plan is to chuck it off the back of a cross-channel ferry, halfway between Dover and Calais. Not environmentally friendly though, so I guess I won't/ can't 

 AukWalk 12:53 Fri
In reply to Co1in H:

Personally I'd take them apart to get the hard drives out and destroy them manually. Then take the remains with me next time I go to the tip to go in the electronic items area.  That's what I did last time I had a dead old laptop. 

For 10 year old laptops I don't think there's much point trying to get them working again. A 10 year old desktop might be a different story, but laptops are just much more effort to fix, there are more things that will probably start breaking in the near future even if you fix the current problem, and old laptops much less powerful even when they are fixed so usefulness would be really limited imo. If you know someone that wants to hack together a low cost file server or a basic Linux box or something then I guess that's a good use, but it's very niche. 

Post edited at 13:08
In reply to Co1in H:

If the hard-drives are non-SSD and you're going to destroy them with a drill or angle grinder then be aware that the platters in laptop drives are often made out of glass or ceramic. So beware of fine dust being kicked out by the drill bit or disc. At the very least wear a mask and suitable eye protection.

Post edited at 13:09

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