How to Dispose of Your Old PC

old-pcUnless you still use your Pentium 1 and Windows 95, you must have changed a few computers over the years. If you have done this, you may know that getting rid of old computers is not easy. You have to consider the security and environmental impacts when disposing of old hardware.

First, you need to make sure that you delete your private data from the hard drive, so no one can access it once you send your PC away. To do this, you should use a data wiping program. Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is one of the best free utilities for overwriting your hard drive’s sectors and making data unrecoverable. Even specially trained forensic analysts will have a hard time recovering your data – that’s how secure it is.

If you are very concerned about your data, you can buy a degausser, which will magnetically erase all the information on the disks, but this option will cost you over $2,000. There are companies that will do this for you, but this is also quite expensive. This is aimed at businesses and corporations, who can afford this sort of thing.

A cheaper, and much more fun option involves taking the hammer and smashing the hard drive in pieces. Just make sure you wear protective goggles and clothing, and don’t hurt yourself.

When you throw your old PC case and monitor away, even in recycling centres, somehow that e-waste ends up in Third World countries. Such components contain toxic levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, and beryllium which are very unfriendly substances to the environment. When you dispose of your old components, make sure you know what will happen to them first.

Alternatives to throwing an old PC away can include:

  • Selling it – if it’s still working and it’s worth anything, sell it through classifieds or eBay.
  • Keeping it for parts or to practise building networks and/or install Linux.
  • Giving it away – to some less fortunate family members, friends or charity organisations.

Source: How to Geek

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