What can you do with old computers that still work?

What to do with old computers that still work

Knowing what to do with old computers that still work may be challenging? Disposing of older computers might save you a lot of space, but you should keep in mind they still have some fully functional components and may contain sensitive data.

So, what can you do with old computers that still work?

This guide features some cool and fun ways in which you can efficiently utilize your old computers instead of just throwing them out.

Table of Contents

  1. What can you do with old computers that still work?
    1. 11 things to do with your old, working computers
  2. Wrap up

What can you do with old computers that still work?

Like many other old electronics, computers become slower and technologically outdated with time.

Therefore, it becomes a challenge for you to install and run the latest operating system, applications, and programs on your old machine.

Also, with the latest and improved models available on the market, it becomes tedious to be using an age-old computer.

In situations like these, you might choose to replace your old, obsolete PC with a new and better one.

However, with old computers occupying all your workspace, accommodating new computers or laptops might be a wearisome task.

Of course, anyone can come up with an idea to discard the previous system, but what if your computers can benefit you or your friends in any way? Sounds interesting, right?

Since a computer is a combination of multiple parts and peripherals, you can update or recycle them into something meaningful.

Here are some great ways to declutter your workspace and find new uses for the old, broken computer equipment.

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11 things to do with your old, working computers

Outdated or broken computers may hinder your productivity, but they still have some functional components which you can utilize to create something massive.

Here are 11 things you can do with your old computers instead of binning them or letting them collect dust and cobwebs:

  • Make a Television out of the old computer monitor

If you have a computer with a working monitor, you can set it up as a television screen. Since a TV set is more expensive than an old PC monitor, recycling the latter will save you plenty of bucks.

For this idea to work, your monitor must have an HDMI port and a built-in audio system. After all, you need a powerful sound system to listen to News or stream your favorite shows.

In case it doesn’t feature these two, you can check for adapters to fix these issues. Once you have fulfilled the monitor requirements, your old monitor is ready to be used as a brand new TV.

  • Try out a new operating system

Since computers generally run on Windows, many of us are often eager to explore other operating systems as well. Nonetheless, creating a dual-boot system is a nightmare for most people since no one wants to put their computer at stake.

Now, if you have an old PC, it’s your chance to experiment with a new operating system.

We suggest you install Linux as it consumes fewer resources than Windows and is comparatively easier to install on older hardware. Also, it has a pleasurable user interface with a heap of free software ready to be tested.

Moreover, if you have a tech-savvy mind, you can also try setting up a Hackintosh computer.

Although it isn’t as easy as installing Linux, it is a great option to utilize your old PC as a testing device for a new OS.

  • Use the old hard drive as an external storage device for your new computer

If you have a broken computer, chances are its disk drive is still intact and functional. You can remove the hard disk from the old system and use it as an external hard drive for your next PC.

It will also allow you to retain the previous data and recover crucial documents as well. Additionally, you can format the old drive and use it as a brand new storage drive for future storage.

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  • Turn it into a home server!

Another great way of utilizing your outdated computer is to turn it into a home server. While everyone can afford cloud storage these days, NAS is a more secure and efficient way of storing data and files.

Therefore, creating a NAS will help you organize your photos and music in a single place while allowing effortless access to it. You can convert your old equipment into a home server by simply attaching a router to it.

However, setting up a NAS (Network-attached Storage) isn’t a piece of cake and requires some prior knowledge of computer operations.

For establishing a home server, you will need to configure your Windows PC to be an efficient storage system – which is a hard nut to crack as older versions of Windows are not designed to be used as servers.

Also, a PC server will consume more electric supply compared to an original NAS box.

Remember, you’ll need a screen and input devices to start the system, but make sure to test it before connecting the peripheral devices.

This will save your server from getting annoying reboot hangs because of unrecognized peripherals.

Furthermore, as stated earlier, the older Windows version doesn’t make reliable storage systems, mainly for multiple users.

Therefore, you’ll have to invest a significant amount of time setting up accounts for every person who needs access to the server. In some cases, you might need to buy additional storage too.

Till now, you might have dropped the idea of turning your old computer into a home server. However, we have a solution for all the problems mentioned earlier.

Installing a trusted network operating system like TrueNAS or Windows Home Server will help you convert your computer into a NAS with minimum effort.

You can obtain an ISO file of the software for free and check its compatibility with your old OS before upgrading to a new computer.

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  • Donate it to an NGO, School, or a Hospital

It is always a gratifying act to give back to the community. Many charitable schools cannot afford computers. Hence, they do not shy away from accepting used or old computers.

So, if you have a working machine, you can donate it to a local school so the students can practice the necessary computing skills on your old system.

You can also donate your functional PC to an NGO or recycling program and play your part in being a responsible citizen.

Even if your computer is broken, they might disassemble the parts and sell them or fix the computer to be used by their organization.

Either way, some underprivileged people will be benefiting from your old, worn-out system.

  • Consider retro gaming!

What can be more nostalgic than reliving your childhood gaming memories?

Install Windows 98 on your PC and go back to playing all the classics that you secretly wished for while playing modern games.

If you cannot install Windows 98, you can visit some online sites like Steam which lets you install older games on the new OS.

For this purpose, you’ll also need to install an emulator like DOSBox to provide a classic DOS atmosphere to your Windows 7 or 8 system.

If you want to sink back into old times and play the archaic games you used to play in school, you can install the MAME emulator instead of DOSBox.

It will let you install and run arcade games for older consoles on your computer. Remember, retro gaming can be a trip down memory lane, so you’ve been informed!

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  • Dedicate it to writing! 

If you enjoy writing or aspire to become a skilled typewriter in the future, you can dedicate your old computer solely to writing.

You can also employ different mechanical keyboards and text processors for this purpose.

We suggest you go for IBM keyboards and Sublime text processors to experience the soothing touch of yesteryear keyboards while attaining the highest level of focus when performing this sacred literary activity.

  • Bring life to old floppy disks and peripherals 

Since computer technology is continuously evolving, many of its components are now replaced by new and improved ones.

However, if you somehow possess any obsolete devices like disk drives or floppy disk drives, you can insert them into your old computer to check whether they work or not.

This will make it easier to access the content saved on PATA interface drives, which is no longer available in the latest computer models.

You can also do this with other peripherals connecting by serial or parallel ports as all-new models now feature HDMI or USB connections.

  • Save and edit your photos

It’s good to have an additional device entirely for saving all your precious photos and videos. When you replace an old computer, you will need to transfer the entire photo library to the newer one.

And, if you are an avid photographer or someone who has saved a lot of photos on their PC, this transferring process will surely leave you drained.

You can cut up this hassle by using your previous system as a storage platform for all our media.

You can also download an editor like Adobe Photoshop on your computer to save and edit all your photos in a single place. This will save you a lot of time while setting up a new laptop or PC.

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  • Make use of distributed rendering

If you are an artist or content creator who needs an efficient computer to carry out the work more quickly, having a second computer by your side will surely speed up your big projects.

You can make use of distributed rendering and connect both computers. In this way, you will be able to work and process data on your primary system and obtain results on the secondary one.

Doing this will keep your system lightweight and save it from cluttering software of all kinds.

  • Sell or repair it

Selling it is the last best thing you can do with your old computer. You can sell it to any hardware store nearby or post it on an online selling platform like eBay to get the best exchange offers.

Some people and organizations will happily trade your PC with cash.

You can also try fixing the broken components by yourself or by taking them to a repair shop. Fixing the rusted or broken computer parts will increase the chances of reusing and reselling them.

Also, these electronic shops sometimes exchange old PCs for money if they are functional or have functional components. So, you can try your luck at that too.

Moreover, you can format your hard drives and sell them to your friends who want to buy additional storage. They will be more than happy to purchase your used hard drives at half the original price.

Maybe you will not get much money for selling an old or broken electronic device to these shops.

However, it will declutter your home, and you will get rid of unwanted electronics that were anyway rusting in a closet.

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Wrap up

While your old computer might seem useless to you, you can still put that old system to work in any of the above ways.

If you want to keep your old pal by your side forever, you can upgrade it to something massive and useful instead of just selling it.

Remember, whatever you do with your old computer, always choose an environmentally friendly option.

You can also opt for the computer recycling option to discard electronic waste without polluting the environment with toxic materials.

It will be much better than dumping it roadside or letting it collect dust in a corner.

So, if you have an old and outdated computer, dig out that dusty fellow and put it to use again.

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