Things to do Before you Get Rid of Your Old Computer
According to the site The World Counts, recycling 1 million laptops saves energy equivalent to the energy used by 3600 homes in the US annually. This is just one incentive for recycling used laptops and desktops. An added incentive is that by disposing of your old computers for recycling you will be freeing up storage space while helping our environment stay clean and green. However, there are steps you should take before disposing of your old computer and electronics for recycling. Here are some tips for how to get rid of an old computer.
- Backup your data: You will of course want to determine which data you wish to save and transfer to a backup system. Such data includes: personal files such as pictures, documents, etc, your browser data such as your bookmarks and login/password data and your email data. The best way to backup data you do not wish to lose is by transferring it to an external drive. Drives are capable of holding more and more data. Some hold as much as 16TB.
- Find your serial numbers and registration keys: Transferring a program from one computer to another will often make that program unusable. If you downloaded a program and don’t have the installation CD, be sure to find and safely store away the serial numbers and registration keys
- Wipe private data: As nearly everyone knows, merely deleting or emptying files from the recycling bin does not permanently erase files. If you have sensitive data on your computer that you do not wish to fall into the wrong hands you should securely wipe or overwrite these kinds of files before disposing of your computer.
- Remove useful parts: If your old computer is not a complete dinosaur, you may wish to remove some of its hardware such as its CD/DVD drive, card reader, graphics card, sound card etc. Just make sure that these old parts will be compatible with the new computer you will be transferring them to.
- Check your company’s data disposal policies: Businesses are required to follow certain laws regarding the disposal of computers and the data they hold. Be sure that you are in compliance with these regulations before you dispose of your computer.