Sure, you could
upgrade the operating system to accommodate the demands of a new
piece of hardware, but trouble starts when that new operating system
requires new hardware in return. If were not careful, we could end
up replacing almost every hard and soft part of an existing computer
all in an effort to upgrade!
this fashion is not
only silly to do, its also costly, more costly than
a new computer.
But once the decision to buy a computer is made, what
can be done with the old one?
There are alternatives to
selling a computer.
Here are a few of them.
1. Donate it to a less-computer-literate family
member or less-fortunate person.
2. Give it to the
kids. This is of course, assuming the kids are too young to
complain about not having enough RAM or "many GB" hard
drive. Todays older computers are perfectly capable of
accommodating the needs of young PC users, and theyre excellent
machines for playing educational CDs, small multimedia files, or
games downloaded from the Internet. A simple encyclopedia CD on a
used computer makes an excellent research tool (not to mention a
rather fancy calculator!).
3. Convert the computer into a storage machine. Disconnect it
from the Internet and use it to store personal documents or files.
This way, personal data (such as bank statements, store receipts,
health records, tax records, etc.) are protected from prying viruses
or hackers, while the newer machine is used to surf the net.
Old computers still serve a purpose either for you or for someone
else. And although selling an old computer is always an option,
there are a number of things that you can do with an old computer,
including making it a gift to a
But theres another problem and its a serious
one. You may not want to share
your family sensitive personal data, email records, financial
information, etc, with
whom ever has access to your old computer even if you just keep it
in the family.
You should delete your personal stuff, and if you actually sell
your old computer to anyone, definitely wipe your hard drive of all
data. Just deleting data will not completely remove it.
It's impossible to wipe all of the data off of a hard drive. Still,
using one of several software tools available today, it is
relatively easy to ensure that nobody will take the time needed to
recover sensitive information from your old hard drive.
If you want to completely erase your hard drive, programs can be
found to do that by typing in [free secure file deletion] on a
Google, Yahoo or MSN search.
The Department of Defense has developed a standard method for
writing over computer code, known as DoD7. It's rather involved.
Another solution is a program named Eraser. Its free
software that does a secure deletion for you. To be safe, run it a
few times - dont assume you can run less rewrites to save time and
still completely destroy your files.
Rather than attempt to do this yourself, you could take your hard
drive to a local reputable computer supplier or repair service to
have them safely overwrite your files.
The ultimate solution? Remove the hard drive and sell your
old computer without it, or replace your old hard drive with a brand
But, what to do with your old hard drive? You could physically
Keep in mind, though, that modern data recovery companies are able
to retrieve data from even the most physically damaged hard drives,
and actually getting rid of files can be difficult. There have been
cases in which drives were exposed to hazardous chemicals, burnt,
covered in water for extended periods of time, and even struck by
lightning and still were pronounced recoverable by tech savvy data
None of this is a problem if you have nothing serious to hide. You
still want to
remove the data files first, though, then you can drill a hole into
the hard drive case,
beat on it with a hammer and discard it in your trash.
... Richard Rossbauer