Techlicious: Before You Throw Away that Old PC

before you throw away that old pc

by Christina DesMarais for Techlicious

Before You Throw Away that Old PC

Have an old computer lying around the house? Don’t just throw it away. Computers house all sorts of toxins that are bad for the environment and all of us who live in it. Not to mention the personal information—passwords, account numbers, license keys or registration numbers for software programs, addresses and phone numbers, medical and prescription information, tax returns and other personal documents—that you would rather not fall into the wrong hands.

So what to do?

How to delete your personal information
However you choose to dispose of your computer, you need to do several things if you don’t want a stranger to access your data.

Save important files
Back up your files or transfer them to a new computer. While you can certainly invest in an external drive, the simplest way to do this is to use a cloud service such as Google Drive or Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Google Drive gives you 5GB of storage for free and if you need more you can buy 25GB for $2.49 a month and 100GB for $4.99 a month. SkyDrive gives you 7GB of free storage with options to buy 20GB, 50GB or 100GB for annual subscriptions of $10, $25 or $50 respectively. Apple iCloud and Dropbox offer similar packages.

After backing up your files in the cloud, you can easily transfer them to a new machine or access them anywhere you have an Internet connection, even from your smartphone. Cloud storage also comes in handy if your computer dies and you need to restore your files or you’re traveling and need access to data on a different device.

“Wipe” your hard drive clean…Rest of the Story Here

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24 thoughts on “Techlicious: Before You Throw Away that Old PC

  1. All This Cloud BullCrap Is Just That. Go To Walmart or where ever and buy a couple/several hundred Gig external or two, or whatever you need. Do people really think that storing their personal data in a machine in some building somewhere in the USA, (maybe) is safe? And boy do I have a bridge toi sell you, and it comes with a toll booth. Step right up you suckers.

    • I'm with you, Mick. Some people just have to put anything on F.B. So they sound smart, but who knows that article may have benifited some homeless person, but where would they find a new computer let alone an old computer?? tee hee

  2. Oh very clever not! So you back up all your most private data to the world wide web through one of the hosting services,
    Now I know they are suppose to be secure,but they are only as secure as the people running the service.
    Best way for identity theft! I have two external drives which I regularly back up to plus burn everythin to blueray as they can store up to 50gb per disk.
    Its cheaper in the long run and far more secure!
    Sorry pc pitstop but that idea sucks! Using cloud etc is good for storing photos or files that you dont mind others seeing, private data no way!

  3. Cloud storage will cost far more money in the long run than an external drive. Everything you can do with cloud storage, you can do with an external drive, even accessing your files from your smartphone. It only takes a little bit of smarts to do this instead of spending hard earned money month in and month out.

  4. Why in heavens name do you advise readers to park data in google or any other cloud storage so google and others will mine personal information and sell it to others? Sounds like you receive commission from those data miners.

  5. I try to fix them up and donate them. Get the serial numbers from the machine with a keyfinder, then start with a nice low level format, then zero the drive for a few passes – that takes care of the old user’s data. Re-install the OS that it came with using the serial that you backed up, then do the updates.
    Once that’s finished, find a church, special needs facility, get connected with the local groups and donate it to a kid that really needs one. It doesn’t have to be new to be useful.

  6. I have made 2 times a webserver out of an old computer. the fist one was on a 386 pre-pentuim build, and it hosted a website, online live tv and a radiostation. and all of that with 512 Mb of memory!

  7. Most older computers have enough hard drive and memory to install AntiX Linux and become a great websafe computer for most seniors.


  8. I usually keep all my old computers. I just rebuilt a 2005 AcerPower F3 with some spare parts because my main tower board failed and I needed to access the hard drives. You never know when those things will come in handy. If a friend needs a spare computer, though, I will happily give one away.

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