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Help Disposing of Ancient Computers

CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
edited April 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So my parents have dumped on me the most odious of tasks. It seems that they have been holding onto every PC they've ever had for the past 15 years over fears that if they throw one of them away, that some evil hacking genius will steal their financial information, ruin their credit, burn down the house and molest their cats or some nonsense. However, due to the lack of space in the basement, they decided that the computers can be disposed of...my making me take them away and get rid of them somehow. Safely, of course

I know next to nothing about computers, so I'm not sure how to go about making sure there is nothing on them that might be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hand. If someone could walk me through how to completely format a C: drive and any other process that will erase everything and anything, I would greatly appreciate it.

Additionally, It is my understanding that computers, even computers that would now be attending high school had they been born children, are worth something, somewhere, somehow. What would be the best, quickest and safest way to sell these PCs. I don't think an e-bay auction would fetch anything, and besides, the shipping would be 10x the value of the products.

I don't have the specifications for all the computers right now, but two of them run Windows 98, the third runs 2000. I think they were purchased in 1995, 1999 and 2002, respectively. Giant clunky monitors, keyboards, printers, mice, speakers...everything included.

Thanks in advance.

CoJoeTheLawyer on
Spoiler:

Posts

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    First, make sure they al work before you consider selling them, otherwise you need to break them down for parts.

    Second, either go into dos and type (in C:/) format c: --OR-- you can download dban onto a floppy disk and just run that if they're really paranoid about data exploitation.

    Third, take them to a pawn shop and get what you can, or put an add on craigslist. For computers that old I wouldn't mess with ebay, except for maybe the 2002 one, depending on the specs.

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Turn one at least into a file server. Stick Linux on it or something.

    If you're in the EU (or UK at least) then there should be some way of disposing of them via your local authorities, seeing as dumping toxic stuff into landfill is now considered bad form.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    corcorigan wrote: »
    Turn one at least into a file server. Stick Linux on it or something.

    If you're in the EU (or UK at least) then there should be some way of disposing of them via your local authorities, seeing as dumping toxic stuff into landfill is now considered bad form.

    I don't think he actually meant disposing of them in the traditional sense, but maybe he did.

    also, good point with the fileserver, that would be a good investment of the post 2000 machine

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • Oz K. FodrotskiOz K. Fodrotski Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    There are probably charity outfits in your area that would be more than happy to have the old systems -- a good reformat and reinstall of the OS, and said organizations would likely be willing to take them off your hands, assuming they're still working. No up-front cash, but it'd be tax-deductible.

    I agree with the previous advice, however -- hang on to the Win2k one, and throw Linux on it, if only for tinkering.

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