What To Do With Your Old Laptop

As we continue to grow in technology, we’re constantly buying the latest gadgets to play with as we feel like our older, used ones are far inferior to what is in today’s market.  While this is mostly true from a technical standpoint, it is not true from a usefulness standpoint.  All of our old tech can still be used to do great things that we may have not even thought of trying to do with them.  Why not try and enchant some life back into your old favorite laptop and see what the world offers it?

Breathe New Life Into Your Laptop

Does your old laptop have a cracked screen, keyboard missing keys, or a touchpad doesn’t work?  If so that one is beyond repair.  But if your laptop is slow, out of date, and a bit dirty, then we can help you out.

The first thing to do is look at the specs.  Some laptops you can max out the RAM for under $40 and HDDs range in price depending on size.  Let’s say you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the best place to put your cash would be into RAM.  Get the most in it you can.  Then test the HDD and new RAM to make sure that all of your hardware is in working order.  Once we know that, we can go about quickening the boot and run time.  The first option you have before you would be a complete format and reinstall of the OS.  Starting from scratch with maxed out RAM and you will see a huge difference from where this baby was even when it was stock new.  Just make sure you back anything of value up before doing so.  There are a plethora of wiping programs but for reference, DBAN and a couple off of Ultimate Boot CD will do the trick.  Then grab an XP disk and install away(assuming the laptop came with XP).

But I Don’t Have An OS Disk

Well we have tested all of our components and they appear good, but we cant reinstall our XP OS because we don’t have recovery discs or an XP CD.  No problem what-so-ever because there is an OS out there that will run faster on your laptop than XP anyway and it is Free!  With a feel like XP and the smoothness of Linux, Ubuntu is quite a fantastic free operating system.  Granted you can choose your flavor of Linux and they will all run fairly well on the old hardware, but Ubuntu would be the least culture shock from changing an OS because it does behave a lot like Windows.

Now you can just go to the Ubuntu page and download the latest version and expect to install it on a 15 year old laptop.  As with Windows, Ubuntu has been through many version changes so you will need an older version of it to work with your older hardware.  With this OS, the majority of enhancements in the newer versions are aesthetic so using an older version you wont loose much functionality.  You can download older versions here.   Then don’t forget to install the Windows Installer package so you can install your favorite games and programs to run on Ubuntu.

Now you are ready to set this laptop up as your media server for downloads, music server for parties, or general storage server.  You can sit this in any corner of your house connected via wifi and stream the contained data to any of your Windows or Mac devices.  Linux servers, or desktop OS converted ones like in this example, are a perfect way to utilize old equipment and give it a new purpose.

I Don’t Want To Keep My Old Laptop, Now What?

Well if none of the above suit your fancy, or you love your new laptop so much you cant even stand the sight of your old one, don’t just throw it out with the rest of the trash.  There are some environmentally harmful chemicals inside of it.  Why not try and make some money on it?  Sell it on Craigslist or eBay for parts because people are constantly buying broken tech to scrap parts off of.  If you know how to disassemble it yourself, you can sell the individual pieces and make even more.  If you are just done with it and want it out of your house, look through the phone book or on the internet yellow pages and find a recycling station or company and give it to them.  They will dispose of it properly and conserve the precious metals inside.

Summary

See, you can repurpose old tech and do all kinds of things with it.  The same goes for smartphones.  There are all kinds of different ROMs you can install on them to unlock them and make them bigger, faster, stronger.  Why not breathe some new life into your old technology and at the same time, help keep our landfills free of harmful chemicals.

What do you guys do with all of your old tech?  Any suggestions on what else you can do with it?  Let us know in the comments section!