What to do with old notebook computers.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by TheArTcher, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. TheArTcher

    TheArTcher Limp Gawd

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    I have several notebook computers that are 7-8 years old and can't decide what to do with them. In the past, it was easy to disposition old computers but things have changed.

    These computers are currently used as communications terminals: internet, email, etc. They are all fully functional and fast enough for their purpose, so I'm uneasy about dumping them. In fact, I'm using one of them to post this thread.

    Specs:

    HP notebooks, various $399 models
    Windows XP, XP Pro
    1.4-1.7G Celeron single core CPU
    .75-2G RAM
    40-80G hard drives
    8000-15000 hours of use
    Backlights turned up to full
    Batteries nearly dead

    New replacement computers cost $350-$450.

    So does anyone know how much life is left in these machines? Especially concerned about display backlights.

    I could upgrade to Win8, add expensive RAM, add new battery, add SSD, but each step becomes a larger fraction of the new computer replacement cost. Any suggestions?

    TIA,
    ArTcher
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. Clanless

    Clanless Gawd

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    A few months ago I took an old Compaq Armada M300 out to my Uncle's place and put several .22 and .17HMR rounds through it! It was fun!
     
  3. Chimay

    Chimay Limp Gawd

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    Check with a local schools or junior college to see if they have an electronics or computer hardware coursework that could use them to take apart. Probably get a tax write off for that.

    At a small trade college I used to work at we'd use those old laptops as powerpoint hosts. Just run pictures & information onto TVs basically. Was cheaper than getting video to ethernet adapters and running feeds from the server rooms. Only downfall was every time they wanted to update them we had to do it manually with a flash drive.
     
  4. TheArTcher

    TheArTcher Limp Gawd

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    Well clearly the [H] crowd has no interest is screwing around with upgrading old computers. I accept your advice and will use one notebook for testing Linux, another as a remote monitor for my security system, and the others I will give away.

    Thanks for the advice
    ArTcher
     
  5. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

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    Give one to me?
     
  6. Josephson_Junction

    Josephson_Junction [H]Lite

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    Oct 21, 2012
    If you're up for modding, you could try giving one of them touchscreen functionality.

    I can't really speak for backlight MTBF here, but it's (usually) not overly difficult to replace one when it fails.
     
  7. exe

    exe Limp Gawd

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    Install iTunes and use it for music playback or internet radio.You can control it from your other computers as well. If you decide to dump it, consider giving it to a thrift store. Broken electronic parts/computers can be dumped at your local Best Buy, other retailers might also take it in, but do not put it in your regular trash.

    Don't bother upgrading it as parts are not available and if they are they will be expensive for the small performance gain. For example, you won't be able to install SSDs on them since they are probably PATA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012