5 Ways to Reuse Old PCs

As you unpack your brand spanking new PC, spare a thought for the old faithful desktop that has served you well all those years. If it’s still in working condition, there are plenty of alternatives to the PC heaven (unfortunately in landfills). Here are some great ideas for making the most of your old PC and perhaps even making some cash in the process.

Use Your PC as a Home Server
Give your PC a new lease of life by using it as a home server or networked storage system. While it isn’t simply a case of plug and play, it’s a great way to make use of your old system. One great option for turning a PC into a networked storage or a media streaming device. Home automation is also another interesting use case.

Give it Away
If the PC is still in great working condition, there will be plenty of people who would appreciate it. Start with your local schools and daycare centers. Many of them would welcome an opportunity to get their hands on more hardware. Alternatively, advertise it on Craigslist or similar forums. As is the case with selling your PC, make sure you have removed all your personal data and software in advance.

Use it to Help Cure Diseases
Yes, you did just read that correctly. Distributed computing runs a series of projects that aim to make the use of old computer resources and peripherals to do good in the world. One of their best-known projects is Folding@Home, which executes software on old computers to assist in major number-crunching activities. Simply download the software, following the instructions and, within 5 minutes, your old PC will be solving complex calculations that may help find cures for major diseases.

Use it as a Light-duty PC
Set it up somewhere in the home where it can be used for members of the family to quickly check their emails or surf the web. This can also help keep your kids off your new computer!

Sell it
The more obvious action to take is to sell it. If it’s in full working order, don’t consign it to the scrapheap. Even if you only make a few dollars, there are plenty of people on sites like Craigslist and eBay who will be willing buyers of your old kit. When doing so make sure your personal data is completely removed and/or deleted from the hard drive.