I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to my Dell Dimension 8200 system. 😦 I’ve slayed many monsters and demons on the Diablo series, and fragged many friends playing the Quake series, and destroying the the AI players in HOMM3 (plus actual work stuff).
When it’s time to decommission your home PC, think about the following:
Do you have a current backup?
- Your first answer should be, “Let me double check.” There are a lot of options available such as; portable USB hard drive, DVD, CD, NAS, and cloud storage. I use a portable USB hard drive on my main computer, cloud storage to keep data synced between devices, and DVDs for long term storage.
Do you really need to recycle that PC?
- Sometimes you can format the hard drive, reinstall the OS and start with a “factory build” image (make sure you have all your serial numbers and installation media or programs). You could also install Linux which requires far less system resources. My Dell 8200 ran Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and TurnKey Linux over the last few years.
- Check with family and friends or nonprofits in your area. Some nonprofits will supply a tax receipt for your donation. Take the time during the hard drive wipe to double check the federal tax laws, and be honest when it comes to the value of your PC.
Wipe the hard drive!
- Besides finding websites that will install malicious software to kill your PC, you can download free hard drive wipe programs, purchase wipe programs on-line or at a retail store, or use a bootable Linux OS from a USB or CD to wipe the drives. The wipe process will take hours to complete. My PC took 6 hours to complete.
- Over the last 10+ years, many of the companies I worked for required the hard drive be physically destroyed in addition to wiping. Some might call this excessive, I call it standard procedure. You need to remember, that hard drive once stored every bit of information about you.
- About a year ago I purchased a new paper shredder which can shred credit cards, CDs, and DVDs. I’ll go on record stating how much fun it is shredding DVDs.
Now that your ready, take the PC, glass tube monitor, and other accessories to the recycle event in your community. My community holds regular events for disposal of electronics, household hazardous waste, and other recycling programs.