Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 4th Aug 2010 18:19 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems In previous OSNews articles I've claimed that discarded computers up to ten years old can be refurbished and made useful to someone. They shouldn't be discarded. They should be refurbished -- fixed up and reused -- rather than recycled -- destroyed and separated into their constituent materials. So how does one do this? In this and several subsequent articles, I'll describe how to revitalize older computers.
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Cool article. Which reminds me: some time ago I got for free the computer I wanted as a kid: a 100 MHz Pentium (the original Pentium) :-)

Lately, however, I keep coming across old laptops with hardware problems. I might be able to change the hard disks, but it's usually something completely different. And since there doesn't seem to be a standard for laptop parts, I have no clue what to do with them... Any ideas?

Just to clarify, I'm talking about the "2-3 years out of warranty" kind of old laptops...

Edited 2010-08-05 09:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:

Laptops from that era are generally not too expensive to fix, and offer a decent return on investment. The Presario laptop my wife uses (mentioned in another post here) was rebuilt from scratch by me for about $115 out of pocket. The laptop was given to me by a friend to fix for myself or part out when it developed video issues and would rarely boot. I took it apart and found the main logic board had a burnt out capacitor and the video cable was damaged in the hinge. This was still a useful laptop spec-wise -- Turion64 1.6GHz with ATI 3D graphics -- so I decided to refurbish it for my wife, who had been asking for a laptop so she wouldn't be tied to the desk when gaming or browsing the web.

After scrounging around the 'net, I found a certified used logic board for $80, a new video cable for $15 and the original restore discs from HP for $16. Fortunately for me, HP made this laptop easy to work on; once the parts were in it was a matter of about an hour to put it all back together and test using Tiny Core Linux.

That was about four months ago, and it's happily purring along to this day. Instead of spending $500 on a new basic laptop with underpowered video, my wife now has a nice little computer with a multi-card reader, new enough to easily upgrade RAM and HDD, yet powerful enough to do the light gaming she enjoys.

Reply Parent Score: 4