Getting rid of old none working laptops?

Richard Brown
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What should do with old laptops that don't work?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
Take the hard drives out, then take the remains to your local electronics recycler and dispose of them.  In California this is free.  Elsewhere there will probably be recycling charges of about $10 - $20 each.  All Best Buy stores will recycle electronics at reasonable prices.

What to do with the hard drives:  If there is any value in them, buy a USB-to-SATA adapter for a couple of bucks and erase the drives as time permits using a product such as Active@ KillDisk.  One person with one adapter can erase three drives a day without affecting their normal work schedule.  Start erasing one drive on arrival in the morning, another one at lunch, one as they leave work.  Erasing can be done unattended.

If there is no value to be realized out of the hard drives, use an engineer's hammer and smash them until satisfied.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.

Commented:
If you've got a number of  them then erase the drives as Dr. Kahn suggests.  Then put them on eBay for a $1 price with buyer to pick up.   Someone will bite at that price.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
@dbruton, Brilliant...

And I've been using the Craigslist free listings to dispose of random items.

Selling oddities on Ebay seems much better!
Darrell PorterEnterprise Business Process Architect

Commented:
Drive destruction method will be dependent upon the industry you work in; regulatory requirements, if any; organization responsible party preference; and potentially other factors.

PII, PCI, SEC, and other regulatory/industry bodies require certified physical destruction.  Many waste management companies, at least in California, provide this service at less than $100 per drive.  Again, in California, if you don't need certified destruction, many recyclers will drop them into a small-particle hydraulically-actuated shredder which turns hard drives into reclaimable pieces less than 1/16" in size.

My personal preference, other than shredding, is dropping them into an enclosed air-hammer chamber and watch them get mechanically hammered repeatedly until they are literally dust.  Don't inhale it though...
Computer Service Technician
Commented:
there are some companies who shred your confidential documents also offer services to shred hard drives as well. They will give you a certificate  indicating that the drive with serial number..... has been physically shredded.   Other methods of destroying the drive, that meets HP standards is to drill three holes through the drive, or to use a minimum of three self tapping screws to screw right through the platters. There is lots of ways of physically destroying the drives.  Including driving over them with a fork lift.  If there is no security risk to data on the drives you can use one of the thorough hard drive wiping methods suggested above.  Make sure you use a method that wipes the data with nonsense data at least three times and you should be pretty safe.  Note that re partitioning the drive or reformatting it will not destroy your data.

Author

Commented:
These are old Laptop that no longer work and I have no idea how to open them up to get the hard drive out.
If you don't know anything about laptops, pay someone to properly e-waste the laptops and destroy any data you don't want others to see.  If you need a certificate of destruction, find a company that can provide one.

I usually take apart the hard drives and computers and separate the steel and aluminum cases and parts for metal recycling, the plastic for garbage and the circuit boards for e-waste, reducing the total waste stream.   I also pull out the neodymium super magnets from the 2.5 inch disk drives and use the elsewhere.  These are small enough, compared to the 3.5 inch disks, that you can give them to older students to use for science projects.  SSDs just need to be destroyed, since they're just chips on a circuit board, with no magnets or moving parts.
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
Just because the laptops may be old or no longer working, this does not mean that the data on the hard drives is dead, curious people or people who use the data for illegal purposes may be tempted to extract data from the drives. If there is any sensitive information on the drives, as mentioned you need to find someone who can remove the drives and ensure the data is not recoverable.

Author

Commented:
Is there any place I find old manual that will show me how to remove the hardware on these laptops.
Robert RComputer Service Technician

Commented:
each manufacturer has there own guide or service manual. You just need to visit their website and then usually there is some way to look up specific models of laptops and then finding out how to remove the hard drives. Or in a search engine type in how to remove a hard drive from such a model of laptop....   for example if this is a Dell Latitude e6410 you will go to the Dell support website  https://www.dell.com/support/home/ca/en/cabsdt1?app=products  then type in the service tag number of the laptop.   and you can do a search for harddrive removal documentation that way. Or open up your browser and type in How to remove the hard drive from a Dell e6410, I am sure you will find a youtube or general description on how to remove the hard drive by doing a search.  This is how the pro's do it the use the internet to do a search when they don't know how to do something. We may no answers for lots of things but when we dont know we are professionals in knowing how to search for answers. Or we ask in a forum such as you are doing now.

Without knowing the manufacturer or the model number of the laptops it is hard to tell you how to remove them, but following the above guidelines should help in your search as I assume you have more than one model of laptop that you want to get rid of.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if you post the model we can help better

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all your help. All your comments were useful. I was able to find the YouTube video to open them up and get the hard drive out. I am going to put about three drill holes through it and then get Best Buy to take them for me.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i usually wipe them, or overwrite them; but of course, i don't know whta info it has...

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