General discussion


Obsolete Computers?

By EMJ ·
My company has a number of older, out of warranty computers which are no longer being used and are just taking up space. My job is to get rid of these computers in the best manner possible. We currently do not have a policy for disposal of computers. I need to develop a plan, and want to first offer these computers to any company employee who wants one, donate the others to charity, and the ones that don't work will be sent to a recycling company. Does anyone have a policy about computers being given to employees that covers not holding the company responsible for supporting these computers? I want to make certain the language is clear and concise, and people know what they are getting into if they take one of these computers. They will need to do their own technical support and software installation on these computers (though they will come with Win95 if requested (and I will include the licensing agreement and software for Win95 as well). Since this is a new area for me, I'd like to get some input from others who have done this in the past. Thanks!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by tbragsda In reply to Obsolete Computers?

This subject has come up time and again. My reply is alwas, don't do it.

Regradless of what the agrement says, the tech will be asked to "help out". The time spent is just more than its worth.

I dont even give used equipment to family now. Just way too much trouble. I have tryed to donate before, and that was a bigger mess. Finance departments will make you nutz.

This is the best idea I can offer. If you realy want to get them out the door, and help some emps at the same time, stack them niceley in the near the dumpster. They will go real quick.

Collapse -

by mrafrohead In reply to

Just make sure that you have thoroughly cleared the data on the hard drive before you do that. But I agree with tbradsda - just put them out by the dumpster or the side of your building that's visible. People will just come and take them "for free" And wipe the memory also if you can.


Collapse -


by tbragsda In reply to

Should have noted. Wipe the HDs. Dont even leave a OS on them.

Collapse -


by MallardtooXX In reply to Yup

Pull the drives out and see if you can use them as spares or backups. then put the boxes in the dumpster and they will disappear. After Enron it was proven that the FBI can pull information of a partiall burned, reformatted, scratched harddrive. I am not saying that the FBI is gonna come and get your computers, but even wiping them is not good anymore. I am not trying to be hyper paranoid here but I know that I would shutter to think someone left the drives in the computers and then set them out. Remember Data protection and integrity is our life =)

Collapse -


by john_wills In reply to Obsolete Computers?

We have a lot of computers, and they get obsolete all the time. Usable items like monitors are kept and used; definitely obsolete items are stripped for usable parts, which are either put in our new computers or given to staff - e.g. I got some extra memory for my home PC and, more recently, an ethernet card. I do not think we give whole PCs away. The remains get disposed of as rubbish.

Many charities will not accept PCs past a certain age, because they are too much trouble for the charity'sstaff to maintain - one example is a church near here which refuses impact printers among other things; accepted equipment is used to train the indigent in secretarial work and the like.

Collapse -

License Transfer

by TheChas In reply to Obsolete Computers?

I have a concern for you.

Are your W95 licenses transferable?

The wording of MOST Windows OEM licenses states that the license is ONLY for the original PC and the original customer. The software and license are NOT transferable.

Just watchout that your program for dispersing PCs does not get you into trouble with the BSA.

Next, have your legal department help with the wording of a release form that each employee who gets one of the PCs has to sign.

The place I work at has 2 routes of 'disposal'.

If the equipment is deemed to have 'value' it is placed in an employee auction.

If the equipment is deemed to have 'NO' value, it is placed on tables at the employee entrances. First come, first served.


Collapse -

I appreciate your responses

by EMJ In reply to License Transfer

I have decided not to give the computers to the employees with any software installed. They will get them formatted only. And while I've drawn up a policy, there's been no agreement yet as to the use of it, and so I think that is why we constantlyhave issues with computers piling up. I also work in the oldest office for this company, so we have the most equipment, and now that we're moving, it's becoming a real issue to dispose of these computers. I'm doing my best to push the issue, and am even going so far as to recycle computers that are not exactly obsolete, but have no value to the company either. I also have those people who constantly "sniff" around my office looking for freebies, and I want to just get them off my back once and for all. I don't relish the idea of just leaving the computers on the curb, and am also looking into charities to donate the usable equipment once the employees have picked through them.

Collapse -


by MC_User In reply to Obsolete Computers?

Has anyone had experience donating only equipment to a national non-profit organization like the National Cristina Foundation? These groups always seemed like a good idea to me.
Get rid of your old stuff, give it to someone who can use it for a good purpose and never be worried that the freebee sniffer will come back asking for help. (You KNOW they will, no matter how much they promise not to.)

These organizations make an argument for the cost of storing the old unused equipment vs the benefits of donation. (Something you can take to the bean counters in your organization.)

It seems like a good idea. Has anyone had any practical experience with it?

Collapse -

We did this before...

by TomSal In reply to Donations?

Last year we donated about 15-20 complete systems to a local church organization.

But, not to sound like a grinch, it got on my nerves. You'd think a church would be so understanding and thankful for the donations - well I had the pastor (apparently the "senior" pastor of the church) contact me a few times with additional requests.

"Don't you have bigger monitors?"
"Can we get any software with these machines?"
"Can we get new power cords?"

The machines donated were all formated andre-installed with Win98SE, the majority had only 15" monitors and all donated machines were devoid of any software other than the OS. My department tested each machine on our workbench, they were slow but perfectly functional.

Average speed was AMD k6 400mhz

The bit about the cords - we gave them cords, but apparently some of them were scratched up and too shoddy looking.

Well we ended that donation effort, after fulfilling our promise on the amount we would donate.

In the end, good intentions but too much frustration left me with a warped perception of donating to charities. I'm not sure I'll do that again now.

Collapse -

Use it!

by Pokhylchenko In reply to Obsolete Computers?

Old computer is not old for all applications. Will you consider obsolete such configuration: Pentium-133, 1G Hd, 64M RAM? This box will perfectly serve as: gate mail server, proxy server, network router, network sniffer and so on. It will do those tasks without monitors and keyboards, with good speed and have several years of uptime. You just have to install Linux or *BSD there, configure it a bit and make a note to mention $$$ saving at the next perfomance review.

Related Discussions

Related Forums