O'Reilly logo

Upgrading and Fixing Computers: Do-it-Yourself For Dummies® by Andy Rathbone

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 13. Repurposing an Old Computer

Tasks in this chapter

  • Adding a second monitor to your new computer

  • Creating a portable hard drive from your old hard drive

  • Removing the old hard drive and adding it to your main computer

  • Turning your old computer into a backup unit

  • Purging your old computer's data before donating or destroying it

State laws classify computers as hazardous waste and forbid tossing computers into the trash. So, what do you do with the old computer after you buy a new one?

You can donate it to charity, of course, and take a tax deduction. But with a little creativity, you can also salvage a lot of its parts and functionality, which is where this chapter comes in. It turns you into a recycler in the truest sense of the word, taking your old computer's pieces and giving them a new life.

The tasks in this chapter describe how to add a second monitor for your desktop and how to create a portable hard drive, a second drive for your main computer, or a backup unit to keep your work safely duplicated.

If you'd rather donate the computer to a friend or to charity, a final task describes how to cleanse your hard drive of all traces of your personal information: passwords, credit card numbers, and other things you don't want falling into the wrong hands.

Adding a Second Monitor to Your New Computer

Just as a larger closet can hold more goodies, an expanded desktop ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required