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New Windows 8 Computer? What to Do with Your Old Computer

If you've recently purchased a new machine equipped with Windows 8, you might be sitting around with one computer too many. After you've transferred everything of value from the old computer to the new, what do you do with the old computer? After wiping your PC clean with the new Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows option, you're left with several options:

  • Hand me down: Many people simply pass their old computers down to the kids. Kids don't need powerhouse computers for typing term papers.

  • Charities: Charities have grown pickier about what they'll accept. Make sure that the computer and its monitor still work. (Some charities take only flat-panel monitors.)

  • Salvage: Take the green route and salvage your old PC's parts. For example, you can usually put your old PC's hard drives into your new PC for backup storage. Most new PCs can handle a second monitor for extra-wide desktops.

  • Recycle it: Dell recycles old computers, parts, and accessories. For more information, visit the recycling page at Dell's website.

  • Freecycle: When your old PC is no longer loved by either you or your friends, visit the Freecycle Network. With chapters in many cities worldwide, the Freecycle website lets you list unwanted items; other people swing by and take them off your hands. A starving student may still find some value in your old PC, perhaps even for parts.

  • Trash: An increasing number of cities and states ban this option in order to keep hazardous waste out of the landfills. It's illegal to throw away PCs or monitors in California, Texas, and several other states. Call your local landfill to see whether it offers special "electronic device drop off" days where you can bring your electronic discards for disposal.

Keep your old computer around for a few weeks while you break in your new computer. You might remember an important file or setting on the old computer that hasn't yet been transferred.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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