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How to Dispose of Old Hardware

It’s 2021 and to say the least, times are confusing. Trying to maintain working, whether it be remotely or in the office, socially distant, one thing is for certain; you will need to update your existing hardware sooner or later. Maybe you were able to upgrade your work PC and are now stuck with the task of properly disposing of your old hardware. How do you do this, while maintaining your business’s integrity and protecting your and your clients’ sensitive data?  

Here are some steps to take, to ensure you’re properly protecting your sensitive data, while taking the appropriate measures to dispose of old hardware.

Back Up Your Data and Wipe It Clean

First and foremost, you MUST back up any and all data before moving forward.  Whether you are using an external hard drive, a cloud-based storage (we can help with this!), or just transporting it to your new system. This will ensure there are no errors, accidents, or missing information when you fully transition to your new system.

Once you’ve backed everything up, you’ll need to wipe the hard drive clean. This includes deleting all files (yes, this is going to take a while), unlinking any programs, usually cloud-based, and uninstalling any downloaded programs.  Make sure when clearing your browser, you make sure to remove any and all saved passwords for websites. Otherwise, it’s possible that some of your private data could be compromised! Finally, after all of this is completed, you can restore the original factory settings. At Exact IT, we can help walk you through these processes, to ensure there is no stone left unturned.  

Now, once you’ve ensured everything of importance, safety, or security has been backed up, deleted, or transferred, you get to decide what to do with the physical hardware.  

Resell or Donate

You can resell your old hardware.  Websites like eBay, BMI Surplus, and even Amazon are just a few options to consider.  

Another option is to donate your older, but still in working condition pieces. Typically you can find a local or community program to take these off your hands as well as many schools. Oftentimes these used computers and hardware are used to teach community members to work on and repair, or to facilitate trainings. You might even get the benefit of a tax write-off for your business with a donation disposal.


A less common option might be converting your dated product into a secondary or back-up server. With some YouTube coaching or help from a friend, you can upcycle your old hardware into a new enhancement to your office.  


Of course, there is always recycling your used hardware. There are a variety of options to consider when recycling your old equipment.  Some manufacturers, like Apple and Dell, will accept old products. There is probably a drop-off center in your town. For instance, Indiana has a compiled list of e-waste and e-cycle locations by county. It also lists on the website a list of specific hardware that cannot be thrown in the trash and most-likely will be eligible for recycling. 

It’s exciting to open your box and unleash your new computer system and hardware, and with that you now have a variety of options to choose from to sensibly and responsibly dispose of your old. If you have questions or need more direction in what way would be your best avenue for getting rid of your old hardware, we’re here to help. Contact Exact It today and we’ll be happy to help advise on disposal and ensure your new system is protected as well. 

Exact IT Consulting’s comprehensive suite of proactive and innovative technology solutions can help you make strategic, long-term IT decisions.

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