Interesting Things To Do With Your Old Laptop

Dont go to the dump just yet! Old PCs can still be useful

By Matthew S. Smith Matthew S. Smith Twitter Writer Beloit College Matthew S. Smith has been writing about consumer tech since 2007. Formerly the Lead Editor at Digital Trends, he’s also written for PC Mag, TechHive, and others. lifewire’s editorial guidelines Updated on February 4, 2022

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3 Useful Things From an Old Laptop : 22 Steps (with

3 Useful Things From an Old Laptop: When people get a new gadget,they will spend most of the time and money just to get their hands on the new item. If you have a brand new smartphone or a laptop, you are probably trying to figure out what to do with your old gadget.But you should …

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Serve or play your media

Another great use for an older computer is as a ho

Another great use for an older computer is as a home theater PC (HTPC) or a media server.

An HTPC is a computer configured specifically to allow you to play your media (music, movies, and images) on regular home theater components like stereos, TVs, and multimedia projectors. Since an HTPC is only used to play a few file types and that’s it, it can be a stripped-down OS and can be set up to run very efficiently. A great place to begin is downloading the amazingly versatile Plex and setting up your computer for streaming to your TV and speakers while managing your entertainment files in the most efficient way possible.

Your old laptop does need enough storage to make this feasible, though, which might be difficult with smaller drives. Older computers may also struggle to manage 4K video and similar high-demand processes even if you have enough bandwidth. Here’s some more information on how to get your PC to run 4K.

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Hack Together an Anonymous PC

Everyone’s worried about privacy. There are many tools to make your working computer into a more anonymous workstation for surfing the web, but if you’ve got a long-in-the-tooth PC that needs new life, turn it into a dedicated privacy PC with The Amnesic Incognito Live System, or TAILS. Based on a Linux distro called Debian, TAILS can run off a USB flash drive, SD card, or DVD so you can take it with you. It routes all your internet traffic and requests though the Tor network. All the integrated applications come pre-configured for security, including the office suite, IM client, email software, and of course the web browser. Other privacy/anonymity focused Linux distros include Whonix and Qubes OS (featured in the video above).

5: Various Server Roles:

Repurpose your old computer as one of many different types of servers.

Some options include a media server, file server, web server, email server, or dedicated game server.

In the same vein as a home server, you can use your old computer to host your own website email accounts.

Old computers can fill depending on the configuration the server doesn’t need to have a lot of processing power.

5. Security Systems

You can use it for security purposes.

Attach the computer to the security computer, and this way, you can view live coverage. This computer will store the recorded data too.

11. Salvage it

If you build your own PCs, you may reduce the cost of your new system by salvaging parts from the old one. Good candidates for salvage include the case (if it’s not a proprietary system from HP, Dell, Acer and the likes), the optical drive, the power supply, and, sometimes, the memory modules.

Depending on how much you actually reuse, the distinction between new system and one that’s simply been upgraded is a hazy one. If you replace the motherboard, CPU, memory, and primary hard drive, but keep the case, power supply, optical drive and graphics card, is that a new system, or one that’s been upgraded?

That will still leave you with a few old parts. Which brings us to our last point…

Make a Tablet

Have some mad DIY skillz you want to put to the

Have some mad DIY skillz you want to put to the test? Take a down-on-its-luck laptop apart and convert it—into a “tablet.” Depending on the system, you’re not going to get a touch-screen-quality experience, as the smarts of the system typically still reside with the keyboard, which you’ll have to tether to the screen in some way. Take a gander at the website Instructables, and you’ll find many step-by-step lessons on how to pull it off, including one that will turn any screen into a touch screen. Honestly, it’s probably cheaper, and definitely easier, to simply buy a tablet…but where’s the fun in that? (Image via mkarvonen at Instructables.)

Use It as a Game Server

Most old PCs can run a game server. Unlike the clients connecting to it, the server doesn’t need to render the game’s graphics.

Turning an old PC into a game server can give you a dedicated virtual space to play with friends. You won’t have to pay a monthly fee, as you would if you rented the server.

A Minecraft server is a great place to start, but many old, popular games offer a dedicated server option.

Trade in or sell

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You can sell your old laptop to a buyback service, but if you want the most cash possible, you’ll need to sell it yourself on a site like eBay or Offer Up.

You may be able to get a trade-in credit or outright sell your laptop for cash. The process is straightforward, especially if you do a trade-in or sell to a buyback service, but you’ll need to consider the age and condition of your device to maximize your returns.

Our guide on how to sell your old tech gear walks you through the particulars, but in a nutshell, trade-ins usually offer the most value for newer models, while buyback services can vary in how much they pay attention to detailed specs when valuing your laptop. You’ll have more success offloading ancient or broken laptops by selling them yourself—platforms like eBay allow collectors and refurbishers to scoop up outdated hardware they can’t otherwise find, even if only for parts. Just be sure to label and describe your listings carefully to avoid buyer disputes.

How to Check the Price of a Used Laptop:

1. For checking out the price, go to “Gadget”.

2. Give information about your laptop. Such as Manufacturer, Year, RAM, processor, Speed of Processor, HDD, CD Drive, Graphics Card, Screen size, Extra features, etc. 

3. Keep clicking on “Continue”. After taking all the information, they will provide you with the approximate market value.

Create a Chromebook from an Old Laptop

We know that Chromebook helps to do the work of computer in an easier and quicker way. They use Chrome Operating System that is secure and user-friendly. You can easily convert your old unwanted laptop into very useful stuff. 

What is Chromebook? Watch this video.

The Things that You will Need to Create a Chromebook: 

What you’ll need is the Chromebook Recovery Utility in addition to the CloudReady image file, which you can download from the website. This Google program allows you to make recovery disks for Chromebooks, but it can also be used to install Chrome OS on your PC (through CloudReady). To work, you’ll need the Chrome browser. To write the installer to, you’ll also need an empty USB flash drive (or SD card). This should contain at least 8GB of storage space, but it is better if you use 16GB. On Amazon or Alibaba, you can get it for a few dollars.

Experiment with it

Research on what you can do with your spare parts. For example, the fans inside it can be a great desk fan; you just need a few tweaks and a few items to make it work. Make your inner-scientist work and have your way with it. Educating yourself as regards your laptop can save you from paying Php5, 000+ in repair the next time you have your new laptops broken.

O Hai, New External Hard Drive!


Sure, some parts of your old laptop might’ve stopped ticking but that doesn’t mean everything’s dead—if the hard drive still works, you’re in the money. After all, a 60GB hard drive from back then still fits 60 gigabytes now. All you need to do is open your ol’ betsy up and yank the hard drive. Then, just slip it into something a little more comfortable, like an external enclosure, which you can get online for as little as 10 bucks. And as laptop drives are tiny at 2.5″, your external HD will run quiet, smooth and small (and won’t even need a power source!).

• What you can do Salvage a hard drive from the laptop and use it as an external storage source • What you’ll need A laptop, a screwdriver, and a hard drive enclosure • Setup time About an hour


How to make an external hard drive: • Reformat your old laptop’s hard drive • Tear apart the ol’ girl and remove her 2.5-inch brain • Figure out if your hard drive is IDE or SATA by looking at this picture • Buy the right IDE or SATA 2.5″ external hard drive enclosure (with USB). Something like this for IDE drives or this for SATA drives. • Plug the hard drive’s connectors (the side with the pokey things) into the enclosure’s port. • Connect to your new laptop and configure as necessary • Drop your files in!

3: Do Experiment:

Having an old laptop is all about the opportunities for you in experiments. There is no need to be stick to the things that are in routine. You can step out of the boring routine and come up with something new.

It is exciting for you to know that old systems are comfortable in running for Linux and other operating systems.

If you are a lifelong Windows user having an extra computer is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with


It is all about exploring more options and knowing what is been hidden from you. Remember, Linux is not and out date operating system. It does have some of its own benefits and attractions that you might not know in the first place.

You may even be surprised at how smoothly Linux runs on an old machine the reason is that Linux demands muchless processing power.

if you want a laptop that can run Linux consider It also.

Alternatively if you are feeling ambitions.You could try your hand at making a hackintosh.

For those not familiar with the termHackintosh refers to a computer thatruns an apple macintosh operating systemon hardware not authorized by apple.

You could even try multi-booting variousversions and combinations of windows, Mac and Linux.

Know about the type of Computer core, which is better. Read it.

Transform it into a Digital Photo Frame


Repurposing a lappy into a digital photo frame will make it the best digital photo frame you’ll ever use, I guarantee it. Why? Because most digital photo frames suck. They might’ve been good ideas once upon a time, but the affordable ones typically have smallish screens, usually lack Wi-Fi, and are always a pain in the ass to use. On the other hand, your old laptop cum new digital photo frame will be able to do all the things an average frame can’t: pull photos from Flickr, update pictures on the fly, and show off your Grandma’s sweet, smiling face on its big beautiful screen.

How does it work? The magic is in a piece of software called Slickr which displays all your Flickr photos in a screensaver. It’s really the perfect and easiest way to turn a laptop into a digital photo frame. You’ll need to do a little actual hacking of the laptop’s body, but it’s worth the effort. For a good primer, Repair4Laptop has an excellent page detailing countless digital photo frames converted from various laptop models.


• What you can do Display Flickr photos on the best digital photo frame you can get • What you’ll need A laptop, a framebox, Slickr, a Flickr account and some steady hands • Setup time About a day

How to build a digital photo frame: • Build (or buy) a big enough framebox to store your laptop • Download Slickr here and hook it up with your Flickr credentials • Remove the LCD screen from the laptop carefully (make sure you gently unplug the ribbon cable that connects the LCD to the laptop) • Rejigger those internals into the framebox as necessary • Connect the photo frame to Wi-Fi • Enjoy all your Flickr pictures on a gloriously big screen


5. Dedicate it to ‘Distributed Computing’

Want to do a little good for humanity? How about dedicating your old PC to one of the various public distributed computing projects?

The best known is probably [email protected]. [email protected] uses computing resources from all over the world to help study protein folding, an essential element to understanding how many diseases operate. If your old PC has a fairly new graphics card, that hardware can often pitch in as well, and offer up even more computing resources. Other distributed computing ventures include:

Final Thoughts

Don’t waste your old PC if you intend to move to a new one.

There are many impressive and superb ways by which you can make brilliant use of that old computer or its parts.

Old computers can be used for learning purposes, security, and other decoration purposes too.

You can make some great fun stuff and do cool things online if you know what to do with old computers and laptops that still work.

Have a Look at 10 Best Motherboards for i7-9700K

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