What to do with those old Windows XP Computers. Get off of your can and do what you can.

Get off your can and do what you can.

That was the message Sunday at Church and it struck a chord with me.  We are knee deep replacing Windows XP computers with Windows 7 computers prior to the Windows XP end of life on 8 April 2014 and have been asked by a number of customers the best way to dispose of the old computers.  We also routinely get requests for older or refurbished computers by folks who, for one reason or another, don’t have a computer and can’t afford to buy a new one.  I don’t really have a solid plan yet but, rather than waiting until I do have a plan (some of you have heard me talking about this for the last several months), I figure I’ll toss it out there and see if it sticks, so here goes:

What we’re doing

  • Collecting computers that have Windows XP installed that are still in good, working condition but not upgradeable to Windows 7 for whatever reason.
  • Installing Linux on the computers and setting them up so that they’re suitable for ‘general usage’ (web browsing, email, creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.).
  • Giving the newly renovated computers away, though we don’t really have a metric or plan in mind for determning who gets them other than people who tell us that they need them.

What we need

  • Computers that are in good, working condition.  It doesn’t matter if they have virus or other software related problems, as long as the hardware is good and is sufficient for running a recent version of Ubuntu Linux, we’ll take it.
  • Help.  I have no idea what the response to this is going to be but, if we get flooded with a bunch of computers and then a bunch of requests for computers, I’ll need some help getting them turned around.  I would also welcome any help from folks that know of a good way to determine who does and who does not need the computers.

Questions and Errata

  • What will happen to my data?  We will be doing a secure-erase on the drive to confirm that there is no data on the drive prior to sending it out the door.
  • I am a computer guy / gal, can I help?  Absolutely.
  • I don’t know anything about computers but would like to learn.  Can I help?  Absolutely.