How to properly dispose IT equipment

When it’s time to get rid of old equipment you may be wondering what to do with all your hardware. Because old computers often retain a lot of sensitive information this may be challenging for companies. We have put together a safe way to handle this process.

1. Be sure to create backups of your data

Before you begin any of the process, backup your hard drive so that no data is lost. We recommend archiving your computer’s data on a cloud service or even on an external hard drive depending on which you feel more comfortable with. You should try and backup everything (or as much as you can) so you can then keep what is needed on your new computer and not have to worry about any missing data.

2. Wipe your hard drive

This step is important and may not be an easy process. You’ll want to handle this properly so that business data cannot be recovered later by someone else who should not have access by following these steps.

  • Properly delete all of your files.
  • Unlink and uninstall all your programs.
  • Clear your browser history, passwords, etc.
  • Wipe and restore to factory settings.
  • If you had sensitive information on the computer consider using specialty software to perform full data wipe. Some industries require a wipe of confidential prior to disposal.

3. Donate, resell, or recycle

In case you were not aware, you cannot throw your computer away as you would other old items. Computers have components that could be environmentally toxic, such as lead and mercury, or valuable, such as copper, aluminum, and gold. Because of this, there are many programs available to help take old computers off your hands.

Consider donating them if they are in good working condition. Many charitable organizations specialize in providing used and refurbished computers to families / schools in need.

You can also look into selling your computer online, to a friend or family member, etc. That is if they are still in good enough condition.

If your hardware is unusable, there are many options for recycling. Some major computer manufacturers have programs that allow customers to sell back their computers for credit or trade-in service.

If you would like help with secure disposal of servers or computers, Expert Computer Solutions can help. Please go here, fill out our form, and we’ll get back with you to schedule some time to discuss.