What Can I Do with a Dead or Broken Laptop?

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What Can I Do with a Dead or Broken Laptop?

I bought a Dell laptop with Windows operating system ten years ago. I bought it brand new from Dell website. It was blazing fast at startup and worked just fine for my needs. I used it for regular browsing and a few time watching movies from streaming websites. It worked really well at first few years and then it started becoming slower.

Once in a while, it was infected by viruses and malware which I was able to fix by using anti-virus software.

A few years later it had become really unusable. It took too long to startup, at times few minutes. After starting up it was taking very long time to launch browsers.

After doing some more internet research, I realized that this laptop may be far from recovery if I keep using windows on it so I installed Linux on it. That worked for me for few more years. However, after 6-7 years of use, this machine was really getting outdated with the latest operating system configurations. Therefore I decided to get rid of it.

Initially, I thought this laptop may be worthless, but I was wrong. A laptop is a complex electronics machine and there are so many parts in a laptop that are useful for many other purposes. With a quick web search, I found few websites that actually sell used laptops and laptop parts.

In fact, some places you do not even need to disassemble the laptop. You can simply sell it as an old laptop for parts only. There is a big market for electronics repair. Gadget repair technicians are constantly looking for these parts for fixing something. Therefore almost anything inside a laptop can be a useful part for someone else.

Do You Have A Broken Laptop?

Do you own a laptop that has become almost useless to you now? I have consolidated my learnings from ten years of struggle with my laptop in this article.

In this page, I tried to include anything that can help you get value out of your existing laptop that is almost useless to you. Below are some useful resources and tips to get most out of your old laptop.

1. Sell Laptop On – SellBroke.com

This is my preferred website to sell an old broken laptop. This does not require you to disassemble the laptop. You can sell any laptop on this site even if it is not working. SellBroke is e-recycler focused on buying laptops. They buy used laptops and recycle them.

The price you may get for your laptop may vary based on the condition of your laptop, however, it is probably the best value option I have seen when I compared it against eBay and Amazon used the item to market.

SellLaptopBack.com is another good website that will buy your laptops.

2. Try To Dissamble and Sell Parts

Most people may be scared to this, however, if you can dare to do this you may be able to cash your unusable laptop. This is a good option for laptops that do not even start. A laptop that does not work may still have parts that work.

You can disassemble and sell them. Many tech geeks are looking for parts and would be ready to pay you a decent price for it. For example, one of my old Lenovo laptops had stopped starting up due to an error. When I searched the internet I found out that I may need to replace the fan.

This was a tough thing for me to do so I thought it may be better to just sell the hard drive and other parts. A laptop has many expensive parts, some of them are listed below

  1. Battery – Most easy to sell since many people want to replace just their batter on an old laptop and compatible batteries for an old laptop are hard to find
  2. Power Adapter – Another easy to sell part. Anyone with a similar / compatible laptop would be will to buy a spare charging adapter for travel etc.
  3. Motherboard – The foundation where all parts are assembled
  4. CPU – Commonly known as processor – Most expensive part
  5. RAM – Memory – Price varies based on the type of RAM
  6. Hard Drive – Easy to sell, however, remember to permanently clean up your personal data. Since it poses a risk of data recovery from malicious people. Check out our YouTube Playlist with useful tutorials on how to delete data permanently.
  7. Fan
  8. Graphics Card
  9. Wifi card – makes your laptop connect to wifi networks
  10. Soundboard – or sound card

3. Donate It: Get Tax Credit

Donating an old electronics is tax deductible, check with your CPA and see if you can get the deduction you are looking for. The deduction is not huge however you can still save some money. This deduction is not only for laptops, you can donate any working or non-working electronics for the tax credit.

4. Try to Fix Your Laptop

This, not an easy option, however, you can surely try this if you dare. Many times fixing a laptop can be just replacing the parts. Sometimes you have an error message or special beep sounds coming from a bad laptop.

This can be a clue for you to start a search on Google to find solutions. You can often find answers about failures of specific parts. Replacing the parts may be easy for popular laptops with some youtube how-to videos. Once you know the part has to be replaced. You can order the part online on sites like eBay or Amazon.

5. Install Ubuntu (In case it has only software problems)

I have noticed that many windows laptop become unusable due to virus, worms, and malware. Ubuntu is a leading Linux operating system. It is a lot more stable and less vulnerable to virus, worms, and malware.

I installed Ubuntu on a poor performing windows laptop and it survived 10+ years with Ubuntu. I love ubuntu since it has a relatively friendly user interface for Windows users. Though it may take a while for you to get used to Ubuntu. It works just fine for casual browsing needs.

As an Ubuntu beginner, you may find these Ubuntu apps useful to you.


I hope you find these tips useful. A laptop is expensive device and getting the most value out of it may not be difficult. If you can think of more suggestion and options please suggest in comments below this article. I will be glad to add them to my list.

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