Is it Safe to Buy a Used Computer? - Comments Page 1

Category: Hardware



All Comments on: "Is it Safe to Buy a Used Computer?"

Comment Page: 1 |  2 

Posted by:

Tom Van Dam
28 Jan 2019

I have bought several refurbished computers from places like Amazon and NewEgg but I would never purchase one from somewhere else. I have found them to be a good deal. (This is for a company on a network) I load any additional software that I need and put our corporate license of AV on the machine.
I would never buy a used printer because (other than the virus) the models change so quick, who wants one that is no longer made since they become obsolete so fast. Printers are cheap, it's the ink that cost big money.

Posted by:

Charley
28 Jan 2019

Even tossing the hard drive is not completely good enough. Malware may have been installed in the the BIOS. So unless you go and reinstall the BIOS from the manufacturer's site (if you know how), you still could have some malware.

Usually I can find good enough deals on new systems that make buying used systems not worth the trouble. As you mentioned, there have been cases where malware was installed in a new system, but it is pretty rare.

Posted by:

johnnieberesolute
28 Jan 2019

Bob, you are not being neagtive. You are being smart and acting intelligently.

I have found computer companies, software writers, and more talk about computer safety who then turn around and do something just the opposite; such as allow passwords of 6-8 characters. They talk out of both sides of their mouths.

Posted by:

Sam
28 Jan 2019

Another easy solution: Before connecting the used computer to the net or doing anything else, clean install Windows from a flash drive. It might be a little more trouble for a system before Windows 10. No need to scrap the hard drive. In fact, I do this for brand new machines, to clean out the extra stuff installed by the manufacturer and to bring the system up to date. (Yes, the tinfoil hat crowd might want to wipe the free space with CCleaner or the equivalent.)

Posted by:

Paul Rosenberger
28 Jan 2019

GOOD ADVICE.

Posted by:

LouDamelin
28 Jan 2019

I like to refurbish computers and pass them on. I'm surprised at the number of people who believe hard drives cannot be reused. I delete all existing partitions; create a new partition(s); and format the new partition(s). Then I overwrite them by installing all new software. I'm pretty sure the hard drives I pass along are safe.

I realize not everyone is able to do this; but I wish you would comment on steps to take to safely reuse hard drives instead of telling everyone to toss them.

Posted by:

Larry Craig
28 Jan 2019

I cannot agree completely with your article. We are such a throw away society as it is filling our Landfills with perfectly recyleable computers. We give away many computers in a year to both people and organizations like kids groups with no problems.
A good technician can easily verify a computer to make sure it is clean and the same goes for hard drives. There many places including YouTube where a regular person can learn to use a rescue disk to verify the computer.
It just irks me whenever I read about people saying just toss it.

Posted by:

Dave
28 Jan 2019

I agree with Lou. There is no reason to be tossing used hard disk drives into electronics recycling (how many tons of used electronics end up in recycling every day in North America?). I use a common free tool to over write the HDD 3 times, format and then partition as required for the purpose I will be using the HDD. But, before someone posts this - the last time I checked the USA Department of Defence standard for secure over writing of a HDD is 32x. I have found the 3x overwrite + setting up the HDD for it's purpose is sufficient to determine if the HDD is failing.

Posted by:

JcB
28 Jan 2019

I have purchased several refurbished PCs directly from HP and some from Woot a subsidiary of Amazon and have had no trouble with them. I agree that buying or even accepting as gifts used computer equipment from individuals is a risky endeavor, the risks increase greatly if that individual is not someone you know personally.

Posted by:

Jeffrey Lear
28 Jan 2019

Why isn't PC Matic on the list? Kinda weird!!!

Posted by:

Jonathan
28 Jan 2019

Is the article information and the reader comments also relevant for the use of a used SmartPhone?

Posted by:

Brenda
28 Jan 2019

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Dell refurbished computer. I got it from Dell 3 years ago and I have no complaints. I DO tell others about them. I can really only speak for myself---but I will continue to recommend Dell refurbished computers.

Posted by:

Renaud Olgiati
28 Jan 2019

I recently had to deal with around 20 computers left over when the French Consulate in Asunción closed, and those were given to the Alliance Française language school.

I dealt with them by the simple expedient of booting each with a DBAN live disk, and completely wiping the disks before re-formating them as ext4 and installing Linux.

Problem solved.

https://dban.en.softonic.com/

Posted by:

Larry
28 Jan 2019

I buy used stuff all the time, from cars to furniture, EXCEPT for electronics! You get so much more for your money when buying a new device with the latest capabilities, over anything used and older than a year or two. However, a relatively new device that has been factory refurbished is probably OK.

Posted by:

MmeMoxie
28 Jan 2019

I too have purchased Refurbished PCs from reliable companies. I have been purchasing these PCs from a company called Computer-Show.com. They go over the PCs that they get from either Dell or HP. These PCs are "Off-Lease" computers and they have a 6-month warranty with them. The 6-month warranty has been a part of their company's policy for over 15 years.


I am using a Dell Optiplex 960 that I bought from them in Sept. 2013. Yes, there were some blemishes but, that never bothered me. Every one that I have gotten from them has been wonderfully package for shipping. All of them have had "sprayed foam" around the Mini Towers. They have worked right from getting them out of their shipping boxes.


I have saved many dollars for myself, as well as family and friends. Right now, my PC is technically 11 years old, but it is still kicking and works just fine. I got a Refurbished one for my Hubby and his PC is fine, too. His is a Dell Optiplex 760, with a 500 HDD, 8MB Memory and it came with Win 7 Pro. I have upgraded his, to Win 10 Pro.


Right now, my PC is a Win 7 Pro. I had to go back to the original MS Operating System since the last Update of Win 10 Pro really did a number on PC. I was getting BSODs when I haven't had them since forever, it seems. I am debating whether or not I want to get Win 10 Pro again. I use my PC more than my Hubby does, he mainly plays 2 games Mahjongg and Bejeweled 2 or 3. He does like to play Solitaire now and then. But, everything on his is working fine.


Newegg also has Refurbished PCs that have a Microsoft Warranty for 1 full year. Now, for a Used PC that is probably an "Off-Lease", that really is a good bargain.


Yes, you must be very, very careful when you are looking at Used or Off-Leased PCs. I would not get any from E-Bay or Craig's List. I just got one from Newegg for my grandson for $155 plus $3.99 shipping. It was a great deal and he is using his to work in conjunction with his X-Box One, for playing his favorite games.


I have also gotten Discontinued Motherboards when I have built my own. I get good deals on them and they are brand new with all the bells and whistles. I have been a user of discontinued and refurbished products since 1997. I don't need the latest and greatest components to be a Happy Camper. I just want something that is "newer" than my last PC.


Now, this has been my experience and if, you do know what you are doing ... You can find great bargains.

Posted by:

SamG
28 Jan 2019

Oh no! I've bought and sold laptops from Craigslist for years. Hard drives and memory from Ebay. Twice i didn't get what i paid for.(Not much lost). Otherwise, mostly bargains. Latest buy was a DELL 14" Windoz 7 Pro quad core laptop but only a 160GB hard drive for $75. From a hobbyist stranger. Sometimes i have to push the start button harder (twice) to cold start it. To this i installed Used 8 GB DDR3 memory off Ebay for $23. And a new WD Black 7200 rpm, 500 GB hard drive for $30. Most items include the purchase of a Square trade warranty for little money. Buy new? Some items.

Posted by:

Bill Pfeifer
28 Jan 2019

I volunteer at a homeless shelter, where we get donated computers with unknown history.
I sanitize the hard drive with hdderase (https://cmrr.ucsd.edu/resources/secure-erase.html), which uses the Secure Erase command built into the drive's firmware. Takes a looong time, but it fully wipes everything, even data unaccessible through software, such as bad blocks. Then install Win 10; if it activates, great. If not - next!

Posted by:

Paul
28 Jan 2019

STOP TOSSING HARD DRIVES! Assuming the hard drive is not broken, performing a Diskpart clean command or just deleting all the partitions will remove everything from a hard drive including any possible malware.

Boot from a Linux or Windows installation flash drive or DVD and take the option to delete all partitions and/or erase the disk.

Posted by:

marge201
28 Jan 2019

Staples and New Egg offer a lot of refurbs. I decided to go to the source which I learned about in the comments and called them, the company that does the refurbushing. The person I spoke to was terrific and provided me with the link to New Egg for the machine he quoted me on, a ThinkPad. I only use it occasionally but so far it's fantastic. And it was a g r e a t price.

Posted by:

Charlie Keebler
29 Jan 2019

Greetings Bob!
You mention the "AVG Rescue CD". However, going to that site and trying to download the image results in a "404". Searching the website for the download provided no joy.
Thanks for your newsletter.
- Charlie

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