In many cases and for a variety of reasons, it’s common for a new laptop to be purchased before your old laptop has completely used up its lifespan. Whether you’re looking for a faster option, one with more storage or any other type of upgrade, what should you do with your older laptop if it still has some usefulness left in it, but won’t serve as your primary machine anymore?
At FixIT Mobile, we’ve assisted with a huge variety of laptop repairs and related services in Layton and other parts of Utah, including for those who just want to squeeze enough practical use out of an older laptop to use it for secondary needs. If you’re moving on from your laptop but don’t want to simply throw it out (a prudent decision, by the way), what are some of the options you have available? Here’s a rundown.
For some whose older laptops are still functional, repurposing them into what’s known as a network-attached storage (NAS) system is often a great outlet. An NAS refers to a system that allows you to store and back up data from other devices on your network, whether that’s a smaller system you want to use as a portable drive or multiple computers. Installing a NAS kit into an older laptop can be a good option for those with older laptops that have lost the functionality they once had.
In order to make this work, you’ll need to make sure your laptop has an NAS application set up — there are several such programs available. Once this is done, you’ll find a server interface where you can upload the data you want on your new NAS system. When it comes to backing up, simply use the same process to save on your other drives on your network.
Digital Photo Frame
In other situations, particularly those where your software functions have mostly broken down and only visual functions are still working well, converting into a digital photo frame can be a good option. This works especially well in the case where you have specific photo albums that are meaningful, or any other information that would make sense to display on your laptop using this type of software.
This will involve removal of many extra parts and casing as you fit your laptop circuitry and the LED display into the digital photo frame hardware. Similar to the NAS process, you will need to make sure that your laptop has a digital photo viewing app installed (such as Windows’ built-in Photos or Picasa software).
Another common use of laptops without much functionality, but that still retain their monitor qualities, is to use them as an external monitor for a different computer or tablet. In a setting where a user is operating more than one device, the ability to have the screens separate can be a benefit. This works well for any scenario where you have an older laptop that is barely functional and no longer being used as your primary computer, but wish to use it as an additional screen for something else.
Your options here will differ depending on whether your older laptop is a PC or a Mac, plus based on a few other factors. Our pros will be happy to make recommendations here if you’re unsure.
Are there parts of your home or office where you always seem to have trouble connecting to Wi-Fi? In these cases, turning your old laptop into a mobile hotspot can be a good option. This is a particularly excellent solution for those with an older laptop that isn’t capable of doing anything else — you’ll likely not even have to install any software, but will gain the benefit of having another Wi-Fi access point.
However, there are some things to consider when choosing this type of service. First, you’ll need to make sure your old laptop can handle a mobile hotspot connection. Second, you’ll want to be certain that the type of software required for your laptop is actually available on its system. Our pros can help you out with this if necessary.
Personal Gaming Server
For most multiplayer online games, you connect to a server managed by the manufacturer to play with others. However, if you have an older laptop that no longer works as a primary system, but has the capacity to handle these types of games and could work as a server, consider making it into your own personal gaming server instead.
This option will require some software installation and configuration on your part — your pro can help out with this if you’re not sure how to do it. In this case, the software is usually free and the only financial investment is purchasing a subscription for your broadband Internet service.
Re-Use Individual Parts
And finally, in some cases where software features have worn down or are no longer operational at all, your only good option here will be to sell various parts on their own. This includes the laptop’s circuitry, display monitor and other key components.
Depending on how much you paid for your laptop originally or what type of quality it was, this option will likely fetch a higher price than recycling the entire unit due to its individual value. Before doing this, you’ll want to check out which types of websites are reputable and will give you the highest market value for your items. Your pro can help with this too if you’re not sure how it works.
For more on repurposing an old laptop, or to learn about any of our laptop repair, phone repair or other device repair services in Layton, speak to the staff at FixIT Mobile today.