Instructables

Where can I easily get old/broken computers for free?

I am having a very hard time finding some, because of my evil rival, the WEEE... The computer stores don't hold any broken computers, I cannot find any at the dump, and it is illegal to take stuff out of the recycling area. I also want to avoid ebay, I don't have any pocket money left.

Any ideas?

My dad is a regional manager for McDonald's and one of his warehouses is full (and am not over exaggerating when i say this) FULL of old computers and stuff of the like. i scored a 500GB seagate Hard Drive from a DVD player and its dvd drive. :p

I'd like something there. Email me at spec2jeti@gmail.com. I don't care what kind of computer. But I'd prefer a laptop. Any other electronics would work. Email me what you have. Thanks

is this still the case? I know your post was some ago, but zI will pay for shipping on laptop and laptop parts (no macintosh) -Emily agenteprentiss@gmail.com

I LUV OLD COMPUTERS! DO YOU HAVE ANY WITH WINDOWS 95, 98, NT 4.0, ME, or 2000? IF SO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE EMAIL ME AT krisevangelista3@gmail.com
do you have any dos era computers if so may i please have one my email is slayname@gmail.com
hey i was wondering if you still have any of those computers left if so please email me at calvin4084@yahoo.com thanks
Hi there, I am looking for some computer towers and parts. Does your dad have a warehouse in Olympia, washington state? if so, that would be cool. I'd appreciate it if you can give me a call at 360-400-4143 when you have a chance. Thanks!
i want some of those old computers and parts XD im going to try to build one from old parts
hi there i'm disabled & looking for a computer my daughter is moving so her laptop is going with her ,then i will be without a computer. i no money to spend for one you can call me @ 3607422369 ok please help me.that a is a was nummber but i live in cal ok.
do you think you can give me some stuff please?
hi my name is sharon i would love to pick up your stuff could u let me know on my number is 07548958664
any old computer would be nice if you can send a pentium 1 laptop email me at
dennylloyd6@live.com
Where are you located? I am interested in asking them if they want to get rid of them. I have free services where I come and pick up all items free of charge. Could you please send me information on how I can get in touch with someone about the computers they have. Thank you very much.
any old pc towers broken , non working wanted , complete removal of data off the hard drive so save the trip of taking that bulky broken pc to the tip inbox me and i will collect for free any pc related items considered many thanks rob RSC DIAGNOSTICS
any old pc towers broken , non working wanted , complete removal of data off the hard drive so save the trip of taking that bulky broken pc to the tip inbox me and i will collect for free any pc related items considered many thanks rob RSC DIAGNOSTICS
I would to know where your at so I can get some of them to. I am a novice and just getting into it looking for as many pc's and things I can get. Let me know please.

Thank you
Well, i mean since my dad is the regional manager we are allowed to go to ware houses and take stuff as long as its not something they may need

(srry for late reply i have been wrapped up in school and kinda forgot about this website D:)
hello i am building pc towers and i am looking for some free old broken pc towers in bulk so i can rebuild from old parts finding it very hard to find some can you help me please rob 07901995299@momail.co.uk 07901995299 rob smith on facebook
Do you know if there are some left? If so... Would I be able to get some.... I am looking to get systems for a local church and job search center. Thanks!
lippon10 months ago
If you still need someone to pick up the computers we will do it for free, graham.odenyo@gmail.com , in all 50 states
ARJOON lippon10 months ago
sorry i'm from mauritius
ENYagher ARJOON1 month ago

if u still have computers- I'll pay shipping. Agenteprentiss@gmai.com

ARJOON ENYagher1 month ago

sorry don't have any left!!!

ENYagher1 month ago

Okay, I live in South Orange County, CA. I restore used and broken down laptops. Ireplace hard drives, RAM, kill malware, you neme It. Recently, my hobby took on a philanthropic goal. I've been talking with the vp of a local elementary scool whr re poverty is a huge problem. While some kids take having thr latest and greatest forgranted, others eat free lunch and come home to an empty homeI've gotten a few non-working laptops, but I want to help these. It feels like a calling. I've called churches, retail stores, recycling co.s, even asked for donations on craigslist. Its like jo one cares...

bolla744 months ago

want to ask if somebody know of unwanted computers office unwanted equipment .please feel let me know its for good cause . my number 0748513108 thnx . or add me on facebook eben bolla Abrahams

ARJOON4 years ago
my dad brought me about 30pcs from his work as they were to be dumped. unfortubately most of them were pentium 2 and 3s. however i managed to get 3good pentium 4 pcs. in the 6 verrrrry old psu. there were very big caps like 400v 220uf i got 2 out of each psu i dismantled ending me in 12 big good caps.(coilgun will be happy)
lippon ARJOON10 months ago
Hi Arjoon, do you still have any computers that you are trying to get rid of? whether in good condition or not? graham.odenyo@gmail.com
ARJOON lippon10 months ago
nope, long time sent to recycled, sold scrap metal, plastic, pcbs still at home(personal collection)
benlabs ARJOON8 months ago

ARJOON. Do you have any PCB's you would be willing to part with?

ARJOON benlabs7 months ago

nope sorry. still have them

Check schools. I currently use an iMac G5 with a screen issue (blue tint and monochroming). Other than that, it works flawlessly, although it's slow and Safari likes to crash if I log in to Outlook (logging out doesn;t help only resetting does). These iMacs usually go for $250 on my local Craigslist but mine was free. The school actually gave it to me because they thought the HD was toast, but I put the OS X disc in and reinstalled it and it was working again, like new except for the screen.
timothy11 year ago
im looking 4 old computers also but im trying to help the poor but idk were to get any free. i will take ones thats broke - or not broke. -_-
micajoeh1 year ago
Can you send an email to micajoeh@gmail.com if you have old laptops, and a few hard drives. That is if they still exist...
lingbai1231 year ago
Could some help me out......Your unused computers well be a big help of mine.. I'll be accepting your old unused computer parts like motherboards(office / gaming purpose),video cards (Any) old processors, old flat monitors... and other electronic parts.

The reason of this is. I'm a IT student and i don't have any money to buy spare parts of my own PC..... Since then i look for trash unused parts here in Philippines but its all a piece of non working parts I've been searching in web looking for an individual whose willing to send there unused parts and ship it for free but what I've found was nothing. I would be great full if someone could help me..
And may God bless you always.. And Merry Christmas to all.

You can email me at jonz_ygona@yahoo.com
Hi i was wondering if anyone could get me a computer i just need one or two. I need them to be from 2010 and up. i am makeing a computer and i dont know where to get a free computer Thanks
darthbindy2 years ago
try going to a university, at uft they have rooms, literal;y full of computers, also look in city halls, even tho your not supposed to i asked nicely and got 3 free 2009 toshiba satelites, only thing rong was that they all had dead baterys and they ps went throught the batterys, i just short circuted the terminals, and they all worked, also go to your local erf (electronics recycling facility) i got tons of 2006-2009 laptops there, tho most were dead, or only booted to bios.
adarksithai2 years ago
YO PLEASE GIVE ME SOME PENTIUM 1,2, and 3 motherboard PLEASE HELP ME EMAIL ME AT absolac@aol.com PLEASE I NEED SOME Thank you
lostboy19713 years ago
any old pc towers broken , non working wanted , complete removal of data off the hard drive so save the trip of taking that bulky broken pc to the tip inbox me and i will collect for free any pc related items considered many thanks rob RSC DIAGNOSTICS
lostboy19713 years ago
any old pc towers broken , non working wanted , complete removal of data off the hard drive so save the trip of taking that bulky broken pc to the tip inbox me and i will collect for free any pc related items considered many thanks rob RSC DIAGNOSTICS
lostboy19713 years ago
any old pc towers broken , non working wanted , complete removal of data off the hard drive so save the trip of taking that bulky broken pc to the tip inbox me and i will collect for free any pc related items considered many thanks rob RSC DIAGNOSTICS add me rob smith on facebook
awang85 years ago
Why is it illegal to take stuff from the recycling place? Anyway, trash days! There's lots of places where you can put up wanted (craigslist, instructables, freecycle). Also, try computer stores. Sometimes they've got a really unpopular computer or component that's been on the market for like 10 years so that they're willing to give you it for free. Why do you need computers? I threw away 2 last year...
Not only is this illegal, so is going through other people's trash. Most of times people and/or law enforcement don't press the issue, but sometimes they are in a bad mood so be care full!
where i live its not illegal to go thru ones trash.....if that person sits it by the curb its PUBLIC property and if its in a dumpster well.....its basicly free game if u can it out b4 someone else does or b4 it gets mixed in with other stuff or b4 the garbage truck picks it up............................

Pcfreak....
in some places its illegal to go dumpster diving but in most places its perfectly legal.
ALWAYS ASK FIRST!!!
mrsocky3 years ago
i get most of my free computers and other stuff from my local recycling dump, the officials (or what ever you want to call them) and usually ok with you taking things if you ask them first. i have gotten about 6 computers,a guitar(only needed to spend about €30 fixing it), 2 tvs,a few monitors,and numerous other things.people usually also give me stuff if i know them well.
Hope this helps :)
I just graduated from high school and i would go out and have a cigarette every day after my math class and noticed about 27 PCs and MACs that were not working and were sitting next to the dumpster. I would say you should check around dumpsters at high schools and colleges because they tend to have more computers that elementary and middle school.
you can get them from the free section on craigslist as well as microwaves and stuff like that
insignia964 years ago
Freecycle is where its at, ecspecially if your looking for flybacks, old 17 inch computer monitor and another 15 inch, both free, both with green-dot (kickass) flybacks. freecycle.org
fda5 years ago
try getting in a school, they usually have lots of old computers to put in trash. i got some from my school, i asked and they gave me some for free. sorry for my english, im portuguese
danlab5 years ago
thrift stores like savers usually sell old but working computers pretty cheep.
have you tried the craigslist free section?
in my area i see: rocks more rocks some stuff the only thing missing is used toilet paper in a jar sorry but i just thought of that and had to post it because of its funnyness! HAHAHA!!!
-henry-5 years ago
This works best for me: Find someone who wants a new computer, and offer to set it up for them in exchange for their old computer. Or look on the side of the street. I found ten CRT's labeled 'free' one time. Craigslist has a free section, but you might have to go to someone's house and pick it up. Never tried it before.
comodore5 years ago
Monitors or computers...Knowing a bit what your projects are I guess you need the high voltage transformer that powers up the catode tubes? right? :P
klueless5 years ago
I have used just about all of the sources suggested, i.e. asking for stuff on freecycle, accepting offers made on freecycle, thrift stores, friends, computer repair shops, etc. But the very best source has been yard sales. And, since I am mostly looking for parts I can cannibalize, and not really looking for working computer parts, I don't even bother with systems and parts that the sellers obviously think are still cutting edge though they are 3 or 4 years old. This source usually works best when I get there near the end of the yard sale, though I have done pretty well early on the first day of their sale at times, too. If they have anything that I am interested in, I will usually offer them a buck or two for whatever computer equipment they haven't sold. I have come to expect 1 of 3 responses: 1) They are glad to get rid of it and take me up on my offer. 2) They want to haggle over price. 3) They are insulted at my offer In case number 1, I pay them and gather up my booty. In case number 2, I either decline or negotiate depending upon my desire for the equipment. In case number 3, I profusely apologize and sincerely wish them "Good luck". What I have noticed is that the more I adopt the attitude that, "Beggars can't be choosers," the better results I have. The more polite and courteous I am, the better results I have. And, the more I say "Please" and "Thank you," the better results I have. And, the less I EXPECT, the more I get. My last treasure find was a guy that had 4 computers in various stages of being dismantled, though they all had hard drives, CD drives and mother boards, along with several other components. He also had several monitors and keyboards, which I wasn't interested in. I offered him $2 for the computers and he accepted that and offered me several more that he hadn't brought out yet. As we were loading up the computers and parts, he let me know that the monitors and keyboards were included. I told him I wasn't interested in those but explained that if it was OK with him, I'd post them on FreeCycle.org. He agreed and within a few hours all the stuff I had purchased for $2 was either home with me or picked up and being put to use by others on FreeCycle.
Yard sales! They'll often just give away boxes of old computers, monitors, and peripherals if you ask nicely, especially right when you're haggling over the prices of other things.
gorgo3335 years ago
my father runs a computer repair company, at one point we had 40 old/broken computers in the garage. you can get them from websites like freecycle. you can get the from friends who are upgrading or dont want them anymore. if you're lucky, you can get a fairly large amount of computers from companie and banks, alot of the time when companies upgrade they HAVE to get rid of there old computers. so you get free computers, they avoid disposle fees.
billsplace5 years ago
Heres an Idea for you... I work Security for a High Tech Company... On my tours There's always a Pile of Discarded Computers on the Shipping dock being Tossed out.... Check around... If they don't have to "Pay" to Discard them, "You" Might luck out and get a whole pile of them... Good Luck
randofo5 years ago
Having just spent the past year acquiring large amounts of broken electronics, I can tell you this: 1. As Jeff mentioned, freecycle.org is great 2. As also mentioned telling friends and family you will take their broken junk helps. 3. Another web reference is the "free" or "wanted" section on craigslist.org 4. Small consumer electronic recycling centers may give you some free stuff if you ask nicely and explain you are just looking for a few things to make art (or the like) 5. Another thing I did which worked out pretty well was just put up a flier that said "Free Electronics Recycling" and listed what I was looking for. 6. In some places, if you go around your neighborhood on trash day you can find a ton of stuff. 7. Dumpsters at large businesses and universities sometimes turn up tons of free electronics (universities particularly around the beginning or end of the semester).
randofo randofo5 years ago
In San Francisco, it is pretty much illegal to get rid of any electronic device. This means you either need to pay to recycle it, store it in your garage or dump it illegally on the sidewalk. Most electronics, therefore, end up being illegally dumped somewhere or just rotting away in people's garage. When an opportunity arises for their garbage to become someone else's problem, most people are overjoyed to give it away. I'm guessing people where you are may have a similar attitude. You just need to let people know you will do them the favor of getting rid of their junk for them.
jeff-o5 years ago
Try www.freecycle.org. It's a site where people can locally exchange things they no longer want for free. I see computers and stuff there all the time.
sound915 years ago
All of my dead electronics come from friends and family, mostly friends. Most people that I am acquainted with know that I am interested in electronics and I will use dead things for parts. Just inform people and stuff will build up quickly.