What Happens To Hardware

Computers are dropped off to one of our projects, or we arrange a pick-up with you. After we have them, the hard drives are wiped using Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN), using an algorithm which writes random patterns over the entire drive 3 times. If needed we can use a wipe which complies to the US Dept. of Defense standard for data destruction (DOD 5220.22-M with 7 passes). Where it is not possible to reuse the hard drive (such as being too small or faulty) we physically destroy the platters of the drive.

We are not able to accept donations of:-

  • Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors.
  • Inkjet printers. Ink cartridges which have been started commonly dry out and and cause printing problems, so recipients rarely receive good working printers.

These may be disposed of free at various locations

The age of a system is its next deciding factor. We refurbish systems with Intel Core i3 (equivalent) or greater processors, replacing any faulty or missing parts, and install an open source operating system on it. Currently we use Linux Mint ( a variant of Debian GNU/Linux ). We then extend the system with suitable packages for their target – such as young children, for uni students, for older people, etc. The systems are then tested and made available for purchase. If they are under Intel Core i3 specification they are usually disassembled and used for parts. Any materials that are not used in systems, are recycled through metal recycling networks.

What is good hardware to donate? For a desktop or laptop computer an Intel Core i3/i5 or i7, with 4GB of RAM is the minimum specification that is usable for our recipients. We can pick up some hardware (if the amount of good equipment makes the trip feasible), but would like older, non-working or small donations of equipment to be brought to us.

Most wanted hardware currently is:
– Core i3, i5 or i7 laptops