There are multiple ways a person can deal with an old computer, including donating or selling it, in addition to employing it for an auxiliary purpose, such as serving as a home theater or a media server. Another option is to provide its processing power to programs that help with medical research, such as Folding@Home. An old computer can also serve as a test platform for different operating systems.
An alternative way of dealing with an old computer is to simply upgrade it instead of buying a new one. Installing a new graphics card or adding more RAM is a straightforward procedure that involves removing the old hardware and inserting new hardware into appropriate slots on the motherboard. If the core of the system is technologically obsolete, a user can salvage parts, such as hard drives, power-supply units or coolers, and use them in the new computer. Due to the standardization of shapes and sizes, there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues.
Connecting an old computer to a TV via HDMI, VGA or DVI cables can easily turn it into a media center that plays content from video services, such as Netflix or YouTube. Additionally, it can reproduce audio and video files from its hard drive, lending it qualities of a universal media player. By using network-attached storage software, such as FreeNAS, a user can turn an old computer into a NAS home server, which can be used as a central storage system or a media streaming device.