Computers & Electronics

Discarding Old Phones And Laptops

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  • Mar 5th, 2020 11:50 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2019
753 posts
1282 upvotes

Discarding Old Phones And Laptops

What is the best way to get rid of old phones and laptops. My goals are:
1. Make sure all data is wiped
2. Ensure they don’t go to a landfill.

I haven’t used some of these devises and a number of years and am not even sure if I have a charger or remember my log in password for some.

I’m willing to pay for this service.

Thanks,
10 replies
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Aug 16, 2010
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Between Countries
For phones, I just do a factory reset. For PC's and laptops, I usually remove the HD's for some other use and throw away the rest.

If you're in Toronto, you can either leave electronics at the curb on garbage day or go to a drop off depot. Info here: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... nic-waste/ . Either way, electronics will be recycled properly. Other regions will have their own electronics drop off locations.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2011
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Québec
reversi wrote: What is the best way to get rid of old phones and laptops. My goals are:
1. Make sure all data is wiped
2. Ensure they don’t go to a landfill.

I haven’t used some of these devises and a number of years and am not even sure if I have a charger or remember my log in password for some.

I’m willing to pay for this service.

Thanks,
Do you want to keep the hard drive of the laptop ?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2019
753 posts
1282 upvotes
Thanks DiceMan. And I have no interest in keeping the hard drives.
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Sep 10, 2005
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With phones, it depends on how old they are. Modern phones encrypt the storage so that factory resetting is generally all that is needed to prevent data recovery. A lot of Android phones prior to Android 6 did not encrypt storage by default.
Sr. Member
Mar 26, 2008
532 posts
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i would take out the hard drive and keep it. you can always keep it around in case your new laptop has a hard drive failure. if you insist on discarding the hard drive along with your laptop you can use a program like DBAN or wipepro to securely wipe the hard drive.
Deal Addict
Apr 29, 2018
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reversi wrote: What is the best way to get rid of old phones and laptops. My goals are:
1. Make sure all data is wiped
2. Ensure they don’t go to a landfill.

I haven’t used some of these devises and a number of years and am not even sure if I have a charger or remember my log in password for some.

I’m willing to pay for this service.

Thanks,
Old phones just need to be factory reset. For Androids, you have may have to do it via the bootloader, which will help you wipe ALL data. A Google search should turn up the instructions for your phone model. For iPhones, just do a Reset All data from Settings.

For laptops, there are enough tutorials on the internet. For HDD's you need to overwrite all the data and many such softwares exist for this.

For SSD's the best recommended way is to fill up the entire drive with junk. As they are digital devices, once the actual bits are changed, recovery is not really possible, unlike a Spinning HDD. The only risk here is that when you delete files, the OS will often just mark that space as empty, instead of actually clearing out the space. So all you need to do to clear your old data is to fill up all the space on the SSD with whatever (junk, zeroes, encrypted data etc)
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Jun 27, 2004
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Free Geek. There are locations throughout North America.
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Oct 26, 2003
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Caledon
Side note: I Usually take a drill to my unwanted hard drives.. drill a couple holes through the drive for destruction platters/chips
Last edited by ravell on Mar 3rd, 2020 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jul 7, 2017
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Take the HDD and put the carcass on CL of Kijiji or whatever, People can always use them. My latest computer is an age-old (>12 year) AMD that works nicely as my HTPC.

I need Acer 20V laptop power supplies if you have one.
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Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2015
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theres tons of places to recycle your unwanted phones i remember pizza pizza would give u a free pepperoni slice 10 yrs ago if u donate an old phone, not sure if they do it still, but lots of cell phone sttores collect and ship old cell phones to be recycled.
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