Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recycle Your Computer Equipment at Goodwill

Do you have an old computer sitting around because you are not sure what to do with it?

Below is a quote taken from the Reconnect website, describing their program available across the US. On the site you can put in your zip code and find locations accepting used equipment near you.

Good for the Community
Good for the Environment
Good for You

"Reconnect is a residential computer recycling program that offers you an easy, convenient and responsible way to recycle your used computer equipment. You can drop off any brand of used equipment (in any condition) at participating Goodwill donation centers in your area. It's free, and you'll get a receipt for tax purposes. What's more, you'll be helping protect the environment and benefiting your community at the same time." Reconnect disposes of all electronics in an environmentally responsible way.

For dropoff locations and hours in Western New York, click here.

Please keep in mind that while they take precaution to safeguard information by cleaning hard driving using industry standards, the only way to truly be sure that your information is secure is to erase the hard drive yourself before donating it. I asked Eric Vaccaro, President of American Micro, Inc, a full service computer installation and repair in Williamsville, NY for advice on erasing the hard drive. He suggests using a disk-wiping program.

"Basically what these programs do is run algorithms that overwrite the drive many times with dummy data. There are usually different algorithms to choose from, but I usually use a department of defense standard one, which runs for three passes over the drive. No one can read your data after this.The process cannot be run in windows. The program is provided in a file called an .iso image. That image is then burned to a CD and that CD is put into the computer while it is booting up. The program then runs at bootup before windows loads." Eric currently offers this service for $75.

For those of you who are interested in trying it yourself, or learning more about how this works, you can watch a video about Active @ Kill Disc and download a free version of Active @ Kill Disk. A professional version is available for $30.

Prior to using any disc wiping program or donating your computer, make sure that you have backed up all data to another source.

For help with any organizing project, Simply E-mail or Call Linda! 716-631-5619