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If you have a computer that is less then five years old, chances are that it can be put to good use by someone else. However, donating a computer is not as simple as just delivering your old PC or laptop to a local school or nonprofit. In fact, out-of-date computer systems can be more of a burden than a blessing to schools and nonprofits, as it can cost them up to $400 to bring a pre-Pentium computer up to today's standards.
Donate your equipment, instead, to a nonprofit or school-based refurbisher, (particularly if you need to wipe your hard drive or are not sure of the condition of your equipment). Refurbishers ensure that equipment passed on to nonprofits and schools is operational and that it runs legal copies of software. They can also properly dispose of non-usable parts. Note that refurbishers work with newer equipment, so if your computer is more than five years old, a professional recycler will be a better choice than a refurbisher.