Despite the increasing longevity of laptops, they still need to be upgraded periodically.
This leaves users with the option of either selling or repurposing their old notebook.
If you have an old or broken laptop lying around, you can still find use for the device – or at least its parts.
Repair and clean it
Your best option may be to format the drive and start with a clean slate, as years of accumulated software and files can slow down the laptop.
Opening the device and cleaning out all the dust can also increase performance by improving ventilation and reducing thermal throttling.
Installing a lightweight operating system – like a Linux derivative – can make the laptop more responsive.
Create a Chromebook
If your laptop can’t keep up with modern software requirements, consider installing the Chromium-based operating system called CloudReady and turning it into a cloud-computing device.
This operating system is lightweight, fast, and great for web surfing or cloud apps.
Best of all, it doesn’t require a powerful processor – meaning your new Chromebook will run smoothly.
Turn it into a Home Theatre System
If your laptop is still functional and you’re looking for a home theatre system connected to your network, considering installing specialised software which can turn your laptop into a media player.
This allows you to play music and watch videos from other devices in your home, stream Netflix or Twitch, or watch downloaded media files.
Build a NAS
If your laptop is dated but has a decent amount of storage space, you could turn the device into a Network-Attached Storage system.
A tool such as FreeNAS can turn your laptop’s storage into a secure drive which you can access from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Use the monitor
Consider detaching the monitor from the laptop and using it as a standalone display – as long as you don’t need the complete notebook anymore.
This does require some DIY work, but it allows you to use your laptop’s screen as a secondary desktop display or in a variety of DIY projects.
Tutorials available online can be searched for using your laptop make and model.
Salvage the hardware
If you have consigned the laptop to oblivion, remove all salvageable components from the device – including SO-DIMM RAM modules, hard drives, and SSDs.
These components can be repurposed into external drives and used in other devices.
Make a digital photo frame
Turning your aging notebook into a photo frame can be a cool project and a good way to salvage the hardware.
This requires some effort and DIY skill, but there are a number of helpful tutorials available online.