The Professor's Notes

Where my thoughts and your eyes (and now ears!) collide

Donate Computers–but remove the hard drive!

Posted by Steve Brady On March - 10 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

It’s TAX TIME again, and  now is the time we often think about making Charitable donations (to help with NEXT year.)  It’s funny how that works, right?

You might think about donating your computer to a school, or other charity. And when you do, you know the conventional advice, right? “Be sure to completely wipe your hard drive.”

(More after the break!)

While we used to recommend you WIPE your hard drive, we now recommend you remove it, and physically destroy it. Hard drives are now true commodities and your older computer can still be useful with only a $50 hard drive installed.  Even better, donate the computer (sans hard disk) and then donate the cash to the charity to BUY a new hard drive.  In that way, you don’t have the hassle of justifying the value of the computer, and the hard drive you purchase.  You can deduct the cash donation directly.

But then again–I am NOT a tax attorney, so don’t trust my tax advice.  Just trust me–you don’t want to give away your hard drive.

One final thought:  you might want to consider destroying your old hard drive.  While there are various techniques out there, I wouldn’t recommend the one in the video below (but it looks fun!)

To hear more on this discussion and much more, listen to Real Tech for Real People at http://rtfrp.com, episode 76.

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