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SALT LAKE CITY — As we get closer to Christmas, a lot of people who plan to buy a new computer may consider selling their old one. What do they need to do before selling it?
It's hard to predict how much an old computer will sell for. A.C.E. Computer Solutions owner Edward Allen says HP and Dell make great computers, but they make so many that it's hard for the companies to guarantee their performance.
"I've had an HP running for over 10 year, and I had another HP that died in six months," Allen said.
A lot of factors go into the resale value of a computer. There's normal wear and tear that can take away some of the value, depending on how the owner used it. Plus, the kind of equipment inside the computer may be a factor. Allen says HP and Dell use motherboards that are mass produced in China
"Most of the higher-end custom gaming computers are manufactured with ASUS or Gigabyte, which are like the Cadillac and Denali of computers," he said.
But, even those hard drives can diminish in value after a power surge.
- Scan for malware
- Save data externally
- Wipe the drive clean
- Reinstall Windows
- Don't reinstall Vista
When trying to sell an old computer, the first thing to do is to save all of the data you want to keep on either a thumb drive or an external hard drive. Allen recommends a one terabyte hard drive.
"You don't want to extract all the windows files because that's where most viruses and corrupt files are going to be," he advised.
The next thing to do, if you know what you're doing, is to reinstall Windows.
"That way, they don't have all your old [data] on there. It's a brand new computer, basically. All the software is new, but the hardware is used," he said.
But, he says you shouldn't reinstall Windows Vista. That operating system was so unpopular, computers that use them are hard to sell.