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  • Safely retiring a device

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Safely retiring a device

    • This topic has 16 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago.
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      • #2388049
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        ON SECURITY By Susan Bradley When and how should you get rid of a computer or device? Microsoft came out with new news about supportability of Windows
        [See the full post at: Safely retiring a device]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2388190
        SupremeLaW
        AskWoody Plus

        Susan,

        This is very worthwhile advice, all around.

        I do believe you could do a follow-up article that confronts the long-term consequences of overloading solid-waste disposal sites with toxic chemicals that can and do leech into ground water.

        Because there appears to be a shortage of published articles about the real expected useful lives of key components like CPUs and motherboards, I’ve been running a one-person experiment to see just how long our motherboards will operate correctly.

        In general, our ASUS motherboards all continue to function correctly long after the factory warranties expired.

        Our oldest PCs have been re-purposed as backup storage servers which are still running Windows XP (because they were designed and initially built to run XP).

        And, in the interests of full disclosure, we do SHUTDOWN those backup storage servers after doing each routine backup;  they do not run all day long.  As such, our “experiment” is intentionally biased, for that one reason.

        This experiment complements my own personal bias which strongly recommends against dumping obsolete motherboards in the nearest public land-fill.

        A photograph from several years back keeps coming into view:  it was a dump warehouse that was literally stacked to a high ceiling with obsolete CRTs, after flat panels replaced them across the globe.

        We also have other add-in cards that would continue to function AOK under Windows 10, except that their manufacturers don’t provide compatible device drivers for that OS.

        In the interests of reliable journalism, finding out what really happens at computer “recycling centers” appears to be another worthwhile effort e.g. REPC [DOT] com in Seattle.

        Most recently, we have preferred to purchase refurbished HP workstations with Windows 10 pre-installed: the total costs are so low, as compared to buying a discrete retail OS, the hardware in those workstations is almost totally free;  and, HP’s workstation motherboards also function well long after their factory warranties have expired!

        Having suffered toxic contamination from mercury amalgam fillings, I can tell you that the negative health effects of such toxics are very serious e.g. contact Connie Fox at mercurymadness [DOT] info

        Hope this helps / FWIW.  Please keep up the good work!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2388195
        mcbsys
        AskWoody Plus

        Good advice. My suggestions on BitLocker are a bit different.

        As soon as you get a new PC, encrypt all drives with BitLocker. Save the BitLocker keys in a few ways (on a USB drive, on a printout): https://adamtheautomator.com/bitlocker-recovery-key.

        When it comes time to retire the device:

        • If you save the drive to use in an external enclosure, don’t decrypt the drive, which exposes your data if the drive is ever lost or stolen. Make sure you have the keys saved (see above), connect the external drive to a new device, and test unlocking it.
        • If you want to destroy the data, just delete the drive partitions. Since it has been encrypted all along, recovery is not possible. This is especially helpful for SSDs, which are sometimes difficult to wipe securely.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2388206
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        In this week’s newsletter, both you and Brian Livingston make reference to “Microsoft’s updated PC Health Check app”.   It does not (yet?) exist.

        As of 6 September 2021 at 1143 US PDT, Upgrade to the New Windows 11 OS | Microsoft (the page which supposedly as this new app) says:

        Check for compatibility

        Use the PC Health Check app to see if your current PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11. If so, you can get a free upgrade when it rolls out

        COMING SOON

        How the heck can Microsoft be 30 days from the release of a new version of Windows and still not be able to tell me whether my machines will meet all its arbitrary diktats for hardware?

        • #2388222
          mcbsys
          AskWoody Plus
        • #2388311
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          https://bytejams.com/  Use that tool instead.  WAY BETTER than the microsoft one.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2388393
            JC Zorkoff
            AskWoody Plus

            I tried this link using 4 different browsers. Only one would display the information page, but that one would not allow me to download the tool.

            An error occurred during a connection to bytejams.com. SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length. Error code: SSL_ERROR_RX_RECORD_TOO_LONG

            The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
            Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

             

            • #2388395
              b
              AskWoody MVP

              The page and download work fine for me in Microsoft Edge.

              Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1263 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2388398
              SupremeLaW
              AskWoody Plus

              Apologies:  I forgot to LOGIN!

              Repeating:

              Using Firefox and Windows 10, we downloaded a .zip file here:

              Directory of Z:\bytejams.com

              09/07/2021 10:42 AM <DIR> .
              09/07/2021 10:42 AM <DIR> ..
              09/07/2021 10:42 AM 0 log.txt
              09/07/2021 10:41 AM 430,135 Win11RCT.zip
              2 File(s) 430,135 bytes
              2 Dir(s) 1,289,590,603,776 bytes free

               

              May we email that .zip file to you as an email attachment?

               

            • #2388590
              Alex5723
              AskWoody Plus

              Download works fine with Chrome

          • #2388587
            JC Zorkoff
            AskWoody Plus

            I tried the same Firefox browser again today and it worked just fine.

             

      • #2388643
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        Too often, we attempt to use hardware past its expiration date.

        I’ve been worked with hundreds of computers over the past 35 years (my first was a Heathkit version of a Zenith Z150, an IBM PC clone) but I have never, ever seen one with an “expiration date” on it.

        Where, pray tell, is this date to be found?

         

        • #2388703
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Electronics is not food, it has no expiration date. It could have “best before” date, but that does not mean, it cant be used in the future. The HW is outdated, if its slow, malfuctional, or does not meet some requirements.
          Dont let marketing department dictate what you should do 😉 If you are satisfied, use your device as YOU want to. Of course, if the computer is too slow and it cant be upgraded (more RAM, SSD) anymore, that would be the right time to purchase new machine. Not because some company tells you to do so.

          Have a nice day, doriel.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

        • #2388776
          DrBonzo
          AskWoody Plus

          Also, Apple will not support it’s operating systems on hardware it deems to be too old. Same thing with chromebooks. Since there is a seemingly infinite number of security holes/vulnerabilities (apparently no matter what the operating system is – Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.) using such old hardware could be a security risk greater than the risk normally encountered with a supported OS/HW combination.

      • #2388792
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        Electronics is not food, it has no expiration date. It could have “best before” date, but that does not mean, it cant be used in the future. The HW is outdated, if its slow, malfuctional, or does not meet some requirements.
        Dont let marketing department dictate what you should do 😉 If you are satisfied, use your device as YOU want to. Of course, if the computer is too slow and it cant be upgraded (more RAM, SSD) anymore, that would be the right time to purchase new machine. Not because some company tells you to do so.

        Have a nice day, doriel.

        No expiration date?  No kidding?  Really??  (Look carefully and you’ll see I was quoting Susan.  She used that statement in her article).

        As for the rest of your post, I agree with your wholeheartedly. Once upon a time, actual and perceived PC performance was increasing so fast that the proverbial 3-year replacement cycle actually made economic sense (at least if the company’s pockets were deep enough).  That has not been true for some years now, more or less since the advent of the Intel i-series CPUs.   As long as the person sitting at the computer is not waiting for the computer to get his/her work done, the machine is fast enough.

        Of course, there are users who need all the CPU power they can get, but those are few and far between outside of specific departments or companies.

        • #2388845
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          No expiration date? No kidding? Really?? (Look carefully and you’ll see I was quoting Susan. She used that statement in her article).

          I understand that, I know you were quoting Susan. I just wanted to answer your question 🙂

          If user is not computing 3D models, or editing high-res video, I think the computer should be viable 10 years. Computer games are going to be very needy always, thats fact, I dont want to talk about them. At work, I use notebook from year 2012 and it still works very smooth and fast.

          As long as the person sitting at the computer is not waiting for the computer to get his/her work done, the machine is fast enough.

          Exactly. But I usually try to reinstall OS from scratch. And if the computer is still slow, its time for new machine.

          Unfortunate truth is, that average users are good at installing unwanted tools. But who can blame them, if there are lot of ads that say: “Your computer is in danger, install McAffee NOW!”, “Your computer might be in danger, scan for viruses now!” and so..
          I have seen many many times computers with two or more free antivirus services. And those services come with toolbars, annoying popups and other tools eating PCs resources, especially after boot. Its those developpers who are to blame, they are using tricks onto users to make them download their system.
          In this case, I suffer few hours :), copy their personal data on external drive and wipe the disk with brand new Windows installation. It usually helps A LOT.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2388849
        MHCLV941
        AskWoody Plus

        No expiration date? No kidding? Really?? (Look carefully and you’ll see I was quoting Susan. She used that statement in her article).

        I understand that, I know you were quoting Susan. I just wanted to answer your question 🙂

        If user is not computing 3D models, or editing high-res video, I think the computer should be viable 10 years. Computer games are going to be very needy always, thats fact, I dont want to talk about them. At work, I use notebook from year 2012 and it still works very smooth and fast.

        As long as the person sitting at the computer is not waiting for the computer to get his/her work done, the machine is fast enough.

        Exactly. But I usually try to reinstall OS from scratch. And if the computer is still slow, its time for new machine.

        Unfortunate truth is, that average users are good at installing unwanted tools. But who can blame them, if there are lot of ads that say: “Your computer is in danger, install McAffee NOW!”, “Your computer might be in danger, scan for viruses now!” and so..
        I have seen many many times computers with two or more free antivirus services. And those services come with toolbars, annoying popups and other tools eating PCs resources, especially after boot. Its those developpers who are to blame, they are using tricks onto users to make them download their system.
        In this case, I suffer few hours :), copy their personal data on external drive and wipe the disk with brand new Windows installation. It usually helps A LOT.

        But a SSD really helps, too!  🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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