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#633488 - 12/30/20 02:08 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Resolved]
Registered: 07/06/00
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Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers?

I'm thinking about retiring my 2002 ThinkPad. It's used on stage to display words or music notation and as a backup to play mp3 backing tracks in case my other stage ThinkPad dies on the gig. Since 2002 I've gone to the backup computer twice, that's not a bad track record.

I have a few others that through the years have been retired from my desktop/studio as they got too old to run modern software. A couple of newer than 2002 laptops on stage might be nice as screen displays have been improved since the early 2000s.

I know I can buy refurbished computers at places like NewEgg, but that seems foolish if I have my own. If it's economical to refurbish my own it sounds like a better deal, after all, I know how they have been treated.

If it costs too much, I don't want to do it, but if not, it seems like a good way to recycle old gear.

Thanks,
Notes

PS, I guess this shouldn't have gone into the SOS forum, sorry about that, it should have gone in plain Off Topic. I wasn't paying enough attention when I got this 'great idea'.



Edited by Notes Norton (12/30/20 02:10 PM)
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#633689 - 12/31/20 04:18 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 06/05/12
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VideoTrack Offline
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Just thinking out aloud here, and not intending to be negative, but wishing to be pragmatic, and I'm not sure if the underlying intention is to 'refurbish' or possibly to 'upgrade'.

About the only things that can be reasonably refurbished are the disk drive and cooling fans. Maybe memory could be replaced if the form factor is still available, but it won't be faster than the on-board clock rate set by the computer itself. It's unlikely the processor can be replaced as it is unlikely that it would still be available. Even so, it would probably be the same speed processor. Everything else will be integrated into the motherboard, so not replaceable.

So ultimately, even if you can refurbish, it's likely that you will wind up with the exact same performance and specs as you have now. It will still be an 18+ year old computer.
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#633737 - 01/01/21 05:22 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Thanks.

I'm obviously not a tech guy. Just a musician who can do some programming.

Notes
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#633754 - 01/01/21 06:30 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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I had similar thoughts to Trevor's. Rather than refurbish, may repurposed? A single purposed computer can last for decades. There's likely many years of use for that old laptop.

Think of things you may not be inclined to purchase but would be very handy if you had it for low cost or free...

Security system
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very high end phone system
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Dedicated SDR receiver - another amazing hobby - similar to amateur radio - but very cheap.
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#633899 - 01/02/21 05:51 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Thanks. That's also on my list.

I've got a couple of old XP models that I've set aside. Haven't been turned on in years. I've got some ancient ones on stage that do nothing but run my mp3 backing tracks or display words and/or music notation.

The problem with ThinkPads is they are built so well, they are outdated before they wear out. That's a good problem IMO.

I might pass them down to the stage, and as the ones I'm using on stage are early 2000 models, perhaps I'll try to play with Linux or something.

One of them needs a CMOS battery, which shouldn't be a problem. It seems to have died in storage.

I just don't want to waste them by throwing them out.

Notes
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#634258 - 01/03/21 06:51 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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A few other ideas I've thought of.

The Goodwill program in this area teaches computer hardware and software training. They accept and sell refurbished computers and used components.

Contact your local school system or homeless shelter to see if they accept used computers to be distributed to students in need.
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#634375 - 01/04/21 11:30 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Great idea, Jim. Thanks!
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#635830 - 01/11/21 03:44 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Simon - PG Music Offline
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It depends on your definition of "refurbish" - usually this means to replace any broken parts and bring it back to "like new" condition.

If you mean "upgrade", then the story changes, as you'll be limited to what's upgradable in the laptop - CPU is usually not replaceable without changing the whole motherboard, though sometimes they are. RAM usually is upgradable, but you're stuck to whatever type of RAM it came with originally (DDR2/DDR3/1866mhz etc). Hard drive can often be upgraded or swapped to SSD, but if the laptop is old enough to still use PATA that'll likely exclude any available SSD's. And even after upgrading, you're still stuck with old technology.

Re-purposing as mentioned above is probably the best course. Use it as a workshop computer, or something like that.
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#636007 - 01/12/21 12:06 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Thanks.

I meant Refurbish to be 'as new'.

I have a couple of old XP computers that I outgrew, and I am reluctant to use them as spares for my on-stage computer not knowing how reliable they will be.

I suppose taking them to the computer shop I sometimes deal with and have him thoroughly check them out might be a better idea. It costs $85 to get in the door, and I have seen refurbished computers on NewEgg for not much more than that.

I guess it's the hippie in me that just hates to waste the Earth's resources. I've never been enthusiastic about participating in the disposable society.

Insights and incites by Notes
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#636166 - 01/13/21 04:23 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 10/28/08
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etcjoe Offline
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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
Thanks.

I meant Refurbish to be 'as new'.

I have a couple of old XP computers that I outgrew, and I am reluctant to use them as spares for my on-stage computer not knowing how reliable they will be.

I suppose taking them to the computer shop I sometimes deal with and have him thoroughly check them out might be a better idea. It costs $85 to get in the door, and I have seen refurbished computers on NewEgg for not much more than that.

I guess it's the hippie in me that just hates to waste the Earth's resources. I've never been enthusiastic about participating in the disposable society.

Insights and incites by Notes


Repurposing is probably the way to go, prevents waste. Then shop for refurbished if you are looking for like new it is probably the best way to go. It is unfortunate that laptops are not built for upgrades, at least not very many are.
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#636177 - 01/13/21 06:04 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Resolved] [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 07/06/00
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Notes Norton Offline
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Thanks. You are confirming the conclusion I'm getting from all these helpful responses.

Thanks to you all for your help.

Notes
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#636370 - 01/14/21 09:08 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Resolved] [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 12/03/18
Posts: 114
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ
TheMaartian Offline
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I finally gave up and threw my IBM ThinkPad T41p in the trash. It wouldn't even run Win7. Unless you're able to replace the motherboard with something more recent (super unlikely), there's no refurb that'll allow it to run today's OS and apps. I tried. And tried. And tried. I hauled that ThinkPad all over the world, and it still looked new. Loved it. That's why I bought a 2021 P17 to replace my desktop. $4900 list. Lenovo Christmas price? $2800! 4K display. 32 GB RAM. Thunderbolt 3. USB 3.2. 2 video drivers (can run internal and external displays at the same time). Built like a Sherman tank. I added one 2 TB TB3 SSD and two 2 TB USB 3.2 SSDs. BiaB and all of my sample libraries are on the TB3 SSD (40x faster than a 7,500 RPM HD). Having a blast, so far!
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#636489 - 01/15/21 06:54 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Resolved] [Re: Notes Norton]
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Notes Norton Offline
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That's the problem. The ThinkPads are built so well they still work even though modern software requirements has surpassed their ancient hardware.

I think I'm going to take one and play with linux on it.

Notes
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#636495 - 01/15/21 08:00 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Resolved] [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 12/27/13
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sslechta Offline
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That's what I had done on an old PC years ago when I was taking Red Hat Linux Administrator training. Installing Red Hat was perfect and I had just used it as a web browsing machine.
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#636592 - 01/15/21 09:13 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: etcjoe]
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Simon - PG Music Offline
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Originally Posted By: etcjoe
It is unfortunate that laptops are not built for upgrades, at least not very many are.


Not many, if you're talking PC laptops, and approximately 0% if you're talking Mac or tablets.

Which is quite sad, as it generates a large amount of e-waste that fills up our oceans.
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#636633 - 01/16/21 05:48 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Simon - PG Music]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Originally Posted By: Simon - PG Music
Originally Posted By: etcjoe
It is unfortunate that laptops are not built for upgrades, at least not very many are.


Not many, if you're talking PC laptops, and approximately 0% if you're talking Mac or tablets.

Which is quite sad, as it generates a large amount of e-waste that fills up our oceans.

Unfortunately the corporate business model makes disposal more profitable for the corporation than repair.

It's easier to make a disposable product, and when it wears out, you have to buy an entire new one. That keeps the current corporate quarter bottom line up and the stockholders happy.

Capitalism does have many great features, but it also has a few flaws. I don't know how to fix those flaws.

Notes
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#636638 - 01/16/21 06:43 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Simon - PG Music]
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TheMaartian Offline
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Anyone else remember the Seagate hard drive ad that showed a garbage barge with a mountain of IBM 10 MB hard drives from the original PC XT being taken out to N.Y.'s Atlantic garbage dump?

Brilliant on one hand, and a horrifying sign of things to come on the other.
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#636654 - 01/16/21 08:03 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: TheMaartian]
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Originally Posted By: TheMaartian
....................

Brilliant on one hand, and a horrifying sign of things to come on the other.


I worked for a large company. They updated all of their computers, numbers in the thousands, a number of years ago. According to our government rules in order to declare them as a tax right off they had to destroy all of them, including the monitors. Such as waste! Many schools systems as well as employees could have used them and all they would have to purchase were hard drives, i.e they were destroyed in house.
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#637546 - 01/21/21 04:16 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 10/28/08
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etcjoe Offline
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Speaking of school systems. Local university's usually have surplus computers they sell, usually very very reasonably. Desktop models that can be refurbished and brought up to current standards, some that work right out of the gate without much add on. Anybody looking for a desktop can usually find this information on the university web site. When they replace their PC's they sell the old stuff. This is where the people building mac clones or Hackintosh computers usually get the bones to start.
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#637617 - 01/21/21 09:29 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Does anybody refurbish ThinkPad computers? [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 10/03/17
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DSM Offline
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I worked at a university and by the time we took out the parts that were usable there was almost nothing left.

Full time faculty computers were given to part time faculty for work use only.

Administration computers were given to support staff for work use only.

And, some were sold very cheaply to students in need.

Pieces and parts were used to keep the above computers working.

Wasn't much left after that.

...Deb

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