used computers

Why can't I log into my new (used) computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1761

Walter from Palm Springs, CA

Walter bought a used computer, but now it won't take the administrator password. Leo says that the best thing to do is wipe the hard drive, install a fresh copy of Windows, and start over. There's likely some stuff on there Walter won't want. You can use Windows free for ten months, and it's really only $99.

If you don't want to pay for your OS, put Linux on it. Leo recommends Ubuntu or Manjaro.

Is buying a used computer a good idea?

Windows 10

Episode 1501

Sandy from Costa Mesa, CA

Sandy bought a used computer from a guy, and it's filled with software. Is that legit? Leo says that chances are, the computer hardware is fine, but it will be filled with pirated software that she doesn't have a right to or paid for. And chances are, it'll be a timed trial that will stop working down the road. That's a drag, especially if the timed software is Windows itself. But by then, the guy is gone. And he may also have hidden key loggers and stuff.

Should I wipe the hard drive before giving away my computer?

Hard drives

Episode 1494

G. Scott from California

G. Scott is giving his granddaughter his old computer. Should he wipe it or keep an account on it so he can remote access it if needed? Leo says that if he's selling the computer to someone else, he should definitely wipe it using DBAN or even take out the hard drive. But for his daughter, it's a good question. Keeping remote access on it could be a nice thing if she needs his help. Gene could also install open source software like Libre Office, which can work for college.

Should I buy a used computer on Craigslist?

Apple MacBook Air

Episode 1183

Maria from Riverside, CA

Maria is looking to buy a used MacBook on Craigslist. Leo says that it's risky to buy other people's used computers because she'll be buying other people's problems. Additionally, Craigslist is the home of scammers. It can even be dangerous. Leo advises going to Apple and looking at their refurbished products. She can save a few hundred that way and she'll still get the warranty to boot. A MacBook Air is affordable, thin, and very powerful. The 13" MacBook Air is Maria's best option.

What is a used computer worth?

used computers

Episode 1104

Jay from Riverside, CA

Jay wants to know if there's a Kelly Blue Book for computers? Leo says no. Computer values disappear rapidly because there's no real resale market. There are so many different PCs, that it would be a very large book if there were one.

One way to determine what a computer is worth is to search eBay's listings. That's a good way to see how much people are paying for it. Jay shouldn't buy a used computer, though. It's a false economy to get a used one. He's just buying someone else's problems. If he wants to save some money, he should get a factory direct refurbished computer.