I’ve had so much off of Freecycle, Freegle, similar sites and things I’ve been given by family and friends over the years, so I’ve decided to write a post about some of the better things I’ve had for free. One thing I will say is if people do choose to use these sites, give back a bit as well, don’t just take! Sure, I may have had a lot of things but I have given away things that are no longer of any use to me on these sites as well, such as furniture and other bits and bobs. Most of the ones written about here were before I could drive, so dad’s taxi was put to good use to fetch some of these!
This may become a series, as I have had so much from these sites and if I wrote about everything at once you’d all be here forever!
Dell E171FP – One of the first things I had from Freecycle. Almost a 30 mile round trip, but this was around 2009, so still sort of worth doing for this. Was in great condition, and was initially used as a HTPC screen in my room hooked up to another Freecycle machine (more on this one in another post). When I got my workshop (aka an 8×6 re-purposed shed, which I will write about one day!), it was relegated to there. After 18 months, a leak in my workshop roof damaged this, so none of the buttons worked any more. Kept using it for a couple of months after that until one day it just stopped working. Was promptly thrown away, but I had my use out of it.
Two cages of stuff – This was late 2011. A friend of my mothers had an electrical business that he was winding down, and offered some leftover items to me. Off we went in father’s car (rather irritatingly, he’d just gotten rid of his estate!), not knowing how much there would be to collect. Two metal cages full of stuff greeted us, a good mix of systems, parts, cables and about 6 CRT monitors. We ended up filling the car and having to go back another day! Most of the monitors were disposed of, I believe I stuck one or two on Freecycle. Highlights included a Compaq D530, later sold for £60 to a friend’s parents to replace their much older desktop, a 3Com 24-port switch, which got workshop use until the same leak that killed the Dell’s buttons killed it, and a boat load of cables, including a box full of Ethernet cables that I still haven’t managed to use up to this day! I’ve had a phone call just the other week to say that the guy has some more stuff if I want it. Not entirely sure what age it will be but will likely go and look.
Dell Inspiron 1545 – This was in late 2012. It was a lot further away than I’d usually travel, being a 40 mile round trip, and the listing only said Dell Inspiron with no hard drive, but that weekend I had to travel past that address for a university open day, so we took a slight detour to collect the machine. And it was well worth it! 3GB RAM, admittedly no hard drive but the caddy was included, a 2GHz Pentium dual core, and other than a damaged bezel (which seeing as I replaced it twice before selling it, I think is a common problem!), was in decent condition. Stuck in a spare 250GB drive, and kept it for myself for a while, ended up replacing the keyboard and the wireless card, before selling to a friend in early 2014 for £100. As far as I’m aware, it isn’t in use any more, but said friend does still own it.
Tiny P4 desktop PC – This was in about 2011. Freecycle lot, which my father was sent to collect. It would have been well specced when new, had a 3GHz Pentium 4 (which may or may not have had HT, I forget), 1GB RAM, 2 200GB Seagate SATA drives, 2 DVD rewriters, some Coolermaster Musketeer gauges in front, and a card reader too. Was used as a workshop rig for a bit, until the board stopped recognising hard drives any more. Various parts of it were reused in the end, the last to go was its case, which housed a system I sold in late 2014. Somewhere at home, I still have the Musketeer, I need to solder one of the cables after I accidentally cut them undoing some cable ties.
Another large lot of things – This was in early 2011. Man that was a good year, now I look back at things! Someone nearby was giving away a large lot of things, so father was borrowed along with his estate, and we went to pick things up. It was a relatively poor lot, and had I known what was in it, I’d probably not have bothered. I managed to get some cables and peripherals out of it, and a couple of computer cases, but most of the machines included were too old and non-functional. Lots of things such as dead subwoofers and other dead components in this lot. One working machine was a HP Pavilion 7906, with a massive 800MHz Celeron.. Got sold for around £15 to £20 when I added a hard drive.
First things first, the Dell Dimension 5150 has left us. Sold for £10 plus an iPod touch (which doesn’t work and will be scrapped), which means I need to make another £5 on the 9150 and the other desktop PC I got with them. Honestly, I need the space so this isn’t too bad. At some point I’ll sort out a hard drive for the 9150 (Current plan is to clone the 250GB currently in my second PC to another HDD, and put the 250 in the 9150), install an OS and get it gone.
Assignments are over, and aside from a couple of exams this brings an end to my second year of university. This means I’ll have a lot more time to dedicate to buying, selling, and blogging! A large amount of parts have been purchased to complete machines, so I’ll list what’s been bought below.
Acer Extensa 5220 – New palmrest and base plastics
Acer Aspire 9300 – New palmrest
Dell Mini 910 – Screen cable, which didn’t fix it. I’ve removed the RAM and the 16GB mini PCI-E SSD from it, will sell the SSD. May also nick the 3G card off it.
Fujitsu D9510 – HDD caddy
Fujitsu V5535 – HDD caddies
Advent 7211 – base plastics
HP Compaq nx6125 – base covers and HDD caddy (stole the screen from the nx6110)
Still left over to buy are donors for the Inspiron 1525, 6510b, 6930p, the blue 1545 mentioned below, and a lid for the Fujitsu Pi2515 (which again will likely wait until I have a charger). Other donors that may be purchased include one for the Inspiron 6000, 6400 and the Latitude D510s. Another couple of items that may be looked for are chargers for the Emachines M5118, Advent 8109 and Toshiba A60.
As things stand, the Acer 9300 sold for £30 (total spent £10, £20 profit, on the job lot of 7 it came from we’re now at £67 profit with the 3 Fujitsus and the Inspiron 1525 left to sell), the two V5535s are almost ready for sale, although they both need chargers as the one I bought doesn’t work, the 7211, D9510 and nx6125 are going up for sale as soon as they’ve finished doing updates, and as soon as the palmrest arrives for the Extensa, that will be going too (the base is already here. Some other machines I no longer need (Dell D410, Sony PCG-GRX316MP, Acer 5100s, Acer 7520, HP G62, and what’s left of the Mini 910) are up for sale as spares machines. Everything else will either be done up or sold as is, as I’m preparing to clear out as much as I can prior to moving back home later this month!
So, a week or two ago, it was assignment week and it was a nice day, so I decided to take a break and head to my usual Wednesday boot (possibly in an attempt at procrastination) and picked up these!
Dell Inspiron 1545
A smart little machine, with its glossy blue lid, a Core 2 Duo T5800 2GHz, 3GB RAM (now 2GB), no hard drive, a cracked bezel and no charger with it. Screen lights up for a couple of seconds then goes off. Another inverter doesn’t fix the issue, so likely a screen fault. I don’t have any spare ones in (this takes 15.6″ LCD not LED), but I may have a way of getting one. Price Paid: £20
Office Home and Student 2007
I pick these up all the time when I can. People think they’re not worth a lot, but I’ve had £50 and £60 on eBay for them in the past. This is currently listed, anything it achieves I’ll be happy with. I’ll be listing it as soon as I get chance to pop into town and get some envelopes from the pound shop. Price Paid: £3
And then on the Saturday, I got this.
Dell Inspiron 1545
I paid too much really but it was OK! Pentium dual core, 2GHz, 3GB RAM, a dead 160GB hard drive (I will attempt to revive it though), no charger. The glossy red lid was cracked too. Upped to 4GB RAM out of the other 1545. New lid (in the right red, but matte not glossy), a non-camera bezel (this one has a camera so the bezel will go on the other one) and a set of hinges, £5 new due to a pricing error on eBay! I tried the inverter from this in the other one, no dice, so the other one wants a screen. Oh well, 320GB comes out of that, and into this alongside the extended battery (a less good regular but genuine Dell battery goes into the other one!), which gets the new lid and the existing bezel. Total spend of £5 for the charger, £5 for the lid, £5 for the HDD, equalling £55. Sold the other day through Gumtree. Price Paid: £40
Price Sold: £100
Screen is scratched to buggery, and no power supply (wants a 12v 5.83a one). Tested it with a 12v 5a and it worked fine, has a remote, the DVD player works, I haven’t tested any inputs or the Freeview tuner yet, but the seller told me it needed a Freeview box as it didn’t have it… WRONG! It does. Not sure whether it actually works, mind… I have a 15″ Bush TV at home that has the same UI and inputs (so probably similar internals), and the Freeview on that has lines over the screen, and the HDMI is overly green, so if this works and I get a PSU for it in the
Price Paid: £2
And another tower I forgot to post about that was bought on Saturday from a friend
Stone desktop PC
Specs are a Pentium dual core E5700 at 3GHz, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD. I added a spare DVD drive and installed 7. Hoping to list this today. Sorry for being brief but it didn’t need anything doing to it!
Price Paid: £20
And on Sunday afternoon, I had a message from a local trader about some machines he wanted rid of. Went over to have a look and managed to secure a lot of 9 for £45. As I left I was told of some that had been thrown out, so scavenging I went and picked up 5 more for free! Later on he’d found some more, so I went and picked up another 4 for £15, and then three more at £10, making a total of £70 for a grand total of 21 laptops! Also thrown in were 6 512MB of DDR2 RAM, which may come in useful for some worse machines I have in stock!
Without further ado, let’s go through the list. Sorry for the brief descriptions, as I haven’t had much time to test all these, and for shrinking the photos but if I hadn’t this would be the longest post in history! We’ll start with the £45 lot of 9.
Dell Latitude D510
Comes with a 14″ screen, a Pentium M at 1.73GHz, 1GB RAM, 40GB hard drive and a DVD-ROM drive. Wireless card appears not to be present (or not recognised in the BIOS) and keyboard is missing. Boots into an XP install. Lid is also scuffed from removing old security markings.
Was missing DVD drive, hard drive, and had a cracked LCD. Turned on as soon as power was applied but wouldn’t at any other time. Battery seemed to work OK. Processor would be an Athlon 64 single core, and it came with 2GB RAM.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A60
Boots fine, good condition with no hard drive, 768MB RAM, Celeron D processor, DVD-ROM drive, 14″ screen. Not wireless, sadly.
1.6GHz mobile Pentium 4 processor, came with 768MB RAM and no hard drive. Great condition, but absolutely no sign of life whatsoever. Probably be scrapped, I’ve already had the RAM off it.
HP Compaq nc6220
Goodish condition, missing a cover from the base, came with 512MB RAM and a Pentium M. Turns on but does nothing. Good screen though.
A 2.5GHz Celeron, 1.25GB RAM, and yet, a 20GB hard drive! Wants a CMOS battery and is missing 2 hinge covers but otherwise good, booted into a crap-filled 7 installation just fine. Might knock the RAM down to 1GB, put a bigger HDD in (probably around 40GB) and load XP back on it again.
Celeron M 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 60GB hard drive, missing 2 keys and has a broken left click but booted into an XP install fine. Overall very tatty, and has a stained screen, which I will possibly take apart and clean up.
Dell Inspiron 6000
A 1.73GHz Pentium M, 30GB hard drive and 1GB RAM, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth. Boots fine, just wants an OS reloading. Missing 2 keys, a battery and DVD drive. Sadly the keyboard from the 6400 I already have in won’t fit.
Acer Extensa 5220
1.73GHz Celeron, 80GB hard drive, 2GB RAM (might keep this or knock it down to 1, not sure yet), screen’s scratched and it is covered in stickers, but booted to a 7 install fine. Restored it back to Vista, and as it hit the desktop, BOOM, graphics corrupted. Will probably be parted out.
Next we have the bin finds!
Dell Latitude D430
1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, missing HDD and battery, boots but only on an external display. Potentially motherboard fault, so may not survive!
Previously sold this to the same trader for around £10 to £15 as I recall! 2GHz Celeron, 80GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, works fine, boots into a 7 install, missing a screen, bezel, battery and 1 key. It had a screen and bezel when I sold it, I seem to recall. I found a battery in stock that fits it, £3 for a bezel, I have spare screens and a key is £1.50. The base is cracked but workable, so I might spend the £5 for a new one. I have pinched the hard drive out of this for something so it will need another one putting in, potentially from the Advent 8109.
Toshiba Satellite A60
Turns on with RAM added, but no display on laptop screen. Missing ODD, HDD (but has the caddy!) and has a cracked screen but a good battery. 2 loose keys that won’t stay attached may need replacing, or alternatively replace the keyboard. Might make one good out of the two A60s. While writing this I realised the nc6220 has the same size screen, so this might save it!
HP Compaq 6510B
Missing keyboard, power button panel (rather irritatingly!), base covers, battery, HDD (and caddy) and RAM. Marked up as a Celeron. The HDD caddy and battery from the nc6220 will fit this, so first step is to see if I can get a power button to test it.
Acer Aspire 7520
Powers briefly, as no CPU. Missing heatsink screws, a few keys and the ODD too. 17″ screen looks good, and it had 1GB RAM in it. Has Nvidia graphics so might not be worth fixing. I have been informed that the screen and board are dead, so this will probably be sold on as is.
Onto the second lot! This lot cost £15 overall.
Sony Vaio VGN-CR29XN
Powers on briefly. No RAM, HDD, bottom cover, and battery. Core 2 Duo T7250 fitted. Has a good looking screen in it. A different CPU didn’t fix it.
Acer Aspire 5100 (x2) (no pictures due to me being a dozy prat!)
Two of these, no screens, hard drives or ODDs. Both had 1GB RAM and an AMD Turion X2 1.6GHz processor. Both boot up. One has a buggered lid. Each board has its own unique faults, one won’t recognise hard drives and the other has a slightly loose DC jack, which makes contact roughly 60% of the time. I’ve put a screen in the one with the loose DC jack and as one of the batteries holds charge, I will probably sell it but for a reduced price due to fault.
Dell Latitude D510
Another one! Better condition, the 15″ model, again, Pentium M 1.73GHz, 40GB hard drive, DVD-ROM, but this one has only 512MB RAM, has its wireless card and has a good battery. Booted, but I had garbled graphics on the first boot, so probably a donor for the other one. However, it has been absolutely fine since that time, so maybe not!
And finally, the last three. This lot cost me £10.
Missing screen, keyboard and other components. Case is in good condition. Powers, but nothing else. Will keep an eye out for one with cracked hinges maybe.
Emachines D620 (no pic as it looks the same as the other one!)
Another one! Good motherboard, good screen, bad lid, no RAM. What I did was put the lid off the other one onto this one, switched the keyboard due to a fault, and made up a good one with 2GB RAM and I stole the 80GB drive from the Advent 7211. Currently troubleshooting a really annoying issue where if I secure the hard drive with screws as I’m meant to, it won’t recognise the hard drive, but if the cover is left off and the caddy not screwed in, it works perfectly!
Crap. Although it does boot, the hinge is broken and it’s missing the USB ports. I’d be looking at £5 for new hinges, £3 for new hinge covers and £15 for a new motherboard, as well as £3 for the power button I accidentally broke. This on a laptop that I could maybe sell for £30? I’d be looking at £5 profit tops, and the parts in it are more useful for other machines. I have taken out the 40GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and the wireless card, and I might hang onto the screen, but the rest will be binned.
The plan with these is to get as many running as possible, and anything that we can’t sort will go to the car boot. Which laptops get sorted first depends on the chargers I get in this lot I’m waiting for, which was despatched yesterday, but I already have a charger that fits the Emachines D620, so this will likely be the first to go.
From there, the ones likely to be done up and sold include the Advent 7211, at least one of the D510s (if not both), one of the Acer 5100s, the Inspiron 6000, at least one of the A60s (potentially but unlikely both) and the M5118
Condemned are the Vaios (although the CR29 might be kept for spares), the Acer 7520, the nc4000, the other D620, the nc6220 (stripped for spares probably), and if this GPU fault occurs again, the Extensa 5220.
Hanging in the balance depending on the right parts coming along or being fixable are the Dell D430, though that’s reliant on getting a display on the LCD and sourcing a 1.8″ HDD, the 6510B if it works, the Advent 8109 (it needs a lot of plastics and it’s not that great a machine, and it could donate some parts to other systems) and finally the 6510B, which is highly dependent on it actually working.
Of course there is a possibility of other machines I already have in getting the benefit of these machines. If the Extensa’s buggered, its hard drive might go into the worse of the two V5535s, dependent on charger availability.
More news when the chargers arrive or I start getting these machines going!
Firstly, quick updates, the Kindle sold today for £20, a little less than I could’ve got from CEX but it saves hassle so I’m not bothered. That £20, due to money made in the lot it came from, is pure profit, and means that on that lot, which contained 4 laptops (a Compaq CQ61, Samsung R510, Toshiba A200, Acer 5338), a camcorder, this Kindle and a TomTom, we’ve made a total of £98.70 profit and got a sat nav out of it too!
The eBay job lot has finally arrived yesterday! I’ve been working through each one and testing them to see if they take an OS and to see if any faults come up, in most cases by sticking in a spare 250GB HD and doing a test install of Windows 7.
Acer Aspire 9303WSMi
Tatty, but it does seem to work. Stock, this would’ve come equipped with an AMD TL-52 1.6GHz dual core, 1GB of RAM, an Nvidia Go 7300 graphics card and a 160GB hard drive. I’ve upped the RAM to 2GB, and put an 80GB hard drive in it, and I already have a charger in stock. I’ve loaded it up with Vista and it seems to be working fine, despite the Nvidia graphics of doom. It will want a screen (cheapest so far is around £30), as there’s a section of dead pixels, although this may not get replaced due to cost, and it will also want a palmrest (about £5) due to damage on the current one. There is also some crap on the keys which hasn’t come off, but I might leave this as is, or might get a cheap replacement for the keyboard (£8.99 new). Battery seems to hold some charge but not a lot!
Toshiba Satellite Pro C660-2JU
In fantastic condition! An i3-2350m processor, although the RAM’s a bit low at 2GB. I’ve bumped it up to 3GB for the time being with a view to getting another 2GB stick to bump it up to 4. Will want a hard drive caddy (£3, but it basically looks like a bit of foil!), and for now I’ve stuck a 250GB drive in. Ideally these should have a 320GB drive, so I’m trying to source one of that size or bigger. Seems to have a good battery too. Have loaded 7 onto it, and if I get a bigger drive I’ll just clone the install to the bigger drive! I have a charger for this that’s on its way in a job lot of chargers, so fingers crossed that the charger works!
Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo D9510
Worn but working. Keyboard is a bit grimey and so is the palmrest, but replacements are difficult to come by, especially if I wanted to keep this model’s ThinkPad style pointer. Fitted with a Core 2 Duo P8400, and 2GB of DDR3 RAM, we’ve had some failures to boot. An error on start up indicated a dead CMOS battery, but replacement didn’t fix this. A BIOS update however, did, and also revived the dead battery (not tested it fully yet!) fixed a weird issue where keys needed to be pressed repeatedly to register and the touchpad had about a second delay! This should fix the start up issue that I had with it too. Test install went fine. Odds are I’ll bump this up to 3 or 4GB (depending on what I do with the Toshiba!) and once the other machines are tested, stick that spare 250GB in here.
Dell Inspiron 1525
Knackered but works. I can’t find a bit of casing I’d want to keep yet! 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo T5550 and 2GB RAM, the service tag indicates that it should have had a 250GB HD from new. Seems to work fine with a test install. Will need a charger as well as a lid, bezel, possibly hinge, power button, DVD faceplate, and ideally a palmrest, keyboard and screen due to this superglue-like substance over the old ones! I also suspect another fault, as the battery won’t attempt to charge, but it’s struggling to recognise the working Dell charger I have. A BIOS update, which can sometimes fix this, didn’t. Could be my charger deciding to play up, could be the DC jack (£4 to replace, it’s on a separate PCB), could be the battery, could be the motherboard, who knows? And given the condition, who cares? I’ll be looking for a donor, ideally one with a dead motherboard, and this will get top half/palmrest/keyboard swap to this one!
2x Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo V5535
Both came with 2GB RAM and Core 2 Duo T5850s. One is mint with a working battery, the other could do with a bezel (£4) and a screen (I have in stock, this one has blobs of what looks like superglue on it!) and has a less good battery. I think what I plan to do is switch around the RAM (both have 2GB sticks at the moment. The worse condition one will probably have two 1GBs put in instead, and the other will either have 3 or 4GB of RAM), and then hard drives will be sourced. Will need chargers (about £10 each). Test installs on both came up fine.
Fujitsu Lifebook LH531
i5, 4GB RAM. No sign of life, and it looks a bit worn. Upon opening it up, someone has attempted to repair the DC jack instead of replacing it (which makes no sense, it is not a soldering job to replace in these!). £7 for a new DC jack, and if this works, a charger will be sourced (probably £10) and I’ll put in my last free HDD, a 640GB. If I can get hold of RAM, it might get an upgrade. If this doesn’t work, or reveals hidden faults, it won’t get a HDD put in it, the 640 would then go in the Toshiba (which would get the 4GB RAM stick, passing down its 2GB to make 4 in the D9510), and will be sold as is.
Oh, price paid for the lot? £51 posted! So we’ve got 6 working machines here, 4 of which only really need hard drives, caddies and chargers, and another one that will hopefully work!
More updates to come at the end of this weekend, as my car is now back from the garage (with my wallet being £250 lighter) so I shall be attending my Saturday and probably Sunday boots!