Question PC completely dead

Jan 8, 2020
Last night, I hard shut down the computer via the power button, it's no indication before or after of any problems. Now that I've come to switch it on...nothing. No fans, no light, nothing. There are 4 complications here, specifically:

  1. I am broke, and won't be able to afford any new components
  2. The existing PSU has cables that are stuck in and won't move for anything, so I'd have to cut them to remove it fully
  3. A modern PSU won't be compatible with my old hard drive, and likely other components (have tried before, SATA plug wouldn't fit)
  4. The peripherals in the USB slots have their power lights on (a USB hub and Ethernet adapter, specifically)
So how long do I need to save up for...
You make no mention of the make and model of your computer. Nor the specs.

As you say it is old and you don't have much money. You can pick up a used laptop or desktop off eBay for under $100 sometimes under $50 if you really spend some time scouring auctions and sniping bids at the end. Based on what I found you could get at least the following.
  • Core i3 2nd generation or better CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 120GB or larger SSD
  • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Just be careful on the cheap computers on eBay. Make sure the say the are working not parts only. Also be sure they have Windows installed not just comes with sticker/key.

Other options
  • scour craigslist, LetGo and similar. Go to Goodwill or similar stores.
  • Check the trash pile at Goodwill. They're actually pretty picky there about electronics. There might be a lot of good computers they'll let you take. Because they are throwing them out. Not sure how that works now with their Dell Reconnect partnership.
  • Some dumps allow scavenging. Often they have a giant IT bin. Grab a bushel of computers. Then cobble something functional together.
  • Check local computer recyclers.
  • Look for businesses dumping old IT. They may even be paying companies to haul out old gear.
  • Basically computers over five years old are trash to many people and businesses. If you are dedicated and resourceful. There are options to get decent gear for cheap or free. It just takes some leg work.
Reactions: Phillip Corcoran