How to Refurbish a Laptop Like a Pro? Well, you’re in the right place. Refurbishing a laptop can save you a lot of money, and knowing how to do it right is what separates the affordable from the wasteful processes.
It makes sense that a good computer is expensive, yet occasionally it seems like the price isn’t justified. Many laptops and PCs begin to function slowly after a few years of usage; common chores are no longer as simple as they once were, and you start to look longingly at the new devices on the market. But it’s worth seeing if you can upgrade your existing computer before spending $2,000 on one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros. or one that functions considerably more like a fresh one.
The fact that there are so many various kinds of computers in use makes offering advice on computers complicated. There are obviously differences between Mac and PC, but there are also variations and differences within each of those categories. Some Apple devices can be upgraded and accessed by users, while others cannot. The same is true for particular PC makes. The advice that follows should generally be followed with a grain of salt, though.
Here are our best general recommendations for enhancing speed, performance, and dependability on your outdated technology, whether you use a desktop or a laptop. You’ll likely need to conduct some study to determine the specifications and capabilities of your own machine in order to make them actually function for it.
Looking to refurbish your laptop? Not sure how to start?
Well, you’re in the right place. Refurbishing a laptop can save you a lot of money, and knowing how to do it right is what separates the affordable from the wasteful processes.
In this article, we will cover a simple three-step process for laptop refurbishing.
TIP: Most importantly, please do not wait for your computer to be hacked. The best defensive is the best offensive. The best time to secure your computer against a hacker is between yesterday and tomorrow– NOW. Click here to start protecting your computer today!
How to Refurbish a Laptop Like a Pro
Keep reading to learn how to refurbish a laptop, in the appropriate way.
If the laptop has been used a lot over its lifetime, the likelihood of it needing proper cleaning is 100%. In order to do this, you will need a professional cleaning solution of your own (1 part rubbing alcohol and 9 parts water). You could also use a magic eraser or a microfiber cloth.
Either one will do, so don’t stress over the items. If you can get your hands on some compressed air, that’s even better.
Alright, so the first few steps are for the exterior of the laptop, then the screen.
- Ensure the laptop is fully turned off.
- Wet and wring your cloth with alcohol and water solution.
- Wipe over each surface of the laptop (excluding the screen).
- Clean keys and touchpad heavily to remove all of the accumulated greases.
- Use compressed air to blow into keys to remove debris. Also, try blowing into the fans.
- Use white vinegar to clean your laptop screen, and allow it to dry fully.
Now we can move on to cleaning the interior.
- Turn over the laptop, and unscrew the plates.
- Use compressed air to blow dust out of all components. Use q-tip if you don’t have air.
- If you have access to the fans, clean off the dust by using compressed air.
- Replace the cover, and secure the screws.
Make sure to not use any chemicals/liquids/solutions when cleaning the internals of your laptop. And that’s about it for this step, now let’s move to replacements.
Considering the age of your laptop, the battery might not last long enough or considerably less than it used to. Depending on the degradation, you can either leave it or replace it with a new one.
Replacement is simple, but it does cost, so it’s something to consider carefully. If you do buy a battery, make sure you buy it from a reputable brand so that you avoid complicated side effects.
To fulfill this process, you can type in the model of your laptop and append it with ‘battery’ at the end. Find the most promising results in your search engine. After buying it, most batteries unclip from the chassis below, so you just pop in the new one.
Another thing worth upgrading is the RAM. If you cleaned the interiors, you would have seen the RAM inside. To find appropriate RAM, you can perform the same appending search previously mentioned with your laptop model.
Or you could just take a look at the RAM you have, and the speed label that it has. You can select parts by make and model, and see if there are better options. The more RAM you add, the better. It’s the only true upgrade that you can make besides your drives, and it does make a difference.
Whatever you’re going to be doing with your newly refurbished laptop, you might want to upgrade or reinstall the OS. Not only will it help prevent any users from accessing your old data, but it will ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible.
You can approach this in two ways. You can reinstall the original OS as the license will still be active. Or you can install a newer version of the same OS via an update or partitioning of the drives.
If your laptop had Windows 7, it might not be a good idea to upgrade to Windows 10, considering the free upgrade is probably done. You could load up Ubuntu or Zorin Linux, but not all people are fond of that OS. The advantage is that they are both free, and they are really quick to install.
Regardless of the method you choose, reinstalling the OS will ensure that your laptop is running at its full capacity, which is important for someone who will be buying it.
The person buying the laptop might ask for a clean boot, meaning you should partition the drives and leave them empty, only with the system BIOS, so that they can install whatever OS they are planning on installing. This can be a confusing thing to do, especially if you never have one, so it’s best to find a guide online or ask somebody who knows how to do it, like a computer tech specialist.
Delete Any Extra Files
We are all guilty of having an excessive number of files on our computers. Having hundreds of files on your computer that you don’t actually need is typically not a major worry, aside from general tidiness considerations. Performance issues, however, begin to surface when your hard drive is nearing capacity.
Some laptop manufacturers allow you to add memory as needed. Low memory capacity is often the culprit of bottlenecks, which is why you might be receiving error codes in oft-used apps, or your game takes a second to realign itself.
Of course, you can remove each of these items one at a time, particularly if you are aware of any large files you can safely discard. Due to the fact that some files like to hide in the crevices of your operating system, it can be challenging to identify precisely which ones are the worst offenders but it cleans out temporary and junk files that you don’t need.
Don’t multitask excessively
An old machine can struggle to keep up with everything you used to accomplish on a regular basis. Let’s face it: Your old laptop might no longer be able to run numerous modern apps, each of which can perform multiple tasks simultaneously in the background. You can also launch Task Manager (search for it from the taskbar), then open the Start-up tab to disable more low-level processes.
Limiting the number of apps and activities you have open at any given moment is a good general rule of thumb. Do what you can to reduce the strain on your system so that it can concentrate on the activities that you truly need it to complete. However, a RAM upgrade might improve your ability to multitask; however, we’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Reset your device to its default settings.
The nuclear option, which involves returning the device to its factory settings, is one last-ditch software fix. Basically, wiping the hard disc clean and installing the OS again. Your computer will receive a new copy of the software after this operation, free of any unnecessary information.
Make sure that all of your crucial files are backed up in a secure location before proceeding. Everything will be erased when a system is reset to its factory settings, including pictures, movies, apps, and messages. This includes anything that isn’t stored elsewhere, such as on an external hard drive or the cloud.
Clean the fans
You may avoid slowdown problems brought on by overheating by using laptops and PCs that have fans inside to help circulate hot air out of the device and keep the internal components cool.
These fans do, however, become dirty over time. Your fans are probably caked in debris from years of use in dusty situations, which can make their task much harder than it has to be. You risk having an overheating CPU if the fans can’t pump out enough hot air and draw in enough cool air, respectively. That is detrimental to performance.
It is easy to clean fans. You can learn how to access the fans on your specific machine by searching for instructions on how to open them.
Change the Battery ( only laptops )
Your battery is probably exhausted if you’re using an old laptop. If your computer can’t obtain enough power from the battery to support peak performance, you can experience slow speeds or even unexpected shutdowns. An outdated battery won’t just die on you quickly.
Therefore, consider purchasing a new battery. If your laptop has removable batteries, changing them might be a straightforward process. Things become a little more difficult if your battery is permanently attached to the device, which is the case for many modern Macs. If you’re brave, you can change the battery yourself; if not, a repair shop would be your best option.
Replace the hard drive with an SSD
It’s possible that owners of more recent laptops and desktops won’t experience this issue, but older machines will undoubtedly experience it: Get rid of any hard drives that have spinning discs (you can typically hear them in action). These drives are simply unable to compete with current SSDs, which have no moving parts and are orders of magnitude faster. It might be your hard drive’s problem if it takes an eternity for your computer to start up or if you have to wait excessively long for apps to open.
Both an SSD and an HDD are found in certain laptops and desktop computers, and they serve various purposes. The SSD will often be compact, with the job of swiftly starting up the computer and storing any files that will fit on it.
Since hard drive storage is substantially less expensive, the hard drive is intended for file storage. Even so, you can switch out the HDD with another SSD if you discover that the apps on it are taking too slow to load.
While Apple hasn’t offered a laptop with a hard disc in many years, it did, until quite recently, sell iMacs with sluggish drives. Your computer may already have one of them, in which case switching to an SSD can significantly speed up boot and loading times.
Enhance your RAM.
RAM allows your computer to run numerous processes at once. You can do more at once the more RAM you have. You probably need to upgrade your RAM if you’re still using the RAM that came with your computer when it was new.
Unfortunately, RAM increases aren’t always the best course of action. Many lightweights, and thin notebooks—those that permanently attach the RAM—don’t support upgrades. Over the previous ten years, Apple gradually eliminated user-upgradable RAM from their laptops, and many other businesses did the same. To find out if the RAM is upgradeable, check the specifications of your device.
Another concern is how much RAM you should update. Once more, depending on your device, there is a maximum. I have a discarded MacBook Pro that has 4 GB of RAM and can be expanded to 8 GB. Although 8 GB of RAM isn’t much, it will undoubtedly boost the computer’s performance.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your laptop is to start fresh with clean install windows. You can reset your version of Windows or reinstall it entirely. A reset will give you the option to keep your files but will remove any apps that didn’t come installed on your laptop out of the box while reinstalling Windows affords you a few more options beyond a reset. Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to back up your apps and data before continuing forward.
You can reset Windows by heading into the settings and selecting Update & Security. Under Recovery, you’ll see an option to Reset this PC. Select it to get started, and Windows will run you through the process.
If you decide you’d rather reinstall Windows, make sure you have the serial number for your version written down somewhere. Often, the key is pasted on the bottom of the laptop itself. Then, download the Windows installation package from Microsoft’s download site to separate external storage. You can use a flash drive with at least 8GB of space available or a USB-connected hard drive. Launch the app once it’s downloaded, then select Create Installation Media for another PC. The app will prompt you forward to create an install package for your OS refresh.
Once that is ready, open your File Explorer and select the drive with the installation media. Double-click setup.exe and the app will walk you through the different options for reinstalling Windows. Choose whether to keep personal files and apps, keep personal files only, or keep nothing, then select Install to start the process.
Many gadgets, not just dated PCs, are impacted by latency. This includes brand-new computers, which is frequently because of the pre-installed software manufacturers put on laptops before selling them. This can take the shape of the manufacturer’s own software and services at times, but it can also refer to third-party programs that are pre-installed as a result of business distribution agreements between the manufacturer and software providers. No matter what you call it—crapware, bloatware, or PUPs (potentially undesirable programs)—this unwanted software can slow down your computer.
These services can have an adverse effect on memory and processing power and eat up important storage space, much like the outdated utilities and programs listed above. There are certain pre-installed programs that can be considered valuable additions, such as the Microsoft Office suite or the Dropbox desktop client, but there’s a strong possibility that at least some of them will be extraneous from your needs. A new laptop should be thoroughly examined to find any pre-installed applications that can be removed.
How to Refurbish A Laptop? Easily.
Step 1: What We’ll Need!
– Sandpaper (of various grits)
– Painters tape
– Plastic bags (or any light, paint-proof plastic sheet, these are just the readiest)
– Spray paint (Check that it’ll work on plastic!)
– Sharpie (Just for some minor detailing, completely optional)
Tools/handy things to have:
– A clean rag
– Glass cleaner
– Screwdrivers (Not magnetic! We’ll be using them to take the laptop apart)
– Electronics pliers/tweezers (You can do without them, but they make it so much easier)
– Assorted bowls (there are going to be lots of screws, and you need to keep track of them!)
– A painting surface (Like a nice spot outside)
– Exacto knife
Step 2: Taking Apart the Computer
In its current, assembled state, we can hardly give it a fresh coat of paint. In other words, disassembling it is the first step!
By the way, this is probably where you’ll break everything beyond repair. Use a laptop you can sacrifice if you don’t know what you’re doing or be someone who does. If you don’t, you could really damage things beyond repair. Back up your files next. By unplugging the laptop, removing the battery, and holding down the power button for a bit, we can ensure that there is no longer any power inside the device.
It ought to be as simple as popping the sections apart after the screws are out of the way. There will be cables connecting the top and bottom halves; note their locations and take care not to damage the cables when removing them from the ports.
You should think about temporarily removing the RAM and hard drive to protect them from harm so that they don’t fall out or get bumped and harm the computer’s internal components.
Step 3: Prepping for Paint
Now we have two beautiful computer components. We can now paint them!
Actually, not in my case. My computer had dents, scratches, and places where the paint had just worn off due to use. Although none of the scratches were particularly deep, they did all penetrate the paint. Additionally, the actual paint contains a laminate layer that may hinder the paint’s ability to adhere. Thus, this is where the sandpaper is useful! As you can see, I sanded some sections more vigorously than others, but I didn’t mind too much since I would be painting over it. I only needed to remove the basic lamination while gently elevating the surface to aid the paint.
Step 4: Reassemble
You can re-assemble it even before the minor aesthetics. They’ll be easier to add to a complete machine, anyway. Thanks to the various system of bowls and whatnot, it should be easy to put the screws back where they need to be, as well as the hard drive and RAM. The hard part will be attaching the actual cables back into their respective ports. This takes dexterity and perhaps a pair of electronic tweezers, depending on the setup of your computer.
While we’re here, we may as well clean off the keyboard from whatever grime it may have picked up (A cloth or dry sponge works well), and the screen can get cleaned with a clean rag/paper towel and glass cleaner.
FAQS how to refurbish a laptop like a pro
Why are laptops renovated?
Refurbished laptops are obtained from a variety of sources, such as companies that trade in their outdated models and customers who return equipment due to a major flaw or because they changed their minds.
Is it simple to repair a laptop?
If you have the cleaning supplies on hand, it is absolutely feasible to restore a laptop for as little as $10 or less. However, if you’re giving it to a family member or friend, I would absolutely advise investing a little extra in RAM or a new hard drive.
How long does a laptop refurbishment take?
Well, that depends on the issue. However, the majority of small repairs are finished in 3-5 days, while major repairs can take 10-15 days. The last thing you want to happen is for your laptop to malfunction.
Why is a laptop so quick?
The processor, RAM, and computer memory all have an impact on how quickly your laptop operates. The pace increases as each number increases. For example, 4GB of RAM operates more quickly than 2GB. A 2 GHz machine will operate more quickly than a 1 GHz one since processor speed is measured in gigahertz.
What is a refurbished Grade A laptop?
A Grade A reconditioned laptop is one that is, as one might anticipate, almost brand new. A laptop must be nearly new and show little physical wear in order to be given a Grade A rating.
As you can see, to learn how to refurbish a laptop, you just need some patience. As for the cost, it can cost you as little as the money you spend on cleaning supplies, but you can even take it a step further.
By buying new equipment and replacing the old parts, you make this refurbished laptop an even more lucrative opportunity for someone who cannot purchase an expensive modern laptop.
And even then, if you’re just handing off this device to someone you know, why not make their day by providing them with that little extra oomph on the performance, so that they can enjoy it longer?
In any case, whatever you choose to do is going to be right for you. And that’s what matters right now.
If you want to buy a laptop for work or school, check out this great article we wrote.
Tip: Most importantly, please do not wait for your computer to be hacked. And then take the safety precautions of using a VPN. The best defensive is the best offensive. The best time to secure your computer against a hacker is between yesterday and tomorrow – NOW. Click here to start protecting yourself!