Latest Technology News from SemTech

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Avoid Buying a Lemon of a Used PC

Every budget-minded business owner is always on the lookout for deals, especially when it comes to technology. The quest to save money might cause one to consider buying used computer equipment, which could work out great, or it could be disastrous, depending on a multitude of factors. If you’re serious about purchasing used computer equipment, then take into consideration these four tips.

Age of the Hard Drive
The most crucial component of any computer is its hard drive. It can be difficult to assess the condition of the hard drive just by looking at it, so be sure to keep this guideline in mind; the average lifespan of a hard disc drive is five years. Therefore, purchasing a hard drive that’s four or more years old may not be worth it, due to the fact that it has a higher-than-normal chance of crashing.

Although, just because a hard drive is five years old, doesn’t technically disqualify it as a useful purchase. The five-year rule only applies to hard drives that see continuous use, so a hard drive that’s been used sparingly will have more life left on it than its age would indicate. Plus, the five-year rule isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some hard drives can go for more than 10 years without experiencing any issues. Plus, the five-year rule doesn’t apply to solid state drives which are built to last a very long time.

At the end of the day, you’re going to want to take into consideration what you’re buying the used hard drive for; if it’s for a mission-critical task, then you may want to avoid the risks associated with buying used, or at the very least, have a reliable data backup and recovery solution in place like a BDR. Additionally, if the hard drive is making some weird noises, leave it be.

Clean Up and Hygiene
Computers are magnets for grime, germs, and dust, you’ll want to keep this in mind when buying used. For example, a PC that’s caked in dust will need to be thoroughly cleaned before you put it or one of its components to use. Depending on how much time it takes to clean the used component, it may be more hassle than it’s worth when it’s all said and done. Plus, there are some pieces of computer equipment that are just too germy to be passed on to other users, even if it works just fine. For example, keyboards have more germs than toilet seats, so it’s in your best interest to just buy a new one.

There’s No Guarantee that Used Parts Won’t Come Damaged
Unlike new PCs and PC parts which often come with warranties, used equipment have a chance that they may be damaged, or may not even work at all. If you sink time and money into shopping for and installing a used part that turns out to be a lemon, then you’ve wasted your time and money. You would have been much better off just going with a new part to begin with, but hindsight is 20/20. Ultimately, buying used technology is all about risk management. Obviously, some sources provide less risk for buying used computers than others, like a reputable online dealer that tests its used parts and offers warranties, versus Craigslist.

Consult the Pros
One last piece of advice for procuring quality used computer equipment is to consult the IT professionals at SemTech IT Solutions. We’re able to provide you with a clear risk assessment, point you to some quality sources for used IT equipment, and there’s even a chance that we’ll be able to accomplish what you need with a new and affordable solution that you didn’t know about. Hey, you never know you if you don’t ask!

For expert advice in finding the technology solutions your business needs to succeed, call SemTech IT Solutions at 407-830-1434.


SemTech IT Solutions has been serving the industry since 1984 and have made it our duty to provide other companies with the IT solutions they need for all of their business needs no matter what industry they are in. By leveraging our comprehensive documentation you can achieve strategy-driven business outcomes by gaining unfettered access to all of your data.