A few weeks ago I bought a new computer and monitor. I had been using my old computer and monitor since 2011. The 2011 desktop computer was a desktop with an i5 CPU, HDD of 2 TB and 8 GB of RAM. The 2011 monitor screen was a massive Philips screen that was still OK. It can only connect via VGA.
I consider both of these so outdated that no one would take them for free. Not that I would give the 2011 computer to anyone because DBAN doesn’t wipe many file types these days and it had Ubuntu on it.
I got a new computer because the old one was beginning to reboot for no reason; it was on death’s door. Is there anything useful that I could use it or the monitor for? Especially some passive set and forget task? Firewall? Backup? Something else? I don’t want it to go to landfill.
The best thing I can see it being used for is being set up for a file backup or a NAS. I’d suggest getting a more modern and efficient power supply to replace the one it currently has though.
How about just a test machine. Maybe a Windows or Android machine.
You can reuse the old monitor with your current PC’s videocard, just use a VGA-to-something-modern adapter. I did just that with my old monitor and never regretted since, i now have two monitors for the price of one.
What’s for your old PC, i doubt that it is suitable for a “passive set and forget” task. It’s too cost ineffective, it’s gonna draw too much power. It’s a more than a decade old hardware with an obsolete billion nm processor and chipset.
You can use the 2 TB disk for periodic manual backups, just buy another SATA-to-USB adapter for convenience.
Maybe you might want to set up a Minecraft or Factorio server for your friends to occasionally play on. But i’d consider an upgrade to a cheapest 120GB SSD in this case.
Though if your old PC reboots uncontrollably, you need to troubleshoot it and find out where the problem is: is it software or hardware? Use a live distro like Ubuntu and launch it, use it for a bit and see if you encounter any issues. If hardware, what part causes problems. Try putting in your new components if they fit, like a power supply, a videocard or a disk, what does it change. And so on.
My new computer connects by HDMI. I’d need a VGA to HDMI adapter to run the 2011 monitor with my new desktop computer?
If you have only HDMI slot unused then that’s that. Maybe if you have other slots available that you don’t plan on using, like DisplayPort or DVI-D, then you may use them. I’d find what’s cheaper and has good reviews. It doesn’t really matter what free slot to use if you can choose, not like any of modern slots won’t suffice for VGA signal.
It couldn’t hurt to ask around if someone is interested in it. I recently gave away an old PC from 2014 and just removed the hard drive to cover that privacy concern. Maybe you can do the same if the other person knows how to install a new hard drive or you can help them install one. Otherwise it might just need a bit of sprucing up but could be used by a new owner.
Good on you for wanting to find a new use or home for your old computer!
You could host a (local?) server for media/backups.
Install a Linux OS configured for old computers then install a bunch of tools intended for programming and learning. Once you’ve got everything up and running simply donate the computer to a charity for a tax write off.
Alternatively there are some institutions who will pay you money for cpu access. The only thing you have to do is leave the PC on and have it connected to the internet. Leave it on and receive a couple of dollars per month.