What Should I Look for Before Buying a Used Computer?

What Should I Look for Before Buying a Used Computer?

Credit: computerinfobits

We are continuously looking for the best deals. It makes no difference whether it is brand new or old. We seek the finest bargain at affordable rates on anything from automobiles to houses to outdated gadgets. When it comes to buying used items, no one wants to be taken advantage of. Buying a used computer is nearly identical to purchasing a brand new one.

When buying a used computer, there are several aspects to consider. Before you buy any computers, you should figure out what your needs are. What do you want to use the computer for, how much are you prepared to spend on a brand new computer, and what model are you searching for are all factors to consider. In today’s modern world, gadgets are frequently upgraded, making it impossible to obtain components that have become obsolete or have ceased to exist. You must conduct a thorough study and choose which computer is best for you based on your requirements.

When Buying a Used Computer, There are a few Things to Keep in Mind.

Based on my personal experience, I’ve prepared the following list. This list is not ordered in any particular order.

What Should I Look for Before Buying a Used Computer?

1. Check for Any Physical Damage

Some forms of computer case cracks are difficult to detect. Please take your time and examine everything thoroughly.

If you see a crack, it’s conceivable that the computer was dropped or received a hard hit.

If you’re looking at a laptop, look for scratches on the screen. Open and close the laptop screen, making sure it moves smoothly and without making any sounds.

Check to see whether all of the keys on the laptop’s keyboard are working.

If the computer appears to have been neglected in any way, it’s generally best to avoid it. And anyway, there will be plenty of candidates to choose from.

2. Inquire about the Availability of Product Keys

If you’re installing a new hard drive, you should always complete a clean Windows installation, which will require a Windows key to activate.

Ask about the license keys whether it is included with Microsoft Office or any other paid-for application.

The moment to reinstall the operating system might arrive at any time, as a result, possessing such keys is critical; otherwise, you may have to pay for a new copy of the operating system or other software programs.

You may, of course, retain a backup of the present installation, but there will come a time when you’ll have to start from scratch.

3. Check Out the Hard Drive

Listen to the noises coming from the hard drive after you turn it on.

If something sounds like it’s grinding or making clucking noises, it’ll almost certainly need to be replaced.

Remember that a 2TB hard drive will set you back anything from $80 to $120.

SSDs are now more popular than ever. It’s due to the benefits they provide as well as the fact that they are becoming more affordable and valuable.

As a result, if the machine has one, an SSD with a reasonable capacity of 1 TB or more will be picked over a conventional hard drive.

The hard drive is essential since it stores all of your files.

  • Drive Capacity: Check drive’s capacity. A storage capacity of around 2 TB is excellent.
  • Drive Age: Unless the drive is more than four years old, it may be prudent to replace it. Even if you have everything backed up, data loss is inconvenient.
  • Drive Manufacturer: Western Digital is the brand I suggest. While testing a variety of hard drive brands, Western Digital has shown to be the most dependable option.

4. Look into the Windows Version

Listen to the Windows version if you discover anything older than Windows 10 installed.

If it’s running anything older than Windows 7, you’ll have to pay for a Windows 10 license, depending on your computer ability level, you may also have to do some effort to have it installed or upgraded.

It also implies that the hardware is quite likely to be out of date and that it may not be compatible with Windows 10.

So, if you’re looking for an extremely ancient Windows version, it might not be the best option.

5. Take a Look at the Cooling Fans

Examine to verify whether all the fans on a computer are spinning. It’s not a deal-breaker if they’re noisy; they’re simple and inexpensive to replace.

Whether you’re thinking of buying a laptop, make sure the intake channels are clear and that the fan can be heard running after a few minutes of use.

Play a high-resolution video for a few minutes if you don’t hear the fan at all. If the computer still won’t turn on, it may be been overheated.

Move on to the next candidate in this scenario. It’s not worth taking the chance.

6. Used Computer for a Minimum of 20 – 30 Minutes

Getting the computer up to operating temperature and keeping it there is a good basic test. Whether any hardware fails after it reaches working temperature, you’ll have a higher chance of seeing it.

Many computers I’ve seen start-up properly and then fail after a certain amount of use, either by restarting, freezing, or shutting down. Getting through the post-screen is merely the start of the challenge.

You don’t want your PC to fail because of this. It may be extremely expensive to repair, not to mention inconvenient.

7. Examine the Amount of RAM Available

Even though Windows 10 requires a minimum of 1GB of RAM to function, you should not use less than 4GB of RAM.

It will slow down your computer and keep your hard drive running needlessly.

You’re uncommon to find a PC with less than 4GB of RAM. However, if you do and are interested in computing, go figure out just how much more for new RAM modules will set you back.

Many older RAM modules are rather costly.

The 8GB of RAM is a good place to start. This should suffice to keep your machine working smoothly with the majority of software programs and Windows 10.

To examine the hardware details, type’msinfo32′ into the run box and hit enter.

8. Know How Much Time the Owner has had the Own it

It’s a positive indicator if the current owner has had the computer since it was new.

I would be wary if he/she had it for a few months after purchasing/receiving it secondhand.

It might indicate that something is wrong with it, and he or she is attempting to solve the problem.

9. Examine the Computer’s Overall Age

Check out how old your computer is, and if it’s more than five years old, it’s time to upgrade.

Such hardware would almost certainly be obsolete, unable to run the most recent version of Windows or modern programs.

10. Keep an Eye on Your Budget

Given that a used computer is the most likely alternative, you most likely have a certain price that you cannot surpass.

Make sure the figure is at least 20% lower than the cheapest new model when comparing basic specs.

Otherwise, buying a secondhand computer makes little sense.

11. Open Monitor Performance

The Performance Monitor in Windows Task Manager may give information.

Keep track of how much processing power your machine is consuming. Here are some possible causes if it is high:

When the computer boots up, many programs are scheduled to run automatically.

It’s possible that you’ve been infected with malware or a virus.

The CPU may be underpowered.

The first two issues are trivial to solve, but the third would be reason enough to keep looking.

12. Take a Look at the Hardware Specifications

The first and most crucial component to examine would be the CPU.

The processor of the computer will be either Intel or AMD.

Check that it isn’t more than five years old.

When CPUs reach that age, they will be incapable of running Windows 10 or other modern apps smoothly.

Whether you’re shopping for a laptop, try some model-specific Google searches. Don’t bother with that model if you get a lot of results about a dead display or one that won’t switch on.

13. When Searching for a Laptop, be Sure to Check the Battery

Whether you’re thinking about buying a laptop, test it out without the charger seeing how long the battery lasts.

Unless the battery’s charge diminishes rapidly, it’s clear that it has to be changed. Calculate the cost of a battery and include it in the total.

Play a full-screen YouTube video for 5 minutes to get a quick indicator, then test the battery.

Whether it has lost a few percentage points in that time, you will need to replace the battery.

14. When Searching for a Desktop Computer, be Sure to Check the Capacitors

By opening the case, inspect the capacitors on the motherboard. This is the largest board that will be directly connected to the enclosure.

The computer may continue to work normally even if these capacitors bulge. Keep in mind that this motherboard has seen better days and that failure is simply a question of time.


I understand that there might be a variety of reasons why buying a used computer is a good idea.

However, it would be a good idea to check out some computer costs online. A new computer at the basic level may last you a few years.

You’ll have a warranty and someone to contact if something goes wrong.

Simply consider the danger vs. the expense and make an informed decision.


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