3 Things to Check When Buying a Used Computer

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Desktop and laptop computers can be significant investments. Since many users don’t need the latest and greatest for their purposes, a used computer can be a great investment. Of course, used computers come with some concerns. There has been wear and tear on them obviously, and it’s important to ensure that the equipment is in good enough condition to deliver the expected value. With that in mind, here are three broad points to consider before making a buying decision.

1. Check the Model Number

Manufactured desktop computers and laptops will have a brand name, a model name, a model number and a serial number. The brand and model information will usually be posted on the case itself. The serial number will generally be posted on a sticker attached to the rear of the device. Use these details to search about the machine online, and be wary of used machines that have had their stickers or model information scratched away. Search to determine what the machine’s specifications are. You can use this to determine what components the computer should house and what operating systems it can run. Avoid machines that can only run OS versions that have become deprecated because their usefulness will be limited an increasingly so.

2. Check That the Computer Powers Up and Posts

If you’ve determined after research that the computer is suitable to your purposes and includes all the components and peripherals it should, then the next step is to ensure that it works. Make sure a monitor is connected to the machine. Put the PSU on switch in the off position. Connect the power cord to the computer, and then, plug it into a wall outlet. Turn the PSU switch to the on position, and then, press the computer on button. The computer should turn on and then post. If an OS is installed, then the computer should boot into that operating system. Let the computer run a while to ensure stability, and if you have doubts, then consider a computer stress test.

3. Check the Fit and Function

If you’re purchasing a computer with a battery, such as a laptop, then you should expect limited usefulness from that component. That means you should know how much a replacement costs and how easy it will be to get that part when needed. If you’re purchasing a computer with a monitor or built-in screen, then you should visit all-white and all-black webpages in order to inspect the display for dead pixels. You can also check peripherals like the mouse, keyboard and external speakers. If the hard drives or RAM are a point of concern, then there are utilities available to analyze their health as well.

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