Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s – Refurbished Computer Program

ms-registered-refurb_blWelcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) page about our refurbished computer program.  We are proud to be a registered member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbishers program.  For more information on this Microsoft program, just click on the logo to the right.  Over the past few years, we have been refurbishing computers in house for a local charity to use in their operations, but now, we wish to continue this effort for the community at large.  There a many rules and policies in place both my Microsoft and Chris Hodgdon’s Computer Service LLC to ensure that best overall quality of the program to the public.

General Questions

What is a refurbished computer system?
According to Microsoft for the purpose of the refurbished program “a refurbished PC is a used PC that has gone through one or more of the following processes that leaves the PC ready for use by a new owner:

  • Data Wiping
  • Testing
  • Cosmetic repair and/or replacement of defective minor PC components


What is considered minor PC Components?
According to Microsoft, we can replace just about anything in the computer, expect for the motherboard. The exception is when the motherboard is no good, but it must be replaced with the exactly same make, model and specification motherboard. This being said, we can replace the hard drives, memory, and just about anything else.

Why Refurbish?
This is a great way to help other people and to help protect the environment. If a computer system is able to be refurbished and re-purpose, it not only will give it a new life and be able to be used for some time to come, it will benefit our landfill system by keeping the computer out of there. Sometimes, a refurbished computer is setup to be used by a non-profit, school, library or similar organization, where they may have limited funds to purchase items like this. In some cases, the systems will go to individuals that meet program requirements that allows for technology access that otherwise might not be available. In some cases, a refurbished computer will be reused by a business that is looking to obtain quality computer systems at a fraction of the cost of a new system.

Can't I Just Throw It Away?
Legally, the answer is NO. It is illegal to throw most consumer electronics in the trash. Why you might ask, well the answer is very simple. A computer (and other types of electronics) are considered eWaste and hazardous material. Due to various parts that are in computers and the chemicals used to make them that are highly toxic or hazardous, it transforms the computer into a work piece of hazardous material. The only legal was to dispose of this type of eWaste is to recycle it.

When we say recycle it, this also includes refurbishing and re-purposing the computer. In most cases, we will refurbish the computer to be reused by a new owner. If a computer comes into our program that can not be refurbished or does not meet our requirements, we will send the system onto a computer recycler, where is will be destroyed and the recyclable parts will be removed and taken care of.


What About These Manufacture Recycling Programs?
Nearly all computer manufactures offer some type of recycling program for their old computer. Some may even offer a buy-back program, but don’t expect to get to much money for your old computer. While these are good programs in their own right, most of the time, it generally does not benefit the community, as they are just recycling the computers for their raw material and not providing access to usable machines to those can use them. There are some manufactures out there that have a refurbish program, which may be another option to look into.

What About My Privacy?
We regard your privacy at the highest levels. All computers we refurbish will have their hard drives completed wiped cleaned (erased). We use a variety of programs to erase the hard drive using standards established by the Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22M) and other similar secure standards. What does that mean, well, we use programs that wipe your old hard drive 7+ times with random information, making it impossible to recover any data that was located on the hard drive. We use a verification process that ensures complete erasing of the hard drive, therefor protecting your privacy and any files you may have left on your old computer. Once the computer has been cleaned, we install a fresh copy of the operating system and setup the computer for the new owner.

Are These Refurbished Computers Legally Licensed?
Yes. All refurbished computer systems offered by us are legally licensed with Microsoft. We do not use pirated, stolen, borrowed or other types of copies of operating systems on these computers. In many cases, if a refurbished computer is processed through us and it contains the original Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for a Windows operating system still attached to the PF and we have either the original recovery media or hard disk based recovery image, we are not required to obtain a new license from Microsoft. When this type of operating system is reinstalled and registered it will be a legally licensed copy with Microsoft.

In cases where, either we do not have or can not obtain the original recovery media or hard disk based recovery image, we will obtain a new a Windows license from Microsoft through the refurbishers program. Either way, all refurbished computers will be fully and legally licensed to the new owner.



Refurbication Requirements

Accepted Computers
While some refurbisher programs will accept just about any computer, we have chosen to accept only certain types of computers that will benefit those that take ownership of the refurbished system. Any system that does not meet the listed specifications may be refused from our program, the decision for which computers are accepted or not is sole discretion of Chris Hodgdon’s Computer Service LLC. If your old computer meets the following conditions, please consider placing your system into our referbication program. If you are looking for a tax deduction, we are partnered with a local non-profit to accept these computers and have us refurbish them for their use and to provide to the community. The following items are what we are looking for in a computer system:

  • Age: 5 years old or newer (2014)
  • Processor Type: Intel Pentium 4 or newer / Comparable AMD processor
  • Style: Desktop, laptop, netbook, tablet
  • Operating System: Windows Vista (prefer Pro) or newer
  • Memory: Yes – required to have minimum to make system run
  • Hard Drive: Yes – required to have a minimum size to make system run
  • CD/DVD Drive: Not Required
  • Keyboard/Mouse: Yes, if available and working
  • Monitor: No, not required or wanted
  • Original CD/DVD Media: Yes, if available

We prefer to accept working computers, does not have to run fast, but should be able to boot up and start. We can only accept computers that work. We do not have the ability to make a computer that is not working into a working refurbished computer. All computers offered for refurbication are subject to approval and certification by Chris Hodgdon’s Computer Service LLC. We retain the right to reject any computer for any reason.


Do I Have To Have The Disk That Came With My Computer?
No, in fact, in some cases, your computer may not have come with disk from the factory. For a few years now, several manufactures have been added a second partition (virtual hard drive) on their computers and loading a factory restore image (virtual cd), so that the computer owner could restore their computer to its original factory setup. In cases where a computer has a restore image on the hard drive, we will utilize that restore option to reinstall the operating system on the computer once we have clean the system of your files. If your computer did come with a CD or DVD from the factory, it would be beneficial to us to have this disc, but its not a requirement. We have the ability to obtain new licenses from Microsoft for installation on these computers.

Monitors
If your computer came with a flat screen type monitor and it still works, you may include it with the computer for submission to our refurbication program. We only have the ability to accept working flat screen monitors. We can not accept any type of CRT (old style, large, tv looking) monitors. We do not provide refurbished computers to their new owners with these types of monitors and due to their hazardous contents, we are unable to process and recycle them. We can assist you in finding an option to recycle/dispose of these types of monitors, but we can not take them.

Keyboards and Mouse
While we prefer to have a keyboard and mouse for these refurbished computers, we can only take ones that are working. We do not have the capability to try and repair these items. You do not have to include them to have your system accepted into our program. We have low cost options to obtain a new keyboard and mouse to go with the new systems.


Other Information

What Software Is Available Through The Refurbisher Program?
We can install the following programs on a refurbished computer:

  • Windows 7 Pro
  • Windows 8.1 Pro (Not recommended)
  • Microsoft Office Home & Business 2010

Other software can be installed on these computers at the new owners request for an installation fee plus the cost of the software, if its not free. The above listed software is included in the price of the refurbished computer. See Cost of Refurbished Computers below.


Technology Access Program
As a registered Microsoft Registered Refurbishers program, we can offer refurbished computers through Technology Access Programs. Technology Access Program (TAP) is a terms that is used by Microsoft to describe various programs that are administered or run by many different organizations around the world to benefit disadvantaged people. Individuals that are supported by a TAP have the right to receive Registered Refurbisher citizenship licenses (reduced software cost) if they meet the criteria of a Qualified Individual. Below are the questions that are used to determine whether a program or project fits within the scope and definition of a TAP. We follow these guidelines:

  • Is the program or project run by one of the following?
    • Eligible Charitable Organization,
    • Eligible Academic User
    • National, state/provincial or local government agency; or
    • International Governmental Organization (IGO)
  • NO – this program or project is not considered a TAP.
  • YES – read below
  • Is the program or project documented? E.g.
    • Does it have a website?
    • Does it have brochures or other printed materials?
    • Is there an application form?
    • Is there a published criteria on who is eligible to benefit?
      These are examples of what would be in place to show that the project or program is “documented”
  • NO – This project or program is not considered a TAP.
  • YES – read below
  • Are the individuals served by the project or program Qualified Individuals?
  • Are the individuals served in a community with limited access to technology
  • NO – The program or project is not considered a TAP
  • YES – read below
  • Are the individuals served either (a) persons with a disability, or (b) in a low-income family?
    • Some examples to identify low-income includes:
      • Individuals receiving state benefits based on needed, or
      • Individuals receiving aid from an IGO, or
      • Individuals in a country defined as a low income economy by the World Bank.
  • NO – The program or project is not considered a TAP
  • YES – The project or program is considered a TAP


I Do Not Meet The Requirements For A TAP Recipient, Can I Still Get A Refurbished Computer?
Yes, you can still obtain a computer through our refurbication program. We are able to provide refurbished computers to just about anyone. The difference is how the Microsoft software is licensed and the cost of the refurbished computer.