When you move to a new computer, you may be asked what to do with the old hardware. You can sell it or keep it as an emergency backup machine, but you can also use it more creatively.

Here are some DIY projects for repurposing and reusing an old PC.

1. Media center

One of the most useful things you can do with an old PC is bring it into your living room and use it as a media center. You can watch movies and TV, listen to music and play games by installing and setting up Kodi or similar software on your computer.

Kodi is designed to be used with a remote control, so you can connect your old computer to your TV and watch it from the comfort of your chair.

A nice advantage is that the media center software is lightweight and does not require large system resources, so you can use it even on very old hardware.

2. Create a home server

If you live with housemates or family, it’s great to be able to share your music, videos, and photos with them. Even if you live on your own, you can take advantage of the storage space for all your media files.

This is where the home server comes in. You can use your old computer to host your media and other files and access them anytime. This is useful if your new computer has limited hard drive space.

You can also share your home servers with others on your network, allowing you to share your files with them.

3. Set up a web server

Also, what if you want to host files online? If you have your own website, you can host your site at home instead of paying for hosting or using free hosts, which can be bad for your site. which is harmful to your

You can set up your old computer as a web server relatively easily. Once the web server is set up, you can host your own site and those of your friends.

You can also set up a web server to use FTP if you want to share files over the Internet but not create a specific website. If you or your friends want to access an FTP server, you can use Windows Explorer as an FTP client.

4. Start the game server

If you are a gamer, then a great feature of the Steam client is the Steam Stream option. This allows you to install games on one computer and then transfer them to other devices on the network.

This means you can put your games on an old PC and play them from a media center or other device in your living room. Or you can choose a small and fairly cheap device called the Steam Link that connects to your TV or monitor and streams content from your server.

With Steam Link, you can even play Steam games on Android which is great for phone and tablet users.

5. PC testing

If you often build PCs or often test components, then a test setup is extremely useful.

It’s easiest to use if you have an open test bench, so you can change and replace parts quickly. And you can buy a solid, well-made test bench if you’re a serious builder. But you can also build your own test bench out of metal, pieces of wood, or whatever else you have on hand if you want a cheap option.

Once you have a bench, you can transfer the parts from the old computer to it, being sure that all the parts are intact and working. This will allow you to easily troubleshoot new components.

6. Build a frame PC

The PC is not just a functional object: it can also be art. This unusual project puts your computer in a frame that you can hang on the wall.

Using the Wi-Fi sync features, you can change your framed computer and send and receive files. And you can power your PC with a single power cord at the bottom of the frame.

You will need to make some modifications to your components and frame to account for issues like airflow, so this project is suitable for the comfortable and experienced system builder.

7. Wall PC

If you like the idea of ​​a framed PC but want to build something simpler, try a wall-mounted PC. This example uses the Thermaltake Core P1 case, which contains standard components but is designed for wall mounting.

You can buy just the case yourself, transfer the parts from the old computer to the new case, and then hang it on the wall. An open-sided case that’s great for airflow but means you have to be dust-conscious. But it’s a fun way to turn your computer into a work of art.

8. Home security system

Projects for Your Old PC - Home Security System

If you have a simple webcam, you can plug it into an old PC and create your own home security system. By using software that detects motion and triggers an alert, you can be notified or turn off the alarm if there is unexpected movement in your home.

Follow this guide to turn your computer into a video surveillance system.

9. Desktop PC

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can embed your old PC components into a customized desktop. You install components in a compartment below table level, and then place glass or clear plastic on top.

This way you can see your components below the surface of your table. It looks absolutely amazing, but be careful — this is not an easy project!

You will need to design and build your own table with a large enough compartment for all your components. And before you get started, you should know that getting the layout right and doing desktop maintenance is a big hassle.

But if you have the time and patience, your own desktop PC is an incredible and unique project.

10. Mineral oil PC

Another impractical but mind-boggling PC project is building a PC with mineral oil.

Because mineral oil is not electrically conductive, you can immerse many components in it without damaging them. In fact, it will increase their lifespan by lubricating them. And you can get amazing cooling performance as the oil dissipates heat.

This is another case where maintenance is a real pain, and trying to reuse parts that have been in mineral oil requires a huge amount of cleaning. So better as a show computer than being your everyday workhorse.

One thing to keep in mind is that when using old parts, you need to clean them very thoroughly before dipping them in oil. Or any dust or dirt left on them will float in the oil and that’s not good.

Don’t throw away your old PC parts — use them!

Just because your components are outdated doesn’t mean they are no longer needed. Working but old equipment is ideal for use in experimental and unusual projects. Or the hardware can be modified in a more practical way and turned into a server.

Alternatively, you can resell, repurpose, or recycle components. Check out our tips on how to reuse your old equipment like a pro.

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