FG Laptop Dismantle, Salvage, Wholesale

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FreeGeek Laptop Dismantle, Salvage, Wholesale

What do we do with failed laptops?

First, we always remove the donor's hard drive, mark it with its size in Gigabytes, and put it in the tray for the wiping station. This is mandatory.

After that, there are four stages: Strip, Wholesale, Salvage, and Dismantle.


Pull out the RAM and Wifi card. RAM goes into the Unsorted RAM box, Wifi cards into the Wifi Card Box. Leave the optical drive and all cover plates and HD caddies in place, along with any HD adaptors.


These laptops can be set aside from the salvage and dismantling stream to be offered “as-is” to wholesalers. After stripping them, mark on a piece of masking tape the reason for the Fail and put them in the Failed Laptops for Wholesale bin.

Automatic FAILs

  • HP Pavilion DV Series with AMD CPU and nVidia video card
  • Compaq Presario V Series with AMD CPU and nVidia video card
  • Any Macintosh prior to MacBook line

Other FAILs

  • Any laptop with Pentium M chip or better
  • Any laptop built in 2005 or later
  • Any laptop with a wide screen


This applies to all Failed laptops including those offered for wholesale that are not bought.

  • Optical drive (if it is either a Combo or DVD Writer)
  • Keyboard
  • Screen (unless of course the laptop failed because the screen was bad)
  • Cover plates
  • Hard Drive covers and caddies

How to decide which parts to keep? Currently we are salvaging every part from Pentium 4 machines or better that looks intact. As we continue this we'll learn which are worth keeping and which are not. Common models like Dell Latitudes or Inspirons, IBM Thinkpads, Acer Aspires and Travelmates, and others, are worth salvaging because we get so many of them donated. We can keep parts from all these until we run out of space, then cull.

Especially desirable are odd-sized screens and keyboards, either very large or very small.

Odd models are also worth salvaging, but only keeping “one of” each, since they are relatively rare. These would be models like Lifebook, Averratec, or indeed anything that isn't Dell, IBM, Sony, Toshiba, or HP/Compaq.


After stripping and/or salvage, the machine goes in the Dismantle bin. Usually the dismantling is done at the Dismantle Bench upstairs, not in the Laptop area.

Battery Salvage

For any failed Pentium II or earlier machine, remove the battery and put it in the Dead Battery bin.

For all others, keep the battery (unless it is a known dead battery), in the Salvaged Battery bins. Known dead batteries of all models go, of course, in the Dead Battery bin.