Buying Refurbished Computers
- There are over 500 Community Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers in the U.S., Canada and Latin American countries. TechSoup has a list that you can search by ZIPW code. Most of these refurbishers provide low-cost IT equipment to libraries in addition to schools, nonprofits and low-income families.
- There are several large, commercial suppliers of refurbished computers. Some of the better-known companies include:
- Redemtech is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher that sells Windows XP — installed desktops and laptops with a 90-day warranty plus Microsoft service and support.
- TechTurn Refurbished Computers is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher selling open-box, refurbished, and scratch and dent inventory with a 90-day warranty and genuine Windows software.
- Intechra Outlet sells factory refurbished excess inventory, open-box returns and off-lease computers and monitors with a 120-day parts/labor warranty.
- Dell Outlet sells previously ordered new, certified refurbished, and scratch and dent inventory with the same Dell warranty given to customers buying built-to-order Dell systems and a 21-day return policy.
- HP Outlet sells refurbished desktops and laptops with either a 90-day or 1-year warranty depending upon the model purchased.
- To learn more about refurbishing, reusing and recycling computers, see TechSoup’s directory of reuse and recycling articles. PC Bargain Hunter also has some advice on buying used equipment.
Leasing Computers and Other Equipment
- Both Should You Buy or Lease and Lease versus Purchase have good tips on this topic.
- Although there are third-party leasing companies, some IT managers feel more comfortable leasing directly from the manufacturer. For example, Dell Financial Services and HP Financial Services both offer a wide array of leasing options.
Warranties and Service Plans
- Check out Techsoup’s What to Look for in a Hardware Warranty, PC World’s Are Extended Warranties Worth It?, and Bulletproof Your PCs Warranty.
- Look at the “Service Plans” section of Hardware Buying Plans for some more good advice.
Disk-Cloning in Libraries
- TechSoup has another introduction to disk-cloning, and PC Magazine’s Drive Imaging: Beyond Basics has reviews of five leading products.
- Also check out How to Image Windows XP with Ghost and Sysprep and Disk Imaging Software Review 2008.
Installing and Patching Software
Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager and Novell’s ZENworks are two popular systems management suites. Qualified organizations can purchase System Center Configuration Manager from TechSoup for $52. In a Windows Active Directory environment, you can also use Group Policy and MSI files to deploy software, though this requires some in-depth knowledge to accomplish.