What should you do with your old Windows XP PC now?

Published Apr 9, 2014, 6:13 pm IST
Updated Apr 8, 2019, 1:33 am IST

Microsoft officially switched off all updates and support for Windows XP yesterday. Post April 8, 2014, the 13-year-old operating system will not get any updates or support if there are any vulnerabilities found within it. Third-party support could be available, but would be very limited and possibly expensive too. Microsoft has stated that though Windows XP will continue to be operational, lack of support and updates will keep the operating system and the data within pretty vulnerable.

Most users who have spent on the operating system would have to ultimately switch over to Windows 7 or Windows 8 sooner or later. However, the cost of upgrading is not cheap—it also involves expensive hardware upgrades along with the new OS. If you have a desktop, maybe you could upgrade some parts of the hardware, but if you owned a laptop, then you would have to simply scrap it.

So what do you do with your older Windows XP-based PCs? Well, there are a bunch of options for your old PC to serve you. Here is a small list of how you can make the best use of that old operating system on an older hardware.

  • Music/video player: Use that old PC as a mini HTPC for entertainment in home or office.
  • Television: Hook up an older TV tuner card and you can use it as a television set in your bedroom or office.
  • Multimedia server: Use the old box and OS to stream movies and music over the local network and enjoy them wirelessly from different rooms.
  • Internet router/proxy: Load proxy server software or simply use some wireless utilities to convert that old hardware into a wireless router/proxy server at home or office.
  • Data server: This could be one of the best options for that old box. Share some folders and use the PC/laptop as a file server or network storage.
  • Word processor: Make use of the old box as a simple word processor, email box or voice/video chatting terminal at home or office.
  • Internet browser: Setup the PC as an internet kiosk machine for your home or office.
  • Accounts manager: Use it for basic accounting, databases, logging and alike.
  • Printer server: Deploy the PC on your local network and hook up a few printers to it. The box can be used as an ultimate print server.
  • Download manager: Use it on the P2P network, download torrents or simply use it as a downloading terminal to get your stuff from the internet.
  • Old games/network games: If you are passionate for older games, the PC can be best in place for it.
  • Knowledge centre: Make use of the old PC to digitize and store your old paperwork at home or office. Simply load ebooks and encyclopedia and let your children use it as a knowledge center at home.
  • Test old software: Some older, but equally useful and precious software that is not available anymore could be installed and used on your old Windows XP operating system.
  • Mail server: Install mail server software and create your internal mail service or a centralized mail server for home or office.
  • Restricted usage of internet and games for kids: You can install parental lock software and let your kids learn to use the internet.
  • Use for CD/DVD duplication and burning: You can start a business for DVD burning and copying.
  • Use it as a fax/voice answering machine: If you can find one of the old modems, you can build your own fax/voice answering machines for home or office.
  • Surveillance/security device for shops or homes: Use that old box with a bunch of cameras and you could turn it into a 24x7 video surveillance unit for your home or office.
  • Programming electronic hobby kits: Use the PC for programming your electronic hobby kits such as EEPROMs and Arduinos.

We bet there are many more ideas that could be included here.  You are more than welcome to add more uses to the list. Make sure you put them up in the comments below and we shall add them to the list. 

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