Putting PC into storage

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting Help' started by Catweazle, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Anyone have any thoughts/tips about preparing a PC for long term storage, to maximise chances of it still working if dragged back out years later?


    We're not long from chucking in the house and adopting the nomad life of living on the road and travelling the country at our leisure. Putting the core of our stuff into storage (got a container sorted on our son's property) and heading off. It'll be point and click adventure games on the laptop for quite a while!

    But day will probably come when we're just too plain old and frail to continue that lifestyle. Someday we'll likely end up in a bungalow or a housing commission flat somewheres, and if my hands aren't too arthritic by then it'd be nice to drag out the old gaming box I'm sorta fond of, and finally get around to playing Witcher 3 and Rise of Tomb Raider :D
     
  2. im late

    im late Member

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    Dust, moisture, static and heat kills computers.

    So look at the environment it will be stored in and work from there.

    Straight off the batt, sea containers in the open air are heat sinks inside of them during the hot days.

    If it were me, I would sell off and worry about it when the time comes again to buy a PC then.
     
  3. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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    I have 4 very old computers in my garage.I put them in cardboard boxes and took the button battery out.
    I didn't wrap them in plastic, as I thought it would not be best for them, over the long term.
     
  4. adamsleath

    adamsleath Member

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    i would have thought hermetically sealed would preserve them...but maybe stuff would dry out over time more?

    whatever is subject to corrosion you want to be kept sealed and 'dry'

    maybe there's some form of electrically inert gel you could spray on the components. some ln2 ocers use gels to protect motherboards from getting wet from condensation when using extreme cooling.

    ...that. and completely hermetically sealed box kept in a wine cellar environment. cool and consistent temperature.

    capacitors seem to go bad with age.

    https://www.elesta-gmbh.com/files/long-term-storage-of-components.pdf
    definitely mentions moisture damage a lot....so i believe that's a factor.


    ...basically large ziplock bags.
    take the batteries out for sure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  5. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Shipping container, but it won't be used as stock standard box. It's a 40 foot jobbie that's getting lined, painted, divided, better ventilation and a door bunged in the side to boot. Son will be using half as a secondary workshop, and I'm using the other half for storage. It'll likely end up with a roof over it too, and it's definitely having a row of trees along the side to help things along.


    Planning to purchase again afterwards isn't a realistic option for me. We're doing all this on not much of a budget coz our resources are pretty limited. Basically gonna be pensioners wandering around seeing the country, rather than pensioners accommodating the upkeep of a house. Living on the road costs bugger-all. We've done a bit of it already.
     
  6. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    depending on the PC size, i'd dust it down, pull the cmos batter and put it one of those vaccumm seal bags and that's about it.

    other then selling and just moving to a laptop thats probably your best bet
     
  7. rireland

    rireland Member

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    another vote for sell off, buy a system if the need arises. what you sell it for now will get you a better system years later. computers depreciate in value fast, not worth keeping in long term storage imo. plus there is the chance it will die and you will be up for a replacement anyways.
     
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  8. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    Yep, sell it now while you can get something for it, then by the time you buy another one it will probably be cheaper AND better than what you have now...
    Use the money you get for it to live off the land that little bit longer ;)
     
  9. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Whilst I appreciate the thoughts and comments, this is not really a "should I keep it or sell it" thread. I won't be selling it. I WILL be keeping it, and hoping it still runs OK should that future day come.

    It's a dedicated gaming box, with about 300+ games installed and working on it, and when a few hardware changes are completed over next few weeks it'll be plenty good enough for anything I'll ever play in remainder of my lifetime. Many of those installed games are as-yet unplayed by me.

    Pulling the CMOS battery is something I hadn't actually thought of, and vacuum seal bag is a good idea that'll get used for other appliances as well. Had a chat about that with the missus earlier.

    66 years of age now. I played Pong on a pub machine back when electronic arcade machines were a new thing in the early 70s. Been stuffing about with home computer shit since they first became a thing in early 80s. Kinda had enough already, and another decade down the track I'm sure I'd want something ready to just plug in and go :D :lol:
     
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  10. rireland

    rireland Member

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    so you are upgrading a system you plan to store for years and may never return to...
     
  11. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Yup. Was building a rig from spare parts for a fella who's been down on the luck. Motherboard I had shat itself during the build so I had to get something else. Picked up a mobo bundle cheap that was better than mine so I'll do a reshuffle and pass on the lesser kit. Plus, just picked up a cheap secondhand GTX1060 that beats my old HD6950 to hell and gone, so I can pass that on too.

    And hey! There's still about 12 months or so before we'll be winding up the house. It's not getting boxed up straight away :D
     
  12. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Exactly. If it were me that's exactly what I'd do. It's three years, that's quite a while in computers.
     
  13. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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    Go easy on the guy, he's said straight up he doesn't want to sell it.

    But yeah, yanking the battery and a vacuum bag sounds like a good cheap option.
    Main thing I'd be worried about is leaking batteries and possible corrosion from moisture etc. and that seems to cover those bases.

    Best of luck on your adventures!
     
  14. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    Would it be worth starting a collection of all those little silica gel pouches from everyone you know to throw in with any electrical items going into storage?
     
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  15. OP
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    Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    lol.

    Some folks must be hard on their PCs is all I could say, if 3 years seems a long time. I've often seen computers/laptops in use for a decade or considerable more. Hell, I've an old Compaq K6-2 clunker out in the shed which dates to early 2001, and IT still fires up just fine! Seems downright silly to plan on another future purchase from the outset, when what already exists is all that'll ever be needed :lol:


    Thanks :thumbup:
     
  16. adamsleath

    adamsleath Member

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    just think in 3 years there'll be ddr5

    ....aaand that's about it :lol:

    and maybe even a 2000$ mainstream graphics card from nvidia.
     
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  17. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    My biggest concern would be the heat involved in storing in a container, heat kills the caps* in power supplies and on boards. containers get hot - even in the shade, they're a big metal box - think sitting in a car on a hot day even in the shade with the window cracked you'll be cooking.

    *it dries out the electrolyte, once that's gone, they're dead - along with the device they're part of. Even if only partially dried it may change their capacitance enough you have stability problems.
     
  18. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    The biggest issues in long-term storage of anything are humidity/moisture (which is the harbinger of corrosion, rust, mildew/mould), insect/rodent infestation (shit, eggs, eating cabling) and heat (plus breakages during movement of items/containers/crates). For electronics the biggest worry is leaking of batteries/caps, and a leak ruining other items.

    Take out each individual item and pack it individually. If you have any anti-static bags, soft cell foam and/or the packaging the products came in, use it. Clean up dust. Put silica gel packs in with the item. Then wrap the item's packaging in anti-static bubble wrap. Tape it closed. Put the items into a cardboard box with each item separated by the bubble wrap. Put more gel packs in the box. Tape it shut. If you want to go the extra mile, knock up a closed wooden crate that keeps the base off the floor, if you want to go a half-mile, a chep style pallet to store the items on will be okay. If you still have the case box then put the case back into it with the foam, and some gel packs, static wrap & tape the case wiring where possible.

    Don't store batteries at all.

    Hope everything works again when you take it out.
     
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  19. xplod140

    xplod140 Member

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    As above, Capacitors will ruin your fun whenever you decide to turn this back on.

    I would work on converting your system into a virtual machine then it can really live forever.
     
  20. mr626

    mr626 Member

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    I totally get where you are coming from wanting to keep it, and I'd do the same.

    You are over-thinking the storage of it though.

    Just ask your son if you can store the tower in his house, rather than the container. Then you don't need to worry about the humidity / heat issues. I'd still take the battery out, but that's about it.
     
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