When you have an older computer you need old computer parts when you are upgrading or repairing it. Most new systems are not compatible with the older ones and the same holds true for their parts. For example, if you want to upgrade the RAM in your older system you will find that the styles on the market today are not able to work with your older system. You will have to look for used or refurbished RAM since the older styles are no longer being manufactured. Since the RAM is no longer being produced, the only option for replacement or upgrade is to buy used or old RAM from retailers and wholesalers that offer it.
Where To Find Old Computer Parts
When you are looking for computer parts that are outdated, obsolete or rare it can be tough to locate them. The best places to look are at computer repair shops in your area and of course online. If you are going to spend time calling around to local repair shops, be sure you know what you are asking for. If the system is not running and you do not know what it needs, you will need to contact the repair shop first anyways. If you do know what the system needs you can avoid the repair shop and start shopping online, as long as you know what the part is you're looking for. Say RAM for instance, if you are upgrading it, some of the older systems will require you to have identical chips side by side. You need to know what motherboard is in your system to find out what it will support. You may be able to find large pieces of RAM but if your board does not support it you will have wasted your money.
When you feel confident that you know what parts you need and that you understand what your board will support, start shopping around. You may be surprised to find that just because they are old computer parts does not mean they are cheap computer parts. Many times you will end up paying more for an outdated and obsoleste part than you would for a new one. This is mainly due to the fact that the manufacturer has stopped production on the parts and they have become extremely rare. RAM is typically the most expensive component you can buy for your older system, it is the most common part that gets upgraded or replaced in an old computer.
Sound cards, video cards and other components are normally still in the same format and can be purchased to fit even older systems. Motherboards are not normally replaced with the same old motherboard when doing upgrades or replacements, so they run fairly cheap. CPU's are sometimes bought out and purchased for repair on an older system but it is rare since you can typically get a motherboard and CPU package for much cheaper and upgrade the system to a newer more compatible system with today's technology.
You can shop around on auction sites such as eBay or look at retailers and wholesalers on the internet that offer older parts for older systems. Many sites will not advertise their old parts as part of their normal stock, so ask if they have what you are looking for.
Warranty on Old Parts
You can expect that you are not going to get a warranty with the purchase of old parts. Since the manufacturer no longer produces the parts you can assume they are well out of warranty. The company you buy them from may offer a warranty or guarantee that the parts will work, but not always. If there is a guarantee in most instances it will be for 30 days or sooner and you will have to notify the company right away if the part is defective in order to get a replacement or refund. If the old computer parts you purchased are extremely rare you may not be able to get replacement if they are defective and only be able to ask for a refund. Do not hesitate to ask the company about their refund and replacement policies on the old parts, it will be the only recourse you have if something goes wrong.