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Phoenix accepts many different types of computer equipment. Computers can be working or non-working. However, anything older than a Pentium 4, 2.6 GHz processor will probably be broken down for usable parts and the rest turned over to an electronics recycling facility. Because Phoenix ComputersSM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, your donations may be tax-deductible. You will be provided with a receipt from Phoenix ComputersSM in exchange for your donation. Peripheral equipment such as keyboards, mice, etc., MUST be in good working condition.  Also accepted are extra parts in good working order, as well as legally transferable software and software licenses.  We always need power and printer cables, hard drives 40 GB and larger, and memory (DDR, DDR2, DDR3 RAM) 512 MB and larger.   We accept USB and PS/2 style keyboards.  We do accept CRT monitors provided they work. Please note that unless you purchased your computer from Phoenix ComputersSM, we do not perform repairs nor can we provide assistance with hardware and software purchased elsewhere.  Information on recycling Apple/MacIntosh equipment can be found at www.macrecycleclinic.org.
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How does Phoenix safeguard your data? When a computer (or an isolated hard drive) is donated to Phoenix Computers it is taken to a designated triage area within the workshop.  There the hard drive is removed from the computer, logged in with Model and Serial Number and then taken to our secure wiping room.  This room is locked at all times that it is not in use and access is limited to the designated trained staff responsible for hard drive sanitization.  There are two dedicated workstations that are used for the sole purpose of sanitizing donated hard drives. The method of sanitization is in accordance with the US Department of Commerce NIST800-88r1 “Purge” Standards, the current US Government standard for data destruction produced in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security in preparation for reuse. Phoenix Computers uses commercial software to wipe the hard drives.  If the hard drive can not be successfully sanitized, it it taken to Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection where it will be ground up for recycling.  Upon successful drive wiping, the software generates a log documenting the hard drive manufacturer, model number, serial number, hard drive size, date of sanitization, method of sanitization, name of the technician performing the sanitization and the date. The software that is used sanitizes the entire device, not just those areas that contain current data, to ensure that any remnants of previous data are included in the sanitization process.  The process overwrites the entire hard drive in three complete passes, which is the DOD recommended process.  As you might imagine, this process can take hours but it is what is needed to ensure that your data is protected. The hard drive is then placed into inventory to be used in the refurbishing process. Why not just remove the hard drive prior to donating? Removing the hard would certainly eliminate the concern of donating a hard drive that still contained data. But you still have a hard drive with data on it and simply removing it doesn’t solve the disposal issue. We often get computers that have had the hard drives removed but that just means that we need to purchase a hard drive in order to refurbish that computer. We have worked successfully with a number of organizations for which data security is of the utmost concern. Among those companies are Suburban Hospital, major Real Estate Development firms, law firms and Montgomery County.