Can you get money for old hard drives?

Quick Answers

Yes, you can get money for old hard drives. There are several options for selling or recycling old hard drives and making some cash. The main options are:

– Sell on eBay or other online marketplaces
– Trade in to retailers like Best Buy
– Recycle through electronics recyclers
– Sell to data recovery companies
– Sell to refurbishers or resellers

The amount of money you can get will depend on the make, model, capacity and condition of the hard drive. More recent, higher capacity drives in working order will fetch the highest prices. Older, lower capacity drives may only get you a couple of dollars.

What Can You Do With an Old Hard Drive?

When you upgrade or replace a computer, you’re often left with the old hard drive. Instead of just letting it collect dust, here are some options for old hard drives:

Sell It

Selling an old but functional hard drive is a great way to make some extra cash. Popular places to sell hard drives include:

– eBay – List it for sale here to reach a wide audience of buyers. Recent high capacity drives can potentially sell for $50 or more.

– Amazon – You can also list hard drives for sale in Amazon’s electronics marketplace.

– Craigslist – List locally for free and you can avoid shipping costs.

– /r/hardwareswap – Sell to other tech enthusiasts on this Reddit community.

When selling, be sure to note the make, model, capacity, interface type (SATA, IDE, etc), and tested working condition. Take pictures of the drive’s label too. Older and lower capacity drives won’t be worth as much.

Trade It In

Many electronics retailers like Best Buy offer trade-in programs where you can swap old devices for store credit. Here are some options for trading old hard drives:

– Best Buy – They offer 10% extra trade in credit right now. Value depends on capacity and condition.

– Amazon – Trade-in program gives out Amazon gift cards. Smaller drives may only get you a couple dollars.

– Gazelle – An online trade-in site. They offer cash payments via check, PayPal or gift cards.

The convenience of trade-in programs makes this a good option, though you may make more selling directly yourself. Be sure to find out the offered trade in value before committing.

Recycle It

If you have an older drive that’s no longer working, recycling is a responsible way to dispose of it, and you can potentially get paid too. Options include:

– ecoATM – Kiosks that buy back electronics for cash offer a quick way to recycle and make money. Values range from a few dollars to over $100 depending on device.

– Best Buy – They accept old electronics for free recycling even if defective. Though you won’t get paid anything.

– Local recycling centers – Some recyclers like CuRe Manufacturing pay for e-waste by the pound. Call local centers to check policies.

When recycling, be sure to wipe the drive or destroy it if it contains sensitive information. Recycling unusable drives is better for the environment than just tossing them out.

Sell to Data Recovery Companies

Some data recovery companies will buy old, non-working hard drives. While you won’t make as much as selling a fully functioning drive, you can still get a few bucks.

– Desert Data Recovery – Offers prepaid shipping labels and makes offers on dead drives based on make, model and capacity.

– Rossmann Repair Group – A repair shop that buys some dead Mac hard drives for parts. You’ll get an email quote.

– Seagate – Their Rescue Data Recovery Plans involve them taking possession of failed drives. Provides peace of mind for secure drive destruction too.

If the drive contains sensitive data, you’ll want to be sure it’s securely wiped and destroyed. Selling to reputable data recovery firms ensures proper handling.

Sell to Refurbishers and Resellers

Companies that refurbish and resell used electronics may also buy your old hard drives. They can replace worn components and recover data. Options include:

– Newegg – Their marketplace has listings to sell computer components including hard drives. Pick from various buyers’ offers.

– – An electronics reseller that buys used IT equipment including hard drives for refurbishing and resale.

– DonateTech – Non-profit that accepts hard drive donations, refurbishes them and ships to schools or charity organizations overseas. Great way to donate used drives.

While you won’t get top dollar selling to refurbishers, it’s a simple way to pass along older drives still in working order. Be sure to securely erase data first if needed.

How Much is My Hard Drive Worth?

The amount of money you can make from an old hard drive depends on several factors:

Age of the Hard Drive

Newer drives are worth more. For example, a 2 year old 2TB hard drive will sell for much more than a 10 year old 80GB drive. Recent models are more in demand and have better resale value.


Higher capacity hard drives can command higher prices. For instance, old 40GB and 80GB drives may only get you a couple bucks. But 1TB and 2TB drives can potentially sell for $20 or more. Rarely, high capacity enterprise drives may sell for hundreds.

Interface Type

Common hard drive interfaces include SATA, IDE, SAS and SCSI. In general, SATA drives tend to be the most desirable for the average consumer using a modern PC. Make sure to note the interface type when selling.

RPM Speed

For 3.5″ drives, 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM speeds are standard. The faster 7200 RPM drives typically have slightly more value in the used market. High end 10,000+ RPM server drives can sell for higher premiums.

Physical Size

3.5″ desktop drives are the most common. Smaller 2.5″ notebook drives are lower capacity and less valuable. Larger enterprise drives fetch higher prices but have niche appeal.


Working, tested drives sell for much more than untested or faulty drives. Be honest about any issues when selling. Broken drives may only be worth recycling value.

Brand Name

Brand and model also impact resale value. Mainstream brands like Seagate, WD and Toshiba are best for resale. Rare or collectible drives may appeal to enthusiasts.

Here’s a rough guide to the resale value of some common hard drive capacities and models:

Hard Drive Type Capacity Typical Resale Value
Modern 3.5″ SATA Drive 8TB $100+
Recent 2.5″ SATA Notebook Drive 2TB $30-$60
Last Gen 3.5″ SATA Drive 3TB $20-$40
Older 3.5″ SATA Drive 500GB $10-$20
Legacy 3.5″ IDE Drive 80GB $5-$10
Very Old/Small Drive 40GB $1-$5

Of course, exact value will depend on many factors. Check completed eBay sales to research real market prices for similar hard drive models.

How to Wipe and Prepare Hard Drives for Sale

Before selling, trading in or recycling an old hard drive, it’s important to properly wipe the drive if it contains any personal or sensitive data. Here are some tips:

– Use disk utility software like Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely erase the drive by overwriting all data.

– On Windows, you can use the Format tool to fully wipe and reformat the drive.

– For quick wipe, resetting the drive to factory settings through Device Manager is an option.

– Physically destroying drives is an option too – remove platters and damage them beyond repair.

– Use a strong magnet to disrupt the drive heads and logic board, rendering data unrecoverable.

– For max security, combine multiple methods like degaussing magnets, disk wiping software, and physical destruction.

– Keep drives you’ll be recycling in a secure location to prevent data leaks.

Taking these steps to sanitize your old hard drives protects your data and privacy. It also ensures no issues for the next owner.

Best Practices When Selling Hard Drives

Follow these tips to securely and successfully sell your used hard drives:

– Test that the drive is fully functional – connect, format and copy files to confirm.

– Note the exact model number, capacity, interface, speed, etc. Provide photos of drive label too.

– Format the drive and completely wipe all data before sale using disk utility software.

– Package the drive very carefully to prevent damage in shipping. Bubble wrap and snug boxes are ideal.

– Be upfront and honest about any condition issues or defects with the drive. Note if untested.

– Offer returns within a reasonable window to build trust with buyers.

– Set a competitive market price based on current eBay sold listings for similar drives.

– Consider factory recertified/sealed drives which can sell for higher prices.

– Charge actual shipping cost and offer free shipping to maximize sale price.

– Include tracking and consider requiring a signature on delivery for expensive drives.

Following best practices helps ensure a smooth transaction. Take steps to maximize your sale price too.


Selling an old hard drive is a great way to make some extra cash when upgrading your computer. While large capacity and recent model drives can sell for decent money, even smaller older drives are worth a few dollars. Be sure to properly wipe any sensitive data before selling or recycling old drives. With a huge market for used drives on sites like eBay, you can turn your old computer components into money.

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