Getting old PC parts cheap

Ok I Wana get into retro computers but under 100$ any era works as long as it is compatible with 1.44 Meg floppies


  • OK? That is a very broad and vague statement. What are you looking to do? Where would you want to get computer components? You'll need to be more specific.

  • I don't know about your region, but about eight years ago, when I started this hobby, I was able to find plenty of old hardware and some software through the following means:
    -flea markets
    -thrift stores
    -having an uncle who worked for a junk removal company
    -inquiring about the boxed copy of Works 95 on a shelf in my elementary school's computer room

    Stuff was mostly free. The software ranged from 5 1/4" disks from the early to mid 80s (which I lost in a move) to Office 2003 Pro. I picked up hardware for free to 25 CAD, primarily from around 1998 to 2003.

    Now, stuff from before 2008 is very hard to find, eBay hardware prices are insane (several hundred CAD in many cases - no wonder why it never sells). I did find some stuff on a local for-sale site for more reasonable prices (under 100 CAD for sure), but not exactly a wealth of it. You may have some success using the listed means, hopefully.

  • Don't forget about estate sales. That is where most of this stuff comes from these days.

    If you are looking to buy something specific you might hop on to the VCFED forum and ask. There might be something in your area.

    The big problem is much of this stuff can cost 100+ dollars just to freaking ship. With shipping prices that high, I have no idea how people can buy anything online at all these days.

  • Ebay is where I generally would look. You might find a few things in thrift stores, but it depends on how old you want to go. If you're only qualification is for it to be able to read 1.44 MB floppies, then anything with a 3.5" floppy drive will work and those were still common to see until the mid-late 2000s. Even long after that, they still sold motherboards with built in floppy controllers. I have a core i7 system with a floppy controller on board.

  • Nice ,is anyone selling a 5 4 in floppy drive

  • edited January 2019

    It's getting really tough finding this stuff now. We're past the point where these computers were initially replaced, when it was easy to find them. They've now been replaced 2, 3 or 4 times over, and if they haven't been put out at the yard sale or on Craigslist by now, then they were scrapped or someone like us has already snatched them up.

    You might be able to head to your local recycling center on "electronics day" to find some goodies. Offer to get a coffee for the attendant and see if they'll let you grab an item that looks good.

    I'm still very close with my high school auto shop teacher, who was the "computer teacher" years earlier. His classroom has all kinds of motherboards hanging from the ceiling and adhered to the walls. High up on shelves are various 286's, 386's, 486's, Tandy's, Packard Bells, IBM, Compaq, and Macintosh machines from the late-80s to mid-90s. Last time I stopped by to visit and bring an old lawnmower for the kids to tear apart, I found a massive crate full of about a dozen Commodores, accessories and all.

    He's retiring at the end of this school year, and I intend on making a visit to drop another lawn mower off, and make a decent cash donation to the Tool Fund for a couple of the older machines.

    Just keep looking!


  • edited January 2019
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