Surplussing Old Equipment

To Surplus Or Not to Surplus?

Before surplussing equipment, check to see whether it can be re-used. See StoredResearcherEquipment for procedures for handling returned/unneeded equipment before surplussing it.

Surplussing Equipment

If a machine is identified as one we don't want to keep, because it's too old, doesn't work, won't boot, can't be easily imaged, etc., it can be sent off to surplus. If there is a large amount of equipment to go, or if it includes some very large equipment, contact Lawrence Folland (x32214); it may be preferable to extracted the equipment directly from its current location rather than cart it to DC 2606 or another storage room.

To surplus equipment, follow these steps.

1. Add notes to Service Tracking

  1. Find the current equipment surplus master RT item. If it does not exist, create one.
    Typically, Phil will have one created and the number noted on the Surplus bin in DC2561
  2. Generate an Asset Disposal form
  3. Record the Asset Displosal form number in both the subject line of the master ST item and the "Other IDs" field.
  4. Create a spreadsheet as per the notes below: SurplusEquipment#Spreadsheets

  • Add any barcodes or other notes identifying the equipment to the master RT item.
  • If the item is actually going to surplus, rather than to RSG storage, update the spreadsheet that is attached to the current equipment surplus master RT item. The spreadsheet will be an attachment with one of these file extensions:
    • .ods (Open Office)
    • .xls (Microsoft Excel)
    • .xlsx (Microsoft Excel)
  • 2. Identify the owner

    Find out who owns the item. If she is not a member of CSCF, contact the owner and establish whether they want it back or are happy to have the machine surplussed.

    When you have determined that this is not a machine we will want to keep, send the owner an e-mail message with the boilerplate content linked here:
    Email for wanting to surplus stored equipment

    3. Wait 30 days

    In order to avoid unwanted data loss, we always hold onto a disk drive for at least 30 days to ensure that someone doesn't come looking for it only to find it's been wiped. When you receive a machine, put a "Hold for 30 days" label on it, indicating the date you created the note and the date until which to hold the item.

    4. Wipe the drive

    Wipe the drive. If possible, use a software tool called DBAN. Here are our notes on how to use it: WipeDiskDBAN If that's not feasible, if the machine is PXE bootable or can boot a RIP CD, follow these steps from the command-line as root:

    • check type of drive: #fdisk /dev/hda or #fdisk /dev/sda
    • #dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda (if IDE, Parallel ATA)
    • #dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda (if SATA, SCSI)

    5. Re-image the machine with a functioning OS (linux or MacOS)

    In order to maximize re-saleability of a machine, we've learned that it helps to install linux so that it can be shown to be working (it also helps ensure that any previous data is completely unreadable)

    1. if a functioning machine, then perform a linux install of the public-access linux image using our UbuntuForSurplus
    2. If a Mac, then see MacForSurplus
    3. if any of the above steps fail, then remove the hard drive and use an external device to wipe the drive

    6. Cleanup Inventory and DNS

    1. remove DNS entry (will likely require a full-time staff person to do this)
    2. update Inventory, General tab:
      • clear the machine name (make a note in Comments about it's 'old' name)
      • clear the IP address
      • add a note to Comments that it is destined for Surplus (include relevant ST#, if available)
      • Change room number to where it is being put for now
      • under the Support button:
        • change Web Page Groups to blank (or "unknown"?)
        • change "Support Class" to "retired"
        • change "Subscription Code" to blank

    7. Re-label the equipment

    • Remove any hostname, IP or "owner" labels (leave hardware notes)
    • if the machine installed linux, add a label, eg: "Ready for surplus//Drive wiped//Linux installed"
      • if not a functioning machine, "Ready for surplus//parts removed//non-functioning"

    8. Inform those responsible for surplus

    • Contact Lawrence Folland, Phil Beldowski, or the current CSCF-Technician co-op student via e-mail with the equipment barcode and a brief description of the item (ie. is it a computer, crt; working or not, etc.) Do not put anything in DC2561 or DC2558 without contacting one of them first.
    • put machine in surplus storage room

    Re-usable Parts

    • anything that might be useful for parts (keyboards, mice, hard disks, power supplies, etc.) can be put into the box under the RSG bench. Keyboards and mice will be cleaned and put into the Infrastructure group storage. Other parts will require consultation with Phil to determine what can be kept for re-use

    Dead Equipment

    • there will be a box under the RSG bench for "dead parts" any keyboards or mice that are known to be dead, along with other dead parts should be put in there
    • the person handling surplus equipment will put them into the surplus area

    Battery Disposal

    Batteries must be disposed separately. See: RecycleUPSBatteries for details.

    Arranging a Pickup From Central Stores

    Central Stores visits the Davis Centre approximately once a week for surplus pick-up. An exact date cannot be guaranteed, though, as they can be re-directed for more important jobs, i.e. Convocation.

    Donating Equipment to Other Departments (eg: ECE)

    We spoke to Sean Kimpinski (x32821) in Central Stores. He says that we need to fill out an Asset Disposal form and list all of the equipment and list Electrical & Computer Engineering (for instance) as the receiving department. It would then need to get signed by a CSCF manager. We would record the AD# in inventory for all of the equipment - just as if they were being surplussed.

    Selling Equipment Directly

    This needs to be approved by CSCF management and/or the Director of CSCF. Once a price is established, the end purchaser needs to either pay cash or a certified cheque made out to "University of Waterloo". There are no taxes charged. The Asset Disposal form and the payment should be sent along to Central Stores.

    Updating Inventory

    • update inventory and change the room to AD##### (where ##### is the number on the Asset Disposal form) - if there are many to update, it is best to use the portable barcode scanner and the "Enter Room" function of E&I (enter the "room" AD##### and scan each item to add to the room). Alternatively, use the Mass Edit function of inventory.

    send form to Central Stores

    • send the form (and attached spreadsheet) to the attention of Sean Kimpinski Central Stores in ECH (x32821)
    • he will then arrange for a pickup in the next week or so. If you need to check on a pickup, contact Tony Bairos in Central Stores, x36305 (tbairos)

    • if the equipment sells for more than $2,000 (total), that amount will be deposited into our account

    pickup supervision

    • it is usually best to be around when the equipment is being picked up to ensure that the right equipment is going


    We have Asset Disposal spreadsheets saved in:
    "edocs\admin\Inventory Procedures\Asset Disposal Spreadsheets"
    They can be accessed here:
    \\\edocs\admin\Inventory Procedures\Asset Disposal spreadsheets

    Instructions for using those are in: edocs\admin\Inventory Procedures\Surplus_Equipment.txt Asset Disposal forms can be found in the Forms drawer in the filing cabinet under the safe. A CSCF manager can sign as the Authorizing Signature. They will expect to review the equipment before it is surplussed.

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    Topic revision: r34 - 2021-09-30 - LawrenceFolland
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