I recently received an HP Pavilion P6-2108P desktop computer for recycling. This is a dual core computer with 8 gigabytes and a one terabyte hard drive. I always wipe computers I receive for recycling with Darik's Boot and Nuke.
Also, I perform a fresh installation of whatever operating system the computer came with. Older Microsoft Windows computers come with certificate of authenticity stickers on them. This way I do NOT need to buy a new license and can just enter the serial number and then activate Windows.
This computer had a Windows 7 Home Premium sticker. Windows 7 installations are pretty straight forward. You need either a Windows 7 DVD-ROM, USB flash drive, etc.
Windows 7 operating system will be supported at least until 2020 by Microsoft corporation. Dual core computers have lost value in recent years. However, I am still able to sell them on Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, etc.
Windows 7 updates are still slow as ever. Also, I usually load Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus. Making sure Windows firewall is enabled is part of my to do list.
I use either Driver Pack or Snappy Driver installer to install hardware drivers. These two applications save me quite a bit of time loading drivers. If not for these two applications, I would have to search on the Internet for drivers manually.
I always install Windows 7 with service pack one. This process usually does not take that much time. Waiting for the Windows 7 security updates to install takes quite a bit of time.
However, this is a good way to perform a burn in test so to speak. Normally, by the time I finish installing Windows 7 including all security updates, any major problems with recycled computers would have been noticeable. Once I am completed with the operating system install then I usually leave the computer powered on for at least twenty four hours.