My new job requires a Windows laptop with 4+GB of ram, i5 or later processor, and significant storage space. I only have linux and Mac laptops and don't want to remove them to run windows.

My plan was to get a used computer from a pawn shop. I was wondering if having a used computer would be an issue for the IT department (a general IT department)?

I can't think of any reason why it would but I haven't looked at windows licensing in years.

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  • why do you have more than one laptop, and if money is such an issue, why wouldn't you just install windows on one of them? – bharal Mar 5 '18 at 22:01
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    Why are you being asked to supply your own hardware to do your job? – Jane S Mar 5 '18 at 22:15
  • You would presumably need the pro version of windows – Neuromancer Mar 5 '18 at 23:14
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    @JaneS "Bring Your Own Device" gone crazy? – HorusKol Mar 6 '18 at 0:41
  • @HorusKol and you need at least 8Gig for widows 10 – Neuromancer Mar 6 '18 at 8:29

From a security viewpoint, a used laptop would be a massive risk - we don't know where it's been, what it's been doing or what's installed on it. It wouldn't be attaching to any network I work on without a thorough review. It would probably work out cheaper to buy a new one from a corporate perspective.

Why is the company expecting you to supply your own machine? I'd be inclined to use a virtual Windows machine on the Mac computer.

  • 2
    Simple way to solve this: buy a new SSD drive to throw into the used laptop. You'd likely end up with a decent performance boost anyway. – NotMe Mar 6 '18 at 0:05
  • +1 for company not supplying their own machine - if they're concerned about security then surely they should be sourcing and providing the machines. Even a bought "new" computer that's owned by someone other than the company is a concern, particularly if you're expected to supply your own software. – Miller86 Mar 6 '18 at 11:44
  • @Neuromancer 1 word "rootkit" – Retired Codger Mar 6 '18 at 16:07
  • Re not knowing where the used machine has been &c, how does all that differ from ANY employee-owned machine? Or indeed, any machine, even company-supplied ones? For instance, I know that a Linux install puts several GBytes of stuff on a machine, a lot of which I'll never look at, let alone use. (Like the 'joe' text editor.) Who knows what it might do? – jamesqf Mar 7 '18 at 2:33

You should get a refurbished one from a certified refurbisher through a bigbox store like walmart, Staples, et cetera. The specs you are describing can be bought for under 300 dollars in most cases, and if anything goes wrong, it's under warrantee. With a pawn shop, you don't know what you're getting.

  • @Neuromancer feel free to provide an answer that does. – Retired Codger Mar 6 '18 at 0:32
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    @Neuromancer ah, so you don't want to risk any hit to your own reputation, so you snark on the answers of those who have. – Retired Codger Mar 6 '18 at 13:39
  • @neuromancer Don't post answer in comments, especially under other people's answers. – Masked Man Mar 6 '18 at 14:05

Assuming your existing linux laptop is good enough, you could just buy a new SSD drive and a copy of Windows. Then swap out the drives depending on what you are doing.

Barring that if you really want to buy a used laptop - buy a new SSD drive. Then install windows plus whatever other stuff you need. Quite frankly, this is what I do even with new laptops as I can get a far better drive buying that separately than what comes with the laptop itself. It also saves me from having to uninstall all the garbage manufacturers put on there.

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