As attorneys say 99% of the time… it depends. Do you “have” to take out anything? No. What are you going to do with the non-functioning computer? Whether you keep it or discard it, you want to make sure the power plug out of the power outlet.
But wait… is there a disk drive? Is there a CD-ROM or CDR/CDR/R/RW? Is there a DVD-ROM/R/RW?/ A Blu-ray drive/r/RW? Or any other type of removable media? You’ll probably want to check and make sure you are not discarding something you do not intend on including in the package deal.
What if you leave something behind that contains your data. The likely case would be that nothing would happen, however, there is a chance that if you leave data behind, someone may access it. Would you care if they did?
Keep a few things in mind when discarding any data. Could any of the data be valuable or useful in the future? Although you think that some things may not be valuable or useful in the future, they may be. I have personally experienced the pains of such losses.
Back in 2009, someone or a group of people using the identity, Satoshi Nakamoto, released open-source software given the name Bitcoin. At the time, a friend and I were using several computers to explore different distributions and versions of Linux, Windows, and macOS. We were working towards developing some sort of ground-breaking software which would put us right up there with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Did that happen? No, of course not.
What we did do was explore different new programs for potential ideas. In December of 2009 or January of 2010, we downloaded the Bitcoin software for Linux. We set up one standalone computer dedicated to running the Bitcoin software. After a month or two we had successfully mined 15 to 20 Bitcoins. Given that Bitcoin’s value at that time was less than $0.01, we abandoned that project and that computer sat there unused. When I moved a year later, I decided I did not need that computer as the hardware was significantly dated.
I remember giving that particular computer to my brother. He didn’t use Linux at that time so he formatted the HDD and installed some version of Windows and showed me that he had made good use of the computer. Well… on that HDD was the Bitcoin wallet which contained the 15 to 20 Bitcoins valued at about $0.03 each at that time. In December of 2017, a single Bitcoin was worth more than $20,000. At the time of this writing, a single Bitcoin is valued at approximately $9,600.
Long story short, you may regret getting rid of something that you think is useless or worthless.