i been doing a lot of clean up. i have 3 old computers running xp. they are circa 2000 to 2008. is there any good reason to keep them or should i just recycle them? i tried loading win 10 into a couple of them and they won't take it .
An XP computer going online would be vulnerable to a fair amount of malware out there. I would only use it online for dedicated sites that you know are good. Safer than that, would be to take it offline entirely, and use it for simple chores like word processing or some other homework type of activity. Files at the end of a session could be transferred by a USB drive if it wasn't online.
If you ever have two people wanting to get onto a current device--could one of them do it on the XP? if not, then why keep it?
I have one for Toyota Techstream too, although it's a real dog, slow enough that I really want to (someday) figure out how to run on a real machine.
Otherwise, remove the hard drive and dismantle. Once broken down it's pretty hard for someone to harvest the data. Although I have heard of using small projectiles at moderate to high speeds can both dismantle and disable hard drives, often with one shot (although followups are both advised and enjoyable).
I have a Windows 2000 computer at work. IT hates me for it but it's offline and I've more or less said "too bad unless you have $50K to replace what it's controlling." Actually truth be told, it controls two things now, and one of them is about to get a serious hardware+software upgrade to run on Windows 10, but that's a different story.
At my last job, I maintained more than a few XP computers. A lot of what would run on Windows 2000 could do well on XP, but wasn't really happy on anything newer. There again, most of it controlled $$$ stuff, so the computers stayed.
I do enjoy getting into Windows XP or 2000 or even 98 for that matter and playing games I grew up playing. Often, the recreations/adaptations of them today aren't great. Of course, I also do much the same with Mac OS 9, which is roughly the Mac equivalent of Windows ME(except OS 9 is actually a good OS).
Something else to consider-there's a pretty thriving "vintage" computer hobby now. Some XP era systems won't attract a lot of attention yet, Pentium II and Pentium III based systems are decently popular for retro gaming systems. This is especially true if they have ISA slots, something which most PIIs will have and PIIIs are hit-or-miss.
For me it would be accessing some old stuff that only XP would work, like the Netgear SC101 hard drive enclosure, with the chip vendor went out of business and nothing else can use it to access its old stuff.
Or if you have space and want a retro emulator game machine away from your main PC, then it may be worth keeping. Usually it is not worth the space it takes these days. Unless you really have too many old hard drive you want to run a server with them, or some weird old stuff.