Most of the time they’re not worth salvaging, but when you work under the constraint that the only parts you can use are in that box there’s a bit of a context shift. You start seeing things you can use, rather than things that are so cheap and easy to get it’s not worth the time. You have to fit your design to what’s available, and what’s available is in that box of junk.
So what’s on your list?
A list of parts to salvage? Not much at all. I play with old computers quite a bit so any microprocessor, memory, rom, etc that can be salvaged without damage gets pulled and put into a box to test.
As for the challenges I don’t really work with a list. I see whats in the box in the context of the goal and pull parts as I need them.
A common term for a board that you take parts off of is a donor board, but I prefer the US Navy cannibalization terminology. If you need to be at sea, or at sea and a critical piece of equipment breaks you sometimes have to steal components, cards, boards, etc. from working equipment to get it running. In port this is likely from another boat with the same piece of equipment. That gets a boat to sea and the one in port for a bit gets to wait on a replacement.