back to article Wait! Before you fire up that HP lappy, check the battery

HP Inc has issued a "worldwide voluntary safety recall" of its laptop models due to potentially fiery batteries, with over 50,000 affected machines in the US and Canada alone. The announcement applies to batteries in 15 models of laptop sold globally between December 2015 and December 2017, as well as any replacements or …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another quality delivery from HP!

    You've got to love them...

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Another quality delivery from HP!

      Even higher quality than usual.

      There is no way to check the battery by serial number online. You have to run their utility which runs only on THEIR OEM build of Windows.

      That beats the R out of Retarded.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Another quality delivery from HP! @Voland

        "You have to run their utility which runs only on THEIR OEM build of Windows."

        You are wrong.

        The HP download page also has a version that includes the "HP Framework" package: "If you do not meet minimum requirement's, please download the fully loaded battery validation utility that will install the required frameworks."

        I agree that it is stupid not to be able to check the s/n online.

    2. EarthDog

      Re: Another quality delivery from HP!

      They are offering remediation unlike other companies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another quality delivery from HP!

        I must be way behind the times - I've never had a laptop that didn't have a user-replaceable battery. Sheesh...

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Another quality delivery from HP!

          "I've never had a laptop that didn't have a user-replaceable battery".

          We have to pay more attention to what we buy, a lot more.

          1. Captain Scarlet
            Unhappy

            Re: Another quality delivery from HP!

            We have to buy what we are told, recent HP models which had replacable batteries held by a plastic clip are now under a cover which have crappy screws compared to spring loaded type screws (Turns a 10 second job into a ARGH WHERE HAS THE BLEEDING SCREWS GONE WHY WHY WHY!).

            Having the lovely job of going through now to find I have a 650 G2 thankfully not with one of the batteries. Oh well the PFY can take over this from Monday.

  2. h3nb45h3r

    One piece of good news though...

    At least if the battery catches fire and takes out the laptop, it will deal with the numerous key loggers that HP laptops appear to have on them......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One piece of good news though...

      and it fixes the Intel processor problem.

      Happy days.

      1. EarthDog

        Re: One piece of good news though...

        Which Intel refuses to fix.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: One piece of good news though...

        and it fixes the Intel processor problem.

        That is indeed the case - it is the Intel model.

        For whatever reason the AMD models they do use a different charger + battery.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: One piece of good news though...

          "For whatever reason the AMD models they do use a different charger + battery."

          HP has for a couple years now transitioned to a smaller 4.5mm plug for several laptop models - probably because some laptops are too thin to sport the older 7.4mm barrel connector. Nothing to do with AMD. A few models only have a USB-C for charging.

  3. Sam Therapy
    Coat

    "Hard disks roasting on an open fire..."

    Coat... getting...

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      I Seagate what you did there...

  4. Lysenko

    Now do you get it?

    This is the sort of thing "Mugabe" Meg was afraid of over on the other side of HP. Making things is almost as dangerous (to C suite bonuses) as employing people in jurisdictions that have the concept of employment law. Far better to abandon this last century concept of "products" and concentrate on real estate deals with surplus factories, warehouses and offices. In C21 it's all about being a "brand" rather than a "product".

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: Now do you get it?

      Where's the space in that vision for selling printer ink at prices higher per litre than vintage champagne?

      1. DNTP

        Re: Selling printer ink- HP's new business model

        "What, make genuine HP ink ourselves? No, we just price it as if it were liquid diamonds so no one buys it; the real money is in suing other people for making knockoff cartridges and refill kits, and for reverse-engineering the cheat chips in our printers that force users to waste ink on 'test' pages and replace our cartridges when they are still half-full. We fired all our production workers and leased the factory out as a chemical waste storage dump, and diverted that money to the patent lawyers."

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Selling printer ink- HP's new business model

          I feat that you are closer to the true than any of realize.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. TechnicianJack
    Mushroom

    Irony

    Worldwide voluntary safety recall

    voluntary safety

    Am I the only one that can see the irony in this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Irony

      Am I the only one that can see the irony in this?

      Considering the battery chemistry, I think this is more lithiumy than irony

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irony

        with puns like that you should be charged.

        1. fobobob

          Re: Irony

          For what, assault and battery?

    2. DNTP

      Re: Irony

      Gentleman, I'm saddened to report a beloved HP laptop named Betty blew up this afternoon. She is survived by a user named Jeff, two cats, and an HP inkjet that won't stop blinking its "replace color cartridge" LED. In Betty's memory we will now play Anode to the departed.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. JoeCool
    Mushroom

    Is this surprising ?

    Functionally any battery is an energy storage device that makes the most energy the most easily accessed, in the smallest space possible. Isn't there always going to be a line to walk between basic physics and safe operation ?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Is this surprising ?

      Too many ignore the heat generated while discharging and especially charging a battery. The chemical reactions usually generate excess heat, more when recharging. This heat must be allowed to properly dissipate or you could have any of a number of problems depending on the battery chemistry with Li-ion batteries being prone to fires.

  8. Stevie

    Bah!

    I imagine many flame wars now infest HP forums.

  9. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    HP Laptops - this isn't really that big a deal...

    Anyone with an HP laptop for more than six months has probably already beaten it to dust with a baseball bat out of pure frustration, so the number that remain in actual use is triflingly small.

    1. Nolveys

      Re: HP Laptops - this isn't really that big a deal...

      Anyone with an HP laptop for more than six months has probably already beaten it to dust with a baseball bat out of pure frustration

      Most modern HPs will save you the trouble by turning to dust automatically within 6 months.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan

      Re: HP Laptops - this isn't really that big a deal...

      so the number that remain in actual use is triflingly small

      Sadly, we only buy HP at $ORKPLACE so, even if I beat this one to death with a live mains cable the replacement will also be HP[1]. And, knowing my luck, probably the one used by the heavy smoker with a penchant for eating cheese-on-toast while using the laptop..

      [1] Unless I somehow reach the rarified heights where I get one of the few Microsoft Surface Pro 4's floating about. It's more likely that Trump will suddenly resign on the basis that he has suddenly realised that he's not really capable of the job..

  10. PNGuinn
    Facepalm

    Time to advance to NiMH chemistry?

    This is getting silly. I've got more than a slight suspicion that some, perhaps most, of the problem is caused by "designers" making the shiny thinner and thinner to the point that the mechanics of the battery are totally impractical.

    One wonders what the impact is on realisable battery capacity, let alone reliability.

    How many of us would gladly accept a chunkier and slightly heavier lappy with user replaceable nickel metal hydride cells, bonus if they are in a standard format? The humble AA goes up to 2.5 AH these days, I wonder what's possible in larger sizes?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Pint

      It's the FINAL RECALL!

      This laptop was too clever

      So for now it's farewell

      And maybe it'll come back,

      With HP, who can tell?

      It's the FINAL RECALL!

      Duh-duh-duuuh-doo....

      Where were we? Oh yeah NiMH. Well, it will have to be somewhat bigger. This table:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

      says maybe a factor 6.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Time to advance to NiMH chemistry?

      "How many of us would gladly accept a chunkier and slightly heavier lappy with user replaceable nickel metal hydride cells, bonus if they are in a standard format? The humble AA goes up to 2.5 AH these days, I wonder what's possible in larger sizes?"

      Problem is, they still only discharge at 1.2V, and most laptops need at least ten times that (most portable devices I've seen won't take more than eight; most top out at four). Not to mention IIRC NiMH is still more vulnerable to memory effects than Li-based batteries.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP doesn't make the batteries

    HP is as much a victim here as consumers due to the fact HP purchases the batteries from Panasonic or other suppliers. If a part is defective on your car, you might also incorrectly fault the car maker because they warranty the vendor supplied part but it's the supplier who has produced the defective component, not the car maker or in this case the PC maker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP doesn't make the batteries

      HP choose the batteries from many options available.

    2. BebopWeBop
      Facepalm

      Re: HP doesn't make the batteries

      As much a victim - no I don't think so - unless C level managers have also been burnt and inconvenienced - beyond their bonuses.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hahahaaha

    Who even considers an HP laptop? Seriously. Who?

    1. UKHobo

      Re: hahahaaha

      Me. My HP Elitebook 8470p 2012 model serves me just fine thank you.

  13. Triumphantape

    Only 50K?

    I bought an HP desktop for my father, called them up 2 days later to return it because it was such a piece of junk.

    The person on the phone asked me if I would take a massive discount in price to keep it... I said "I wouldn't keep it if you gave it to me".

    I do not feel HP does anything good any longer.

  14. James O'Shea

    Dude

    it could have been worse. You could have gotten a Dell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dude

      Having both Dells and HPs, I'd buy a Dell any time over an HP these days. New HPs are a veritable PoS with so many issues that simply stop you working. In fact, whilst troubleshooting an HP to such an extent I had a buy a cheap Dell, one third of the price, as a temporary replacement just to keep working, but now this Dell cheapie has become my laptop of choice. Wasted a fortune on the HP.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP Quality

    I tried to fix an HP desktop 20+ years ago for someone-- started with defrag that trashed the system. Opened the box (which at that time would void the desktop warranty! I guess adding memory or disk drives was reserved for expensive authorized personnel), saw the cheap insides... refused to touch HP "computers" since then, and the quality apparently has only declined in the intervening years.

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