HP recalls battery in more than 15 notebooks to prevent possible burns, damage

Battery
There’s nothing worse than a laptop that’s on fire – literally – and HP wants to prevent that possible heated experience by recalling a specific battery pack used in more than 15 different products. Currently, there are eight accounts of the defective battery pack “overheating, melting, or charring,” one of which led to a first degree burn on a customer’s hand. Three of these incidents caused property damage costing a total sum of $4,500.

HP customers may therefore want to check their laptop’s battery to see if it falls on HP’s recall list. Here are the affected models:

ProBook: HP ProBook 640 G2
HP ProBook 640 G3
HP ProBook 645 G2
HP ProBook 645 G3
HP ProBook 650 G2
HP ProBook 650 G3
HP ProBook 655 G2
HP ProBook 655 G3
ZBook: HP ZBook 17 G3
HP ZBook 17 G4
HP ZBook Studio G3
X360: HP x360 310 G2
Pavilion: HP Pavilion x360
Envy: HP Envy m6
11: HP 11 Notebook PC

The notebooks listed above don’t necessarily use the defective battery, so customers will need to download HP’s Battery Validation Utility to see if their laptop does indeed rely on the recalled pack. If it’s present, the utility will instruct customers to download and install a BIOS update that will place the battery pack in Battery Safety Mode to prevent possible harm and/or damage. Consider this method as a temporary fix until you can arrange a proper battery replacement.

“If the validation process identifies a battery as being eligible for replacement, the BIOS update should be applied, and the system should be rebooted,” the company says. “’During the reboot process, an option will be presented to enable Battery Safety Mode. Accepting Battery Safety Mode causes the battery to discharge and to cease future charging until Battery Safety Mode is disabled. HP strongly recommends accepting Battery Safety Mode.”

As described by HP, the battery pack is simply disabled until it’s replaced. But for many laptops found on the recall list, that could be a problem. The battery isn’t easily removable, thus customers must send their laptop to an authorized HP technician — though at no financial cost. With a little online research, HP customers could manually replace the defective battery by removing the bottom plate, but that may violate the laptop’s warranty, and give HP’s certified technicians less to do.

By placing a battery pack in Battery Safety Mode, it will not receive a charge, forcing laptop owners to rely on the supplied power adapter. Once the laptop’s updated BIOS detects a new battery, it will disable Battery Safety Mode, enabling the new pack to receive a charge. Note that customers aren’t required to replace the defective battery, and can continue to use their laptop using only the external power adapter.  The battery is essentially deactivated in Battery Safety Mode, and supposedly won’t cause any damage in this state.

Of course, no one wants a possible firestorm residing in their laptop, even if it’s slumbering inside. For more information, here’s everything you need to contact HP:

  • Phone: 1-888-202-4320
  • Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT – Monday through Friday
  • Online 1: HP.com/go/batteryprogram2018
  • Online 2: hp.com/us/en/hp-information/recalls.html
Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Outdoors

Conquer the cold season with the best heated clothing and outdoor apparel

If you're thinking about going outside this winter, heated apparel is a must. Luckily, we've rounded up some of the best heated clothing, whether you're looking for battery-powered gloves or heated insoles.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Computing

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.
Computing

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Computing

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.
Computing

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.
Computing

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.
Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.
Computing

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.