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Exploding laptop batteries - Technical Blog of Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes
Date: 2006-09-23 10:43
Subject: Exploding laptop batteries
Security: Public
I'm looking to add an fdi file to HAL so we can check if a battery is defective and is likely to go boom.

I want to see if I can match battery serial numbers against fdi rules and if present, merge a key battery.is_likely_faulty so applications like gnome-power-manager can give a nice warning message so the user can go check on the recall website.
Note, I think we need to keep the word "likely" to avoid lawsuits. :-)

So, I need some data. If you have a Dell laptop:

 - Latitude: D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810
 - Inspiron: 500M, 510M, 600M, 700M, 710M, 6000, 6400, 8500, 8600, 9100,
9200, 9300, 9400, E1505, E1705
 - Precision: M20, M60, M70, M90
 - XPS: XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, XPS M1710

Or an HP/Compaq laptop:

HP Pavilion : dv1xxx ze2xxx
Compaq Presario: V2xxx M2xxx
HP Compaq : nx48xx

I would really appreciate if you could send me (richard at hughsie dot com) the complete output of lshal. Include [fire] in the subject so I can filter them easily :-). And also, if you know your laptop might be affected (or another one that might have been affected) and isn't a DELL or HP then please send me the data also.

: Don't panic. Your battery is probably fine, but I want to see if these models express the battery serial number in HAL (via ACPI) or just fill in junk data.



Please also state:
  • If your battery is affected by the recall
  • The value of your barcode
  • cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT*/info | grep number
Also, I would appreciate it if someone could test this hal patch as it looks like it's needed to properly detect the DELLs.
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User: trs80 [typekey.com]
Date: 2006-09-23 12:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is the best idea ever. Particularly with Alan Cox's battery exploding (http://zeniv.linux.org.uk/~telsa/boom/).
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-09-23 16:46 (UTC)
Subject: Apple
What's about Apple iBooks and PowerBooks?
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Richard Hughes
User: hughsient
Date: 2006-09-24 09:59 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Apple
They are next, but are a harder egg to crack as PMU does not expose the battery model IIRC.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-09-25 22:57 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Apple
I have an iBook G4 that was affected by the battery recall. I already changed my battery, but I don't think that matters.

I'm not quite sure where to look for the serial, but I can dig it out and have a look if it would help.

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User: kadymae
Date: 2006-09-25 23:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
\m/ (This rocks!)

Alas, all the help I can give you at the moment is my moral support, since I don't own any of the laptops on your x86 hitlist.
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User: kerrick
Date: 2006-09-26 00:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Do you really need all that information? When I open the Gnome Power Information, it tells me I that my battery model is "DELLRD8506", where "RD850" is the part of the serial that tells me my battery is not going to go boom. (As opposed to RD857 according to the recall.)
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