Sponteniety in laptops - An IBM this time.

  sean-278262 12:52 21 Sep 2006
Locked

In a time when laptops seem to be going up in smoke world wide I have just found out about the wonders at LAX and an IBM laptop. It has made me realise with my sister running an IBM and my father a toshiba (just confirmed not to be one of the bad ones). Where do we stand. It is quite worrying how many there are at the moment. I remember stories online in the past of it happening but nothing this bad.

Does anyone else feel a bit of fear here? Is my acer one of the few brands not to have any wories over? Sony, Dell, Apple, IBM are all on the recent list. As far as I know thats most of the market. I somehow have a feeling that this is getting out of hand. Does anyone else agree? Just starting to worry me as my father and sister use their machines a lot of the time and some times unsupervised.

I know as a regular here that it isnt that much of a danger but it is something to think about.

click here

  silverous 14:00 21 Sep 2006

I wouldn't panic too much. Out of millions and millions of laptops sold this appears to have happened to a very few. If you fancy your chances of winning the lottery, then get worried.

If you have one of the affected laptops, get it fixed, if you don't - until anyone tells you
otherwise, you should have no cause for concern.

It is a bit like car recalls. They happen all the time but it doesn't stop you getting into your car in case there's a problem with say, the brakes.

  sean-278262 14:10 21 Sep 2006

As I said in my post it is something to think about. However it is quite a worrying trend considering that I can find reference to 7 separate incidents without trying to find others. That is something I am starting to worry over slightly as up till this year I only ever remember 2 cases of laptop batteries on the cook cycle in all my time online.

  amonra 14:57 21 Sep 2006

If you are really worried, look at this article click here#

  sean-278262 16:04 21 Sep 2006

"I know as a regular here that it isnt that much of a danger but it is something to think about."

I am starting to tire when people refuse to read the actually topic fully. I am more worried in the fact that how many machines are at risk.

With what I estimate there are circa 5million batteries on the "fritz" at the moment. Even saying 1 in 5 is a spare thats 4million laptops. It is a worrying statistic. It isnt so hard to recall a car (as they usually have your details or can get them) but 4million laptops is quite hard considering the number of places they can be sold and the fact you can pay in cash. I know many people who know little about computers but have a laptop. How many of these people will be missed by this recall.

  ade.h 16:25 21 Sep 2006

A lot, I suspect, so I would have to agree with CotN.

  silverous 16:31 21 Sep 2006

What does "on the fritz" mean?

I don't know how many laptops have been sold in the last few years but to take 7 out of that many, I'm convinced it is still a very small number.

You've found reference to 7 instances without trying to find others but they tend to be fairly well publicised in technical circles - a laptop setting on fire tends to be headline making news these days so I doubt there have been tend or hundreds.

I'd imagine all the laptop manufacturers are busy checking their laptop batteries for potential defects so fairly quickly I think people will know if they are affected.

What is worrying is how they all seem to use a few suppliers. I suppose it is to be expected, but with so few suppliers one fault in their design exposes the entire market.

  sean-278262 16:39 21 Sep 2006

"What does "on the fritz" mean?"

Last check the same thing as it did 10 years ago. Not working 100%.

"been tend or hundreds."

Assuming that is 10, however my point is 10 years of being online and reading the news. And of late I hear of many more machines going up in smoke in a few weeks than I have heard of in the past 10 years.

"I'd imagine all the laptop manufacturers are busy checking their laptop batteries for potential defects so fairly quickly I think people will know if they are affected."

I would doubt that some how. It seems all toshiba are doing is saying on their site about it (most people never go on their site after the sale) and offering a way to check. However no much is being done to make people that have these machines realise there may be a problem. My neighbours have a dell computer and when the recall started it affected their model range, until I went over they knew nothing of it. How many other oblivious users are there

  silverous 16:54 21 Sep 2006

Don't Dell and the other manufacturers have to advertise in a prominent place or write to known owners?

With other recalls (e.g. cars) you get a letter, or there tend to be articles in the newspapers about it... why aren't the manufacturers obliged to write to each and every customer?

I do think this issue has been widely publicised in the press so anyone who doesn't know probably doesn't read a newspaper or know anyone technical who is aware that they have a laptop (if anyone I knew or my family had a laptop made by one of these manufacturers with problems I'd be prompting them to check).

Still, I think they should do more...no-one to my knowledge has been hurt yet but if one of these things goes up on a plane there could be serious injury and then there'd be questions asked as to how well the recall was conducted.

As it is, the circumstances in which it happens are advised to be "rare".

I'm not sure on what basis you doubt the laptop manufacturers are checking. They run a business and have a definite interest in knowing whether they are about to have to engage in a large and costly recall (ok so they are insured or may have recourse to the battery supplier - but it still costs them whichever way you look at it). If it was my business I'd wanted to know.

  sean-278262 17:02 21 Sep 2006

"I do think this issue has been widely publicised in the press so anyone who doesn't know probably doesn't read a newspaper or know anyone technical who is aware that they have a laptop (if anyone I knew or my family had a laptop made by one of these manufacturers with problems I'd be prompting them to check)."

There is a difference. Many of the people I know either dont read the tech pages or dont know what their computer is. Usually it is purchased because PC worlds salesman said it was good. I always keep a check on people I know and what computers they have as I would be "tech support" as I am lovingly known by all. However it isnt always possible to be there.


"Still, I think they should do more...no-one to my knowledge has been hurt yet but if one of these things goes up on a plane there could be serious injury and then there'd be questions asked as to how well the recall was conducted."

I know, and that is frightening. With the recent storms we have had what about machines not on surge protectors are they safe?

"As it is, the circumstances in which it happens are advised to be "rare"."
But they were near non exsistant before this sony fiasco. However I am guessing it is similar to things such as murder, it is rare as such but still pretty major and something that should not happen.

"I'm not sure on what basis you doubt the laptop manufacturers are checking."

Because other than The Reg, PCA forums and other tech sites I have seen very little in the media other than on BBC and even that was buried in the other news material.

"They run a business and have a definite interest in knowing whether they are about to have to engage in a large and costly recall (ok so they are insured or may have recourse to the battery supplier - but it still costs them whichever way you look at it). If it was my business I'd wanted to know."

Maybe so but how many people do you know who have had contact to have their machines battery sorted? I can think of none who were contacted most suggested to check by me.

Not looking for an arguement just looking for a thought provoking debate.

  silverous 17:21 21 Sep 2006

"There is a difference. Many of the people I know either dont read the tech pages or dont know what their computer is"

They don't read a newspaper either or watch TV? It has been fairly widely reported and my first question even if I wasn't technical is "will mine do that" and I'd be off to find out.

"similar to things such as murder, it is rare as such but still pretty major and something that should not happen"

I agree, but your question seemed to be "should we be concerned about it"... yes, to the same extent to use your analogy as you would be about being murdered! It is rare, there's a chance, but it doesn't stop you going out every day.

"Because other than The Reg, PCA forums and other tech sites ..."

Just because it isn't all over the web/press doesn't mean they aren't checking their batteries. I don't mean checking with consumers.... I mean assessing the state of their batteries with respect to these kind of faults - irrespective of whether theirs have had the issue.

I think you are confusing "their laptop batteries" meaning ... every actual one they've sold being recalled and checked, with my intended meaning of "their laptop battery designs"... being checked by them internally i.e. whether it is susceptible to this kind of issue...not recalling, checking (which perhaps I should have made clearer).

We're not arguing are we? I think we're debating. I must admit I don't normally quote and respond to each point someone has posted, it does feel somewhat confrontational but I was simply following your initial response in that.

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