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PowerBook G4 Battery Recall

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the public-service dept.

Portables (Apple) 337

Beelsebob writes "Apple have put out a recall on a certain group of PowerBook G4 batteries. If you have a PowerBook G4 (Aluminum) 15" and your battery's model number is A1045, and its serial number starts HQ404, HQ405, HQ406, HQ407, or HQ408, then you could be at risk of it overheating."

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337 comments

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014682)

FRIST PSOT!!!

FIRST POST@!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014684)

FIRST POST@!!!

Mmmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014685)

I love baked Apples.

First Flaming Laptop Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014686)

Ooh! Ow! Hot!

Haha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014689)

Apple licks balls.

IMPOSSIBLE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014691)

I thought you guys said that Apple can do no wrong! Surely this is Microsoft fault?

yaay! (5, Funny)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014694)

Well, it keeps my lap nice and warm, since I couldn't afford my heating bill after purchasing the powerbook... ;)

Gotta get your priorities straight, s'all.

Re:yaay! (1, Offtopic)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014794)

suprisingly with student discount the 15" pb was cheaper than a similarly equiped ultra thin thinkpad (you know the worlds thinest laptop).. i believe the thinkpad had 40 gig hard drive, 14.1" screen, and geforce 5200 go or something like that the powerbook had 60gig hard drive, 15" widescreen, ati radeon 9700... for $50 more i think i got the better deal

Re:yaay! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014818)

-1, Offtopic and -100, Stupid Apple Fanboy

Way to change the subject, though!

Re:yaay! (0, Offtopic)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014860)

umm... i'm an apple fan boy? since this powerbook is my first mac product ever? hrm... ya ok.. i've owned 10+ pc's during my computer using existance and i've had 1 mac... yup, apple fan boy.

Re:yaay! (4, Funny)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014958)

He's just jealous that we have such nicely designed lap-warmers.

*Points finger* Nyeah nyeah nyeah!

:)

Re:yaay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015005)

He's just jealous that we have such nicely designed lap-warmers.

No I am not. I don't have a problem with your post, because it is on topic, rather than just Apple Fanboyism. (keep in mind that the article is about batteries, not which is better: an IBM laptop or an apple laptop).

Re:yaay! (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015082)

++sarcasm;

Yes you are, just admit it! It's okay, there are professionals who can help you work through these self-esteem issues.

You know that apples are better!

--sarcasm;

On the other hand, unless a post is flagrantly offensive (and intended that way), I find it's more or less a waste of time pointing it out to the original poster, as a lot of people simply.. refuse to learn or modify thier world-view at all. :)

Re:yaay! (3, Funny)

ack154 (591432) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014812)

Yes, but it is possible for your lap to get too warm [theregister.co.uk] .

Yes... it's two yrs old, but it's still funny in small doses.

Re:yaay! (2, Funny)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014837)

still funny in small doses

Hey, c'mon, the heat blisters have expanded the size of my "tool" three times over! :)

How's that again? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014698)

When I first read this I thought it said "you could be at risk of overeating." Which is pretty common for Slashdotters anyway, and that goes double for Mac users.

OUCH! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014701)

Don't browse pron with one of these on your laps kids.

You sick perv! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014888)

Browsing porn with a kid on your lap?!

Mod parent DOWN!

Mod parent DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015028)


completely digusting.

replace (4, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014702)

ZDNet Story [com.com]
Forbes [forbes.com]

I had always felt there was an overheating problem. People in the newsgroups and suggested that I recondition my battery... which maybe helped some.

Anyway, glad to know that I'll be getting a new battery out of it.

AC

Re:replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014783)

What does "recondition the battery" mean?

Re:replace (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014991)

I think it means: condition the battery again. Just a guess.

Re:replace (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014793)

This is actually somewhat surprising as Apple has always been careful not to burn people's laps. Dell laptops, OTOH, have been known to cause injuries from the high temperatures at which they operate. I'm guessing that's why Apple has been so careful about the temperature of their laptops.

FYI, the iBook I'm typing this on keeps cool enough not to even need the fan running. The only time the fan kicks in is when I place it on a poor surface (e.g. a blanket while watching a movie). Even then, it never gets hot enough to burn.

Perhaps this only occurs under certain power draw situations? Or perhaps it's a run of defective batteries?

Re:replace (1)

huchida (764848) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014896)

I have an iBook too, and it runs at a reasonable temperature... But I have heard and read comments and complaints about the heat of Titanium and Aluminum Powerbooks since they were first introduced .

KABOOOM! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014709)

Can you say... KABOOOM!!!!!!!!!!
oh come on someone had to say it.

Bah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014710)

No good posts will come from this thread.

Slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015041)

is what it's called...

Recipe for Caramel Apple Powerbooks (5, Funny)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014725)

1. Go to store and by some hard Caramel candy, at least a pound

2. Place pieces unwrapped on keyboard of Powerbook and turn on. Place the pieces on every other key to allow maximum coverage of Caramel

3. Let over heat and allow Caramel to spread

4. Enjoy!

It already overheats. (5, Funny)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014731)

I have a powerbook, and I love it, but after using it on my lap for 30 minutes, I can't have children anymore.

I know I'm going to get modded down for this... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014755)

But that's just natural selection eliminating Mac users from the genetic pool.

Re:I know I'm going to get modded down for this... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014966)

Many of them weren't in the running anyway, if you catch my drift.

Re:It already overheats. (3, Informative)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014853)

I have the PB 15" (1.25 GHz). And while I've never had it on my lap while playing, say, Unreal 2004, it's never been that hot. It's actually run cooler than most of my other noitebooks.

The PB 12, on the other hand, feels like it just came out of the oven. That thing heats up like a hot plate on a summer day. It's ony of the main reasons I decided to get the 15" instead (that, and I wanted to use it as my main computer and the screen was just annoying).

But truthfully, m Powerbook has been the best computer purchase I've ever made. And this is coming from a person that's long-since hated Macs for various reasons. While I'm no zealot, I think the Powerbook is a work of art.

Re:It already overheats. (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014967)

couldnt agree more..got a powerbook as a longtime linux/freebsd/windows user and love it. I still hate mac people more often than not, but i love the pb.

it does get pretty toasty sometimes!

You know... (-1, Troll)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014732)

If Powerbooks ran Linux they wouldn't have this problem...

Re:You know... (1)

ShadoHawk (741112) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014848)

This wouldn't help the problem with a battery. Oh and the powerbook can run linux! http://www.yellowdoglinux.com/ [yellowdoglinux.com]

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014934)

If you're karma whoring, please disregard this notice.
If you're not, and that was a serious post to Slashdot, myself and my organization (T4C) respectfully requests that you terminate your Slashdot account and life "you dumb fucking brace-girdle from hardbottle".
Have a great day.

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014902)

Because it wouldn't get used as much?

Year of the Portable my butt (4, Insightful)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014734)

For a company that puts so much emphasis on portable devices, Apple certainly has a lot of problems [ipodbatteryfaq.com] with [macnn.com] batteries [operationgadget.com] .

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014766)

Thou hast offended the zealots! Prepare to be modded down. Which is too bad, that these these apple fanboy-asshats are so immature that they must mod down any posts that belittles apple or even states a true problem with their products.

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014799)

Thou hast offended the zealots! Prepare to be modded down.

I don't know, he looked modded up to me.

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014859)

The Apple Fanboys [slashdot.org] must have the day off today or something... Just give them some time to find his comment and then it will be -1. Maybe they are still waiting for the comment page to load on their slow ass G5's?

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (0)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014883)

I think a lot of this comes from them "pushing the edge" of run time and power.

e.g. It'd be relatively easy for them to "get it right" by reducing power output requirements or the processing power, but they're trying to find a middle ground.

Of course, they also aren't manufacturing the batteries themselves, or designing much beyond the physical qualities of the battery. (AFAIK)

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (4, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014900)

For a company that puts so much emphasis on portable devices, Apple certainly has a lot of problems with batteries.

And you didn't even link the most dramatic case, that of actual exploding batteries [wired.com] . And no, this isn't some Nokia-like third party battery situation, these were the real Apple-supplied batteries (though that article does go out of the way to point out they were "Sony-made").

Apple's got some real quality control issues, despite their reputation. They seem to have at least one or two recalls per year for various reasons ranging from defective batteries to defective power supplies to defective screens, as well as other problems that are common complaints but that they do nothing about (such as the iPod battery service life issue). The recall I noted above was actually a safety issue, and I would guess the overheating batteries in the G4 PB's might be a safety issue as well.

I'd still buy an Apple for other reasons, but quality control is not one of them, public perception notwithstanding. They're certainly no better than any other manufacturer and may actually be somewhat worse (IBM, for example, has had fewer recalls over the same period).

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015016)

In reality, there were zero cases of 5300s catching fire or exploding in the wild.

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014999)

For a company that puts so much emphasis on portable devices, Apple certainly has a lot of problems...

I don't think that's a paradox -- Apple is continually pushing to have the smallest, lightest, longest-lasting portable devices and that means early adoption of new battery technology and enclosures. It's not surprising that their products run into more issues than boat-anchor Toshibas or MP3 players powered by AA batteries.

Re:Year of the Portable my butt (2, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015080)

eh All of the laptop makers have had battery problems... there was once YEARS ago a problem with the old laptop batterys exploding though contrary to popular fiction, no ever did make it out to the public.

And as for the iPod battery... mine is STILL going strong, and I have a 1st gen. That battery problem was SO blown out of proportion it isnt even funny and those "brothers" ended up looking like fools in the end.

But apple isnt the only group to have battery problems so why beat up on them.

::Looks at battery (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014737)

Hmm HQ... cant see the rest. Its melted away. How do I tell?

History repeating itself (2, Informative)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014744)

Just goes to show that there is nothing new under the sun. It has happened before [highbeam.com] . Rather annoying and shameful for Apple that is should happen again in one of the most popular powerbooks.

that was a preproduction machine (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014935)

It has happened before.

Jesus, everyone blows that out of proportion, like 5300's were exploding left and right. It happened in an Apple test lab, with a PREPRODUCTION model, with a DEFECTIVE BATTERY supplied by the battery manufacturer. I have no idea where MacNN got that it was two batteries.

Not a single customer was affected by the problem- Apple took the precautionary measure of switching to NiMH after the problem, and most people never even saw a Lithium Ion battery in their 5300.

So, I ask, how could they possibly have handled the problem any better, mmm? Comparing it to the iPod battery bit, which was not handled as well- is absurd.

Re:that was a preproduction machine (1)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014978)

You're probably right. I'm an Apple user myself and am not looking to bash Apple or something. But for a computer company that compares itself to BMW it is not acceptable that something like that should be possible at all. If you buy a BMW you don't want a model that has been known to be losing wheels in preproduction runs on the test circuit.

Re:History repeating itself (1)

Chucker23N (661210) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014984)

Yes, it happens ( http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=battery+recall ), and yes, it's ugly, but you can't blame Apple on this one.

Hm (3, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014745)

I didn't know Apple started putting Intel chips in their Powerbooks.

Re:Hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015052)

You should be modded insightful rather than funny. I remember, once upon a time, Apple users made fun of Intel for needing a *fan* on a desktop CPU (the classic Pentium 60 and 66mhz). Imagine that, the things ran so hot it needed a fan, they would snigger. Of course, the PowerPC headed in the same direction not long afterwards.

A few years later, in the P2/P3 era Apple fans were proudly proclaming that thanks to the sensible design of the G3 processor, Apple could use the same cool processors in their Powerbooks as in their desktops, while Intel was struggling to release a "mobile" version of the P3. Where are these Apple fans now? Still waiting for the G5 Powerbook?

Look at the date of manufacture.... (4, Interesting)

detritus` (32392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014747)

At least they manufactured these batteries using the improved Li-ion technology, if it was the older style it wouldnt just overheat, it'd most likely start a runaway reaction that would end in quite toasted laptops. I think it was 150 Degrees F or so that this would start at, i know i heard of several cell phones left in hot cars that did this, and at least 1 nokia that burnt up while charging.

Re:Look at the date of manufacture.... (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014803)

Toasted laptops? That's not the problem. Roasted nuts are the problem.

Re:Look at the date of manufacture.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014855)

How in hell can your laptop even go near there?! Are you laying on your back with your computer on your crotch?!

Cooking the (Power) Books... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014749)

Edit too much code on one of these, and you will get hot Apple source [sic]...

Ah (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014767)

Reminds me of that ebay auction for a laptop cooling pad where the headline was "Don't burn your penis". Does anyone have a screenshot of that?

I think "don't burn your penis" is good general advice as well, not just in regards to laptops.

Way offtopic (1, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015073)

But I knew a guy who did that. Ya see, he came home one night, drunk, and the power was out. But he had to piss. So he went into the bathroom. Lights were out. So he used the cigarette lighter to provide light so he could aim. Then he grabbed his willy so that he could piss. He grabbed it with the hand holding the lit cigarette lighter.

He was very drunk...

It's good to see the apple premium going to a good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014773)

cause... like QA.

It's OK, though. I hear it's part of their "Powerbook: hot Hot HOT!" campaign.

Heating oil prices are going up, and winter is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014797)

just around the corner.

Hmm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014798)

I'm going on an international flight next week. Does this mean that I'll get stopped by security when I try to take my Powerbook through? :-)

Mmmm... (-1, Troll)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014815)

Okay, lets just get the low hanging fruit out of the way...

1. I for one, welcome our flaming powerbook overlords.

2. In Soviet Union, Powerbook burns you!

3. Imagine a Beawulf cluster of flaming powerbooks!

I guess Apples notebook business is cooked.

I wonder if Apples next code names for their products are Weber and Habachi!

Re:Mmmm... (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014889)

2. In Soviet Union, Powerbook burns you!

Wait, so here in the West, I burn the Powerbook? I think you got it backwards...

Re:Mmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014913)

that's the wrong way round - it should be "in soviet russia, you burn powerbook"

also, could not this entire story be considered flame-bait?

A couple more details (4, Informative)

Lord Grey (463613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014817)

This article [bizjournals.com] has a couple more details on the battery problem. From the article:
An internal short in the batteries made by LG Chem Ltd., of South Korea, can cause the battery cells to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.
In addition, note that the battery's model number must be A1045 -- the serial number prefix alone doesn't uniquely identify the battery.

omg omg omg my 1st 1st post ever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014821)

I'm so happy.

I can see it now (5, Funny)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014828)

Guy #1: "Man this Powerbook is HOT."
Guy #2: "Yeah, it is pretty sexy I guess."
Guy #1: "No, I mean it is singeing my pubes dude."

Just like the iPod Battery (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014831)

Just like the iPod battery problem, I guess. When the battery goes bad on your Powerbook, just throw it away.

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014846)

Will the owner of the white Toyota Camery licence plate gcg55i please come to the front desk, your lights are on...

How unusual for Apple! (0, Flamebait)

BubbaThePirate (805480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014856)

Lemme see:

PowerBook 5300 batteries
G3 Power Adapters
iBook Logic Boards
Raw Whole Almonds ... [fda.gov]
Mac OS X 10.2.8 Patch Am I forgetting anything else?

Re:How unusual for Apple! (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 9 years ago | (#10014931)

In any product, but espescially those designed for power consumption and size constraints, you're going to have issues.

Plainly, this stuff is just plain hard to do. Granted, Apple could probably test more sufficently, but I'd wager they test thier product designs much more thoroughly than certain other companies.

Of course, too much time testing, and they're missed the market window, and someone else eats thier pie..

Re:How unusual for Apple! (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015083)

It's not that hard to do. For the premium you pay for an Apple laptop, they shove in the cheapest korean-made battery on the market.

Just like the el cheap-o eMachines-calibur power supplies they use, even in the "top dollar" G5 machines.

Batteries/PSU and cabling are where costs are cut. They aren't sexy specs to list in the marketting material, and you cant see them from the outside, so it's irrelevant if they're pretty or not.

I'm writing a letter to the FAA and TSA right now. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014936)

...urging them not to allow Powerbooks to be plugged in to the power outlets [about.com] provided in First Class [united.com] for laptops.

The potential danger is just too great. It's like letting someone carry a blow torch on board. I recommend you all print out these articles and U.S. Mail a letter like the following to the F.A.A.

Dear FAA:

In light of the recent problems (see attached) with rechargable batteries for Apple PowerBook computers, I urge you to immediatly ban all Apple Powerbooks from being connected to in-flight power systems on commercial aircraft.

I fly several times a month, and am greatly concerned that these defective PowerBooks are like a ticking timebomb, ready to cause an accident.

Please consider the attached technical summaries of the problem and make an appropriate ruling.

Sincerely,

cc: Norm Minetta

Re:I'm writing a letter to the FAA and TSA right n (1)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015011)

This is an excellent idea. Perhaps the airlines were too hasty in letting laptops in general be plugged in.

I'm writing my letter now! I think it's an FAA issue, and not a TSA issue, but the TSA could be on the look-out for those power adapters if the traveller is using a PowerBook.

New battery!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014949)

New battery? For free? Ahh, kick ass!!!!!
Those third degree burns are finally starting to pay off!!!!

Apple fanboys !!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10014973)

Where's an apple fanboy when you really need 'em.

Re:Apple fanboys !!! (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10015044)

They're thinking about how to spin Apple's obvious lack of QA as a "great innovation in computer science". They'll be here. They'll respond to this Apple-critical post in droves, just watch!

You think for as much as one of those things cost, relative to a PC laptop, they'd have tested them to make sure they dont overheat.

It's like the iPod battery problem. For 400 bucks they couldn't make sure they put a good battery in there?

What exactly are you paying the extra cash for, if not a higher quality? This isn't the first line of overheating Mac-tops, the last ones actually caught fire, IIRC.

Powerbook G4: Burn those pubic hairs right off. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10015009)

Shaving an annoyance? Electrolysis too painful?

Then get rid of them pubes, in style with the new Powerbook G4!



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