What a ‘swollen battery’ means?

What a ‘swollen battery’ means?

   The term ‘swollen battery’ can be associated with any lithium battery used in a device, like mobile phones, laptops or digital cameras. There are many reasons, which cause the battery to expand and may vary between different types of devices. Quite common reason is using the wrong charger, one of primarily examples could be fake iPhone or MacBook chargers, which can lead to damaging parts like a Tristar chip (part responsible for regulating amount of power received by the phone). 

   Batteries are built from many cells that have a strict limit on how much power can be put through them. Overcharging those cells in lithium causes it to build up too fast. The whole reaction that takes place creates heat (one of signs that might be a sign that your battery is expanding and may eventually become a hazard). Recognizing this problem can sometimes be quite easy to do as there

 are visible damages on the device, like the one attached (parts of device being forced out of their place from inside out, or like in this particular situation the touch pad has stopped working as well as being forced out of position).  So, when you find yourself in the position where your device has a swollen battery, what do you do?

What actions to take after noticing your swollen battery?

   First of all, never attempt to puncture a battery. Even those that look perfectly healthy, it can be very dangerous as inside there are substances or gasses that can be harmful to your health. Any device you suspect has a swollen battery, should be taken care of with extra caution. User-removable

batteries should be carefully removed and placed somewhere safe and cool, as heat can continue the expansion of battery or make it more vulnerable to puncturing. Batteries should never (swollen or not) be disposed into the general waste or recycling. They won’t be handled appropriately and usually end up somewhere very harmful to the environment. There are many facilities that are authorized to dispose of batteries. Attached pictures sh

ow our clients laptop that has been brought in for touchpad repair as it see

med to have stopped working. With further inspection and our client’s guidance we noticed that the whole casing was misaligned. Further inspection showed us more damage and led us to suspicion the battery has been swollen. Very fortunately we noticed all of that before it caused any damage to other parts of the laptop or it’s user!  

   Most devices these days have batteries that are not user-removable, in which case best option is to take the whole device into specialist to take care of it. Swollen batteries should never be plugged into power or used. Doing so you can put yourself and others at risk, as swollen batteries have tendency to explode if not handled properly. Now that we know what a swollen battery is and how to handle one, how can be avoid it from happening?

How to avoid a swollen battery?

   There’s no way of preventing failure in batteries (there might be a manufacturer fault or it’s just old), but there are ways to prevent expansion of the battery from happening and maximize its life. As mentioned earlier very common reason for battery failure is unappropriated/fake charger. Always buy certified and original chargers. Saving few pounds on a fake charger can become a lot more costly or even dangerous in the long term. Cheap chargers don’t have the same specifics and are made from (obviously) cheaper products. Another quite important factor is not to charge it all the time. Batteries are made to exercise their capacity and regularly go through the cycles of discharging and recharging. Leaving your devices in hot environment for extended periods of time can also have bad effect on your battery life.

   ACS only supply genuine OEM batteries or chargers or specified compatible units with full warranty from UK sources.

Your Disaster Recovery Plan

How many people have a DR plan in place for their business?

Would you know where to start or do you think that it’s OK as the business insurance will cover everything?

Making sure your business insurance is up to date and all-encompassing should be part of your DR plan but the main focus should be on keeping your business working should you have to move premises, lose the use of your PC’s, server and laptops and/or have restricted use of your facilities and equipment.

The idea of a DR plan is to keep your business trading and making money whilst the problems are sorted out. After all, if you can’t keep selling your products and services where will the money come from to rebuild your business, or at least tide you over whilst the insurance company processes your claim?

A DR Plan should cover your whole business but we’ll focus on the IT side. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1. Think about the most important things you need to have access to and use on a daily basis. That could be your accounts package, your contact list, your CRM system. Do you have a backup plan if you can’t access these such as paper records or alternative systems.
  2. Make sure your PC’s and servers are backed up regularly onto tape, external hard drive or remotely. Check your backups to make sure they are completing, that you can restore and that all your data is included in your backup jobs. If you do backup to tape or hard drive, make sure that you rotate your devices and take the latest backup offsite.
  3. Have details of all important information such as Administrator user names and passwords, email account details and any backup services securely stored offsite. Keep them up to date and know where they are!
  4. Make sure your important equipment is attached to a UPS – Uninterruptable Power Supply. This will offer a short amount of battery backup, to cover short power cuts, and should shut your servers down in the proper manner in the event of a longer power outage. A UPS should also protect against power fluctuations.
  5. Have a plan on where you can work and alternative business processes you can use in the event that you cannot get in to your offices or have access to your systems.
  6. Consider your communications. Do you have all the information you need to hand to divert telephone calls to your main number to another landline or mobiles? Can you access your email via a web portal if your server is inaccessible?

If you need help to put together a DR plan or would like to look at remote backup or email continuity services, please contact us.

Choosing your Computer Repairer

Computers need repair, upgrade and periodic maintenance.  Without an ongoing contract, the time and cost of getting these actions carried out can result in significant disruption of your business and its customers.

How dependent is your company on various computers, including laptops, being fully functional and working effectively?

But what criteria should you use when selecting your support company?

Qualifications

How much experience have the company’s technicians got in computer repair and what testimonials do they have?  If relevant, do they have certification from the manufacturer of your equipment / operating system?

Repair Time

What turnaround time do you need and what day / time coverage do you need.  Example: Do you need repairs carried out in one day and do you need weekend cover?  Ensure that the repairer that you use offers what you need and pick the level of cover that you need.  Over specifying, e.g. paying for 24 hour / 365 day per year cover when you only need 9-5 Monday to Friday, will be unnecessarily expensive.

Off-Site Capability

When computers aren’t operating correctly, it can often be due to software issues which can be solved remotely.  Even if ‘repair’ isn’t possible remotely, it may be possible to identify what is wrong sufficiently for the field technician to bring essential equipment / software with them when they visit site and to be fully briefed on the solution.

How much experience and capability has your prospective support company got in this area?

On-Site Repair Support

Not all computer contracts provide on-site repairs.  Some support and fixes can be accomplished remotely but some will require the equipment and repairing technician to be co-located.    How much of a problem would it be if some repairs required your equipment to be physically sent to the repairer.

Repair Warranty

Does your prospective repairer offer a 6-12 months warranty on the repairs that they carry out?  Also check if the company offers free of charge replacement spare parts for any damage caused during repair work.

Please see our support levels and contact us if you need any assistance with computer, laptop or server repairs.

URGENT – HP Battery Recall information

URGENT – HP Battery Recall information

HP has recently announced an issue affecting the batteries in several of its models of notebook and mobile workstations.  It is important that owners of any of the following laptops check their systems even if they have checked them previously, as further models have been added to the list.

The following products were shipped with affected batteries

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
HP ProBook 430 G4 HP ProBook 440 G4
HP ProBook 450 G4 HP ProBook 455 G4
HP ProBook 470 G4
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
HP 11 HP 11 Notebook PC

The following products are compatible with, but were not shipped with, affected batteries. Customers may have purchased a battery as an accessory or received a replacement battery through services that is affected by the recall.

ProBook HP ProBook 430 G5 HP ProBook 440 G5
HP ProBook 450 G5 HP ProBook 455 G5
HP ProBook 470 G5
ZBook HP ZBook Studio G4
ENVY HP ENVY 15
Mobile Thin Client HP mt20 HP mt21
HP mt31

HP have released some software which will check if your system is affected and will put it into a Battery Safety Mode until the fault can be rectified.

We would recommend anyone with the model above follows HP’s advice and check their laptop.  The software and full details of the recall can be found here – https://batteryprogram687.ext.hp.com/en-GB/Home/ProgramSummary If anyone needs assistance in checking their system or arranging the repair, please contact us.