HP Notebook Computer and Mobile Workstation Battery Safety Recall and Replacement Program
In January 2018, in cooperation with various government regulatory agencies, HP announced a worldwide voluntary safety recall and replacement program for certain notebook computer and mobile workstation batteries. These batteries have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers. For this reason, it is extremely important to check whether your battery is affected.
Batteries affected by this program were shipped with specific HP Probook 64x (G2 and G3), HP ProBook 65x (G2 and G3), HP x360 310 G2, HP ENVY m6, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11 notebook computers and HP ZBook (17 G3, 17 G4, and Studio G3) mobile workstations sold worldwide from December 2015 through December 2017. They were also sold as accessories or provided as replacements through HP or an authorized HP Service Provider.
Many of these batteries are internal to the system, which means they are not customer replaceable. HP is providing battery replacement services by an authorized technician at no cost. HP is also providing a BIOS update that places the battery in "Battery Safety Mode" so that the notebook or workstation can be safely used without the battery by connecting to an HP power adapter. Batteries affected by this recall should immediately be put into "Battery Safety Mode".
Battery Safety Mode is only applicable to HP products affected by this recall. If the validation process identifies a battery as being eligible for replacement, the BIOS update should be applied and the system should be rebooted. 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 so that the notebook or mobile workstation can be safely used by connecting to an HP power adapter. For more information please refer to the FAQs tab on the HP website.
HP’s primary concern is for the safety of our customers. HP is pro-actively notifying customers, and will provide replacement battery services for each verified, eligible battery, at no cost. For customers with 5 or more potentially affected batteries, HP has put in place a process to assist with validation and ordering . For details please refer to the FAQs tab on this website.
Note: Not all batteries in all HP ProBook 64x and 65x, HP x360 310 G2, HP ENVY, HP Pavilion x360, HP 11 notebooks and HP Zbook mobile workstations are affected by this recall.
The HP Battery Program Validation Utility will check if the battery in your notebook computer is affected. Validation using the utility generally takes less than 30 seconds
Download the HP Battery Program Validation Utility
What do I do if my battery is validated?
HP will send you a free replacement battery for each verified, affected battery validated on the HP Battery Recall website. Refer to the instructions included with the new battery for information on what to do with the recalled battery.
Am I affected?
Both Spectre and Meltdown were discovered last year, but was only recently disclosed to the public. Both vulnerabilities exploit a processing technique, known as speculative execution, that went mainstream in processors around 15-20 years ago, so basically every CPU made in the last 20 years is vulnerable.
What might happen?
These vulnerabilities allow attackers to view information stored on the processor itself. Normally this is not allowed due to security on the Operating System and the hardware itself to keep secret things secret. These vulnerabilities bypass this to allow seeing things such as passwords and encryption keys, or in the case of cloud environments, potentially data on someone else’s server if they share resources.
Which Operating Systems are affected?
Because these are hardware vulnerabilities, the overlying operating system doesn’t matter. Windows, IOS, Android, and Linux are all affected. There are some patches being released that help plug the holes that can be exploited, but the true fix will need to come by re-designing the CPU from the ground up.
Are Spectre and Meltdown different?
Meltdown is a vulnerability that breaks down the security walls between an application and the operating system. This primarily affects Intel and Apple CPUs. AMD CPUs are not affects. This vulnerability is the easier of the two to fix and there are patches released or in the works to fix it. The downside to the fix is that it will slow the performance of the CPU. So far, the degradation of performance has not been noticed in normal office use.
Spectre is a vulnerability that breaks down the security walls between the applications themselves. This affects all CPUs made in the last 20 years, including AMD. The positive side is that is it VERY hard to exploit.
What should I do?
The best protection is to make sure you don’t turn off or ignore updates. Microsoft has rolled out updates to Windows 10 on 1/3/18. Windows 7 and Windows 8 will have patches released on “Patch Tuesday” on 1/9/18. Apple has released patches for iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and tvOS 11.2.
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