The Uproar

Laptop Lowdown

In response to an HP recall, all junior laptops were collected and tested for dangerous batteries during the school day

Nearly+700+student+laptops+were+collected+during+1st+period+in+order+for+Technology+Services+to+conduct+battery+tests+in+response+to+an+HP+recall+late+yesterday.
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Laptop Lowdown

Nearly 700 student laptops were collected during 1st period in order for Technology Services to conduct battery tests in response to an HP recall late yesterday.

Nearly 700 student laptops were collected during 1st period in order for Technology Services to conduct battery tests in response to an HP recall late yesterday.

photo by Katie Golden

Nearly 700 student laptops were collected during 1st period in order for Technology Services to conduct battery tests in response to an HP recall late yesterday.

photo by Katie Golden

photo by Katie Golden

Nearly 700 student laptops were collected during 1st period in order for Technology Services to conduct battery tests in response to an HP recall late yesterday.

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Now more than ever before, technology has become a daily part of student life. From online homework to tests to study materials, student life has become wrapped around the laptop, and NA is no exception. We have been using laptops for online work and assignment for four years now, making use of sites like Blackboard in conjunction with the classroom.

But yesterday, right before the final bell, NA announced that they had received a notice from HP about a battery recall that affected nearly all laptops issued to juniors as well as several seniors. Following the announcement, students were advised to shut down their laptops overnight and not to plug them in.  At the beginning of school today, every junior in the building delivered their laptop to district technicians in the library.

photo by Katie Golden Matt Over, Senior Network Administrator, works through the battery checks one laptop at a time.

“There was an expanded battery recall for this laptop model,” said Pete Osan, System Administrator for NA’s Technology Services Department. “A possible thermal event. It’s very unlikely that it would happen, but that’s why we’re here, checking everything to make sure it gets completed and everyone is safe”

During first period, a mass of juniors traveled to the library to pass off their laptops to members of Technology Services. Diagnostics were run, and during individual lunch periods, laptops deemed safe were returned to their respective owners.  Students with problematic laptops were given loaners until the batteries can be replaced.

According to the district, only HP certified technicians can replace the batteries, and while there is no set time yet for the batteries to be shipped, NA is in communication with HP now and working on a timeframe.

The voluntary HP recall affects people from all around the world. According to HP itself, multiple types of laptops made from 2015-2017 across the world have been affected, including the HP Probook 640 G2, which is what the juniors were given. Like last year, the battery has a risk of overheating and becoming a burn hazard, and there was a fear it could start fires.

“Essentially we’re doing what we did this last year,” Osan said. “We check new serial numbers of the batteries to make sure they’re still within compliance. It takes about five minutes to check each laptop.”

Seth Spangler, Network Administrator for the TS Department, joined Osan and several other technicians to work through the problem.

“We found out about the recall from HP later in the day yesterday, and we had to mobilize and make a lot of communications to parents, faculty, and staff and coordinate with the principals so we could organize to get them collected today,” Spangler said. “Dr. Krieder was very helpful in getting everything organized for us. We have more than half the IT department now working on getting these laptops cleared out so they can get back into the students’ hands this afternoon. We just want to make sure everything is safe. We only found one device that is affected so far, but better safe than sorry.”

photo by Katie Golden Juniors line up during a lunch period to retrieve their laptops after the battery check.

As for the juniors, the disruption to their schedule was inconvenient but not entirely unprecedented based on experiences from last year.

“I left my laptop it in my locker yesterday because the last time this happened, my computer smelled like burnt plastic, and near the back of the keyboard it was warped as if it was melted and some smoke was coming out of it,” said junior Aydan Klobuchar. “So yesterday I left it in the locker and they had us bring them in this morning. I was late doing that because I had to go all the way downstairs. But it was ok.  Our school is doing a great job handling it.”

Technology Services determined that only three student laptops were affected by the recall.  Those machines will be repaired, and students will receive a loaner in the interim.

In the end, the moral is that everyone is safe, no one caught on fire and, hopefully, we’ll be safe for another year. Until the next recall, at least.

About the Writer
Rin Swann, Reporter

Rin Swann is a senior at NASH and, in her spare time, she enjoys drinking Peach Snapple, musical theater, and plotting for her inevitable take-over of...

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