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My Dell battery experience

Since around May of 2005, my household has purchased three laptops from

Dell: one Inspiron 9300 for me, one Inspiron 9300 for my wife, and one

Inspiron 6000 for my daughter. About a week ago, I heard of a massive

recall effort by Dell regarding potentially explosive batteries. I

dutifully powered my laptop off, popped the battery from the bottom of

it, and checked the serial number. It was fine. When I got home, I did

the same thing to my wife’s laptop. Hers was fine as well. Finally, I

checked my daughter’s laptop. BINGO! We have a winner! (Wasn’t there

a Murphy’s law about always finding something in the last place you

look for it? I guess that doesn’t apply here…)

With battery in hand, I brought up the Dell battery recall website and

entered the serial number into the appropriate fields and hit the

“Submit PPID Number(s)” button. It just brought up the same page

again. After about the fifth time of doing it, I realized that my

script blocking Firefox extension was doing its job all too well. After

enabling javascript on the page, I saw a message that said something to

the effect that I needed a replacement battery and should proceed to

fill out some information so they could ship me one. That was August

On August 21, I received an email stating that the battery had shipped.

On August 22, the battery arrived. The whole process was much more

painless (with the exception of the javascript glitch) than I expected

it to be.
However, in the instructions that I received from Dell, I am told to

put my old battery in the box they sent and mail it back to them. I

didn’t notice a hazardous materials stamp on the box. Nor did I notice

a “Caution: exploding battery enclosed” label to affix to the box. I

don’t want to be alarmist here, or raise false concern, but is this

really responsible? Haven’t some of these batteries exploded/caught

flame while the laptop was not powered on or plugged in? This just

seems a little concerning to me. Does anyone else have an opinion on

this? Am I worrying too much? Should I just send it and let the US

Postal service worry about it?

Keyword: Inspiron 9300

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