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Compaq is to recall around 55,000 battery packs which are a fire risk.

The recall and replacement programme affects batteries made by Sony inside Compaq's Armada E500 and V300 machines. They can short-circuit, making them overheat, smoke and possibly catch fire, the Houston PC maker said today.

The faulty batteries were manufactured between June 2 and July 10.

Compaq said only one smoking notebook had been reported, but urged customers to stop using the notebooks immediately and remove the offending component from the computer. It has promised customers two free battery packs for each recalled one.

The move comes just two weeks after Dell recalled 27,000 notebook batteries after a similar fire-hazard problem. The maker of those batteries was Sanyo Electronic.

Compaq said it "believes that this recall is unrelated to any other in the industry".

Serial codes of the potentially dodgy machines are: TCGK 00001 -10500, TCGK 20001 - 21800, TCGK 40001 - 83100, and TCHK 40001 - 44700.

Owners should call Compaq on 800-889-76134, or contact its battery recall Website. ®

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