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HP is recalling thousands of laptop batteries after two machines overheated and caught fire.

Although no one was injured it is clearly not comfortable, or safe, having a flaming lappie on your lap. The lithium-ion batteries were in HP or Compaq branded machines sold between August 2007 and March 2008.

About 70,000* batteries are subject to the voluntary recall. HP promises free replacements for all unlucky customers.

HP is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to get the batteries safely returned.

Danger models include Compaq Evo, HP, HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario and HP Compaq. Full details from HP here.

Users are advised to remove the battery immediately although they can continue to use their machines plugged into the mains.

Three years ago Sony was hit by a massive recall of several million batteries because of similar overheating problems. HP also had to recall thousands of digital cameras which could catch fire if used with non-rechargeable batteries.

Last year Sony was forced to recall 35,000 batteries used by HP, Dell and Toshiba after 17 reports of fires.

An HP spokeswoman said about 203,000 laptops are affected worldwide:

82,000 in the Americas, with 70,000 of those in the US

35,000 in Asia Pacific

and 86,000 in Europe and Middle East and Africa.®

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