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Thread: ST412 bearing trouble?

  1. #1

    Default ST412 bearing trouble?

    Hello everyone,

    I have an ST412 which works fine, an has no bad sectors.
    When it is running for a while sometimes you hear very loud:
    MMRRAAAWWWWWWWWWW coming of the spindle motor.
    You hear it for several seconds and dissapears...

    I think it is the bearing which had it's best days.
    Is there any way to fix this? Maybe some oil?

    Greetings, Roland

  2. #2

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    Yes - I've seen this a fair amount. I think it has to do with the grease/oil in the bearings drying out. Unfortunately, there's really no way I know of to oil it, as the mechanism is sealed, and you can't even get to the motor without completely disassembling the HDA.

    One trick I've done, which works fairly often, is to take the drive out, flip it upside down, and put it back in - then run the machine like that for a couple of days. The drive generates some amount of heat as it runs, and with the drive upside down, that'll encourage the grease to redistribute itself inside the bearing race.

    I've done this on several drives and it's quieted them down a fair amount.

    -Ian

  3. #3
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    Default

    I don't know if it's the case with the ST412, but the Seagate Wren II drives have a little graphite pad on the bottom that contacts the tail of the spindle shaft and (I've been told) acts as a brush to keep the spindle grounded and static-free. This gets dirty, and screams like a banshee (to the point that it's impossible to be in the same room as the machine...my XT sat mostly unused for a long time due to this). You can take a little crocus cloth (really fine sandpaper works too) and clean both the tail of the spindle shaft and the graphite pad, and the squeal will go away.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    I don't know if it's the case with the ST412, but the Seagate Wren II drives have a little graphite pad on the bottom that contacts the tail of the spindle shaft and (I've been told) acts as a brush to keep the spindle grounded and static-free. This gets dirty, and screams like a banshee
    Yes, I've seen this many times as well. You can also remove that little springy pad - I've never seen a problem with running a drive without the pad, but it is nice to clean it and keep it there. But that's more of a SKREEeeEeeeEEEeeeeEEEEEEEE sound, and the OP reported a MMRRAAAWWWWWWWWWW - which is closer to bearing noise.



    The bearings sometimes make a really weird pinging and rattling noise - again, I think it has to do with the solidified lubricant. Warming up the bottom of the drive with a hair dryer might also speed the process along, but I've not tried it. (assuming, of course, that it's not the grounding spring, in which case, the OP needs to work on his onomatopoeia <grin>)

    -Ian

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I will let it run upside down for a while.
    It sounds really like a bearing problem.

    In old TV hobby there is a possibility to repair old CRT's
    http://www.earlytelevision.org/racs_pyrex_rebuild.html

    Are there in this computerworld also people who are rebuilding harddrives in a clean room?

    Greetings, Roland

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default

    Below is a photo of the underside of a ST-412, with the base of the spindle exposed.

    The blue bar is the spindle grounding bar that the others have referred to.

    I've successfully used WD-40 in the past to quiet spindle-noisy drives. Its penetration abilities are good and it leaves behind a little lubricant. But it's not much lubricant, because the drives that I've treated need reapplication after about a year.

    Chuck(G) suggests the use of white lithium grease, in aerosol form.

    Whatever the lubricant, I keep in the back of my mind that the liquid lubricant may make its way to the platter/head chamber and do some damage there. Therefore, I only treat drives when they get 'real' bad.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post

    I've successfully used WD-40 in the past to quiet spindle-noisy drives. Its penetration abilities are good and it leaves behind a little lubricant. But it's not much lubricant, because the drives that I've treated need reapplication after about a year.

    Hi, modem7. This is exactly my drive. I have everything ready as per your picture. Main board removed. Upside down. Where should I now apply the wd40? Thanx!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Japan View Post
    Hi, modem7. This is exactly my drive. I have everything ready as per your picture. Main board removed. Upside down. Where should I now apply the wd40? Thanx!
    It is easier to point out using the photo below (an ST-225). The area in green is a channel. The ST-412 has a similar channel. I place a liberal amount of WD-40 in the channel and let it sit there (drive upside down) for a few hours, usually overnight. Afterwards, I then empty the channel of the remaining WD-40 (which is the bulk of what I had put in).

    DISCLAIMER: There is a risk of damage to the drive.
    DISCLAIMER: Your house may smell of WD-40 for a few days. I will not accept blame from your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband.



  9. #9
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    WD-40 is not, stricly speaking, a lubricant. It's mostly a mixture of penetrating oil and Stoddard solvent--its notable characteristic is that it will displace water. If you want to oil something, get oil. A lightweight sewing-machine oil will probably do the trick.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    WD-40 is not, stricly speaking, a lubricant. It's mostly a mixture of penetrating oil and Stoddard solvent--its notable characteristic is that it will displace water. If you want to oil something, get oil. A lightweight sewing-machine oil will probably do the trick.
    I've tried light machine oil in the past and found that it was unsuccesful for me.

    According to Wikipedia, the U.S. Material Safety Data Sheet on WD-40 indicates a 15% mineral oil content, and "The long-term active ingredient is a non-volatile, viscous oil which remains on the surface, providing lubrication and protection from moisture." Yes, I know that is Wikipedia I'm quoting, and not an authorative source.

    I'm guessing that it's WD-40's penetration abilities that makes it successful for this application. Of course, who knows what the solvent portion of WD-40 is doing. It could be destroying what little manufacturer-installed lubricant remains on the bearings.

    But it works for me, and due to the possible damage, I only use it when a drive gets 'real bad'.

    What I have not tried is your other suggestion of "white lithium grease, in aerosol form". If that works, then that is a better solution than WD-40. Maybe Chris_in_Japan (and others) can try that and report back on the results.

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