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Hard Disk Spindle Motor
The spindle motor, also sometimes called the spindle shaft, is responsible for turning the hard disk platters, allowing the hard drive to operate. The spindle motor is sort of a "work horse" of the hard disk. It's not flashy, but it must provide stable, reliable and consistent turning power for thousands of hours of often continuous use, to allow the hard disk to function properly. In fact, many drive failures are actually failures with the spindle motor, not the data storage systems.
For many years hard disks all spun at the same speed. In the interests of performance, manufacturers have been steadily ratcheting up their products' spin speeds over the last few years. These higher-speed spindles often have issues related to the amount of heat and vibration they generate. The increased performance and also the new potential issues related to the spindle motor have given it renewed attention in the last few years.
Next: Spindle Motor Operation