View Full Version : Noisy Linkstation

14th February 2007, 16:06
My Buffalo Linkstation has developed an annoyingly noisy fan in the last couple of weeks. Most of the time its near silent or doesn't even need to use the fan, but when the unit is powering up it makes a lot of noise for a few minutes and sometimes the fan suddenly gets noisy whilst running.

I recognise this as a common symptom of a fan on its last legs with a damaged bearing.

I had a look around online and a few others have had the same problem. The unit uses a standard 40mm fan and it seems others have replaced them in their Linkstations, so it looks like this is what I will need to do. Annoyingly they mention the existing fan cable is soldered to the motherboard instead of a power socket, which is annoying. I've not used a soldering iron much and don't currently have one so instead I think I might just cut the old fan from its cable and splice the new fan cable into the existing cable. :) Or I could fit a proper power connector to the end of the existing cable in case I ever need to change the fan again.

Other than this fan issue the Buffalo Linkstation has been great and very reliable. I've owned it for some time now and it has worked perfectly this whole time. In its whole life I think it has disappeared from the network twice, which just required it to be powered down and then started up again.

It is now dedicated to serving audio and contains a nice large MP3 collection and works perfectly when accessed from an computer on the network. :)

If there was one thing that I think could be improved it would be the addition of a direct USB connection so you could connect it up to a PC via USB for faster file transfer when adding a large number of files to the unit at once. Other than that it is great.

Demon Cleaner
14th February 2007, 17:16
What is the difference between the Buffalo Linkstation and Terastation?

14th February 2007, 17:43
The Linkstation is just a single standalone NAS drive that you connect to the network, whereas the Terastation is an array of 4 drives in a NAS unit. There are other differences such as the software running on them and the web front end.

Stephen Coates
14th February 2007, 17:53
Just snip the current fan off and keep the wires if you're not sure about soldering.
Quite easy.

4th June 2009, 16:03
An update to this old thread after two years...

I continued to put up with the noisy fan for a whole 2 more years, but finally sorted it out today! I can't believe it has been that long until I searched for this thread and saw the posting date of my original post. It shows how reliable this Linkstation has been because I'm still using it for my music collection, streaming around my network and it still works perfectly.

I forget when I originally purchased the Linkstation, but it must have been 2005, so it doing well for being on 24/7.

Anyway... the noisy fan has only ever normally happened when booting the drive from cold, and a few taps of it normally shut it up. But the last few days it has been suddenly getting noisy at random times while on, and today it wouldn't shut up, so I decided to try and fix it.

I opened the Linkstation up using the useful guide on the Linkstation Wiki site. It was a bit fiddly to get into but not too hard once you knew how. There was tons of dust inside so it was worth opening it up just to clean it out.

The fan was found to be connected to a combined connector running from the small PSU that also connected to the main circuit board and the HDD. The fan itself was very clogged up with dust on the inside, so I disconnected it and cleaned it up with a small artists paint brush. I then decided to do a little trick I had read about online a while back. When fans get noisy you can often cure then very easily. Just peel back the stickly label over the centre of the fan and it reveals a hole into the bearing. Put a few drops of 3 in 1 oil into the hole and then reattach the label to seal the oil in. I use a couple of drops of superglue around the edge of the label to make sure it is secure.

And this seems to have worked. I reassembled the drive and powered it up, and so far the fan is completely silent and working perfectly. :)

Fingers crossed it remains like this.

4th June 2009, 16:09
Oh, forgot to mention. I was very pleased to find that my Linkstation is using a Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 drive. Some units used other makes of drive that were not as reliable. And these Seagate drives carry a 5 year warranty, so it could still just be covered!