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This paper describes a new position sensorless starting method, specialized for low-cost applications, of a brushless dc (BLDC) motor with a surface permanent-magnet (SPM) rotor to prevent demagnetization of permanent magnet and vibrations due to pulsating currents during the starting period. That the magnitude of peak current causes irreversible demagnetization of permanent magnet, has been measured through experimental tests. The proposed method limits the motor currents during the starting period to lower than the demagnetization currents by doing commutation depending on the level of the measured phase currents. Experimental results show that the proposed method implemented in an inverter for a BLDC motor-driven reciprocating compressor considerably reduces not only the pulsating currents but also the vibration of the compressor during starting.