TechSpot: Hard Drive Pricewatch, Three Months Into the Thai Floods

The hard disk drive supply chain was hit hard late last year when a series of floods struck Thailand. The Asian country accounts for about a quarter of the world's hard drive production, but thousands of factories had to close shop for weeks as facilities were under water, in what is considered the world's fourth costliest natural disaster according to World Bank estimates. That's on top of the human cost of over 800 lives.

Western Digital and Toshiba had factories in the flood zones whereas Seagate was mainly affected by the resulting supply constraints from business partners who were forced to halt production of related components. Among those was Nidec, which produces ~70% of the world's hard drive spindle motors.

All this resulted in hard drive prices shooting through the roof around the end of October as production became more expensive and limited. With the help of price tracking site Camelegg we've checked on a number of mobile and desktop HDDs to get a better overview of how the situation has developed in the last three months.

Read: HDD Pricewatch: Three Months Into the Thai Floods

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TRC said,
This is what happens when we send 99% of our manufacturing overseas.

Yep low prices about 99.999% of the time, high prices about 0.001%. I can definitely see why this hurts their idea of out sourcing…

This hurts my side business big time... I can't go to someone and say "Hey that HDD you need replacing is going to cost you $120 and my fee for putting it in and reinstall is another $100!"
they look at me and laugh and say they will wait or do without or even buy a new one. Sucks cause drives used to be half that for laptops as an example and I could find good deals daily!

gee my Hitachi 750 gb laptop drive is cheaper than any of those. it's just cruising. was only $90 new in October (7200rpm)

I'm far beyond using single drive backups.
Until prices drop down to normal supply/demand/moores law, I'm gonna have to wait.
Plus, I'd like to try storage spaces when Windows 8 consumer preview hits near the end of the month.

I bought a 3TB external in best buy for $149 before the flooding, i havent getting any hdd after that, instead i get a SSD, but still need another HDD to backup my stuff.
Feels kind of weird expecting what one of your drives could fail any moment someday and you dont have a spare one.
But all my important data it's in the cloud now. Somehow this situation help cloud services to be really relevant and useful.

mjedi7 said,
I bought a 3TB external in best buy for $149 before the flooding, i havent getting any hdd after that, instead i get a SSD, but still need another HDD to backup my stuff.
Feels kind of weird expecting what one of your drives could fail any moment someday and you dont have a spare one.
But all my important data it's in the cloud now. Somehow this situation help cloud services to be really relevant and useful.

I'm semi-backuped.
My iMac's internal drive is close to fully backed up and my first external is backuped in parts to my 3 tibby one.
This drive must not die, lol!

It's the newest though, so I don't have totally crazy fears, but my fiancé needs a new internal one for her Macbook (capacity needs to go up, consolidate old external HDD from her PC time to have everything in one place and use that old drive to back up to with Time Machine, when that fails, a new one comes into the house! )

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

You're being insensible.

Am I? That not what I was trying to be, I wanted to point out that it's pointless to mention that 800+ people died due to the flood as there are likely as many people dying every day in "3rd world" countries…

150€ for 3TB is not that bad, considering a payed 100€ for 2TB before the flood (and way before that 100€ for 1 TB…)

MFH said,
150€ for 3TB is not that bad, considering a payed 100€ for 2TB before the flood (and way before that 100€ for 1 TB…)

3TB is the way to go atm, although prices usually swing in the sweet spot on 2TB and sometimes with crazy deals on 1TB or the odd sizes.
I'll take the extra comfort of 50% more storage in return for a little less bang:buck any day!

Peeking on the 4 tibbies, but I'll wait a bit, before I get one of those I might still be in for a second 3 tibby.

GS:mac

some externals have come back closer to "normal" prices. I remember a $70 Western Digital drive jumped up to $140 on Amazon (also limited to 1 per person). Just checked now and its down to $90 (and the limit has been lifted). So prices are coming back down, just not as fast as we'd all like.

I have been told by my local vendor here in Mumbai, Lamington Road that they have just received their first shipments of drives after Oct 2011. He expected the supplies to be normal by April-May. He said that these manufacturers are right now fulfilling priority orders for OEMs and then they will ship for consumers like us. It does make some sense for prices to remain high for another 3-4 months.

Must have to be really desperate to even consider buying disks at the mo... Luckily, I bagged a 2tb & 1tb deal for £80 last year.. then flogged 2 WD 750gb that I hadnt used for a while and got about £80 for them 2 months back :-)

Gonna be a while before prices start to drop...

Navan said,
I'm so glad I bought a 1tb WD HDD 2 weeks prior to the disaster. Got it for 50$.

same week later went to get another one for nearly 4 times as much in some cases

SPEhosting said,

same week later went to get another one for nearly 4 times as much in some cases


Steep!

Glad those prices never made it to Germany, it stayed pretty moderate around here. Yay!

Maybe I should export them?
I mean really, the prices are okay here... Are they up? Yes! By much? Not really...

Germany must be in some bubble!

Glassed Silver:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Steep!

Glad those prices never made it to Germany, it stayed pretty moderate around here. Yay!

Maybe I should export them?
I mean really, the prices are okay here... Are they up? Yes! By much? Not really...

Germany must be in some bubble!

Glassed Silver:mac

i think germany dont like to out source that much

Glassed Silver said,

Out sourcing?
This has to do with it how exactly?

GS:mac

well out sourcing would mean getting supplies in from other countries if you made them local you wouldnt be affected by the prices that much if at all

SPEhosting said,

well out sourcing would mean getting supplies in from other countries if you made them local you wouldnt be affected by the prices that much if at all


I'm well aware what out sourcing is, however, I don't remember ever having heard of HDDs made in Germany...
Even if, they'd still charge an arm and a legg, just because...
Import cheap? NADA under that umbrella of scenario.

GS:mac

someone do something about this!!! I really need a new DATA drive. my backup hard drive failed and now everything is hanging in the cloud or in limbo.

capr said,
someone do something about this!!! I really need a new DATA drive. my backup hard drive failed and now everything is hanging in the cloud or in limbo.

They should totally rebuild factories to their former capacity before rebuilding homes for people in Thailand so we can have backed up data!

In reality, they probably drove the prices higher than what they should though.

capr said,
someone do something about this!!! I really need a new DATA drive. my backup hard drive failed and now everything is hanging in the cloud or in limbo.

First world problems.

SuperHans said,

First world problems.


The old song of "there are worse problems, so shut up about yours!".

Of cause I think the houses have priority, but really.
Don't complain too hard, maybe?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

The old song of "there are worse problems, so shut up about yours!".

Of cause I think the houses have priority, but really.
Don't complain too hard, maybe?

GS:mac

It was just the "someone do something about this!!!" comment that tickled me. Like Thailand didn't have there hands full at the moment. "Oh yeh capr's backup drive is broken so let's stop rebuilding our homes n stuff and make sure his porn is backed up"

SuperHans said,

It was just the "someone do something about this!!!" comment that tickled me. Like Thailand didn't have there hands full at the moment. "Oh yeh capr's backup drive is broken so let's stop rebuilding our homes n stuff and make sure his porn is backed up"


I don't think that capr's sentiments are like that.
Probably a rushed sentence or not being in touch enough with how the rebuilding might take lots of time, etc..

But I see where you're coming from and I guess we all share the same mind there!

GS:mac