Recently we've seen massive flooding in Thailand which, of course has terrible consequeces for those unfortuate enough to be caught up in it. Pictures of flooded cities, floating cars and people up to their waist in water have spelled out the immediate consequences for all of us to see but there are other, less obvious but equally serious problems lurking behind the scenes.
Much of the world's hard drive production occurs in Thailand. Western Digital, Seagate & Toshiba amongst others all have the bulk of their manufacturing capacity in the flood-hit region. Most if not all of these facilities have been badly flooded, damage that will cost hundreds of thusands of pounds to repair and worse yet, repairs may take until well into next year to complete. Now it's not the first time that there's been disruption to supplies but modern just-in-time manufacturing & inventory systems have lead to there being almost no stock sitting on shelves. The result? almost instant shortages.
In the past two weeks we've seen source prices for hard disks more than double and it looks as though there are yet more rises on the cards as the shortage really begins to bite. It's alsready difficult for us to locate some of the more specialized drives (1TB upwards or AV drives are in particularly short supply) and we're starting to see knock-on rises in prices of hardware that relies on hard disks such as DVR's.
The bottom line is that many repairs which would normally be worthwile are quickly becoming borderline or simple uneconomical, so if you do have a PC that you think is in need of a new hard disk don't wait - prices are already high and only look like getting higher!