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Cost of computer hard drives jumps with Asian flooding

Posted December 1, 2011
Updated December 2, 2011

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— A natural disaster in Asia has sent the prices of hard drives soaring as holiday shoppers consider buying electronics for gifts.

"In a matter of like two weeks, the prices of hard drives doubled. Then it quadrupled in the last five weeks," Frank Haidar, with Raleigh's Warp Computers, said.

During the first half of November, the average price of a hard drive shot from between $50 and $70 to between $120 and $180, he said.

Prices soar for computer hard drives Prices soar for computer hard drives

The culprit is massive flooding that knocked out factories in Thailand, which produces about 40 percent of the world's hard drives.

As that news made headlines, people started hoarding hard drives, shrinking supply, driving up demand and increasing prices.

The higher hard drive prices also mean higher computer prices.

"The expectation is to spend about $100 more on any computer these days," Haidar said.

That's a tough bill for consumers and small businesses to pay.

"A small business that needs eight, nine computers, they're expected to pay $1,000 more," Haidar said.

Higher prices don't mean for more profit for computer store owners, though. Many people are putting off purchases, waiting to see when prices start falling.

"That's hurting out business," Haidar said.

Experts estimate it could be sometime next year before prices on hard drives drop.

If you're having trouble with your hard drive, consult your warranty. Most hard drives come with a three-year warranty, which could provide a good way to avoid playing for a replacement.

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