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Tool tracks hard disk price increases

Curious about hard disk drive price increases in the wake of flooding in Thailand? Newegg's price tracker shows that prices are spiking dramatically in many cases.

Wondering how high hard disk drive prices are rising because of the flooding in Thailand? Computer retailer Newegg offers a quick way to track HDD pricing.

For example, a search on a Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM, model ST31000524AS drive shows that the price jumped to $149.99 from $49.99 a couple of weeks ago.

(And that same drive is $179.99 at major reseller CDW. And see Nextag price history of drive here.)

Or check out a Western Digital 1TB 7200 RPM, model RE4 WD1003FBYX. That drive jumped in the same time frame to $249.99 from $107.99.

This Western Digital drive jumped to $249.99 from $107.99
This Western Digital drive jumped to $249.99 from $107.99. Camelegg

Or a Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 7200 RPM, model HDS721010DLE630, which jumped to $149.99 from $64.99.

You get the idea.

In addition to the root cause of the price hikes--hard-disk drive component factories impacted by the flooding in Thailand--other factors are now coming into play, not the least of which is behavioral. Resellers and consumers anticipate price hikes and either make defensive purchases or hoard drives outright.

A press release this week from reseller Great Lakes Computer hints at what is taking place. "Great Lakes Computer...announced today that it has taken massive inventory positions on Dell, HP and IBM SAS & SATA server hard disk drives (HDDs) to support customers through an anticipated 6 month supply chain disruption due to flooding in Thailand."

The release continues. "Great Lakes Computer has been increasing our inventory positions on disk drive for several weeks. Having tens of thousands of drives in stock for Dell PowerEdge, HP ProLiant, and IBM SystemX servers, Great Lakes offers customers access to products no one else has," Great Lakes said.

Seagate is going so far to speculate about which customers will get drives. "It's going to be very interesting to see who gets drives and who doesn't," said Seagate CEO Stephen J. Luczo to Bloomberg this week. In the interview he said that some customers "eager to lock up some of Seagate's capacity...have offered $250 million upfront."

Camelegg price tracker via Windows Secrets