Although the Thailand flooding continues to wreak havoc on hard drive prices, progress is being made at Western Digital's facilities in the country. One building in the company's Bang Pa-in factory, which had been under six feet of water until the middle of November, resumed production earlier this week. It's unclear what that particular building produces, but WD has indicated the production of head sliders won't resume at the facility until March. The equipment needed to produce head sliders was submerged and needs to be decontaminated and refurbished.
Around the time slider production resumes in Bang Pa-in, Western Digital expects to be cranking out the same parts at a new facility in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the company's facility in Navanakorn, Thailand, is still under two feet of water. WD doesn't expect that location to dry out for another 10 days.
Much work needs to be done before Western Digital will have production back in full swing, and it looks like we could be waiting until the spring for prices to return to pre-flooding levels. Despite the fact that none of its factories were directly affected by the flood waters, Seagate doesn't anticipate its own drive shipments will return to normal levels until March. Seagate relies on parts produced by other manufacturers that have been hit hard by the flooding.
The good news, if there is any, is hard drive prices seem to have at least stabilized. A quick trip to Newegg shows prices have only risen slightly since we last checked them in early November.