The recent Thailand floods appear to be taking a bigger toll than expected, with the effects of the shortages to be felt all the way into 2013, according to market research firm IDC. This isn't helped by the fact that the largest manufacturer of HDDs, Western Digital, was hit the hardest. As the situation is so volatile, companies such as HP, Dell & Lenovo are keeping watch on the market daily and are even sometimes having to accept drives of a lower spec if they are to ship some systems at all. As expected, the retail purchaser of hard disk drives comes bottom of the allocation list. IDCs John Rydning said in a statement: "I think the most painful period will occur now through February of next year. We expect the situation will improve, but it won't feel as if things are back to normal until 2013". There's more detail and analysis over at Network World.