I'm proud when for damaged PCB or mechanical parts I can provide the donor drive the same day.
But maintaining a hard drive database, and even a sufficient stock of recent hard drives, seems me more and more challenging.
So I would like to discuss this issue with other DR specialists.
The issues I see are:
More and more customers are coming with very recent hard drives (~6 months) in big capacities, typically WD Elements and WD My Passport in 1TB and 2TB drives.
2,5'' SATA equivalents in > 1TB capacities are rare on the 2nd hand market as the drives are recents most people buy the ready-to-plug USB 3.0 drives, and not the SATA ones.
Such drives of large capacities cost a lot if you want to have enough in stock.
Buying several brands for possible parts costs a lot.
Requirements in working capital
In the same day, I can see three customers coming with 2TB drives to recover.
So, I need a small quantity of 2TB, 1TB and 500GB drives in reserve.
When buying new drives in small quantities, I can't have any discount on the drive price and have to pay as much as the customer.
When buying many new drives of the same model (eg. in 10 or 20 quantities), the discount is very low and the price are droping. If selling such a drive in less than one year to a customer as a destination drive, I may even loose money if I want to avoid the customer buying the destination drive in supermarkets.
Most suppliers ask payment in advance, whilst you'll get paid once the recovery has been done.
Keeping many new drives in stock until one is required for parts means increased working capital requirements and the risk ending with drives for which there will be low demand in only a few years.
I already see this with 320GB laptop drives. Nowadays, customers come with 500GB or 1TB damaged laptop drives.
As far as I know, hard drive makers don't sell drive kits with several capacities, which could offer some discount for DR companies as compared with buying the drives one by one.
Is the current trend of customers coming with huge capacity recent hard drive also a challenge for your DR company ?
Which opportunities do you see to improve the situation ?
Do you think that DR companies should collaborate in this field, for instance ordering larger lots and then splitting them into smaller and diversified ones ?
(N.B. I'm aware that one can sometimes use the PCB from a 500GB drive to repair one with larger capacity.
I'm also aware that some companies selling DR equipement are selling kits of PCBs.
Of course, there are also companies specialized in donor drives and donor PCBs.)