Summary Box: Thailand flooding could affect PCs

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ANOTHER SETBACK: Massive flooding in Thailand has curtailed production of a critical component for personal computers ? computer storage drives.

THE SCOPE: Factories producing a third of the country’s hard drives have temporarily closed as flooding has gradually spread since August. Prices have spiked, and Apple warned that its Mac products will likely be affected. Computer manufacturers, the companies that supply hard drives and the makers of components for those drives are all bracing for troubles.

UNKNOWNS: What extent PC production lines will be affected and whether PC makers will absorb costs or pass them along to consumers.

PAST TROUBLES: The PC industry is already facing dampened demand, and the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan hurt supplies of memory chips.