Western Digital External Hard Drives Experiencing Data Loss On OS X Mavericks

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Western Digital has been emailing customers and warning them about hard drives “experiencing data loss when updating to Apple’s OS X Mavericks.” The problem seems to effect multiple kinds of drives, including the company’s popular MyBook lineup.

According to Western Digital, the incompatibility with Mavericks isn’t a hardware-level issue, but something to do with the software that is shipped with the drives it sells.

The WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare apps all seem to be causing data corruption in Mavericks. Support threads on both the Western Digital and Apple support site are filled with complaints of corrupted drives after updating to the newest Mac OS.

Here’s the message Western Digital has sent out to customers via email:

As a valued WD customer we want to make you aware of new reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to Apple’s OS X Mavericks (10.9). WD is urgently investigating these reports and the possible connection to the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare software applications. Until the issue is understood and the cause identified, WD strongly urges our customers to uninstall these software applications before updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9), or delay upgrading. If you have already upgraded to Mavericks, WD recommends that you remove these applications and restart your computer.

The WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare software applications are not new and have been available from WD for many years, however solely as a precaution WD has removed these applications from our website as we investigate this issue.

If you’re on Mavericks and having issues accessing your drive, Western Digital recommends you disconnect it and contact customer support. Once Western Digital’s software is removed from the drive, it appears that most issues are resolved.

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  • TheMadTurtle

    I seem to be ok, but I’m not leveraging any of the delivered WD software. *whew*

  • sbrionez

    I didn’t know anyone actually used software that comes with the drives. Am I the only one that erases the drive immediately after it’s plugged in?

  • Christian Werwaiss

    @sbrionz…nope you are not alone.. first thing i do with a new drive is wipe it clean….all that software is just bloatware

  • Arcus

    I agree. Wiping out a new HD has always been standard procedure in my office. That usually goes for new machines as well. That the best way to ensure consistency among devices.

  • robraden

    Who uses the software that comes on those drives? Yikes. Add me to the list of those who wipe out a new drive, erasing any silly preinstalled software in the process.

  • Seraphiel

    Indeed. Hardware that comes with software is a no go by default for macs. Most hardware works out of the box. Specialised hardware sometimes needs a driver. Other than that, all other software is nice for windows users, but has nothing to do on a mac. It’s mostly poorly designed and coded as this article clearly shows.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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