Warning: Some external drives experiencing data inaccessibility after OS X Mavericks installation

“If you have an external storage drive such as those from Western Digital or LaCie, and if you have configured the drive with included software and drivers that came with the drive or which you downloaded from the manufacturer, then be aware that this software may not be compatible with OS X upgrades and could result in the inability to read the data you have on the drive,” Topher Kessler reports for CNET. “In a growing Apple support discussion forum thread, and in CNET article comments, a number of Mac owners who have upgraded to OS X Mavericks are experiencing issues with external hard drives such as those offered by Western Digital and LaCie. These individuals have used the WD Drive Manager and similar utilities to configure the drive for Mountain Lion and prior versions of OS X, but after upgrading to Mavericks the system reports their drives as empty devices.”

“If this has happened to you, or if you have such a drive and are considering upgrading to Mavericks, then there are some steps you can take to ensure both compatibility and that your data is safe. First, be sure to back the data up to at least one additional location,” Kessler reports. “With your data backed up, check with your drive’s manufacturer for any updates to the utility software you use for configuring the drive, in addition to any firmware updates that may be available for the drive… Only proceed with upgrades if you have backed up the data on your drives, have ensured you have the latest software updates from the manufacturer, and if you have not found any reports of compatibility errors (or better yet, have found reports of the drive working fine for others).”

Do not format or partition the drive, or set it up for use with Time Machine, even if OS X issues prompts to do so, as this will wipe potentially restorable data from the drive. (Bold emphasis added – MDN Ed.) With the utility software updated, attempt to use it to access and mount the drive (again, without formatting or partitioning), but if that does not work then restore to a backup of OS X,” Kessler reports. “When the system is running its previous operating system and software setup, you should be able to attach the drive and read data from it as you were able to before upgrading.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “john” for the heads up.]


  1. Quicklook in Mavericks does not work with many popular codec including MP4. This is very inconvenient for video editors. I had to go back to Quicktime 7 to view my Gopro clips. I hope they fix this soon.

  2. I am using a WD 1TB drive half of it as Time machine backup. Once I updated to Mavericks The first time machine backup took like an hour and was backing up very slowly, but after that it goes about the job smoothly and fast. I am not using any software shipped by WD, just format and use it with the OS X.

  3. Better just never use the crappy out dated software from the drive manufacturers in the first place. Apple already has the latest software you need for all of your drives. I always use disk utility to format any new external drive immediately to wipe out all that junk the drive manufacturers put on there drives. Time Machine does the backups way better then any of that malware the drive manufacturers put on there drives. And disk utility can handle formatting and setup. So do yourself a favor, when you buy that new external drive just format it right away and save yourself a lot of pain.
    I have several WD external drives that are working perfectly with Mavericks because I don’t for a second even think about using the crappy software that comes with the drives.

  4. Leigh, Works for me. MP4, NXCAM, etc.. all tests fine.

    On the drive issue, my GRaid failed to mount at first. After a bit of a panic I ran the WD uninstaller, OSX software updater and after a reboot everything came back fine.

    Good luck.

  5. I ran a virtual machine of OSX in fusion on my mbp retina
    the vm is on an external lacie disk
    I upgraded the vm to Mavricks and the next day the external disk crashed with read errors

    I just did the same on my linux home pc, which runs OSX in workstation – yesterday I upgraded it to Mavricks – I left it running a program overnight (repairing the first external disk)
    this morning my linux hard disk is crashed with bad blocks

    bad luck ?
    two majour disk failures in two days, which were previously working fine for over a year….


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