Apple working with WD on OS X Mavericks data inaccessibility issue

“Western Digital has confirmed it is working with Apple to address a OS X Mavericks-related bug that’s wiping out data stored on some external drives, telling me that: ‘the occurrence rate of this event has been very low,'” Jonny Evans reports for Computerworld.

“WD has already warned customers that in some cases people who have WD software (WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and/or WD SmartWare) installed on a Mac upgraded to OS X Mavericks can lose the data they have stored on their external drive.,” Evans reports. “The good news, according to the company, is that (in most cases): ‘Should this occur, the data on the product can likely be recovered with a third party software utility if the customer stops using the device immediately after the OS X Mavericks upgrade.'”

Evans reports, “The company says the problem comes only when specific conditions are met”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Warning: Some external drives experiencing data inaccessibility after OS X Mavericks installation – November 1, 2013


  1. Again, why not have a deeper beta program so consumers don’t have these rude awakenings. Working with all key suppliers seems like a basic beta process. Apple, please be more though in your software before release. Especially sice WD has such a large presence at Apple retail! Glad I use seagate drives but this could have been anyone, any hardware, and effect a lot more people. Apple was lucky this time.

      1. Both companies are to blame – neither acted in the best interest of their customers. This is why I wait months after initial releases to evaluate post-marketing surveillance. Inevitably, something always goes wrong and I don’t what to be in the FUBAR group. First adopters are the digital market’s guinea pigs and lab rats, and the more there are the better for those who remain patient and circumspect.

        1. I can verify that not everything reported to Apple during the beta testing is immediately repaired the integrated into the final version. That’s one reason I’ve been advising folks to wait for 10.9.1, which has a pile of bugs to fix, some of which I reported a months back. It’s not a perfect process.

        2. Wait… Apple is partially responsible for a third party companies having used oddball formats and/or drivers and not verified that they worked with the latest operating system when apple sent then a beta 6 months ago???

          Really… really?

          I have a wd studio (multiple drive cabinet) and reformatted it upon purchasing it (because I’ve been down that road before)
          However I think that is a lot to ask (that owners be aware to disregard the instructions to install the “turbo-drivers” and also to erase & reformat the drive (and create a new partition)
          WD should be ashamed of themselves, they have has the OS for months (and months) There is no excuse, however Apple can not (and should not) “police” their developers.

    1. Apple has a beta program and a responsible supplier would have been actively testing their software against the betas and the golden master and would have known about this months ago. No need to put all the blame on apple for this.

    2. If you use third party system-related software, such as HDD software, then you should be very cautious in approaching an OS upgrade. Your fate is in your hands. Why take chances?

      In addition, you should *never* lose data in such a situation, even if you risk being an early OS adopter. Why? Because you should maintain a full backup of all of your data volumes. If you lose data, especially critical data, then blame yourself, first.

      Some people are going to jump on me for being a blind lemming who is absolving Apple from guilt. Let me preemptively cut that line of attack off right now. Apple is responsible for providing reliable and tested software. They failed in this case in a critical area, and they deserve some criticism. But no company can catch every bug in each software release. So users must take responsibility for their own data security. If you don’t have a good backup plan, then you will lose data eventually. It is only a matter of time. Don’t tempt fate.

        1. I *always* have more than one backup of critical data. When I was writing my last book, I had the working copy on Dropbox, backups at home and at work, and a weekly CD burn.

          Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. 🙂

  2. This happened to one of my WD Passbook 2TB drives…. I alway initialize a drive with Apple Disc Utility, but in this rare case, This drive was one of those purchased in an Apple Store and packaged as “For Mac”,, in the yellow box, and so I did not reformat.. My mistake… regardless, this has happened to THOUSANDS of people and not only with WD drives. Lacie, and some Seagates, a lot of OWC drives in enclosures. The message board is growing with about 5 big threads, many over 32000 views now… many on WD page. It’s good that finally Apple is on this with WD, since some posts claim they did report this back in Beta.. Just saying, be careful as there is absolutely no warning. Last, Data Rescue 3 brought back a lot of the data, over 538 GB usable, but with no file names… Try that first I’d say. Have back ups of your backups.

    1. Sorry for your loss John. I always reformat any drive and ignore the untold that came with it. WD, LaCie, Seagate all of them ship crap software. Especially the ones that plaster “for Mac” on the box.

  3. I have three WD drives. Two 2TB and one 1TB. I of course formatted them when I got them. I erased the included software. I never rely on the drive manufacturers software. Problem solved.

    1. Several large companies of third-party products make third-rate software for the Mac. I suspect this is a similar case. I never install the software that comes with printers, for example. I always download a fresh installer of just the drivers from the website or let OS X discover and install the driver, if possible.

  4. When you read some of these stories, it is amazing how many of the people who’s drives got wiped were their actual Time Machine. And that the drives in many cases approached 12 TB Raids. That is a LOT of eggs in one basket.

    Anyway, here is the thread.

    It is heartbreaking when you read in some cases that people lost their entire family photo collection, or music, or video, etc etc.
    hope they can recover. Good Luck.

  5. i have a WD Passport 1 terrabyte, i bought it recently on Amazon and backed up my macbook pro in Mountain Lion, just before i installed Mavericks. I used time machine to back up Mountain Lion, now that i got Mavericks i am afraid to connect the WD passport to my Mac. What should and should not do? i get messages that the system been not backed up for so and so days, should i just leave it. I only did the back up once, and 1.5 hours job using time machine

    1. With only one HDD, you are essentially starting Time Machine fresh after your OS X upgrade, anyway. In that case, you might as well reformat the HDD (which means that you are not risking anything with Mavericks that you would not have risked, anyway).

      The smart thing to do would be to purchase another HDD of the same capacity (or larger) as the one in your Mac. Then clone your Mac HDD with CCC or SuperDuper. Verify your clone (boot off of it). Then you can attach your Time Machine HDD, reformat it, and turn on TM to begin the large, initial backup.

      An even smarter thing would be to purchase TWO or more new HDDs to rotate your clones, thus keeping the prior one safe while you generate the current clone. Keeping a current clone HDD offsite is even better, so that you don’t lose your Mac, clone HDD, and Time Machine backup all at the same time (to fire, storm winds/lightning, flood, or theft).

    1. If you have been a customer of Apple’s retail stores since they opened, you noticed that they had Western Digital HDDs a dozen years back.

      After a few years, WD HDDs disappeared from the Apple Stores. About that time 2 of my WD drives had failures and I bailed out to LaCie for awhile.

      Then 2 of my LaCie HDs suffered the acrid smelly greasy smoke routine and I moved to another brand.

      Along the way, I found too many problems with Time Machine in these HDs and wanted smoothness & simplicity, which is also why I dropped Retrospect & their proprietary data format & those stupid tape drives that also failed and ate tapes for lunch.

      Apple sells G-Drive HDs now and I don’t know their failure rate, but with half a dozen drives and daily use, I’ve not seen any hiccups.

      G-Drive, Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper have yet to fail me, plus they are as close as I can get to be painless to use, compared to any of my prior hardware and software.

      They just make backups work. Oh, one last trick for uptime; Don’t upgrade to anything at launch time, listen & watch until X.1 release.

  6. Snoop Dogg,

    A couple of options.

    Option 1

    Wait for a patch from Apple or WD.

    Option 2

    Go find another Mac running Mountain Lion, get a second external drive, format it for Mac, use CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) to copy data from your back-up TimeMachine* drive to the newly Mac formatted drive.

    Put old back-up drive away somewhere safe.

    Plug new drive into your MaverickMac and see what happens. If it fails spectacularly, no big deal you still got your old original TimeMachine back-up safe and sound.

    *important note, I do not use TimeMachine, and do no know the effect of copying it to another drive, it should not effect your current copy, but double check via other Mac related forums first.

    Option 3

    Downgrade your Mac back to Mountain Lion, say a prayer, plug your TimeMachine back in and see if it still works, then proceed with Option 1.

    Option 4

    If you upgraded successfully, and all your info is secure in your Mavricks Mac, go buy a new Seagate FW800 or Thunderbolt drive, format it for Mac via Utility and fire up a brand new TimeMachine.

    In addition to that get a 2nd new Seagate drive, and fire up CCC and once a month clone your current HD. Or pay the shareware fee and use CCC to keep a current bootable back-up clone of your drive.

    1. Thank You Black Woolf, i will wait for Option 1, that Apple and or WD will make a patch, i have no problems with Mavericks atm and my old Mountain Lion copy is safe in the external drive, so i will wait. Again, thanks for the options

  7. If you just format the drive with disk utility and not use the crappy software from any of the drive manufacturers you would not have any issues. Most of my external drives are from WD but since I don’t install there crapware my drives are working perfectly.

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