Western Digital warns of disk data loss in OS X Mavericks upgrade

Western Digital warns of disk data loss in OS X Mavericks upgrade

Summary: The storage drive provider is "urgently investigating" reports of users experiencing data loss as part of the upgrade process to the latest version of the Apple desktop software.

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TOPICS: Storage
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(Image: ZDNet/Apple)

Western Digital has emailed customers warning them about possible data loss issues between external hard drives and the latest version of Apple's Mac software, OS X Mavericks (10.9).

Customers received the email over the weekend. Many have already taken to the company's forums to complain of issues. It follows earlier reports of driver issues relating to Thunderbolt drives and arrays earlier this month.

A Western Digital spokesperson confirmed to ZDNet in an emailed statement that there were problems with Western Digital and other external hard drive problems experiencing data loss when updating to OS X Mavericks.

The company is "urgently investigating" the reports, and examining a possible connection with its own software, notably the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications. 

Western Digital "strongly urges our customers to uninstall these software applications on their systems before updating to OS X Mavericks, or delay upgrading," the spokesperson said.

As a result of the possible connection between its own software range and the Apple desktop and notebook operating system, the company has pulled the aforementioned applications from its website while the investigation is ongoing.

However, numerous threads include concerns about data loss, even when the Western Digital software was not in use. 

"I have had multiple cases of data loss on WD drives since upgrading to Mavericks, and I do not use any WD software," according to one user

Others have taken to Apple's own forums to seek support and assistance

We've put in questions to Apple, but did not hear back at the time of publication. We'll update this post once we learn more.

Topic: Storage

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20 comments
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  • Data loss is bad

    Regardless of whether you're a fan or not, it pretty clear that Apple dropped the ball on the testing of this version of OSX before releasing it. Hopefully, they will get it straightened out soon.
    Sir Name
    • It is not necessarily Apple's fault

      The article makes it clear the WD are investigating their own drivers.
      1,2,3
      • Apple controls all the hardware

        Isn't this the whole reason to buy Apple? You buy because you know that everything comes from the same company where they design both hardware and software. You pay more to get more reliability.

        If there was no data loss in previous version and data loss occurs after upgrade then upgrade testing was not thoroughly enough. You can blame WD for that but in the end if update came from Apple then Apple is responsible.
        paul2011
        • I assume that reading an synthesis are beyond you

          The article is quite specific. Here it is, again, for you:
          "The company is "urgently investigating" the reports, and examining a possible connection with its own software, notably the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications. "

          Next time, read the damn article before responding!
          1,2,3
          • I guess you quit reading before end of the article...

            Maybe you should learn to read also:

            "However, numerous threads include concerns about data loss, even when the Western Digital software was not in use.

            "I have had multiple cases of data loss on WD drives since upgrading to Mavericks, and I do not use any WD software," according to one user. "
            mnwild1
          • Or read the entire article?

            "However, numerous threads include concerns about data loss, even when the Western Digital software was not in use.

            "I have had multiple cases of data loss on WD drives since upgrading to Mavericks, and I do not use any WD software," according to one user."

            Sounds like it's not software related there, so he has a valid argument
            William.Farrel
          • Re: Sounds like it's not software related there

            WD has had drive reliability problems. That is not new. Also, they have had great drives -- so this is not an answer to this "problem".

            Clearly, the Mac software that ships from WD is very weird. I would suggest it is poorly designed, not updated (it is supposed to run all the way from Tiger to Maverick) and simply not necessary. Some of the WD "drivers" simply provide an drive icon!!! And you load a kernel driver for that task... a task which is trivial in OS X at user level.

            It seems that WD SmartWare does some tricks, but I can't comment on whether it is necessary, because none of my WD drives use it. The rest of the software is simply not needed and should be uninstalled. Now, that's not a very trivial process, as WD does not provide an uninstaller --- but it can be done.

            Having said that, none of my WD drives has any issued in Maverick: MacBook Air, macMini and iMac of various vintages.

            PS: By the way, William -- "it is not software related" -- could it mean it is not Apple to blame here ;-)
            danbi
          • It's Apple's fault

            The WD software has been working perfectly until it encountered Mavericks. So it's either the fault of Apple's Mavericks or it's a previously unknown bug in WD's software that Mavericks interacts with. If it's the latter, it's still Apple's fault for insufficient testing before releasing Mavericks. If I were in charge of WD, of course I'd start investigating to determine whether WD could be responsible; it's NOT an admission of guilt. When software from 2 different suppliers starts interacting with bad results, it's impossible to assign blame to either party without lengthy investigation. In my opinion, WD did the responsible thing - don't wait until Apple has found the cause - start your own investigation and withdraw POSSIBLE causes, i.e. WD software. I've got a couple of WD Passpot drives and have no problem whatsoever with them, but then I'm running them as external drives on a Windows system.
            JohnOfStony
      • re: It is not necessarily Apple's fault

        Apple should have tested their new OS version with third party stuff and, if problems were found, worked with the third party vendor to solve it prior to release regardless of where the blame lay. Others have done that for years and years. Since I don't use Apple stuff, I don't know if they have some kind of third party hardware certification program. Does anyone have information about that?
        Sir Name
        • Re: Does anyone have information about that?

          Apple has made Maverick available to developers and third party vendors several months ago.

          If WD found out that their software is somehow incompatible with Maverick, they possibly contacted Apple. Whether this happened and what both companies decided can only be speculated about --- but it is more likely WD simply did not care.

          I have no doubt, that Apple engineers, and developers have used plenty of WD drives, *without* the WD software and without any issued. As the WD software is simply not necessary for the drives to function in OS X.
          danbi
      • Yep

        The drivers that meet Apple's API specs and worked just fine up till now.
        fairportfan
    • Re: Dropped the Ball on Testing?????

      You are aware there were no less than 8 Development Previews weren't you.

      THATS WHAT I CALL TESTING !
      5735guy
  • It Just Works

    No, It Just Doesn't Work
    greywolf7
    • No, it does just work.

      just not the way you may want it to.
      William.Farrel
      • Re: just not the way you may want it to.

        Correct.

        Many humans desire to be able to walk on water, or fly.

        Yet, for some strange reason, this is not working for them. Is Apple to blame there too?
        danbi
        • Fail

          Seriously danbi, I tried to get you up to a D- but there's no way it can happen.

          Can you fly - no, well then none of this is apple's fault isn't even funny. It's pathetic.

          As people have pointed out, apple controls the h/ware & s/ware environment to give you that 'unique user experience' that you so cherish. When it goes wrong they can be held responsible otherwise what you're admitting is that apple have no input into that user experience, it's the component manufacturers that are the unsung heroes. You simply can't have it both ways.

          Unless you're an itard.
          Little Old Man
  • My name is Danbi Bagginz

    I have upgraded a billion machines to this version and none of them have this problem. You are installing it wrong!
    beau parisi
    • Really?

      Then do share your secret. Billions you say?
      Bradish1
    • Seriously

      You think there's a way to install it other than Apple's own way? And that all those people wih issues did it that way? Then you clearly haven't installed any Apple OS at all, or you'd know there's only one way (On a mac) to install OSX. Apple's way.. Can't be installed "wrong".
      Nick Ettema
    • Hold on a minute

      Can you fly? No? Well then quit blaming apple from problems with Maverick.

      And anyway, it's not a fault, it's a feature you just don't appreciate.
      Little Old Man