Mavericks issues reported with Thunderbolt storage, eSATA cards

The growing pains continue with OS X Mavericks as upgraders report problems with external Thunderbolt storage and eSATA cards on certain, but not all, MacBook Pro models.
Written by David Morgenstern, Contributor

Following upgrades to the just-released OS X Mavericks, owners are reporting what appear to be driver issues with Thunderbolt drives and arrays, as well as eSATA cards on particular MacBook Pro models.

A recent post at the Accelerate Your Mac blog delivered a message from a FirmTek representative about Mavericks compatibility with its eSATA ExpressCard.

"Mavericks 10.9 (13A603) doesn't fully support 17" 2010 MacBook Pro ExpressCard Slot.

Mike, FirmTek testing has discovered if the release version of Mac OS X 10.9 (13A603) is installed on a 17" 2010 MacBook Pro model MacBookPro6,1, and an eSATA card is inserted into the ExpressCard slot - no hard drives will mount using the card. The proper drivers can be installed but with this particular model the hard drives will not mount or show up in Disk Utility with OS X 10.9. FirmTek suggests 2010 17" MacBook Pro users that rely on the ExpressCard slot should not upgrade to OS X 10.9 until this issue is resolved. If anyone observes a different result please let us know."

The post continues with further information about the bug.

Meanwhile, Thunderbolt issues with Mavericks are cropping up with a number of vendors.

In a post on the Western Digital community site, the company warned customers of its drives and arrays to forestall upgrading to Macericks.

There are reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to Apple's OS X Mavericks (10.9). Western Digital 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 on their systems 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. WD has removed these software applications from our web site solely as a precaution as we investigate this issue.

A number of users of Promise Technology's Pegasus R4 arrays have also reported issues. In an Apple Support Communities discussion, Bosto suggests that an incompatible driver or handler is "puzzling over" the array.

Agreed. We have a small network of iMacs, all with Promise Pegsus R4's. And, three of us bought identical units for home (it is much easier to use mirror-like systems). The iMacs are loaded, and have 3 27" Thunderbolt monitors as well, and in addition have 3 TB USB drives too. Everything worked flawlessly for over a year on all systems then we did a universal (except for my home iMac) update to Maverick. The R4's on everything Maverick went south in a casacde and we've tried everything suggested by numerous threads here, and NO help at all from promise or Apple (except for these community threads).

So: 1) it is NOT the iMac. 2) the R4's worked fine BEFORE Maverick for a year or more - no issues at all.

Again: There's no rush to upgrade to OS X Mavericks (even though it's free and it's a great temptation), and professional customers running any Thunderbolt or eSATA card in their workflows should wait until a maintenance release fixes this issues.

And if you decide to upgrade, make sure that your system is backed up, but also it must be cloned to an external drive so that you can immediately revert to your previous workflow if (or when) you encounter serious problems.

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