Western Digital (WD) is one of the largest hard drive manufacturers in the world and they rarely have issues with their drives; however, that is not to say they are infallible. WD has warned its customers that upgrading to Apple’s latest offering, OS X Mavericks (10.9) can make users lose all the data they have stored on external hard drives!
The company is, however, “urgently investigating” different reports of drives becoming corrupted and the connection to WD disk management software failure. Western Digital said in an email, “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.” Apple users have previously reported a Mavericks driver issue, in relation to Thunderbolt storage, RAID configurations and eSATA cards.
Since last week, Apple Support Communities forum has been receiving complaints numbering into the hundreds, stating that upgrading to Mavericks causes some external hard drives to be displayed as empty. This situation was worsened by the fact that many users, including myself, rely on external hard drives for their Time Machine backup. This makes it impossible to roll back the changes, once written.
Western Digital has sent an email to alert its customers regarding the issue. The company previously suspected its software -WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD Smart Ware- was at fault. It had instructed users who had already upgraded to Mavericks to uninstall those apps. They even went as far as to temporarily pull all of them from the company’s website. It has since transpired that Mavericks users who have not installed any WD software are also suffering from the same problem.
According to Tom’s Hardware, the data is not shredded beyond recovery. The drive is incorrectly configured under the new OS and the drive cannot display the correct contents. Interesting to note, Apple has not issued a statement at this time regarding the issue.