Mavericks and Western Digital – Data Loss [Updated]

06. November 2013 Security 2

Western Digital sent out another update that may give us a bit more information on what’s going on, here it is:

Dear WD Registered Customer,

On October 30th, 2013 Western Digital informed registered customers of affected products via E-mail regarding reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9). Our investigation to date has found that for a small percentage of customers that have the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and/or WD SmartWare software applications installed on their Mac, there can be cases of a repartition and reformat of their Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices without customer acknowledgement which can result in data loss.

WD has been tracking this issue closely through our WD Forum and through our Technical Support hotline and the occurrence rate of this event has been very low. A specific set of conditions and timing sequences between the OS and the WD software utilities has to occur to cause this issue. Should this event 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 (10.9) upgrade. WD will be issuing updated versions of these software applications that resolve this issue.

WD strongly urges our customers to uninstall these software applications before updating to OS X Mavericks (10.9), or delay upgrading until we provide an update to the applications. If you have already upgraded to Mavericks, WD recommends that you remove these applications and restart your computer. If you have already upgraded to Mavericks and are experiencing difficulty in accessing your external hard drive, please do not save anything to the drive, disconnect the drive from your computer, and contact Western Digital Customer Service at http://support.wd.com/country/.

Sincerely,
Western Digital

Even though there have been reports of people losing data without having any of the WD software installed, this email indicates the problem is the software. Possibly an issue triggered by Maverick’s new Timer Coalescing which is in part responsible for enhancing battery performance on portable products. This may also mean Western Digital has not done any testing prior to the release of Mavericks, people losing data could possibly have been avoided if they had. I’m assuming an issue like this would have been found while testing their software on pre-release versions of Mavericks.

For now, as suggested, remove the WD software if you have already upgraded. Some instructions in an earlier article here.

The issues appear to have been resolved, see the latest article here.


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