OS X wipeout! Upgrading to Mavericks can delete your external hard drive’s data

four alleged images of mac os x 10 leak prior to wwdc 2014 mavericks macbook

As if Mavericks didn’t have enough problems; now, many owners of external hard drives are reporting on the official Western Digital forums that their drives were completely wiped of data after upgrading to the latest version of OS X.

The problems aren’t specific to Western Digital drives, though. Owners of external hard drives made by competing companies, including LaCie and Seagate, have also indicated that their drives were wiped after upgrading to Mavericks. In the spirit of giving you the most information about this debacle possible, here’s what one user had to say, in full:

Hi, my understanding is that people are familiar with the issue of HDs being wiped and renamed after upgrading to Mavericks. My issue is that this happened to three drives (so far), one Lacie and two Seagate drives, one USB and two firewire800. They were all wiped and renamed/partitioned into ‘MyBook’ and ‘EFI.’ Unfortunately I have just returned from two months on assignment and plugged in my drives to back them up but never had a chance since they were wiped immediately. So obviously I am pretty interested in a resolution to this problem that restores access to the data on my drives.

I have one WD MyBook drive still attached via USB that I use for Time Machine, it has not been affected. I have searched and attempted to purge all WD software, preferences and launcher items. Please let me know what the status is with this issue, and if I need to try and return to an older version of Mac Os X. Thank you.

A Western Digital employee issued this response, though the thread ends here without any indication that a solution was discovered: “I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We are having a Specialist contact you tomorrow regarding this issue.”

A poster on the Apple forums pasted an e-mail he received from Western Digital after he reported that his hard drive experienced “massive data loss” after upgrading to Mavericks. Here’s a portion of that email:

As a valued WD customer we want to make you aware of new reports of Western Digital and other external HDD products experiencing data loss when updating to Apple’s OS X Mavericks (10.9). WD 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 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. 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/ for further assistance.

(Emphasis is theirs – but we agree that it’s a crucial point.)

If you use ExpressCard, you’re not safe either. Many people have noted on the Apple forums that they have dealt with issues related to their ExpressCard devices after installing Mavericks.

The problem here seem widespread and doesn’t appear to be brand-specific, so your best bet is to wait for Apple to release patches to rectify these issues between its newest OS and external storage devices before you plug yours in again.


Apple will fix these iPhone X, 13-inch MacBook Pro issues for free

Apple launched free repair programs for the iPhone X and 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar. Some iPhone X units are suffering from unresponsive touchscreens, while a specific batch of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is prone to drive failure.

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.

Recover your beloved data with these great software tools

The best data recovery software isn't always free, but whether you've lost files on a hard drive, SD card, or even physical media like CDs and DVDs, there's a chance they'll be able to get that data back.

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro

SSDs are much faster than mechanical hard drives, which is what the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro come with. Here, we show you how to replace it with an SSD, which will allow you to boot to the OS faster and load games quicker.

iPhone users are finding themselves randomly locked out of their Apple ID

According to posts on Reddit and Twitter, it looks like users on Reddit and Twitter having some issues with their Apple accounts. Specifically, it seems as though users are getting randomly locked out of their Apple IDs.

Pocket Casts adds more cross-sync, curation, and Siri Shortcuts

Pocket Casts is a pocket staple for many podcast fanatics. But it's about to get even better with the introduction Pocket Casts 7.0 that adds intelligent curation, Siri Shortcuts support, and a streamlined UI.
Product Review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

Misfit’s next-generation smartwatch, the Vapor 2, packs built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and more, into a beautiful design that starts from $250. We take a closer look at the company's latest device.

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.

The Motiv smart ring is coming to 20 more countries and physical stores

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…

The MacBook is smaller, the MacBook Air is faster, but which is better?

This year, Apple's MacBook Air got a powerful internal upgrade, but the redesign makes it slimmer and lighter. So should you get the MacBook Air over the MacBook? We'll compare both notebook's major features and help you decide.

Best iPhone 7 Plus screen protectors to shield your big, beautiful display

Cracked screens are expensive to replace. Fortunately for you, we've rounded up what's available in terms of protection for Apple's large iPhone 7 Plus. Here are the best screen protectors you can buy.