Recent Malfunction

I have now had Official notification regarding WD software on how to deal with the situation, and Today further information on how to rectify the problem, with web links for “software updates”.

The supposed Problem,

Western Digital has sent an email to customers warning them that they could see data loss issues if they are using WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications with Western Digital hard drives on Macs running OS X 10.9 Mavericks. The email reads:

Dear WD Registered Customer,

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.

The WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager, and WD SmartWare software applications are not new and have been available from WD for many years, however solely as a precaution WD has removed these applications from our website as we investigate this issue.

Western Digital

As noted in the email, users of Western Digital hard drives should uninstall WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare from their systems before updating to Mavericks, and if they have already updated, they should delete the apps and restart their systems.

The Rectification measures,

Western Digital updated its WD SmartWare Macintosh software on Monday to version 1.3.6. This version is compatible with OS X 10.9, 10.8, 10.7, 10.6 and 10.5. When you download and install this new version, it automatically uninstalls the old version.

The update addresses a nefarious rare issue in which WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications may cause data loss or cause a “repartition and reformat of their Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices without customer acknowledgement.” On its community board, Western Digital wrote on November 6 that, “A specific set of conditions and timing sequences between the OS and the WD software utilities has to occur to cause this issue.”

No other bug fixes were listed in the WD SmartWare v1.3.6 Release Notes.

In late October, Western Digital advised customers via email and their community pages to uninstall their WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications before upgrading to OS X Mavericks (10.9). Western Digital also advised customers who had already installed OS X 10.9 to remove those programs due to reports of data loss or a reformat or repartition of direct-attached storage (DAS) without customer intervention.

Related Story on TUAW
Western Digital warns customers of Mavericks external hard drive data loss issue.

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