Western Digital is warning customers of an unfortunate interaction between its storage management software and Apple's latest OS X release, 10.9 'Mavericks,' which can result in permanent data loss.
Released as a free upgrade late last month, OS X Mavericks brings significant improvements to Apple's operating system. The latest release reduces the heavy skeuomorphism - use of fake 'physical' elements, such as paper textures and page turning animations - of the company's bundled applications, improves power efficiency with wake-up scheduling, and introduces kernel tweaks which include the seamless in-memory compression of unused application data in order to reduce paging to disk.
Sadly, it has also brought a fair number of glitches along for the ride. Flaws in the mail application and in connecting Thunderbolt storage devices are being addressed by Apple in pending updates, but there's a more serious problem on the horizon: data loss on Western Digital storage devices.
According to an email sent by Western Digital to customers and republished by TUAW
, an unfortunate interaction between Western Digital's management software and OS X Mavericks can result - and, judging by the company's support forums, has resulted - in the complete loss of all data on external drives connected to systems running Apple's latest OS upgrade.
'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),
' the company explained in the email to customers. 'WD is urgently investigating these reports and the possible connection to the WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare software applications.
WD's advice for external drive users is clear: don't upgrade to OS X Mavericks just yet. For users that have already taken the plunge, uninstall all copies of WD Drive Manager, WD Raid Manager and WD SmartWare - all of which WD has removed from its website to prevent fresh installations - and reboot the system to prevent data loss.