Previous 1 2 Next 27 Replies Latest reply: Jan 22, 2014 12:10 PM by Csound1
ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



Long story short, I woke up this morning and my 4TB WD USB 3.0 HDD which has been hooked up to Time Machine was mounted on my desktop and totally empty.  It appears to be fully functional according to disk utility.  I have not idea how this happened.


I am running a rMPB 15" 2012 (max specs) with Mavericks.  It is connected to a Dell U2713hm Monitor with USB 3.0 Hub.  It is also connected to three external USB HDDs.  I have two of those WD HDD's both running Time Machine backups for my computer (one after the other back and forth). My 4TB WD HDD is plugged into the USB 3.0 hub on my Dell Monitor.


So I partitioned my 4TB WD HDD into five partitions so I could run Time Machine on it with four computers (I was planning to plug and unplug them to the USB port).  One of those partitions was doing Time Machine backups for my rMBP on a regular basis (it was constantly plugged in to it).


Disk Utility says that the 4TB HDD is running fine.  But this HDD does make slightly more noise than usual.  I don't know whether or not that noise means that the disk arm is failing or not.  In any case, I woke up this morning and my 5 partition backup HDD was gone and in it's place was a one partition  Mac OS Extended (Jounraled) formatted empty 4TB HDD named "My Book".  Does anyone know what happened to me?  Is my HDD on it's way out?  Weird...



MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mavericks (10.9)
  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    Western Digital's "SmartWare" and "Drive Utility" software will erase hard disks. Remove those programs and do not use them, or any similar "utility" software from other manufacturers.


    Most likely, your disk drive is fine, but the data is probably gone. Despite having had many months to prepare and test their software for Mavericks, Western Digital is predictably blaming Apple, but I have a variety of WD hard disks as well as others used in Time Machine applications and have experienced no data loss with any of them. Make it a habit to discard any "utility" or "monitoring" software or similar free junk comes bundled from disk drive manufacturers. It's not required and often causes problems.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you!  I can't find any of this software.  This software does not appear as a "volume" that is loaded onto my desktop. And I can't find this software contained on my HDD itself.  Do you know where I can find it?  Thanks!

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    I don't know where WD hides its potentially troublesome components, but be sure to verify for yourself that they are not present on your Mac. There is a long discussion about this problem in the following: Mavericks corrupts external hard drive Merely erasing WD's components, should you find any, will not resurrect your data.


    You may have to navigate your way through an objectionable amount of noise to find a few gems of insight.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow a 40 page thread.  Thanks!  I hope this gets resolved in 10.9.1 and by WD soon. 

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    I haven't read every page of that sordid Discussion but in case anyone suggested doing so, do not use any third party "cleaning" apps to uninstall anything. That will only compound the problem.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Something called "WDNotifier" is located in my /Library/StartupItems/ folder at the top level of my main SSD.  It won't let me delete it because it is "open"... Ugh.

  • leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (15,710 points)

    Always highly recommend to reformat new hard drives to erase proprietary software pre-installed.


    Western Digital in particular.  I will add not my first choice in external harddrives.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The file WDNotifier was a program from 2007...


    There is another process running on my computer called "wdhelper".  It can be seen in the activity monitor.  I would like to find this process and delete it.  Anyone know how I can do that?  A spotlight search returns no results...



  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,045 points)

    Starting your Mac in "Safe Mode" will allow you to uninstall it and any other Western Digital utilities. Read about it: Starting up in Safe Mode


    Disconnect the drive first.


    wdhelper is not related to Western Digital. It's required by OS X.

  • blindeyetom Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to some info on the : Mavericks corrupts external hard drive discussion board I found some Western Digital software on my iMac I never knew existed.  I never installed this, it wasn't in my Applications folder and it never showed up in a spotlight search but lo and behold there it was in:


    /Library/Application Support (WDDriveManager)

    /Library/LaunchDaemons (com.wdc.drivemanagerservice.plist)


    I ran the WD uninstaller software - which removed those particular files and then I manually deleted the uninstaller pref file which appeared in /Library/LaunchDaemons after running the uininstaller.


    I suggest that you contact both Apple tech support and WD tech support and report the issue.  I currently have an open case with Apple and they are 'working on it'.  WD are supplying customers with a license key for data recovery software, so hassle them.  I was advised (by Apple) not to do anything to the affected drive just yet.  So it's up to you if you want to go ahead and try and recover the data using software.  No guarantees it will work of course!


    My advice would be to run the WD uninstaller, uninstall Mavericks and roll back your OS, contact both Apple and WD with details of the problem and double up on your back up routine.  I personally had most of my affected data backed up, but not everything.


    Several things I used to do I will no longer do.  Those include being slack with my back ups and leaving drives permanantly plugged into computers, even if the drives are switched off at the mains!  Never do I install software bundled with hard drives, so I am at a loss as to how those WD files got on my machine.  From now on I'll be making sure any HD with Data on it that gets plugged into my computer is already backed up.

  • Scooter NJ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The referenced discussion is important to read through, as it's the most thorough on this topic.


    I had the same problem happen.


    Your data is highly likely to be there.   I used Data Rescue 3 to recover literally all of my data.


    Problem is, the file structures are gone and lots of it is disorganized.


    Step 1 - remove the WD software completely

    Step 2 - recover the data with a non-repairing, non-invasive tool (like DR3 or Disk Drill, which is also said to work)

    Step 3 - there appear to be some ways to try to get the now "empty" (it's not) drive to show the files again - check the long discussion to be sure.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks !!!


    Since my drive in question was just a time machine backup I simply reformatted it and did a clean install of Mavericks. 


    I was a pain but both the drive and my computer appear to be working now.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (16,850 points)

    ProfessorP wrote:

    Since my drive in question was just a time machine backup I simply reformatted it and did a clean install of Mavericks.

    It is important that you make sure the WD Utility software is no longer on your Mac or you may see this problem recur -- not just with your WD brand drive but with any other external hard drive you might connect to your Mac.


    Running the WD uninstaller mentioned above should do this, but if you want to check that it did my post today in Mavericks corrupts external hard drive (on page 43) about the older manual method may help with that.

  • ProfessorP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


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