External Harddrives and OSX Mavericks

I’ve Been doing some troubleshooting for a friend and some interesting things have popped up regarding external hard drives and OSX Mavericks.

Having read through a tonne of stuff it looks likes its mainly a problem with WD drives and their autoloading software, and considering production companies are such a big fans at the moment of handing out the super cheap WD drives despite several warnings against them, here are some heads up on things one might run into…

Western Digital themselves have published a warning on their forum about using their drives under Mavericks and have credited the problems to a fault in their software.

However, there seems to be a lot of reports of drives failing despite the machines never having had the WD software anywhere near them. On top of that, if you do have the software present, it stands a chance of corrupting any drive you connect, which would include master material on SSD’s and CF cards etc.

Not to be a panic monger, I’ve also used WD drives on the last two commercials and not had any issues with my Retina running Mavericks. (Not my choice, they’re horribly slow (50MB/s once they hit 50% full) but apparently overtime is cheaper than a good drive).

If your DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) does a proper gear check and checks all the drives, offloads the lens tests and tests their dailies and transcodes, any of these sort of problems should show up there before you get to set.

If anyone else is running into problems under mavericks, I’d love to hear about it as maybe there’s a common thread with the other two problems that have popped up for people in the last two days. They’ve both been using a LaCie thunderbolt esata Hub for example.

Written By: Richard Muller 6 April 2014