Apple's free OS X 10.9 Mavericks upgrade has caused its fair share of headaches so far - from random lockups on new MacBook with Retina models to issues with Thunderbolt drivers and sound cutting out.

It seems that users are now seeing their external Western Digital (WD) HDDs wiped squeaky clean of data due to possible compatibility issues between Mavericks and WD's storage management software.

The issue has been documented by users on both Apple and WD's forums. One user, who claims to have lost 10TB of data after upgrading to Mavericks, wrote: "All of the contents of a 6TB WD and a 4TB Seagate drives have been wiped out. Both HDs have been named 'MyBook'."

Trash apps

WD has acknowledged the issue in an email to customers, which advises holding off upgrading for the time being. It said: "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."

No certainty

Be warned, however, as users in threads here and here have seen data go up in smoke even if WD's software wasn't installed on the machine at the time of upgrade. In other words, if you want to be certain you won't experience the same fate, it's best to take WD's advice and hold off.

If you want to make doubly sure, it would be a good idea to check out some online cloud backup services that upload your data to the internet. We've put together this handy guide featuring 10 of the best.

  • Have you seen the world's first 6TB HDD? It uses helium