I've a problem with my external hard drive, a Western Digital 3TB, with my Mac running OS X 10.9, Mavericks.

When my hard drive is linked to my MacBook Air and, I work with it, the drive suddenly unmounts from my Mac. This happens with tasks such as viewing photos, moving files, and opening files.

I tried to exclude my hard drive from Spotlight search but the problem persists.

I've scary because I might loose all my work and files.

  • Does this happen when your computer put the HDD to sleep? Or is this when copying files for example?' I've once returned a HDD for such an issue, but the problem was that the HDD couldn't handle the low power (sleep mode) and unmounted it continuously
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 10:25
  • The last three times: when I deleted a file, when I pressed spacebar for open preview image and when I opened a folder with a lot of image. Your suggestion is very interesting. But how can I understand if the hard drive is sleep? Can I fix the issue? It could be the cable? The HD is new but I don't know...
    – BigPurple
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 7:26
  • Some HDD just cannot handle it, as I've said I returned one of them lately because of this problem. You should check if the HDD-box displays it's been designed for Mac OS X and Windows or just Windows.
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 7:32
  • On the package there are Windows and Mac Log. I guess the HD is designer for both system. What is HDD-box? This is the HD: goo.gl/19zWBg
    – BigPurple
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 9:23

2 Answers 2


This is a WD problem, as stated below:

If you own a Wester Digital external hard drive, you might want to think twice before plugging it into your OS X Mavericks computer, or better yet if you haven’t upgraded, perhaps you might want to hold off on doing so for the moment. Western Digital has recently issued a statement warning customers about potential data loss on their hard drives should they attempt to connect a Western Digital external HDD to a Mac computer running OS X Mavericks. As it stands there are multiple forums threads across the internet where many Western Digital users have complained of data loss.

Source : ubergizmo

In addition, the HDD I brought back, as stated in my comment was a Western Digital disk as well.


From reading about the Mavericks-WD problems, they might arise if using the WD software. If else problems should not occur(this after reading on the internet).

However I encountered a problem myself yesterday;

After booting up in Lion from an external HDD(La Cie), my WD Book II studio on which my iTuneslibrary(about 300GB) resides did not mount anymore...booted up again on my iMac, but still nothing. Disk Tools Pro saw the disk(pfff, already something) but not the partition :/(it said: disk does not mount). Disk Drill recuperated about 50GB of data, but by then it was clear that I faced some serious difficulty in reconstructing my iTunes library.

I then thought about trying with Diskwarrior(4.4) installed on an external Snow Leopard HDD.

It recreated from scratch a new file and directory structure. When finished it proposed to replace the new one with the old one. And(!) a preview of my WD HDD had mounted. So I succeeded in making a copy of the whole iTunes library inside(16 hours). This afternoon I gave the ok for the replacement.

Now everything is fine again!

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