No idea why a company would force its users to upgrade to its latest firmware. I think the practice is becoming more insidious as even Microsoft forces you to update without the ability to turn auto update off.
With WD OS 3 it was either upgrade my lowly FW 3.04 to 4.04.00-308 or relegate my Cloud into a local NAS. According to @Bill_S, the remote apps, cloud apps will no longer work with older firmware as even the WD remote server goes down for a whole week for the upgrade. So either upgrade or switch.
Luckily I found a second hand (barely used) 4TB Cloud on Craigslist for the lowly price of $160 (serendipitous) and my Epic Journey began as I began upgrading, copying massive terabytes of data from one device to another, hours upon hours to backup, file compares, verifying, taking days and nights. had to troubleshoot Cloud dropping out of the network due to bad DNS, My Books disconnecting due to bad USB 3 drivers on Windows, USB drives not mounting on OS 3, having to downgrade from 4.04 back to 3.04 and getting locked out of the cloud, then getting banned from the new forum due to spamming.
This upgrade was a solid two weeks of stress, $400 out of pocket for new hardware and we are still waiting for a USB mount fix which may or may not be forthcoming because WD is unable to replicate the problem.
The only other product that gives me this much stress is when I have to upgrade my Windows Software and that usually takes a max of a day each per PC which includes re-installing every software that I use.
In comparison, my Mac update took a half hour to upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan. I even installed a new SSD which theoretically would take 30 minutes but I couldn’t fit the wifi antennae plate back on and that took another 2.5 hours for fidgeting.
I’m pretty much done with the upgrade (one cloud is on OS3) and downgrade (the other is on 3.04 to connect a USB), as the two Clouds and two My Books are now sitting quietly on the shelf.
So if anyone asks “Should I buy a WD Cloud?” I will simply tell them the truth…
- tech support forums are other angry customers
- firmware updates can be accidentally activated on your iPhone app and thus locking up your cloud device at home.
- upgrades and downgrades are a hit and miss as they can lock up your cloud and thus bricking them (we see this commonly in the forums as users throws their unit out the window). My first upgrade experience last year kept my cloud white-lighted (fsck’ing the drive) for over 3 hours. The key to upgrades is never to throw them out the window as that would void your warranty for sure; although if you ssh into the drive, that would also void your warranty.
- you are the beta testers of the product. Your participation is mandatory and WD will monitor you for two weeks through forum posts after a new FW release and will call you to download your logs, of which they usually don’t fix the problem until they have accumulated at least 5 users (just a guess) that have the same problem.
- if you have a brand new Cloud, they will trade your Brand new cloud for a used one. This procedure is called an RMA which is offered as a solution for any problem that causes anger on the forums. Thus a RMA was offered even on the USB mount bug and I just bought the Cloud and updated the Firmware (It did not have the USB mount problem in the last Firmware).
- firmware never stabilizes as they add new bug features like 5 second restsdk error messages that fills up your logs and calls it improved analytic support when they fix it. Improved Analytic support is another name for logging so they know why you are complaining so loudly.
- all bugs are resolved by the customer with workarounds. A good example of an unacknowledged bug is the sleep bug of which the device will frequently wake up throughout the night to examine your files. A more recent bug is the USB attachment bug which doesn’t recognize or mount your USB; customer workaround is to downgrade the firmware.
If you are willing to learn, dig through undocumented scripts deep within the device, learn linux, ask questions on the forums and willing to participate as an unpaid tech support guru on the forums, this is an excellent device to get involved with. It will occupy and consume all your free time with excellent puzzles.
Most importantly, the WD Staff when they do appear on the forums (usually 2 to 3 days after a firmware update and christmas and sometimes holidays) and when they call you, are really really nice people, especially @Bill_S when he is not a Bot and kicks you off for spamming.
Love this product as I now have two 4TB My Clouds and two 4TB My Books.
Married for life.