Obviously, we like WD’s WD TV Live HD media players. Unfortunately, however, it seems that something’s gone rotten with the most recent firmware updates, leaving hundreds of users with completely non-functioning boxes. Users of both WD’s official WD TV forums as well as some of the communities that have sprung up around the device are reporting that the most recent firmware—1.1.12—is corrupt.
No one’s sure yet what’s causing the issue, since some users are able to update the device without problems. It’s been suggested that it may relate to slow download speeds, where the device goes to sleep while the firmware is being downloaded. Whatever the cause, though, it isn’t good, especially since the box’s suggested fix (putting another copy of the firmware on a flash drive and insert it while rebooting) does nothing to alleviate the problem.
At least one user has called WD support about the issue and was told they’d need to issue an RMA and replace the unit entirely. If this is as widespread as it seems, they’re going to be issuing a lot of RMAs. Hopefully once people wake up and see what’s going on, a more easily implemented fix can be found. Currently, the update is still being listed on the WD TV Live support site, so just avoid it. The most ironic thing about it all, though?
Release 1.01.12 (12/3/09)
Western Digital has removed the most recent firmware from the site, saying “a small percentage” of their users have experienced problems. If you’re one of the unlucky users who’ve accidentally bricked their WDs, you have two options. If it’s still within the terms of the return period from the retailer, take it back and get a new one! Otherwise, you can contact Western Digital’s customer support.