Major bug in Apple's Snow Leopard deletes all user data

By on October 12, 2009, 10:49 AM
Update (10/13/2009): In a short statement yesterday, Apple finally acknowledged the data-loss issue plaguing Snow Leopard, claiming the problem occurs only in "extremely rare cases" and that they are already working on a fix.

It appears that Microsoft isn't the only one facing serious backlash from its users over the loss of data. According to ITWire, complaints on the Apple Support forums have been cropping up the last few days due to a major bug in OS X Snow Leopard that can reportedly lead to all user settings being reset and most data wiped out from the hard drive.

The flaw is triggered when a user signs into the guest account, be it intentionally or unintentionally, and then attempts to sign back into their regular account only to find that all of their files have been erased. Unfortunately, the only way to get them back is from a backup on a separate drive.

The number of users impacted by this bug is uncertain as is the exact cause behind it. Speculation is that something makes Snow Leopard treat the regular account like a Guest account, from which by default all data is deleted upon logout. Furthermore, it seems the problem occurs only when the Guest account was already enabled in Leopard before being upgraded to Snow Leopard.

Apple has yet to address the issue, but until the company delivers an update it's probably a good idea to disable the Guest account altogether.

User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

Yep, even the elitist Apple gets things wrong.

raybay said:

Well, Elite is not a term I would use... Controlling would be better... Apple has always had problems like this, but Apple always seemed to be able to control the flow of information. In our area all the newspaper folks are mac users... and nobody wanted to tattle.

But anybody who runs a repair shop knows there are plenty of flakey problems with Apple MacIntosh... We become the field testers.

Guest said:

On thing I've really had a lot of problems with on the MAC is securing my workstation. For some reason the screen saver password does not work. Once I go through the process of fixing it and am able to get it fixed the issue comes back. It seems like such a basic feature. It doesn't ever get fixed permanently even with all the updates.

Didou Didou, Bowtie extraordinair!, said:

It seems the problem is most likely to happen to people that have upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard. This issue had better get fixed soon though, I mean next-update-soon.

tengeta tengeta said:

Didn't this exact thing happen from Tiger to Leopard?

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Horrible time to be using Snow leopard AND a sidekick...although I don't think that number is too high...

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That would be why I never upgrade an operating system without backing up everything first.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

You shouldn't be using a computer without backing up everything first!

Guest said:

Scare tactic headlines as usual... implying that the computer could be wiped clean by the new OS. The average user doesn't know "user" data from diddly.

For the moment, there are few random problems of this nature that might indicate a bug problem.

Regardless, anyone who jumps into a new OS, update or otherwise, in the first week after release is living in Dreamland if the expect perfection, whether it's Mac or Microsoft.

Guest said:


Not good for Macs there.


Tech Rave

Guest said:

The cult will simply declare this a feature. Does this mean the Mac guy will be deleted as well?

Guest said:

don't you ever make a mistake?

Guest said:

It happened to me a few days ago! I lost 300GB worth of data and had to restore a backup from a few months back. What a nightmare! I logged in to my guest account, logged out and lost everything on my main account. My first real big problem with an Apple operating system since 7+ years... BACKUP YOUR SYSTEM!

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