Apple Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard deletes user data

Is this what Apple meant by Snow Leopard freeing up disk space? It's confirmed that Mac OS X users are losing all their data, even in 10.6.1. It seems that after a guest login, the user home can get wiped. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers taunt smug fanbois, saying OS X has got buggier and buggier.

By Richi Jennings. October 13, 2009.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention Probably Bad News...

    Cade Metz weeps for data-less Mac users:

More than month after reports of a home-directory-eating Snow Leopard bug first surfaced, Apple fanbois continue to howl that [it's] munching their personal data. ... the forums are brimming with such complaints. ... Mac OS X 10.6) has a habit of wiping out "home directories" when a user logs in to a Guest account following an upgrade from Apple's previous operating system.


Apple ... [is now] acknowledging Snow Leopard's data loss bug. "We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix," the statement reads.

Nick Farrell refers to yesterday's topic:

While the Apple friendly press has been crowing about the loss of data on Microsoft servers in the Danger fiasco, Apple's ... Snow Leopard operating system also deletes users' personal data. For the past month, some ... users have been reporting that all their data turned up missing.


Apple initially ignored the problem when it first raised its head in September. ... It is not saying this is a major problem of course ... but the admission by Apple that there might be a minor problem usually means that there is a serious problem. ... Snow Leopard has been plagued with glitches ever since its release. ... Snow Leopard does seem to be noticeably buggier than its predecessor Leopard, which in turn was nowhere near as reliable as Tiger.

Who ya gonna call? David Coursey, of course:

Although the fault cannot be repeated at-will, it has occurred often enough to result in several threads on Apple's online support forum. ... A simple preventive measure would be to disable the guest account (done in the "Accounts" System Preferences pane). ... [If you're] running Apple's Time Machine back-up application [you] can restore [your] Home folder from the backup ... by pressing and holding 'C' during start-up and selecting "Restore from Backup" from the "Utilities" menu.


The recent 10.6.1 upgrade did not solve the problem. A fix is hoped for 10.6.2, now in beta testing by developers. In the meantime: Unless you really, really need that guest account, just turn it off. And make sure Time Machine, or some other backup application, is turned on.

Despite Apple's statement, this anonymous fanboi remains skeptical:

This sounds like one of those stories that just get legs on the web and is regurgitated from site to site. It would be nice if instead of all these sites repeating the same story if they could actually see if it's a bug that can be reproduced.

Last word goes to this anonymous wag over at Seth's place:

Hi im a Pc

and I am.... >user not found<

So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

    And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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