Apple Snow Leopard users have identified a nefarious bug that is apparently responsible for devouring user account data. The fatal wipe is reportedly triggered by switching from a guest account to an associated login.
“I am the third person in this thread who has experienced this ‘wipe home directory’ bug. By accident I clicked on the ‘guest login’ icon on my MBP thirty minutes ago,” Bas B wrote in an Apple forum post. “After about one minute it automatically returned to the login screen, without showing up the guest desktop, so I decided to click on the ‘guest login’ again. This went pretty smooth and when I logged out the message appeared that all the ‘guest login data’ wouldn’t be saved, but returned to normal. [But after] logging in to my regular account everything was gone.”
Bas B confirmed that the home-directory “still exists” under /Users/username, but noted that it was “just empty.”
“Apple should have noticed this bug report already. It doesn’t feel right that Apple doesn’t take immediate measures when someone reports such a bug with a high potential data loss,” opined Bas B. “I would suggest to everyone to disable the guest login option IMMEDIATELY until Apple has addressed this. I hope that Apple will come up with a swift response and a nice gesture to victims of this bug.”
Snow Leopard user Cymx5 had a similar story to tell.
“When logging into my computer, I accidentally hit the ‘Guest’ account. Usually, the login takes a few seconds. After about 1-2 minutes, I figured it had froze up trying to log in, so I held the power button to force shutdown and restart,” explained CymX. “Well, I restarted and logged into my primary account and guess what!?!? Absolutely everything on the computer got deleted and reset to basically what the computer is from the factory. All programs, documents, music, images, EVERYTHING is gone. It is as if my computer was completely reformatted in a matter of seconds upon logging in. This isn’t a joke either. I lost everything.”
Cymx5 also accused Apple of lax customer support.
“I haven’t heard back from Apple yet (talked to them on the phone yesterday). Apple support is supposed to call me back after they investigate within their records/database to see if there’s a fix,” said Cymx5. “I was advised to disable the Guest account immediately and get a backup drive for the future to back everything up. Regardless I believe they may turn the cold shoulder because AppleCare does not cover data loss. I ran a data recovery program to see if it is recoverable, but since the files I want weren’t ‘deleted’ files, I don’t think I’ll get everything back.”
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