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Home folder lost - user account restored to default

37538 Views 95 Replies Latest reply: Nov 13, 2009 4:29 PM by jhonny_mi RSS
  • rusto Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Some of us who help others with their Macs have "test bed" units available to do just that: attempt to reproduce errors. Try to refrain from ad-hominem attacks on other posters, it helps no one.

    Meanwhile, I read somewhere else that the critical part of being able to reproduce this problem is that FIRST you have to have had Guest account active in 10.5 BEFORE you updated to SL. If you updated to SL then activated the Guest account, this should not bite you. I HAVE NOT TESTED THIS TO CONFIRM.

    See this article on Cnet/MacFixit: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-10356505-263.html
    Dual 1.8Ghz G5 & SR MacBook
  • William Kucharski Level 6 Level 6 (14,425 points)
    Ivan Clarke1 wrote:
    Bottom line - NO-ONE in there right mind would want to reproduce this.


    Bottom line - if it can't be reproduced, it can't easily be fixed.

    The first step in fixing any software bug is to reproduce it.

    Obviously you wouldn't want to do "try to reproduce it" on a vital system, but many people do have test systems they can try and reproduce the issue on.

    A defined set of steps that reproduces the issue, every time, is the most valuable information Apple engineering could receive on this, and I mention it only because several people including myself have tried time and time again to reproduce this and have failed - guest logins have worked normally each and every time we've tried.

    That means there's some magic step that's missing, and that's what I and others are trying to track down.

    It's not as simple as enabling the guest account on a clean install of Leopard and upgrading to Snow Leopard and logging in as guest; that didn't cause the problem to occur for me. Unfortunately, there's something more to it than that.
    Quad 2.5 GHz G5, 5 GB | 15" 2.6 GHz MBP Penryn, 4 GB | 1 TB Dual-Band TC, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Snoopy31415 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I tried to reproduced right after it happens to me, but it didn't work.

    I updated to Snow Leopard a week ago with Guest account enable, I do remember disabling guest account and reenable it in between.
    There isn't much more to say, during the day (september 30th) I updated Growl, VLC and install Where is M13, shutdown computer and open it at home.
    I don't know if it is relevant or not but I was on battery when it happened,
    I accidentally click on the guest account, guest login took a long time (few minutes) to log and fail to log and brought me back to login page then login into user account show me it was wiped out.

    As of reproducing it, I wouldn't mind trying but I do need my laptop for research, so unless I somehow get another macbook I wouldn't try it on this one again.

    Edit: Since the bug wipe the User Account, there is no guarantee it we can reproduce it anyway, it might as well erase the source of the bug along with it.

    Message was edited by: Snoopy31415
    Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Ed Purkiss Calculating status...
    The randomness is what's most creepy ... agree that someone's got to be able to reliably reproduce the error or this may be a long fight.

    I'm wondering if there are any other consistent things about everyone that's gotten hit ... did everyone have the guest account enabled? Could there be some kind of a trojan that everyone got? Everyone using some Microsoft product? I think the problem must lay outside of the OS, although the OS is clearly the thing most affected.

    Eyuck.
    MacPro, MBP, iPhone, several @TVs, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Johnny MacHappy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2009 10:12 AM (in response to rusto)
    Does this issue affect users who have their Guest Account set to "Sharing only" - which I believe is the Mac OS X default?

    Thanks in advance.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,120 points)
    Johnny MacHappy wrote:
    Does this issue affect users who have their Guest Account set to "Sharing only" - which I believe is the Mac OS X default?

    Thanks in advance.

    nobody can answer that because nobody knows yet what exactly causes this problem.
    Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.1), Mac Pro 2.66GHz, powerbook G4 1.5GHz
  • Ed Purkiss Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2009 10:37 AM (in response to V.K.)
    yes, but the important component of the question is, if Guest Account enabled is unchecked (sharing only) has anyone seen this happen? Has this only happened to people with the guest account enabled? That would at the very least provide a little separation from this horribly vile sounding issue...
    MacPro, MBP, iPhone, several @TVs, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,120 points)
    ok, I guess it makes sense in that form but i don't know as I would trust the answers you get. this bug appears to be relatively rare and the trigger is unknown. since few people use Guest accounts for sharing only you might not get enough data to make any conclusions one way or the other.

    that said, I haven't seen it reported by anybody with guest enabled for sharing only and I don't believe the bug is present in such setup. but this is definitely not something I would swear by.
    Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.1), Mac Pro 2.66GHz, powerbook G4 1.5GHz
  • Ed Purkiss Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 9, 2009 10:58 AM (in response to V.K.)
    @ not enough data: Fair enough. But given the potential severity of the bug, it's probably best that any tricks that look like they might help, be employed.

    Personally, I'm just glad to hear that TM backups are unaffected, since I rely on that badboy like it's air.
    MacPro, MBP, iPhone, several @TVs, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Johnny MacHappy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ed Purkiss wrote:
    yes, but the important component of the question is, if Guest Account enabled is unchecked (sharing only) has anyone seen this happen? Has this only happened to people with the guest account enabled? That would at the very least provide a little separation from this horribly vile sounding issue...


    Ed,

    Thank you so much for clarifying my point. It is much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    J
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • carlodituri Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 10, 2009 1:51 PM (in response to dubaidan)
    Nooooo!!! This morning I had access to Guest Account and than all my data were lost!!!
    I had 250 GB of data without backup and I lost everything: years and years of documents, pictures, video, music!!!
    Is it possible to recover something? Please help me!!!!
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.1), Macbook Air
  • Ed Purkiss Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Oh man ... are you really serious? You had *years and years* of all of that without a backup at all?

    I feel for you pal, that's just horrible. But you've sort of made your bed.

    There are a couple posts above here where people have tried to recover some things after it's happened. You might want to stop ANY ACTIVITY AT ALL on that machine, extract the drive and get to an expert, like, REALLY QUICK.
    MacPro, MBP, iPhone, several @TVs, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,120 points)
    years and years of data without backup... stuff like this never ceases to amaze me...

    your only hope now is data recovery software like Data Rescue II or Filesalvage. It's not free and not guaranteed to work but you don't have any other choice. and you should use it IMMEDIATELY. the system writes to the hard drive all the time and the longer you wait the more is the chance that your lost data will be overwritten by new stuff. once that happens it's truly gone for good.
    and start backing up! apart from bugs and various system problems, every single hard drive eventually fails and that can happen at any moment.
    Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.1), Mac Pro 2.66GHz, powerbook G4 1.5GHz
  • Ed Purkiss Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 10, 2009 2:11 PM (in response to V.K.)
    @ backup: hard drives are just incredibly cheap. And next to years and years of data, not just trivially inexpensive but truly vital.

    I have 2x2TB drives in my machine that are RAID 1 (so they do the exact same thing) running Time Machine and it's brilliant and inexpensive. An external is also good, although external USBs have a lower mean time for failure. Then you should probably consider something like crashplan (crashplan dot com) to see about getting a backup offsite as well.

    In the very worst case, simply burn DVDs with your vital pictures and such, wrap the DVD into a something soft and opaque and then use a FoodSaver to (vacuum sealer to keep oxygenation and light exposure down - eventually the burnables will "fog" and you'll lose the backup - this will keep that behavior to a minimum), and give the disks to some family or something.
    MacPro, MBP, iPhone, several @TVs, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • carlodituri Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Guys I was really thinking some days ago to buy an hard disk as backup disc but horror came before doing it... I'm trying a data recover program, hoping just to have my pictures and music back...
    iMac, Macbook Air
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