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cymx5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I want to warn you of what just happened to me over the weekend using Snow Leopard.

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. 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.

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. 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...

Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    So how can we help ?

    The post won't be here long as its just a complaint with no request for assisstance and precious little to back up the assertions in the way of evidence.

    So, how are you for disc space ? Has the disc space been miraculously released or is it still in use ? Try loading GrandPerspective and see if the data is stored somewhere else. Logging in as Guest does not reformat the entie hard disc and it certainly doesn't happen in 2 minutes.

    Are you sure that when you installed SL, you didn't do a wipe/install as a clean installation ? or did you use a downloaded 'illegal' copy of SL as some people have done and ended up with a trashed system ?
  • cymx5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Assistance is requested. Has anyone ever heard of this problem? I have seen it on another forum and the advice was simply use Data Rescue II. In response to to the allegations, I will respond with exactly what happened to clarif further.

    Everything is 100% legit and licensed.

    So, how are you for disc space ? - Before it happened: ~100GB/200GB available.
    - After it happened: ~177GB/200GB available.

    Has the disc space been miraculously released or is it still in use ? - It appears to be miracoulously released (no sarcasm or defensive intent in my response. I'm being honest.)

    Logging in as Guest does not reformat the entie hard disc and it certainly doesn't happen in 2 minutes.

    -I asked customer support the same question and his response was that Macs take significantly less time to reformat than one might expect (Is this true? I've only had this happen once, so I don't know until now when I saw it for myself.)

    Are you sure that when you installed SL, you didn't do a wipe/install as a clean installation ? - Yes. It upgraded and worked perfect up until a few days ago.

    Message was edited by: cymx5
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    Yoicks! - sounds serious - 77Gb couldn't have been written over in 2 minutes no matter how fast but its possible for it to be deleted. the guest account normally deletes itself on logout but the file access permissions should stop it from deleting anything else.

    If you look in the Users folder on your hard disc, are there no user folders created or left over?

    I have to say I'm stumped - the file access restrictions should not let this happen and for it to happen 'on the fly' without user involvement is doubly strange.

    is there anything in your library/logs which might explain tings ?
  • cymx5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I will take a look once I'm back at that computer in about an hour or two. Can you clarify where the library/log is located, and I can give you an update once I check that out.

    I appreciate the help and apologize for the frustrated post. Its not quite the fact I lost the data, it's the fact I need to restore everything which bothers me. It could take weeks to put it all back on from the few backup cds I have. (I got an external drive now to backup future work.)
  • cymx5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I tried to contact Apple over the phone again last night. They have a callback scheduled for 5pm but the rep I talked to had no idea what he was doing and couldn't even tell me when I could expect the call...two day's of '5pm' have now passed with no response from tech support.

    Is the general consensus to use Time Capsule...so when the software craps out I'm not totally screwed next time?

    My next question is: considering this does nothing to actually fix the problem, how do I prevent Snow Leopard's guest account from deleting all my files again in the future?
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    a number of people have reported this problem.
    http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=10123656#10123656
    http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=10198726
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2171494&tstart=0

    it's a very serious bug and hopefully Apple is working on it. In the meantime follow the advice already given. disable the Guest account and start backing up. backups are essential anyway even if your system is completely bug free (which no system is). every single hard drive eventually fails. it's not a matter of if but of when.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (29,775 points)
    how do I prevent Snow Leopard's guest account from deleting all my files again in the future?


    I guarantee that this had nothing to do with the guest account. If logging in to the guest account erased your hard drive, you'd hear tens of thousands of complaints here, yet I don't. Yours is the first such complaint I've heard.

    Most likely, what has happened is that your hard drive is badly damaged. Try opening Disk Utility, then select your hard drive and click First Aid then Verify Disk. I'm betting that it comes up with problems. If it does come up with problems, you'll need to repair it, though I wouldn't do anything to it until you have recovered your data. To repair the startup drive, you have to restart from the Mac OS X install disk and open Disk Utility through the Utilities menu.

    Unfortunately, if you don't have backups, you're going to be stuck relying on data recovery software to get your data back. Even if the software can get everything back, it won't be well-organized and you'll be spending a lot of time sorting out all your files. Once you have recovered from this problem, your first priority should be making a backup of all your data. See my [Mac Backup Guide|http://www.reedcorner.net/thomas/guides/backups> for help with that.
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    Thomas A Reed wrote:
    how do I prevent Snow Leopard's guest account from deleting all my files again in the future?


    I guarantee that this had nothing to do with the guest account. If logging in to the guest account erased your hard drive, you'd hear tens of thousands of complaints here, yet I don't. Yours is the first such complaint I've heard.


    see my post above. many people have reported exactly the same problem on this forum and on other sites too. definitely a bug in snow leopard.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (29,775 points)
    Hmm... I hadn't seen any of that. Well, I guess I should not have guaranteed that it had nothing to do with the guest account... However, I also haven't necessarily seen enough reports to be convinced this is a bug and not just a coincidence. But it does certainly look like it could be a bug.
  • cymx5 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks to all who have responded. I'm sure we all know how much of an annoyance things like this can be. It would restore my confidence if Apple offered assitance in footing the $99 bill for Data Rescue II. It seems like an awefully catastrophic event to be fixed over a few days (or maybe even weeks), so I will try to be patient until they address it.

    I will attempt to recover the data w/ Data Rescue II, and then backup everything on an external drive using Time Capsule.
  • F.Policarpo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Had the same problem today. Lost all the data in my user folder!

    What mess apple is doing... first many problems with iphone 3.1 update and now this.

    I'm loosing all confidence in Apple as a software developer... such bug is critical and many people might loose a lot a data. I was lucky this was my second machine and did not have any important information. But still I will lose a lot of time restoring all settings and files I had there... shame on you Apple!!
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (29,775 points)
    It would restore my confidence if Apple offered assitance in footing the $99 bill for Data Rescue II.


    You wouldn't expect Toyota (for example) to pay your hospital bills if you got injured in a wreck while not wearing a seat belt, would you? It's equally silly to hold Apple responsible for the loss of data that you had not done anything to protect. Data loss happens. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. If you weren't backing up your data, that's not Apple's fault.
  • F.Policarpo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm sure Toyota would be responsible if there was a big problem with the car that causes the accident.

    And that is exactly what happened here, a HUGE bug in the OS they sell you. Try clicking in you guest account and see what is going to happen to you...
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