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Major Snow Leopard Bug Said To Delete User Data

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the clean-as-the-driven-snow dept.

Bug 353

inglishmayjer was one of several readers to send in the news of a major bug in Apple's new OS, 10.6 Snow Leopard, that can wipe out all user data for the administrator account. It is said to be triggered — not every time — by logging in to the Guest account and then back in to the admin account. Some users are reporting that all settings have been reset and most data is gone. The article links to a number of Apple forum threads up to a month old bemoaning the problem. MacFixIt suggests disabling login on the Guest account and, if you need that functionality, creating a non-administrative account named something like Visitor. (The Guest account is special in that its settings are wiped clean after logout.) CNet reports that Apple has acknowledged the bug and is working on a fix.

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Oh. (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726473)

Would I be a bad person if I were to suggest that this would be a perfect time to upsell Time Capsules to worried Snow Leopard customers?

Re:Oh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726513)

Yes, yes, you would. Because there's an issue with Time Capsule power supplies crapping out ;-)

Re: What comes around comes around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726669)

and that's a fact jack

Re:Oh. (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726521)

Would I be a bad person if I were to suggest that this would be a perfect time to upsell Time Capsules to worried Snow Leopard customers?

Only if you were an Apple genius doing so.

Re:Oh. (2, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726565)

That does reek of tinfoil hats, but you shouldn't have to have a serious concern to adopt a backup strategy - timecapsule or otherwise.

That being said, we have yet to see a single person raise this complaint where I work. When one comes in it'll get my full attention and we'll find out why it's happening.

Speculating somewhat wildly since I don't have a specimen to examine, it probably has to do with the deletion of the temp data from the guest session. Seeing users manage to disconnect their home folder from their account has been seen before, and causes everything to appear to "go away", but it's all just in another folder. Major inconvenience to fix (or bring it to us) but nothing is lost. So I'm interested to know if this is a problem of data hiding or truly being erased. Though since it's related to the guest account I'm suspecting data loss as previously described.

Getting back to time capsule though, I don't like it myself (rsync me baby) but our customers have been very happy with it and it's saved their bacon on dozens of failed hard drives we've had to (warranty) replace. Even if only used for a backup, a $170 1TB HD sure beats a $2,500 bill from drivesavers or total recall etc. I'm amazed other companies (dell etc) don't bundle some sort of backup software. They're all using the same HDs as apple so it's not like anyone is more or less proof against HD failure.

Re:Oh. (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726741)

For a while, at any rate, dell was bundling a year or two of some online backup service with their systems, I don't remember which one, nor could I find any reference to it on their site just now.

What surprises me is that MS hasn't done much in the area(unless you are willing to go all the way to Windows Home Server). Architecturally, Volume Shadow Copy is abundantly powerful and has been available since before Time Machine even hit the scene; but you certainly wouldn't know about it from looking at any of the advertising, documentation, or spec sheets for non-server Microsoft OSes.

Re:Oh. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727171)

I bet that Mozy would have gone in that direction if they hadn't been swallowed by EMC which knows nothing about running a consumer organization.

Re:Oh. (1)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726907)

Oh, the irony.

There's an article [gizmodo.com] claiming that users of time capsules [timecapsuledead.org] have a lifespan of 17 months and 17 days. Not sure if there is any truth to this, but it does seem that there is more than one bad apple here.

Re:Oh. (1)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726927)

Ugh, seems like Kamokazi got to post this before I did! My apologies for the duplicate comment.

Re:Oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726989)

Well if there is any truth to that, then mine is defective! I want my money back!

It's been running since 2008.03! It's now 2009.10, so it should have failed ... oh wait, there is goes. Nevermind.

Re:Oh. (4, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727195)

There's an article [gizmodo.com] claiming that users of time capsules [timecapsuledead.org] have a lifespan of 17 months and 17 days.

So people who use that software only live less than a year and a half afterwards? Now THAT is some malware...

Re:Oh. (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727293)

Well, of course. They're only counting dead drives. The ones that didn't fail don't get counted. Also, it's far less disturbing when you know that they were introduced roughly 20 months ago, and the vast majority weren't sold in the first three months of availability.

Further, I'm quite disappointed in your wording. I was expecting to see an article about buried bomb shelters having inadequate supplies or ventilation or something, and people trying to live in them long term after buying.

What's the big deal? (1, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727103)

Unix, Linux, Mac, even Windows lovers all agree that the biggest security hole in any operating system is the USER! Delete the worthless user, and the system will be much more secure! Mac needs to capitalize on this feature.

"Your users are compromising your security? Can't get a handle on all those backdoors? Now, you can delete the user, AND his data! Upgrade to OSX 10.666 now."

Re:Oh. (4, Interesting)

reSonans (732669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727107)

I know you're kidding, but Time Capsule has been upsold in the past for a similar reason.

Remember Backup.app from the .Mac suite? It was touted as a complete remote backup solution for a couple of years, until Apple changed their tune in Knowledge Base articles and began describing it as a modest service intended for browser bookmarks and user settings. The reason? Restoring files was prone to data loss.

Time Capsule + Time Machine appeared shortly thereafter, and Apple made a big, intentional splash about how this particular hardware and software combination will keep your data safe.

Accountability (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726487)

"Apple has acknowledged the bug and is working on a fix."

That in itself exonerates them, in my view...Microsoft would happily deny the issue until they fixed it, then try to downplay it. At least Apple has owned up to it.

Hi, I'm a Mac! (5, Funny)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726517)

... and I'm prone to alzheimers!

Hi, I'm a Mac! (5, Funny)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726563)

... and I'm prone to alzheimers!

Hi, I'm a Mac! (5, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726765)

... and I'm, uhh... who are you again?

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727197)

... and I'm, uhh... who are you again?

Get off my lawn!

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727363)

I would mod you up, but I have forgotten my password.

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (1)

tlaloc58 (1092121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727065)

LOL! I think I just found my next bumpersticker.

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (0)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726763)

... and I'm prone to alzheimers!

You're also logging into to multiple accounts to create the bug, so you might be prone to something else [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726861)

I have heard strange legends, from the lands beyond civilization, were barbarous beast-men devour one another, of places where there are more people than there are computers. Apparently, they are sometimes forced to share computers....

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726891)

I have heard strange legends, from the lands beyond civilization, were barbarous beast-men devour one another, of places where there are more people than there are computers. Apparently, they are sometimes forced to share computers....

Stand back, we're anthropomorphizing here.

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727311)

disney movies are bad for your health.. Excessive anthropomorphizing is a sign of disney media abuse.

Re:Hi, I'm a Mac! (0, Troll)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727291)

Honestly, this bug is not surprising. if MS were marketing to a technical crowd, the file system would be what they attacked. The file system in Mac OS X does suck a lot. Copying to USB drives takes forever. Encrypted volumes, with filevault, are very fragile. Network access is often very slow. IDisk has a habit of just flaking out.

To be fair, some of these are things that MS Windows does not do natively, so it is unclear how MS would leverage this error. In any case, since MS seems to market their product on cheapness, not quality, it isn't really an issue.

Butbutbut... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726543)

This is Apple! Steve Jobs can do no wrong! I spent $2100 on this machine! Windows sucks... Omg omg omg!!11!!!!1! I need justification... Absolution... Microsoft sucks! I love Apple!

Cockroaches (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726547)

.. are everywhere today trying to distract from the Danger episode!

A big thank (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726559)

to all early adopters for beta testing Snow Leopard for me.

This is a bad bug, yes, but... (3, Interesting)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726561)

...the average user is not very likely to get hit by it, fortunately. Hopefully they'll have a fix out quickly nonetheless.

Having said that, I'd like to ask the affected people why they weren't backing their systems up. When your system comes with a backup utility that you can literally turn on and forget about until you need it, it's pretty damned stupid to not use it.

~Philly

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726683)

When your system comes with a backup utility that you can literally turn on and forget about until you need it, it's pretty damned stupid to not use it.

~Philly

Not especially useful when you only have about 100GB or so to play with.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726785)

You mean unfortunately. App£e is evil, even more so than Micro$oft. The sooner people realize it, the better.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726855)

What is this miraculous automatic backup scheme? The only options I can think of for genuinely automatic backups are either:

a) Attach an external drive and leave it on
b) Online storage

A is vulnerable to common-cause failures (though still better than nothing - it's what I use and it's saved my arse once already) and B is impractical unless you have a small amount of data or an unusually fast internet connection.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726859)

not true.

an average user is more likely to get hit by it as they are more likely to have the Guest account "feature" active.

funny thing is....a friend of mine later found out that the backup utility (Time Machine) failed the last backup (aka..."set it and forget it" is flawed).

I'm more amazed that the system ignores user permissions (aka when you're not logged in as an user with admin permissions) and it proceeds to nuke files the user doesn't have "permission" to touch.

so much for "security"
man...just imagine what those aliens could have down in ID4 if Jeff Goldblum had upgraded his mac from Leopard to Snow Leopard and had Guest Account enabled since Leopard....yah....we would've been screwed.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726953)

I'm more amazed that the system ignores user permissions (aka when you're not logged in as an user with admin permissions) and it proceeds to nuke files the user doesn't have "permission" to touch.

The system cannot ignore file system permissions. Whatever process is nuking a user's files is either running as that user, or as an administrator. Most likely the latter.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (3, Insightful)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726975)

then it's flawed

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727027)

funny thing is....a friend of mine later found out that the backup utility (Time Machine) failed the last backup (aka..."set it and forget it" is flawed).

That's why time machine has a little icon you can show in your menu bar that shows if the last backup failed.

an average user is more likely to get hit by it as they are more likely to have the Guest account "feature" active

From what I've read, this only happens with guest accounts created under Leopard, not guest accounts created under Snow Leopard. You'd have to upgrade, which last I read only 20% of users had. Then you take the percentage that uses guest accounts....

I really like Time Machine, but I do have two faults with it. The fact that it requires a separate drive is something of a joke. "Every mac comes with automatic backup software that takes care of everything for you, *tinyfont* once you buy an extra drive */tinyfont*'.

Second, Time Machine is always scanning my drive checking if it needs to back things up. I'd really like it to try to scan for silent corruption while doing that. If a file changed, but the fileystem data says it hasn't been modified... I'd like a way to see that or be warned.

On the subject of the article though... yeah... this is a pretty nasty bug, especially since any unprivileged user (the definition of a guest) could trigger it if your system was vulnerable.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727361)

I really like Time Machine, but I do have two faults with it. The fact that it requires a separate drive is something of a joke. "Every mac comes with automatic backup software that takes care of everything for you, *tinyfont* once you buy an extra drive */tinyfont*'

Does it? I suspect that you could make a block file on the main drive and back up to that after formatting, but I haven't tried it. I guess that would still be considered a separate drive, though, so I see your point.

Second, Time Machine is always scanning my drive checking if it needs to back things up. I'd really like it to try to scan for silent corruption while doing that. If a file changed, but the fileystem data says it hasn't been modified... I'd like a way to see that or be warned.

That would require a very different difference checking strategy. One that is much more IO intensive. You're basically requiring a full read with every backup pass (and either a checksum or bitwise compare), which time machine executes hourly by default.

I do, however, wish that there were a check checksums of all system files option as part of the normal filesystem tools, and integrated with update facility for repairs. I haven't seen that on any OS that I've tried so far, though.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727423)

It needs a partition other than the boot partition. You can repartition your drive and use it as a backup against user error (accidental deletion, etc.). I've done this on my parent's Mac. Obviously, if the drive fails you're in no better shape than if you didn't use time machine. To get the "oops I didn't mean to delete that" function, you have to repartition at minimum. To get the "my drive blew up" function, you need a second drive. Macs have neither of those out of the box, at least in the default configuration.

But then again, that's why you're supposed to buy a Time Capsule now, isn't it? That's probably Apple's solution.

I'd really love to see checksumming too. Lay them down when the file is written, check them when the file is re-loaded. I've been annoyed enough with silent corruption over the years that I'd be willing to put up with the bandwidth hit.

Time Machine could do it too, some sort of random check, or based on file size or something.

Since I've got a laptop, the only time my Mac is attached to my external drive is when I plug it in and leave it over night. That's plenty of time to go check all my files once a week or so.

Time Machine is pretty great though. I'd like to be able to see a diff between backups (can be done though the command line or 3rd party utilities), but it's so easy to use and works very well.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (2, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727477)

The fact that [Time Machine] requires a separate drive is something of a joke

It actually doesn't require a second drive... you can have it back to up another partition on the same drive. It will warn you that you're about to do something stupid, but it will let you do it if you really want to.

I trust that it's clear why backing up your data to another partition on the same drive is generally a dumb thing to do.

Second, Time Machine is always scanning my drive checking if it needs to back things up. I'd really like it to try to scan for silent corruption while doing that. If a file changed, but the fileystem data says it hasn't been modified... I'd like a way to see that or be warned.

According to an article I read (that I can no longer find on line :^( ), Time Machine works by having a daemon that runs continuously and is notified whenever a file is created or written to. That daemon merely maintains the set of "dirty files" in the file system; when it comes time for Time Machine to do its thing, Time Machine grabs the dirty-files-set from the daemon and copies just those files over to the backup, then tells the daemon to clear its list of dirty files.

So Time Machine isn't actually "scanning your drive", it's just copying a list of known-changed files over. Presumably if they were to add scanning for drive corruption, it would make things much slower than they are now.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (5, Insightful)

Huntr (951770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726865)

I'm not one for the holy wars and I hate to sound like I'm defending Microsoft, but if this happened in Windows, people would be at their door with pitchforks and torches. For sure, no one would be admonishing the users.

See ya, karma. :(

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (3, Funny)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727131)

Hey wait a minute, maybe the T-Mobile and Danger/MS guys tried to port their stuff to Macs....

I think MS showed us how to lose user data in a big way...

(Ducking and running for cover) :-)

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727187)

Why are you running, that was insightful. Now that wouldn't happen on Linux (oh wait ext4+KDE bug ,crap). BeOS?

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727315)

There's an article up right now about Sidekick's data loss and the tone of the comments is about the same. I wish people wouldn't erect these straw-hypocrites in every article involving a big brand.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (2, Funny)

garoush (111257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727357)

No one is playing the holy wars game here. However, us Mac users and /. readers, are blaming this on a developer recently hired by Apple, on compassionate ground to support the developer and his family. Rumors have it that this developer used to work for MS, on the Windows.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727497)

Seriously, I can't finish to understand Mac users. Whenever something happens in Windows, it's Microsoft's fault, whenever something happens in Mac, it's certainly user incompetence. Yet, they rather blame themselves, before admitting something is wrong with the system.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (3, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726879)

...the average user is not very likely to get hit by it, fortunately. Hopefully they'll have a fix out quickly nonetheless.

I'm a Leopard user who didn't upgrade as some software that I use everyday is not ready (till December). However, I'm fairly saavy with my system but my Guest account got "activated" in a previous patch. Now, if this buzz didn't alert me, I would have upgraded and been none the wiser when my data got wiped out (luckily I use SuperDuper regularly).

Guest accounts are setup by default, IIRC. This is bad for Apple... data loss of any magnitude should be a Priority 0 fix right away bug, not something you leave off to sub-dot-release 10.6.2.

Re:This is a bad bug, yes, but... (1)

angelbunny (1501333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726887)

Looking around on the net all I can find is 6 users complaining about this. Since the issue is so rare it can not be reproduced easily and therefor will be hard to fix, if it is a real issue at all.

Isn't it amazing when 1 or 2 people complain about something today it is immediately news?

Don't get me wrong. If it is an issue it does need to be fixed. It is important for that alone but regardless I'm sure there will be more news articles about this issue than actual people effected in the end.

Its not a bug: its a feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727515)

Besides that, you didnt really want all that data anyways.
You will be much happier without it.

And all you people who didnt back up, its your fault, you hear me?
You get this great software for free and you expect it to be bug free.

Another showstopping bug (3, Interesting)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727523)

Disclaimer: I am Apple user and have been since my Apple IIe in 1984. I began using Macs in 1991 and have a lot of experience with them. In other words, I'm not your average user and I'm extra careful with my data and my setup. I create a bootable backup before upgrading, etc.

When I upgrade to Snow Leopard I installed Rosetta because some of the software I depend upon cannot be run without it. While using this piece of amazing and somewhat buggy software [eastgate.com] my screen went blue and I was "spontaneously logged out." I encounter this problem only in the buggy software but I am not the only one experiencing such problems. Apparently there are scores if not hundreds (thousands?) of users affected by this "spontaneous log out [apple.com] ." No amount of backing up is going to completely protect you if your computer goes tits up for no discernible reason at all.

I love me some Apple products but I also recognize some of those products have serious QA issues which are not only unaddressed but Apple has not even acknowledged them. Such bugs are not the fault of "extraordinary" users even if we can understand how a very esoteric and hard-to-replicate bugs may not show up in the testing phase.

Guess they never tested that function... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726599)

Ha! That's what you get for using OSX people.

Re:Guess they never tested that function... (3, Interesting)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726869)

It's explicitly noted that it doesn't happen every time. It's very likely they did test it, and just missed it. It's not necessarily an excuse, but bugs do happen, and this has not been reported during the beta – meaning it's either exceptionally rare or a very recent bug. I'd bet on the former.

On a different note, the CNET article takes a very sensationalist approach with using the phrase "plagued with bugs". There's a few bugs, reported by a vocal minority of users (one of which they list – incompatibilities – isn't really a bug, just a consequence of being a new OS version with new features, changed features, and a few removed features*). I've been using Snow Leopard for the past month-and-a-half, and have experienced only a tiny handful of non-damaging crashes. One kernel panic, about three or four Safari crashes. It's around the average number of problems I've experienced on most OS/version combinations.

* One such removal is a relatively undocumented 'hack' called "InputManagers" which loads code into every Cocoa application that starts up. These no longer work in 64-bit applications, and such plugin functionality has to be re-implemented using either an application-specific plugin format (where available) or as a mach_inject background process.

Apple Admits A Bug! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726607)

This is the bigger part of this story.

Expected behavior (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726613)

In the Mac community, guests are expected to clean up after fucking you in the ass.

data security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726615)

So I've come to accept that maybe Macs can get viruses. Possibly.

But see it doesn't matter because Macs don't NEED viruses! So there!

Mac OS stole naming convention (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726627)

Mac OS stole naming convention from Ubuntu.

Gay Cheetah
Gay Puma
Gay Jaguar
Gay Panther
Gay Tiger
Gay Leopard
Gay Snow leopard

Ok so maybe it's not that similar after all.

Re:Mac OS stole naming convention (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726929)

Leopard and Snow leopard are like Metallica's Load and Re-load: you know it's gonna suck when they start running out of names. I wouldn't be surprised if they named 10.7 "Def Leopard".

Re:Mac OS stole naming convention (4, Funny)

maugle (1369813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727249)

I'm waiting for OSX 10.14 ("Common Housecat").

I don't want to feed the trolls but... (2, Interesting)

cyberworm (710231) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726629)

How does something like this make it out of the door? Is this happening on machines that have been upgraded, on fresh installs, or across all platforms. It seems like someone somewhere in the R&D and beta phases should have come across this a lot sooner.

Re:I don't want to feed the trolls but... (5, Informative)

gilgoomesh (966411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726723)

As far as I can tell, from reading this on other sites, the reproduction involves:

* Machine that was upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard
* Already had the Guest account enabled on Leopard.
* Logs into Guest account (not a remote login but a local, physical login)
* Is hard-booted (after crash, power failure, or power button) from Guest account back into Admin account.

Despite a combination of these steps, people are finding it hard to reproduce. So it's the sort of issue that could fall through the QA cracks.

Re:I don't want to feed the trolls but... (5, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727233)

I'm sorry, but there's no way this should've fallen through QA cracks, because it should not have made it to QA in the first place. This kind of thing should never have been possible in the first place due to a clear segregation of permissions between "Admin" and everything else - particularly "guest".

The fact that this is even possible suggests a much deeper flaw in the security mechanisms of OS X.

Re:I don't want to feed the trolls but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727439)

The QA on the guest account feature seems to be lacking in general. In Leopard there was a nasty bug where if you migrated a PPC install to an intel machine the guest account would be left in an unusable state. Hopefully that bug got fixed in SL

The reason many things suck these days (2, Informative)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727029)

Because their marketing department runs the rest of the company.

not the only problem with the leopard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726665)

from the article
"Snow Leopard has been plagued with bugs since its release, including problems with the Finder hanging or crashing, incompatibility with certain apps, and the AirPort connection dropping"
wonder how many 100s of posts flaming MS we would get if this was a vista article.

Re:not the only problem with the leopard (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727033)

Ironically, 90% of those "flaming MS" posts would have been modded as insightful, whereas 90% of flaming Apple posts are normally modded as "flamebait", the other 10% are normally modded as "trolls".

Re:not the only problem with the leopard (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727169)

The thing is, flaming Apple is an absolute waste of time. The sort of people who buy Apple are convinced (with decent evidence) that Apple is the Greatest Thing Ever, and nothing short of personally experiencing a catastrophic failure like this will convince them otherwise.

Windows, on the other hand, is generally recognized (with decent evidence) as a total clusterfuck, so reminding that they could get Linux for free instead of putting up with that shit is actually likely to net some converts.

Apple.... (-1, Flamebait)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726701)

Well since the only apparent critics are anon cowards I'll just assume that they are all MS fan boys out to get their cockroach bites while the getting is good. I've never used the guest account and I always disable it so this is likely not a problem for me. Also I wonder if the "more than a month old complaints" are actually in the developer forums because the retail version won't pass a month until later this month.

Re:Apple.... (5, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726817)

Well since the only apparent critics are anon cowards I'll just assume that they are all MS fan boys out to get their cockroach bites while the getting is good.

I don't think it takes a Microsoft fan boy to be critical of a production OS bug that results in complete data loss.

Re:Apple.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726837)

I'm not a fanboi of any particular OS and use all the major ones at home (Win7, Macbook Pro, Ubuntu, Debian, BSD, etc.). They're just tools and they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

But this is a serious bug, and based on the past I'm certain there would be many posts from smug Apple fanbois if it had been a Windows bug. I don't use my Guest account either, but that doesn't mean it would have sucked major ass if I had lost all my data because I did. The user could not possibly predict that just using the Guest account would incur this kind of risk.

It doesn't make sense to be an apologist. I cannot understand why Apple seems to get a free pass from their user community when this sort of thing happens to them. It's not enough to point out that the other developers have problems, too. Get pissed off and help them be better next time.

Re:Apple.... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726917)

Since when is Win7 (a yet-unreleased OS) considered a "major OS"?

Re:Apple.... (5, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726919)

I cannot understand why Apple seems to get a free pass from their user community when this sort of thing happens to them..

Never underestimate the power of shiny.

Re:Apple.... (2, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727047)

Well since the only apparent critics are anon cowards I'll just assume that they are all MS fan boys

Because cognitive dissonance is far superior to actually facing problems. There are no issue with Mac, OS X or any apple product and anyone who says anything to the contrary is a lair and a drunkard who wears women's panties.

Guest or permission limited accounts are necessary for anyone who take security seriously. I use them on my Linux and Windows home boxes and at work if you cant qualify for a permission limited domain account you dont get on. The point of a guest account is to limit the amount of damage a user can do, frankly if you're not using a guest account then you're doing it wrong, especially if you let others use your machine. No matter on what OS this is it is a pretty serious bug.

It never ceases to amaze me that Mac fanboys can never admit to a bug no matter how serious (I guess it does contradict the "just works" thing but still) and yet continually berate MS and Linux for the tiniest of errors. Bugs happen and need to be fixed, no-one is immune to this and you only make a problem 10 times worse by denying it. But I've no doubt the Mac fanboys have labelled me a "hater" and "MS fanboy" and are furiously typing in their replies whilst trying not to get spittle on their keyboards.

Re:Apple.... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727229)

"anyone who says anything to the contrary is a lair and a drunkard who wears women's panties."

Wait - do nerds no longer enjoy life's finer pleasures? I always enjoyed luring drunks to my lair so that I could get them out of their panties. In fact, they didn't even have to be very drunk. What's up, junior nerds? Don't tell me that ALL of you live in your mama's basements!!

Re:Apple.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727425)

it's simple. you're not a nerd. you're just an extravert with a geek affliction.

Very bad bug, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726733)

...it's incredibly rare that it strikes, and it has a relatively high threshold of pre-requisites that need to be true before it even has this very low chance of happening at all.

John C. Randolph, why are there so many bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726743)

John C. Randolph, I hear that you no longer work for Apple, but I think that you can deliver us some badly-needed facts.

John, why has Snow Leopard been plagued with so many bugs? We didn't see this with earlier releases of Mac OS X. What has changed to make the recent release so buggy? And these aren't minor issues, either. This bug in particular is quite serious.

Data recovery? (1)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726777)

I know there are many data recovery options you can use with Windows drives... but as a Windows user, could someone tell me if theres anything for Macs?

Yes, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726783)

Does it also delete the smug?

Time Machine problem too... (1)

elliott666 (447115) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726789)

I'm in the process of recovering all my data after I had both the drive I was working with and my backup disk go at once.

I was playing with my primary drive, maybe a little rough, but I figured my time machine backup was solid and I had just updated it before delving into this project.

Long story short, the time machine backup was erased because the volume was picked up by another OS X installation and when asked if I wanted to use it for Time machine I said no. Then I went to use the backup and it was gone.

Right now I'm running r-studio to try to recover the data.

Anyone know any other HFS+ undelete tools?

Re:Time Machine problem too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727369)

Sounds like you fucked up.

Guest is denied local login (3, Informative)

mario_grgic (515333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726829)

by default, so you have to go out of your way to enable it. I would not do it, if really wanted to allow someone limited local access to the machine, I would create a limited account for that purpose alone.

Re:Guest is denied local login (1)

Headrick (25371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727209)

Yes, but the guest account protects not only the owner of the computer but also the guest -- the entire account is purged along with cookies, browser history, etc.

Re:Guest is denied local login (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727451)

It's a pretty weird idea to have guest account anyway unless it's a terminal computer for public access or unless you were using the computer for some other purpose than it's intent that you'd like to hide (e.g., using a work computer for personal stuff). What I noticed in TFA was that:

Apparently, Snow Leopard (aka 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: just Leopard (aka Mac OS X 10.5).

Is this right that it only occurs when someone upgraded from 10.5? I have never trusted upgrading an OS, no matter what platform. So when I put 10.6 on my laptop, I made a disc image of the drive on a back-up disc, then wiped it, and installed 10.6 fresh. I do that because I tend systems tend to get filled with a lot of library files, preferences, etc. that they don't necessarily need or want on a new install (it's worse with a registry). If this is true, yet another reason never to upgrade an OS, always install fresh.

P.S. Don't take this post as being an apologist for Apple, I think they still make a damn fine OS but in recent years they've been getting sloppy and more interested in "teh shiny" than stability and paying attention to their core computer users.

It's great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726931)

to be a PC. :)

Life without walls.

Hi, I'm a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29726939)

Hi, I'm a PC and ready for Windows 7

And I'm a Ma... what were we talking about?

Well.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727037)

They did say that Snow Leopard frees up an extra 7GB for you...

Re:Well.. (1)

jdbausch (1419981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727463)

now that is funny!

Oh man. Nightmare. (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727175)

If one thing has been burned into my brain as a programmer, it's this:

Crash all you want, but never, ever, ever harm, corrupt and by all that's holy, NEVER delete the user's data.

The data is sacred. The data is life.

Re:Oh man. Nightmare. (3, Interesting)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727265)

True, but I can imagine how this happened. The guest user account is designed to erase itself after you log out. So there must have been some screw up to where the "erase user after log out" code got applied to the real user instead of to a guest user. It's a real shame that this wasn't caught in testing before it could burn an end user, but I can see how a bug like this could slip through the cracks.

Still, the team in charge of the programming guest user account at Apple must feel like absolute crap right now for letting this major bug through.

Re:Oh man. Nightmare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727377)

Still, the team in charge of the programming guest user account at Apple must feel like absolute crap right now for letting this major bug through.

Yes, if there is one thing that the software industry has taught me, it is that the QA teams take their jobs personally...

Re:Oh man. Nightmare. (5, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727507)

Yeah, they're definitely doing the guest user account wrong. They should be using tmpfs (or whatever OS X equivalent is) for the guest account. Then they don't have to delete anything, it disappears automatically.

I used to use tmpfs for guest accounts on my ubuntu box for just that reason. That along with encrypted swap files with random keys generated on loading makes "deleting guest data" irrelevant (and lets you resize the temporary device on the fly arbitrarily high by adding more swap if you realize you're going to exceed your available physical ram or allotted space)

You can populate the guest dir from a new-user template, or use unionfs type dealies.

What I did was probably all wrong, but my point remains that you shouldn't have to delete stuff when you're done with the guest account. At the most, you should only have to forget a temporary encryption key, which ought to happen automagically in the event of a hard reboot.

Re:Oh man. Nightmare. (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727337)

Crash all you want, but never, ever, ever harm, corrupt and by all that's holy, NEVER delete the user's data.

Except that if you are going to guarantee that you'll never corrupt or delete the user's data, then you have to guarantee that your program's behavior is well-defined. And usually programs that crash are crashing because they contain errors that lead to undefined behavior.

So if you want to be sure not to corrupt anything, you pretty much aren't allowed to crash either. (note: even if your program never writes to the disk, if it's buggy it might be vulnerable to a code injection attack that would cause it to write to the disk...)

Re:Oh man. Nightmare. (1)

Torrance (1599681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727531)

I feel compelled to correct your signature:

I believe it's "for all intents and purposes", which would make more sense too.

Ha-ha Windows users (4, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727211)

We can't get a virus or trojans or....hey, where did my data go?

Re:Ha-ha Windows users (1)

microcars (708223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727459)

+1 funny, sorry, I'm on 10.4.11 (Tiger) and I laffed but have no mod points.

sosumi

now both of us will be modded as flamebait :(

Can you take legal action? (5, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727371)

When will software/computer/IT companies be held to the same standards that other engineers (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical) are? If a bridge is built and it collapses due to a poor design, or a gadget catches fire or brakes are poorly designed, people head to their local courthouse and sue.

In the computer world, people just accept that "All my photographs, resume, music, documents, tax returns, whatever" being lost forever is par for the course.

How do you measure the value of data? You can't assign $/KB of data, as one couldn't equate a 20MB Stephen King unpublished manuscript to be equivalent to 4 hi-res pictures of my wife's flower garden. However, I'm not a fan or Stephen King, but my wife loves her flower garden.

Should computers (or electric devices in general) with persistent storage carry a huge warning label on them that says,

"Not guaranteed to maintain data integrity, always back up your data. Use at your own risk."

Opportunity (1)

wasabi2k (1628745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727395)

I imagine now would be a really great time to start advertising OS X UnDelete! Recover Deleted Files! Great opportunity for either a systems tools vendor or someone pushing malware.

The cloud! (4, Funny)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#29727429)

If their data had been in the cloud this wouldn't have ... oh damn never mind.

Is not a bug, it is a feature (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29727447)

That's how it frees 7 GB of disk space

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