Apple is reportedly working on a fix for a widely-reported bug in the new Snow Leopard OS that can cause massive data loss. Apple on Monday acknowledged the bug, which can lead to the loss of all of a user's personal data when logging in with a "Guest" account.
Apple says the problem occurs only in "extremely rare cases." But there are an increasing number of threads on Apple's support forum regarding this problem, the first reports of which surfaced shortly after the OS's release in August.
What's The Problem and How To Avoid It
Users affected by the Snow Leopard bug claim that they lost data after logging into their Macs using a Guest account. It causes the system to hang, and can lead to the deletion of all users files on the primary account on the computer.
Only users who upgraded from the Leopard OS to Snow Leopard are reporting the bug. My Computerworld colleague Gregg Keizer has some of the horror stories with this Snow Leopard bug, with users who logged in with their Guest account either purposefully or by accident.
To avoid this bug, it is recommended to disable the Guest account on all Macs that run the Snow Leopard OS until Apple comes up with a fix. Alternatively, if you need to continue using guest accounts on your Mac, you can disable and then re-enable the feature, as reports claim this eliminates the problem.
Those who lost their data due to this Snow Leopard bug but used backup services with their Mac, such as Time Machine are in luck, as their data can be recovered.