Snow Leopard Bug Erases Guest Account Data

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Data in the user's home folder apparently can be erased when a user logs onto a guest account, closes it, and then reopens it, according to the comment threads. The flaw appears to have the most significant impact on guest accounts created and enabled before Snow Leopard was installed.

Users have detailed the critical the Snow Leopard flaw in several comment threads on Apple's online support discussion groups over the last two months since Apple launched its newest Mac OS X in August.

The issue has allegedly been a problem since Snow Leopard was released two month ago, but began to reach a crescendo as more users adopted the latest Mac OS X.

There are some mitigating factors, however. The Snow Leopard error isn't always predictable or able to be replicated. And users can work around the problem by disabling access to the guest account.

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Users can also restore lost data from their home folder if they're running Time Machine -- Apple's backup software -- or another backup application for Mac OS X. To accomplish an effective recovery, users are required to hold down the "C" key during start-up and then select the "Restore from Backup" tab from the "Utilities" menu.

The data glitch wasn't addressed in Snow Leopard's most recent upgrade to 10.6.1 last month, but will likely be repaired in subsequent upgrades. A fix could possibly be included in version 10.6.2, which developers are currently testing in beta. Meanwhile, Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge the data glitch.