Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mac users, back up your data

There's a data eating bug in Snow Leopard, and it wipes out your home directory:

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). Typically carrying the name of the user, the home directory includes all the standard user file folders, including Documents, Downloads, Music, Picture, and more.


Another user was hit just this weekend. "Nooooo!!! This morning I had access to Guest Account and than all my data were lost!!!" he wrote. "I had 250GB 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!!!!"

The classic definition of computer security involves "CIA". No, not that CIA, but rather Confidentiality (keep it a secret), Integrity (keep it from being accidentally or intentionally changed), and Availability (keep it where you can get it). Snow Leopard doesn't get an "A", if you know what I mean.

It's good practice to back up your data. Here at the Borepatch secret lair, we use one of these. It's a Western Digital 1 TB network attached storage device. Backs up the Windows and Linux systems over the network.

Drag your home directory to the network box, and you have your stuff (pix, music, etc) if your Mac eats it. Or if you get malware on your Windows box. Having all your data is nice if you ever have to Nuke it from Orbit.


wolfwalker said...

Two hundred and fifty gigabytes of data, and no backups of any of it?

"Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other." -- Ben Franklin

(Yes, it's harsh, but dammit, this is why backing up is important. When are people going to learn?)

ASM826 said...

I told one of my users today, "The data you only have in one place is data you don't mind losing."

This just drives the point home.

Anonymous said...

This is actually scary.

I mean, wouldn't the process need to run as administrator or root level privileges?

So either Guest is root - or some other process that cleans up guest runs as root or at least an elevated user. Why or how is this a good idea? If a guest shouldn't be doing anything than surfing the net or something make it a user with the least privs and delete away.

You couldn't delete any other data.

Kids these days. Looks like Apple is loosing real talent.