The flaw, which may delete personal data, is related to a change in the way the operating system handles guest accounts.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

October 13, 2009

2 Min Read

Apple on Tuesday acknowledged a Snow Leopard flaw that users report can wipe out a significant amount of personal data.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to provide details of the bug in the latest version of Mac OS X. However, Apple provided InformationWeek with a statement acknowledging that the problem exists.

"We are aware of the issue that occurs in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix," the statement said. Apple offered no timetable on releasing a fix.

According to Apple discussion forums, the problem is related to a change in the way Snow Leopard handles guest accounts. Users who upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard with guest account enabled have found that opening the guest account in Leopard can destroy personal data.

"I accidentally clicked on my guest account and after I logged out, my documents folder was gone," one users said on the Snow Leopard forum. "Not only did Snow Leopard wipe out all of my documents, my email accounts, my address book, it broke the dynamic spell checker in Yahoo Messenger, caused random problems with Safari, InDesign, and others."

How many users have been affected by the bug is not known. However, the flaw is the latest of many problems that have been reported since Apple released Snow Leopard, officially called Mac OS X v10.6, Aug. 28.

While Apple pitched Snow Leopard as a turnkey upgrade from Leopard, more than 100 existing Mac applications, games and software utilities were not fully compatible.

Less than two weeks after releasing Snow Leopard, Apple released an update that included "general operating system fixes" that provided better stability, compatibility and security.

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