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Apple acknowledges Snow Leopard data loss issue

The company says it is aware of a problem related to guest account log-ins that "occurs only in extremely rare cases," and it does not yet have a fix for it.

For the past month, some Mac OS X users have been reporting their personal data missing after logging into their guest accounts, and Apple now says it's working on finding a fix.

"We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix," an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

Snow Leopard problem

It's the first time Apple has said it is looking into the issue. In early September, a handful of Mac users reported the issue on Apple's discussion boards. The problem, when it occurs, goes like this, according to CNET's MacFixit: when logging into the guest account on their Mac first and then logging into their regular account, some users are finding all their data to be missing and their accounts completely reset.

It doesn't appear to be a widespread problem--there are fewer than 100 posts on several current discussion threads on the issue--but it's certainly topical. Microsoft is currently dealing with a massive data loss at its Danger subsidiary, the company it acquired that makes the Sidekick mobile phone.

Apple's data loss issue is also yet another problem related to its most recent operating-system release. 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.

Although Apple doesn't yet have an answer for why this is occurring, you can check here for some suggested fixes, if you're experiencing the problem.