By accident I clicked the “guest account” when I was going to login and it tried to login at my guest account but kept saying “logging in…” for a very long time, which usually only takes a moment. Eventually I decided to simply restart my Mac.
This time I logged in at my own user account as I was supposed to in the first place, it took a bit of extra time to actually get to my desktop. Once there, I noticed how all my desktop files and icons were missing – my wallpaper were still there along with all the applications in my menu bar.
Other things I noticed, my documents folder was renamed from the locally named “Dokumenter” in Danish to “Documents” – and it was empty, too. My Library folder was also renamed from Danish “Bibliotek” to “Library” and when I started Mail.app, Mail prompted me to set up a new e-mail account…
I didn’t, I knew I had a daily updated Time Machine backup (but at the office, which didn’t help me at the time…) as well as a completely cloned copy of my hard drive using SuperDuper!. But I really wondered how this could happen and I still don’t have a clue.
Unfortunately my SuperDuper! backup was 10 days old so whatever I had saved locally within the past week and a half, might get lost – now the good thing is, I use Evernote to store pretty much all my documents and smaller files, so they are all at the Evernote servers anyway, somewhere up in the cloud. All my e-mail (except for the unimportant ones) are stored at my MobileMe account with Apple, also up in the cloud.
Basically what I would have lost if I just restored from my SuperDuper! backup was:
- A few wallpapers I downloaded recently
- A bunch of photos I had imported into iPhoto
- A small video I made in iMovie
- Various temporary files I usually have in my Downloads folder.
But then again, not really. Cause my Time Machine backup at the office holds all of this so I could just restore them tomorrow. I went for a faster solution though, since my Pictures and Movies folders went untouched, I simply made a backup of those files and added them once my restore was complete.
What I lost from this experience:
- 1 hour figuring out what went wrong and setting up the restore process (the actual restoring took a little over an hour, but I spent that time being online since I could easily use my Mac while it was restoring)
What I learned from this experience:
- Always keep a daily backup of your files, unless you store all your important things in the cloud.
SuperDuper! was super easy and amazing to deal with. I just plugged in my USB drive, rebooted, and I was up and running with my 10-day old Snow Leopard system like as if nothing ever happened. At this time I was so thrilled about SuperDuper! that I definitely wanted to purchase the Pro version of the application and to support the developers, but I didn’t as I found out I already purchased it earlier, I just forgot about it 🙂
I’m still curious about what caused all this, so just to be on the safe side I’m going to run ClamXav (antivirus), do another complete backup and then try my guest account and see if it happens all over again.
Update: I later found out that it’s probably a bug. If the guest account was created under Leopard and you upgrade to Snow Leopard, then this can happen. I’m not sure exactly what happens, or why. But it’s said to be a good idea to disable Guest account under Snow Leopard and enable it again, after which there shouldn’t be any problems.
I also noticed a few days after posting this article that somebody from Cupertino was reading it (thanks to live web stats, Woopra). I wonder if Steve Jobs had some guest account issues with his Mac 🙂