updated 07:15 am EST, Mon November 26, 2007
Tiger update, data loss
Apple may have knowingly shipped its latest Tiger operating system update with a bug that could cause complete data loss on Macs with Apple's Boot Camp installed. Echoing a growing support thread in Apple's forums, a report by Macworld UK suggests that older Macs with Boot Camp partitions may suffer a system error on restart when users install the Mac OS X 10.4.11 update: although the problem affects unknown number of users, it is reportedly acknowledged by Apple support as a known issue and requires affected users to completely reformat their drives. The consequences not only include complete data loss in some cases, but also the inability to re-install Boot Camp, as the software -- bundled with the newest Leopard operating system -- is no longer available to Mac OS X Tiger users. Some users in Apple's own forums have reported success retrieving data from the Mac partition when using it as "target FireWire disk."
"Reports from trusted sources indicate Apple may have shipped the software update with a known bug, and owners of some Macs have seen their systems become inoperable since installing the software," the publication said. "When restarting, users find their Mac partition hangs in the blue screen. Apple support staff appear to suggest the only solution is to erase the entire drive an all data in order to resolve the problem."
The report said that the flaw is known to have affected an analyst firm's former Apple analyst:
"It is evidence (in my opinion) of very sloppy software release. To crash a system on a known problem with Boot Camp is 100 per cent totally unacceptable. People (like me) have just too much stuff on their systems to be having to start over with hard disk reformat," the analyst told Macworld UK.