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Reports on OS X iTunes2 Install erasing filesReturn to News Page


Reports on OS X iTunes 2.0 Installer Erasing OS 9 Partitions/Files
Posted: 11/2/2001
Last updated: 11/9/2001

Apple Posts Recovery Tips for Lost Files with OS X iTunes 2.0 Installer: Apple's OS X iTunes 2.0 installer Alert page includes tips on file recovery for those that lost files with the 2.0 installer. This may not work for all cases and especially if any other file writes were made to the affected volumes. Here's Apple's suggestions:

    "What to do if you have experienced data loss during the installation of iTunes 2 for Mac OS X

    Users who have experienced data loss during iTunes 2 for Mac OS X installation have reported successful restoration of files using file recovery applications. If you have experienced data loss during iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X installation, it is important that you DO NOT perform any operations that would write data on the affected partition.

    There are a few products available that offer the ability to recover data:

    • Norton Utilities for the Macintosh by Symantec Corp.
    • TechTool Pro by MicroMat Computer Systems.
    They offer diagnostic software including hard drive diagnostics, data recovery, other utilities. When utilizing either of these products to attempt to recover your data, utilize the facilities to recover erased files and not the facilities to repair or recover volumes. Most of these products recommend you reboot your system from a CD before attempting to recover data.

    If you require further assistance, or have additional questions, please contact AppleCare at (800) 275-2273."

Some of the readers that had files erased noted they were not successful with disk utilities in getting the files back. (Based on comments from some readers on the here. ) If anyone has been able to recover erased files, let me know. (the reader feedback below includes one report on trying to recover data.)

Revised OS X iTunes 2.01 Installer Available Now:
Although it was pulled yesterday (Saturday), as of today Apple has restored the iTunes2 for OS X 10.1 download link at their iTunes2 download page. This revised installer (hopefully) should not have the issues some noted with the original (11/2/2001) version.
Apple has this note on the download page now:

    " An important note for those who have downloaded iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X: Apple has identified an installer issue with iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X that affects a limited number of systems running Mac OS X with multiple volumes (drives or partitions) mounted. For those systems, running the iTunes 2.0 installer can result in loss of user data. While this error is highly unlikely to affect most users, Apple strongly advises that anyone who has downloaded the 2.0 version of iTunes for Mac OS X, as well as anyone who has a beta version of iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS X, immediately remove the iTunes.pkg installer file from their system. A new version that corrects this issue, iTunes 2.0.1 for Mac OS X, is now available from this page. Users who have already installed iTunes 2.0 without incident do not need to reinstall iTunes 2.0.1, but they should still immediately remove the 2.0 installer file from their system. This issue does not affect users of iTunes 2.0 for Mac OS 9. "

A reader (Jesse F.) sent a note with the most concise explanation of why the 2.0 installer wiped files, with info from a post at Slashdot:

" In the installer is a small shell script to remove any old copies of iTunes. It contained the following line of code:

rm -rf $2Applications/iTunes.app 2
where "$2" is the name of the drive iTunes is being installed on. The problem is, since the pathname is not in quotes, if the drive name has a space, and there are other drives named similarly then the installer will delete the similarly named drive (for instance if your drives are: "Disk", "Disk 1", and Disk 2" and you install on "Disk 1" then the command will become "rm -rf Disk 1/Applications/iTunes.app 2
The new updated version of the installer replaced that line of code with:
rm -rf "$2Applications/iTunes.app" 2
so things should work fine now."

(Comments on the original release of OS X iTunes2.0 installer Follows)
I've installed iTunes2 on 4 Macs with no problems seen so far, but several readers have reported the OS X iTunes2 install wiped (erased) files on some non-OS X drive paritions. (See below for reader reports.)
All 4 macs I installed OS X iTunes2 (and OS 9 iTunes2) on, including some systems with separate partitions for OS X and OS 9.2.1 had the latest OS updates, firmware, etc. and using onboard IDE controllers.

  • G4 Cube (Maxtor 100GB drive - OS X partition, OS 9.2.1 partition)
  • G4/500 DP (OS 9.2.1 on IBM 45GB, and OS X on separate WD drive)
  • G4/733 (OS X and OS 9.2.1 on one IBM 75GXP volume)
  • Powerbook G4 (OS X and OS 9.2.1 on one IBM Travelstar volume)

Feedback Wanted: If you've tried the 2nd release of the OS X iTunes2 installer let me know.

Volume Names a Factor? A reader commented on what may be a factor in why some volumes were wiped (names of volumes) in the first OS X iTunes2 installer:

" The problem is with some code in the installer. If you have more than one partition with spaces with similar names (eg "Disk 1" "Disk 2") then it will hose your drives. Apple's supposedly working on it right now.
Dogcow (forum username) "

(Hopefully Sunday's installer addresses this issue.) The 4 Macs I installed iTunes2 on (without problems) had disk names like "Macintosh HD", "IBM75GXP", "OS X", etc. - no machine had volumes/partitions with similar names.
For those that did have partitions affected, let me know if booting into OS 9, etc. shows the files there.

Problem Reports: Here are the reader reports from those that saw erased files/partitions with the original (11/2/2001) OS X iTunes2 install.

Here's one reader's comments on trying to recover files (from the 11/9/2001 news page):

" Mike,
Been awhile since the X iTunes2 fiasco, but I had my reasons for the delayed recovery attempt.

Big Blue finally came through and sent me a "replacement" for my 45GB 75GXP -- a 60GB 60GXP (!) which arrived yesterday. When I phoned IBM on Monday, I was told of stock shortages and that my replacement was to ship that day. The 60GXP was probably FOB from Thailand; the manufacturing date is OCT 2001. Given the upgrade, I'll cut them some slack for a 2.5+ week turnaround -- the website claims a usual 7-10 days.

Wasn't able to recover data with TTP; recovery always stalled. The catalog/heirarchy was a complete disaster.

As per Apple's advice, I tried Norton Unerase, setting it to search the entire disk for parts of the catalog, and to search for real and erased files -- it took about 45 min. to 1 hr. to scan the wiped 60GB 60GXP. 455,000+ files/entries found, but there were a number of duplicates. Of those, 33 entries (11 actual files) showed poor recoverability. Unfortunately those 11 were FCP captures (approximately 6GB) that after recovering don't work -- I can always recapture based on FCP project files. But I did manage to recover 9GB of captures that work just fine -- inlcuding the ones which I really cared to have back. I probably could have grabbed another 5GB in rendered files, but figured I'd just re-rendered the working projects. Although Unerase showed good recoverability of the remaining 20GB that was wiped, I cut my losses. They were temporary backups that I no longer need/needed, and filtering those entries takes 45 min. I've already spent more time on this than I care to.
Eric "

Apple posted a TIL with info on recovery tips for those that lost data with the 2.0 installer.

A followup to an earlier report, this time including volume names and noting that the files are gone (not a permissions issue as some thought).

" Files are gone, first thing I did was boot off of a 9.1 CD. The free space on the drives has gone up, reflecting the deleted files. The names of the drives affected were not similar
" OS9" (space in front of drive name)
"Free Space"
"Retro BU"

A followup to an earlier report (next one down)

" Mike -
I did reboot from a Mac OS 9.2.1 CD, hoping that I would see something. None of the files were visible. This is also how I ran Disk First Aid - off of booting from the Mac OS 9.2.1 installation CD. And yes, the iTunes install was the OS X version.

Well, at least my OS 9 partition has been defragmented!
-JD "

" Mike -
iMac DV SE 640MB Ram/original 13GB disk.
3 partitions -

Hurricane - Mac OS 9.2.1
Hurricane OS X - 10.1
Hurricane Video - video editing with almost nothing on it.

During iTunes optimization, the Finder quit. After iTunes installation was complete, my Hurricane partition
(Mac OS 9.2.1) went from 4.2GB to about 1MB. Disk Utility and Disk First Aid could not help it...
-JD "

JD's Volume names follow the theory on similar names being affected.

More info from a reader that had partitions wiped (his original post is farther down)

" My Pismo 400 1 Drive, 3 Partitions

" 1 Mac Classic" (there is space in front of the 1)
"2 Mac OS X " (there use to be a space in front of the 2, but not when I installed iTunes)
"3 Docs" (same as my second partition)

Partition 1 was completely wiped except for some locked IE plugin.
Partition 2 was untouched.. the OS X boot partition
Partition 3 was wiped except for my copy of the Copy Agent installer (it was locked).

My other computer that was affected, a platinum G3 (rev A with a rev B ROM) had two IDE drives and a SCSI drive. All wiped except for the OS X boot partition. I'm reinstalling 9.2.1 on it in order to try and recover files on it so I can list out the partitions, but the SCSI drive had 2 partitions, one IDE drive had 4, the other had 3. Iwas going to repartition some to have fewer drives, so I guess this is a good excuse to do just that.

In both cases, I removed iTunes from the Dock and trashed OS X iTunes 1 but didn't empty the trash.
(Avelino (A.J.)Santa Ana Jr) "

(See Ken's later post above for info on his volume names - here's his original post)

" Nailed me too...
Lost about 20gb of data on my 9.2.1 boot partition, nailed the retrospect backup archives on another drive.
B&W G3 W/ XLR8 G4 500@600mhzv 768mb CL2 RAM
OSX Build 5L14
Sony CDRW (slave)
Apple OEM DVD (master)
2X 45gb Maxtor Diamond Max plus on a Sonnet Tempo Raid (raidO)
3X 30gb (aprox) partitions on RAID
1X Maxtor diamond max plus 40gb (on ata/33 bus) (this is where my backup was)

Stupid me stopped backing up to CDR.... I lost about 7 years of files and work, most recent backup is from 6 months ago...
Yes I know, I should have kept a more current backup, but over years of overclocking and tweaking, this installer was, by far, the worst data loss that I have ever experienced, it pretty much deleted everything but a few files....
-KG "

" Here is my sad, sad experience with iTunes 2.
I have a Powerbook G4 500, with 768 MB of RAM and 20 gig (Apple standard) drive.

I have three partitions:
First: Mac OS 9 - 10 gigs,
Second: Mac OS 10 - 6 gigs,
Third: Backup - 4 gigs.

I downloaded the iTunes 2 installer last night around midnight. The installer asked for my password. I entered it and hit Install. After a little while I noticed that my computer restarted.

I booted up in OS X.
I tried opening Explorer first. It did not work. It would not start up.
Nothing worked, the system seemed very unstable.

I booted into OS 9 (second partition).
I ran TechTool Pro. I ran Norton Utilities.
I got on the MacNN forums, and got some more suggestions.
I purchased DiskWarrior online right away. No luck. I tried DataRescue too. It did not help.
It seems like everything just got wiped out completely by the iTunes 2 installer.

What else can I do. It is very critical for me to try to get that data back. We are talking about 6 months worth of data. I would never think that a drive with no System on it could get erased, by the world's most modern operating system.
What can be done in cases like this?
Apple's iTunes 2 was supported, when they posted it right?
I hope that they will try to fix this problem somehow, by contacting people with the problem and trying to offer them some kind of a fast data recovery!
Andras D.
Ps.: I will try to give more detail on my drive. Here is what Apple System Profiler gives me: [items trimmed for brevity]
Hard drive
unit number 0
ata device type ata
device serial 11N74178T
device revision U0.31 A
device model TOSHIBA MK2016GAP
Size: 18.62 GB
Capacity: 20 GB

Mac OS 9
Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
Capacity: 9.76 GB

Mac OS X
Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
Capacity: 5.85 GB

Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
Capacity: 3 GB

Hardware overview
Machine ID: 406
Model name: PowerBook G4
Keyboard type: PowerBook G4 Keyboard with Inverted-T
Processor info: PowerPC G4 (1.3)
Machine speed: 500 MHz "

I don't know of any way to recover the files, nobody seems to have been able to do so, at least not completely. (See the 2nd report down for one reader's attempts to use Norton and TechTool Pro to recover files.)

" I installed iTunes 2 last night and lost one of my partitions. Here are the details:

First, my computer is a Power Mac G4/350 AGP with 832 MB of RAM. I have two Hard Drives which are named and configured like this:

Master - IBM Deskstar 60 GB:
"This" - 20 GB - Mac OS X.1
"That" - 10 GB - Mac OS 9.2.1
"The Other Thing" - 30 GB - Music/Movies/Other Files - OS 9.1.1 System Folder

Slave - Western Digital 10 GB:
"Whatnot" - 9.5 GB - Video Scratch Disk
"Swap" - .2 GB - Swapfile Disk

My computer has all the latest updates from Apple including the OS X security update and the latest firmware. I erased the iTunes application before installing iTunes 2 onto "This". After installation, I noticed that the "That" partition had been erased. "This", "The Other Thing", and the other hard drive were untouched. Fortunately, all "That" had on it was a base install of OS 9.2.1 so I didn't lose anything important.
Richard "

" Mike,
This happened to my 60GB 60GXP last night, thought I was alone. Somewhat reassuring, but not really . I did notice that the iTune2 installer took a really long time to check the disks before the install -- did it wipe it them?

3 HDs attached to a Tempo/66 in a rev.1 B/W. My main 27GB Maxtor with 5 partions is fine: 9.2.1, 10.1, slim 9.2.1 (for FCP), docs, and downloads. My stock 6 GB w/ 9.1 for backup and utilities are fine. But the 60GXP went from 37GB of data down to 40MB! Just some folders, aliases, prefs, etc. left Bought and been using the IBM as emergency backup when 2 HDs needed to be replaced. Here's the kicker, it didn't even have a full OS X install. The parts of X on there were Applications folder, my Users folder; I kept parts of a Library folder -- I thought it was the one in the user directory but may have been root. No iTunes2 beta. I did have a hacked DVD Player on there -- I downloaded a posted one before it got pulled. More on DVD Player in a moment.

DW [Diskwarrior] couldn't ressurect it. The filesaver files got wiped out; Norton Volume Recover could only find 20GB.

TTP reported 37GB by scavenging. So here are some odd things I noticed with what TTP found:

  1. All the files and folder were shown as inside the DVD Player folder.

  2. I selected each folder/file to recover separately -- didn't actually recover. Both the Library and DVD Player.app each increased the recovery total by approximately 100GB, when selected. That's a total of 200+GB on a 60GB HD!?! Once I deselected those, the rest of the data came back in line in high 30s GB.
    Something got seriously hosed.

Don't know if TTP is going to be succesful. I don't have another HD big enough to hold the all those files. I really wish IBM would send me my replacement 75GXP -- I really could use it now.
Eric "

" On iTunes2 wiping partitions.
This happened to me last night. I was totally taken by surprise. I installed iTunes classic and had no problems. Booted into OS X to install iTunes2 X. I deleted the previous version of iTunes and had never installed a beta version.

After the iTunes2 install, all no OS X partitions were partially wiped. It was unbelievable! Luckily, I was able to Use Norton Utilities Volume recover to get most partitions back, and only had to restore one from a backup. Diskwarrior doesn't seem to be able a recovery of this magnitude. This whole iTunes2 install business cost me about 3 hours last night. I have never seen an install of a program do as much damage as this. It was more like a trojan horse virus.

The only non-standard thing for me is that I am running 10.1 on a pre-G3 Umax S900 with G3/400 using Unsupported Utility X.
Hope this helps to track down the issue.
Joe Borzellino "

" I just installed OS X iTunes on two computers at the same time. Both computers had multiple partitions. All partitions on both computers that weren't the boot partitions were virtually wiped after OS X iTunes was installed. A few locked files were still around, but for the most part, everything was gone. One computer had SCSI and ATA drives. All wiped.
Not very happy at all...
Others have reported it.
Avelino (A.J.)Santa Ana Jr "

" Similar problem here. I have a single disk, sliced in 5 partitions. One of them was totally wiped clean by the installer, except for a single file which was locked.

Note that the "cleansing" is nearly instantaneous. I had a window in the Finder opened on the root of said partition, with its status bar displaying available disk space. Less than half a second after clicking "Install", it showed 9.9 GB available instead of 2 or so... It must have worked its magic directly on the catalog, as I don't think 10 000+ files could have been deleted so quickly otherwise.
Disk First Aid didn't report any anomalies however.
OS 10.1 + security update, and I had manually deleted the old version (which was a prerelease (f13) version of iTunes 2, and btw it had also trashed the same partition, but I didn't complain since it was not final . I guess some QA department at Apple is bound to hear from this fiasco...
CamperHunter (forum username) "

No system details in this report but I've asked for more info.

Feedback Wanted: If you've seen this problem let me know (include your mac model, drive details, OS version on the drive, if any firmware updates were applied, etc. - as much detail as possible)

iTunes 2 Download Info: (Update - as of 3PM EST Saturday, Apple pulled the link to download OS X iTunes2, although O there is still an OS 9 verison available.)
Apple has a link to download the new version. For more info on iTunes2, see the Apple iTunes2 page.
(Note the OS X version requires OS X 10.1 and the security updates, and the readme file says you should delete the previous OS X iTunes version and any icon you have on the Dock. The OS 9 version will overwrite the previous version without having to delete it.)

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