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MacBytes
Dec 17, 2007, 01:18 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: 3rd Party Software
Link: QuickBooks Deletes Desktop Folder (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20071217141857)
Description:: Intuit's QuickBooks forums are filled with comments from disgruntled users that lost data along with their Desktop directories.

The company is advising users disable the auto-update feature until the problem is corrected. To disable the feature, do this:

Launch Terminal. It's in Applications/Utilities.
Enter this command: defaults write com.intuit.QuickBooks2006 QBCheckForUpdatesKey NO
Press Return.
If you have already lost data thanks to the auto-update and don't have backups of your important files, your only remedy is to rebuild your files, or use a data recovery utility like Data Rescue II from Prosoft Engineering.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nacengineer
Dec 17, 2007, 02:57 PM
Now please stop using your computer until we fix it. Seriously can't anyone come out with a better solution than this...

The only thing this would make me want to do is stop using their crappy software. With the end of the year coming this isn't so far fetched.

Squonk
Dec 17, 2007, 03:36 PM
YIKES!!! :eek: Thankfully I'm on an older version of Quicken. Whew. And I still don't like it. Once I get an Intel machine it's back to MS Money for me!

longofest
Dec 17, 2007, 03:41 PM
YIKES!!! :eek: Thankfully I'm on an older version of Quicken. Whew. And I still don't like it. Once I get an Intel machine it's back to MS Money for me!

This isn't Quicken... It's QuickBooks.

Squonk
Dec 17, 2007, 04:04 PM
This isn't Quicken... It's QuickBooks.

I guess I was a little to Quick on the response there... Thanks for correcting me. :o

That is still a really nasty thing to have happen to the QuickBooks users. That's even worse than Quicken since it's likely on a machine which is the lifeblood of someone's small to medium business. Hopefully those business users are making regular backups. :)

Peel
Dec 17, 2007, 04:58 PM
If ever there were a doubt for the need for time machine, I think this squashes it.

Take me back to an hour ago please!

gerardrj
Dec 17, 2007, 05:44 PM
STOP USING ITUIT PRODUCTS!
Yes, I shouted, sue me. Those people (Intuit) are poor programers and poor book keepers, the combination of which yields really lousy book keeping programs.

If you're a business you should be using M.Y.O.B. (myob.com) for a generic accounting package.
If you need personal finance software for the Mac, I suggest Moneydance (moneydance.com).

Both apps use true accounting rules and principles and provide true cross-platform compatibility with their file formats and functionality. And... they both have free trials downloadable from their websites.

I fairly regularly migrate Intuit users to another app. Not one has regretted the switch yet. The other apps are more flexible, easier, more thorough and stable.

loafyucf
Dec 17, 2007, 07:19 PM
my company has been using Quickbooks forever on windoze. I just installed the 2008 version of the enterprise last week. I didn't want to because I was going on vacation. Sure enough a problem -> the accountants are blue-screened when they try to print an invoice. The tech support page that the error message refers to says, "We are currently researching this error, it might be fixed in future updates".

Seems like it is becoming common practice to release beta software
go:apple:

ianvacin
Dec 17, 2007, 07:59 PM
Dear QuickBooks Pro for Mac users,

We apologize for any problems that may have occurred related to today's QuickBooks Pro for Mac 2006 and 2007 product update activity. As you may know, we resolved the update issue this morning and understand some of you have been affected. We have launched the following site to share information and are committed to working with any customers affected on a one-on-one basis. As a reminder, if you think you may have been affected we request that you share your contact info with us so we can assist you right away.

http://support.quickbooks.intuit.com/support/Search.aspx?kbID=1009249&sg=SG_QuickBooksProforMac2007&mod=12-17-2007+9:34:42

Sincerely,
Ian Vacin
Offering Leader of Intuit's Mac Financial Software

Doctor Q
Dec 17, 2007, 10:25 PM
Can you say "public relations disaster?"

Cooknn
Dec 17, 2007, 10:37 PM
I'm relegated to using QB Pro 2005 on my MacBook which is still running OS X Tiger. I refuse to upgrade QuickBooks until they integrate the ability to Import From Web Connect - which has been available in Quicken for a couple of years :cool:

BWhaler
Dec 17, 2007, 10:50 PM
Intuit has been an utter disgrace for years.

Such a shame since it was such a great company once.

But now, it spits out a buggy program every 14 months with 2-3 new features, some bug fixes but adds tons of news bugs, and calls it an upgrade.

When people stopped buying these jokes of an upgrade, they turned their product into crippleware to force an upgrade every two years. (Online services require an upgrade.)

To say nothing that the Mac versions of their products suck beyond words.

Oh, and the horrific India call centers when you need to find your activation code. Some idiot accused me of stealing the software I bought 4 years ago because I didn't know the phone number it was registered under. I explained to my new friend in Bangalore that my company has hundreds of phone numbers, so it was kinda hard to guess. (Although I did have the serial number and office address correct, the idiot still harassed me for 25 minutes before giving me a code to use the software we had purchased.)

I just hope Apple puts an end to this silliness like they did Adobe.

Quicken is the one program I have no problem "borrowing."

Screw Intuit. Bunch of crooks and lackeys.

And this epic quality disaster is no surprise. No surprise at all. You know when you make Microsoft look good, you have problems.

Cooknn
Dec 17, 2007, 11:41 PM
I just hope Apple puts an end to this silliness like they did Adobe. Quicken is the one program I have no problem "borrowing."Even with the hand-me-down features we get 3 years later, who is doing it better? I assume you payed for it once. Why even use latter versions if they don't do it for you. I refuse. Until there's something better I'll just hang. What can Apple do? I don't understand the reference to Adobe...

wjbombo
Dec 17, 2007, 11:48 PM
Why am I not surprised? For many of the reasons posted above.
I got so fed up with Quickbooks that I built my own financial program in FileMaker Pro (I'm a FileMaker Developer so don't try this at home kids;))
I gotta say, I don't miss it at ALL!

If this had happened to me... well,... I guess I can just say that litigation comes to mind. This is going to REALLY hurt Intuit!

It doesn't exactly scream confidence in their tax software either! :eek:

Best of luck to those of you affected.

thejadedmonkey
Dec 18, 2007, 12:56 AM
Can you say "public relations disaster?"

Not really... just check the post above yours:rolleyes:
They've already beat Apple at PR just by admitting that they're at fault and offering to work with users individually to fix the disaster.

How long did it take Apple to fix that data loss bug while copying over a network share, or the whole "some macbooks have Segate hard drives that go crap in the night"?

dnedved
Dec 18, 2007, 01:27 AM
Add me to the list of people who are absolutely not surprised. QB stopped being a quality product years ago. Their software continues to get worse with each and every version, so it's no surprise that they've gotten to the point where they actively damage your computer. If someone told me that QB causes cancer I'd believe it, I know it definitely causes hypertension and stress.

As annoying as QB for windows has gotten with their trying to make it look like a web page and forcing you to upgrade constantly, their Mac offering is so much worse that it defies description.

And as bad as their Mac software is, their third-party payroll solution that they ship and barely support (the word payroll is completely absent from the index in the manual for instance!) is completely non-functional. They make you pay for support phone calls, which I did for multiple hours, all while taking time out of my business and paying for my accountant (who is a wiz in QB normally) to sit in on the calls. After more than a thousand dollars of my money, not counting my time, we gave up. It just doesn't work, and I suspect they know it. How their customers can run a successful business without a functioning payroll is beyond me. They did refund my purchase price (but not my accountant's time of course).

I continued to run my business on the old version of QB for windows for years in emulation (not including their windows payroll product which barely worked, it was cheaper and easier to just ask my accountant how much money to withhold each month) but the pain I felt every time I tried anything with Intuit was a large part of the reason I decided to close that business. The day I finally got to get rid of QB was the same day I completely got rid of Windows and was probably the happiest day I've ever had with a computer.

I'm happy enough with Moneydance for personal finance (it has lots of quirks and issues but is under active development) and for my next business venture will use absolutely anything OTHER than an Intuit product.

There's a very good reason why so many independant professionals hate Intuit so much. When your livelihood depends on their software, their customer-hostile approach really causes anger to build over the years. They've truly earned their reputation as "the one software company worse than Microsoft".

SC68Cal
Dec 18, 2007, 02:11 AM
I love how QB is getting all the blame. Naturally, they messed up. But Apple Engineers have been ignoring this problem for years and years and years claiming that it "Works as Designed" (sic).

This all happened because OS X allows you to overwrite directories with a file. Go ahead, try it. Open TextEdit, type a character and save the file. Go to your Home directory and name the saved file Desktop. Notice how it prompts you to replace?

No other operating system is dumb enough to allow you to overwrite a directory with a file.

Works. As. Designed.

longofest
Dec 18, 2007, 05:15 AM
I love how QB is getting all the blame. Naturally, they messed up. But Apple Engineers have been ignoring this problem for years and years and years claiming that it "Works as Designed" (sic).

This all happened because OS X allows you to overwrite directories with a file. Go ahead, try it. Open TextEdit, type a character and save the file. Go to your Home directory and name the saved file Desktop. Notice how it prompts you to replace?

No other operating system is dumb enough to allow you to overwrite a directory with a file.

Works. As. Designed.

How many test runs would it have taken to find out that the installation script over-wrote the desktop folder?

Answer: Once.

mainstreetmark
Dec 18, 2007, 09:36 AM
I love how QB is getting all the blame. Naturally, they messed up. But Apple Engineers have been ignoring this problem for years and years and years claiming that it "Works as Designed" (sic).

This all happened because OS X allows you to overwrite directories with a file. Go ahead, try it. Open TextEdit, type a character and save the file. Go to your Home directory and name the saved file Desktop. Notice how it prompts you to replace?

No other operating system is dumb enough to allow you to overwrite a directory with a file.

Works. As. Designed.

Err.. perhaps what you meant to say was that "windows does not".

If you go through all the trouble saying "Replace" to this prompt:

A file or folder with the same name already exists in the folder Documents. Replacing it will overwrite its current contents.

Then that's what it should do. It should "replace" the "file or folder" you told it to. It'd be a bug if it didn't, as the OS is preventing something that me, the user, wishes to do (for whatever reason).

It >IS< Intuit's fault, and no one else's, so if you feel the need to bash Apple on this one, please, go over to the Intuit forums. You'll get no support out of this thread.

Doctor Q
Dec 18, 2007, 09:43 AM
Not really... just check the post above yours:rolleyes:
They've already beat Apple at PR just by admitting that they're at fault and offering to work with users individually to fix the disaster.

How long did it take Apple to fix that data loss bug while copying over a network share, or the whole "some macbooks have Segate hard drives that go crap in the night"?I think Intuit has shown good character by 'fessing up and dealing with the problem this way, but it's still bad to have your name in the news about a major goof. More people see the negative news than the positive responses.

xUKHCx
Dec 18, 2007, 09:49 AM
iWeb had this quirky issue where if you named the site "." without quotes and exported to a folder it would delete the folder. I lost some documents because of this.

mainstreetmark
Dec 18, 2007, 10:25 AM
iWeb had this quirky issue where if you named the site "." without quotes and exported to a folder it would delete the folder. I lost some documents because of this.

"." is unix for "this current folder". ".." is unix for "the parent folder"

longofest
Dec 18, 2007, 01:44 PM
iWeb had this quirky issue where if you named the site "." without quotes and exported to a folder it would delete the folder. I lost some documents because of this.

"." is unix for "this current folder". ".." is unix for "the parent folder"

still, if you're putting a "." as the filename in a save dialog box, that should be interpreted as you want to name your file ".". If anything, it should throw an error, not over-write your current directory.

SC68Cal
Dec 18, 2007, 02:27 PM
Err.. perhaps what you meant to say was that "windows does not".

It's not only Windows. Try it in the Terminal. The UNIX underbody won't allow you to overwrite a directory with a file. Go ahead and try. Open up terminal, start up nano, and try and do the same thing. If you try and replace it you get an error that the file you wish to replace is a directory.

Also, you know that OS9 didn't allow this?

http://rixstep.com/2/20070210,00,00


If you go through all the trouble saying "Replace" to this prompt:

Then that's what it should do. It should "replace" the "file or folder" you told it to. It'd be a bug if it didn't, as the OS is preventing something that me, the user, wishes to do (for whatever reason).

Again, if you use nano and you answer "Yes" to the prompt to replace, you still get an error that you are trying to replace a directory, which is not allowed by UNIX.


It >IS< Intuit's fault, and no one else's

So it's Intuit's responsibility to make BAND-AID code for Apple's Filesystem APIs. Right. Sure. Sadly, this is the case. Plenty of ISVs have to create band-aid code to prevent Apple's Filesystem APIs from hosing everything. Look at Microsoft Word. It prevents you from doing it with some band-aid code. Some filemanagers (like Xfile) have done the same thing. It shouldn't be the responsibility of ISVs to plug OS-level holes.


still, if you're putting a "." as the filename in a save dialog box, that should be interpreted as you want to name your file ".". If anything, it should throw an error, not over-write your current directory.

This goes to show you how much Apple knows about UNIX. You shouldn't be allowed to name a file just "." because that will totally wreck havoc. That's a hard link to another directory, which is dangerous enough to keep normal file operations from creating hard links to directories. They're only made when you invoke mkdir, and only two are made. Imagine hard linking a folder and then trying to cd to it. You could end up in a loop.

if you feel the need to bash Apple on this one, please, go over to the Intuit forums. You'll get no support out of this thread.

As soon as someone criticizes what Apple is doing, immediately I'm an Apple-hater? Every time someone files a bug report, they're an Apple-hater?

This bug is AT LEAST a year old. #4893378

chillywilly
Dec 18, 2007, 02:55 PM
Read the heads up on this issue over at tuaw.com.

I use QB NUE 2006, which uses the same update process. Ran the terminal command to turn off automatic updates and ran QB without issue.

I agree with Doctor Q that at least Intuit realizes its mistake and is taking steps to help people that were affected by it.

Granted, I've only been using Quicken products for the last 3 years now (used to have all my financial stuff on MS Money under Windows) and haven't had too many problems.

Up until now, my only issue with Intuit was releasing a new version of Quicken that wasn't Universal Binary, which kept me at Quicken 2005 for my personal finances.

So far, the NUE is perfect for my minimal small business needs.

This issue did prompt me to move all of the data on my desktop to other places and only use aliases on the Desktop. Didn't realize I had over 4gb of data on the desktop. It's a common collection zone for most of what I do.

mainstreetmark
Dec 18, 2007, 04:09 PM
As soon as someone criticizes what Apple is doing, immediately I'm an Apple-hater? Every time someone files a bug report, they're an Apple-hater? Are you nuts?

This bug is AT LEAST a year old. #4893378

Bug or not, OSX works this way (as that dialog clearly states) and Intuit is at fault because their update process deleted the home directory for "every user". The fact that OSX allows someone to automatically replace a folder with a similarly named file is somewhat irrelevant. They have a major and obvious bug in their update process.

I can't speak to what's going on inside their process, of course. For all we know, the guys used ~/Desktop/.tmpdir as some temporary download spot and when it finished, did a rm -rf ~/Desktop.

Because Apple allows someone to delete directories doesn't mean it's Apple's fault when someone does.

You bring up an interesting point about the shell. It means that this folder-replacing allowance was added by Apple, because if it were left up to the bsd subsystem, there'd be an error. And, perhaps in their philosophy of trying not to throw error messages around all over the place, they simply made it possible to do what the user asked for, after a clearly worded warning.

--
edit: Why aren't they just turning off the update from their end, instead of telling everyone to turn off automatic updates on the client end? Now they'll have tons of people unable to get easy updates.

--
edit2: According to the intuit forums, the symptom just happens, without user interaction. So, someone over there has a coding error that he (amazingly) didn't catch. It's still unclear (and probably always will be) whether he tried to create a "file" called ~/Desktop, thus exploiting your bug, or simply did a poor job collecting garbage. I still think it must have downloaded a temp file to the desktop, and then just deleted the desktop, possibly due to a typo in a variable. Something like

rm -rf ~/Desktop/$tempfil

(versus $tempfile or whatever variable he might have used. $tempfil would be '', so "rm -rf ~/Desktop")

--
edit3: Yep, they're suing already.

Doctor Q
Dec 18, 2007, 05:39 PM
Because Apple allows someone to delete directories doesn't mean it's Apple's fault when someone does.If Apple made it unnecessarily easy to make a mistake like this, then it's an accident waiting to happen, and we can grumble at Apple for that.

Non-trivial programs will always have bugs, and while a programmer can make a grievous error no matter what precautions an operating system takes, the more the O.S. does to lessen the chances, the better.

It's hard for an OS to know for certain what a program has in mind, but requiring extra actions to replace the Desktop folder with a file or protecting "." seem like reasonable precautions.

thevibesman
Dec 19, 2007, 02:39 PM
EDIT: Nevermind, I guess I misread your example. By "name the saved file" I didn't realize you meant "name the file you are saving" not "rename the saved file". Too bad, because when I read your post, I though I'd be able to get my alias idea to work--haven't tried it yet due to an important project that went up last weekend.

Open TextEdit, type a character and save the file. Go to your Home directory and name the saved file Desktop. Notice how it prompts you to replace?

No other operating system is dumb enough to allow you to overwrite a directory with a file.

Works. As. Designed.

Maybe I'm missing something, but when I try your example I get the message: "The name 'Desktop' is already taken. Please choose a different name."

If there is some way to get the file to replace the folder like describe, let me know because I've been hoping to experiment replacing my user folders with aliases.

SC68Cal
Dec 19, 2007, 06:09 PM
Too bad, because when I read your post, I though I'd be able to get my alias idea to work--haven't tried it yet due to an important project that went up last weekend.


PM me. Maybe I can help. Most likely you'll want to look into Symbolic or Hard linking.

CTYankee
Dec 20, 2007, 10:40 AM
Digg this...make sure Intuit sees their gaff on the front pages and learns to do things better...and make sure customers steer away from this crappy software until then.

Buddy-licious
Dec 27, 2007, 07:24 AM
I have used QB's for 15 years for my business on my PC. I am slowing getting rid of everything to do with my old PC and my old laptop. Therefore, I was on my way out to purchase QB's for Mac and I saw this thread!!!!! Like I said, I have used QB's for 15 years....I wanted to continue using it to make things simple. But now what do I do since the QB for Macs seems to be a mess?