T-Mobile - All your Sidekick data belongs to ... well, no one ... it's gone!

T-Mobile - All your Sidekick data belongs to ... well, no one ... it's gone!

Summary: Cellphone service provider T-Mobile is owning up to what could be one of the biggest cloud-computing disasters so far.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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Cellphone service provider T-Mobile is owning up to what could be one of the biggest cloud-computing disasters so far.

According to T-Mobile, a server failure at Microsoft/Danger has meant that personal data stored on the Sidekick cellphone has "almost certainly has been lost."

Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.

While T-Mobile is working to recover some of the data, customers are being advised on what to do to prevent them losing their data.

We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.

There's also information on rebuilding contacts data:

  • Your Sidekick is capable of importing contacts saved in vCard format. A vCard is like an electronic business card often found attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.
  • If you have contacts in Vcard format, you can e-mail, text, mms, or Bluetooth those contacts to your device. Once received, you can click “Import" on the Vcard and it will be added to your address book.
  • Many popular Personal Information Manager (PIM) applications such as Microsoft Outlook can export address book information into vCard format. If you use one of these applications on your computer you may be able to export the address book entries and e-mail them to your @tmail.com address.
  • If you have e-mail accounts with gmail, yahoo, or AIM you can use their 'export contacts' function to convert and send the contacts to your @tmail.com address in vCard format.

I'm afraid I can't offer you any more advice at present, but if you're a Sidekick user, please feel free to use the Talkback section for scream therapy ...

Topic: Mobility

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98 comments
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  • the clue was in the name "Microsoft/Danger"

    duh...
    deaf_e_kate
    • Server failure

      Can happen to anyone at any time.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • But

        Server failure with no or corrupted backups happen to careless admins. Where are the verified off-site backups?
        daengbo
        • You are right with that

          Backups are essential to a business. It is silly to think they didn't have any made.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
        • Not acceptable

          I agree. They must have NO redundancy at all!
          This makes me nervous as a T-Mobile customer!
          Don't have the Sidekick though.

          I was in charge of backups for a large company.
          We had servers go down on a fairly regular
          basis. But is was just an inconvenience and
          never a mater of data loss. Besides having full
          backups run every Friday, we had differentials
          run every day. These tapes were kept offsite
          for six weeks and then rotated back into the
          media library. Plus, we used Shadow Copy
          (Windows Server 2003). So if we were missing
          data on tape we more than likely had it on
          Shadow Copy. You have to have a disaster
          recovery plan!
          cooljac
      • What daengbo said

        It shows incompetence. More so if you're talking about Microsoft. The real culprit is (let me clue you in I live in Seattle so this isn't all "conjecture") Microsoft likes to contract operations work since that line of work is "beneath" their desktop software heritage. What kind of statement does it say about Azure and their cloud computing efforts in general when they aren't running the show and deferring to someone else? It means they're not serious in doing what it takes to compete in the space, that's what it means.

        -M
        betelgeuse68
      • Server failure can happen to anyone?

        But backups can only happen to the competent.
        handydan9181
        • Love it!

          :)
          Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
        • you can carve..

          ..that in stone and send it to T-Mobile .. LOL!

          Very nice! ;*)
          thx-1138_
        • nt


          thx-1138_
      • Key was server failure (singular) caused data loss!! Shows MS has NO clue

        A SINGLE server failure should never cause
        data loss. And, then there is the concept of a
        backup.
        DonnieBoy
        • Happened Again!

          Slurping a bowl of hot chicken soup, I just hit DonnieBoys's post when the 'Next' option/link disappeared AGAIN!
          This happened to me again just recently as yesterday!
          I just plainly enjoy some Blogs AND their posts.
          The 2nd component is often what makes it a really good read.
          Rollicking funny sometimes, infantile and immature once in a while, but mightily informative often enough.
          So, I'm effectively cut off AGAIN! Drat it!
          PreachJohn
      • When do the...

        lawsuits start. :-)
        donw1234
      • Server failure, sure...

        But no backup??? What kind of Mickey Mouse operation doesn't have a Disaster Recovery plan these days?
        PzR
        • They use the monkey boy plan...

          Jump around and throw stuff :)



          Note: This is just a joke.
          mrlinux
          • That doesn't mean . . .

            . . . it isn't true!
            sporkfighter
      • Which is why we have these things called "redundancy" and "off-site backup"

        Foreign words to Microsoft, apparently.

        Let this be a lesson; never trust your data to
        something powered by Microsoft!
        AzuMao
      • Yeah but . . .

        . . . I have redundant drives in my desktops and backup to them nightly, and USB drives I back up to weekly.

        Is it too much to expect Microsoft and its subsidiaries to do the equivalent?
        sporkfighter
      • Which is why...

        You make a full BACKUP on a regular basis, incrementals even more regularly and you make damned well sure that the backup has been successfully completed and tested BEFORE you start work on upgrading your SAN... :-S
        wright_is
  • Wait... What?

    [i]We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.[/i]


    Letting the battery die will erase user data? What kind of memory does this thing have?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion