Sidekick Backup Problems Blamed On Management


I reported early on that the cause of the Sidekick disaster was a SAN upgrade that failed without proper back-ups in place. (see also: More Details On What Caused the Sidekick Disaster) Daniel Eran Dilger, who has chimed in several times on this situation, has confirmed this through another source as well. He has an excellent article detailing many of the factors involved in all of this mess. If you have the time, I recommend reading the article.

But for those that don’t have time, here’s a quick summary:
Why weren’t there backups?
– Confirmation from a source that the loss of data was caused by stopping a 6-day backup by order of Microsoft / Roz Ho against the recommendations of Danger engineers. Because the backup was started, they had to remove a backup from a couple months ago in order to make space available. So they were left with an incomplete backup, since it was only run for 2 of the 6 days necessary. The SAN upgrade proceeded and things apparently went wrong.

No big deal, Microsoft says they recoved “most if not all” of our data
– Daniel Eran Dilger is skeptical that this is actually the case. He believes that it is possibly just Microsoft in denial. He writes:

If the company has stumbled upon a novel recovery avenue or some unknown backup that somehow remained missing for nearly two weeks, then this is great news for Sidekick users and helps to wipe some of the egg from the company’s cloud computing services face, although the situation still remains as the worst datacenter failure to ever impact mobile users as well as one of the most absurd responses pertaining to lost data as well.

However, Microsoft is also well known for advertising bullshit it can’t deliver.

f Microsoft strings along users long enough, it will be able to pat itself on the back with a “mission accomplished” even if it ultimately never actually delivered anything. It’s like saying you’ll call somebody back after a date and then just waiting until they figure out that you’re not really interested. After two weeks, the party on the other end begins blaming itself for waiting around.

Final thoughts
I’m paraphrasing here:
– If Microsoft can deliver even most of most users’ data, that’s awesome but doesn’t make up for the fact this happened in the first place.
– If Microsoft can’t deliver the data and this is just public relations BS to keep the negative press away until mainstream media forgets about the whole issue, and things fade into the background, then this is ridiculous.

Further, with this announcement, even if the company has no real data to recover, it will have erected a plausible story for denying anything significant ever happened. Know somebody who actually lost their important Sidekick data? You’ll be able to write them off as “one of the few who didn’t benefit from Microsoft’s miraculous data recovery.” It will be their word against Microsoft’s PR. Nobody will have records of who was impacted and whose data was recovered apart from Microsoft and probably T-Mobile, and the provider will likely have its records sealed by court order when it gets its big SLA settlement from Microsoft.

His closing paragraph makes it very clear that we need to keep this issue documented and not let Microsoft weasel their way out of another situation. I’ve opened up as a forum for this. Please head over there and leave posts detailing your experience, whether you lost data, if you’ve had it restored, etc.

18 Responses to “Sidekick Backup Problems Blamed On Management”

  1. meme Says:

    I still don’t have my data back yet. :-/ (I didn’t read this.. I’ll read it later when I’m not walking…apparently I’m dyslexic…or maybe the text is too smallfor my eyes to track when there is a lot of movement)
    Anyways, why don’t they just blame it on the al-al-al-al-al-al-cohol baby?

  2. Vina Says:

    I still don’t have my data back. It sucks. I absolutely hate them.

  3. Marcofromda510 Says:

    No data, my battery fell out 2 weeks ago and never came back. Microsoft has us already being pulled along. Each of their “updates” shorter and less specific. Their last update was, we’re working hard to restore data and the process should start sometime this week. Next notice will be, working to restore data, look back in the near future for another update… switching to a my touch soon anyways. Im just hoping I can get all my info back before I switch phones.

  4. ReconRoger Says:

    so if we get our data back we don’t get the 100 dollars.

    So that’ll mean we went weeks with no contacts lost information and we are supposed to be content.

    Look ill take my information over the 100 dollars but I think that’s a little rediculous.

    So out of all this I get my data credited? Ill take it but doesn’t seem right to me

  5. Rachel - Last Res0rt Says:

    Still no data here either.

    As much as my sister is insisting we BOTH get new phones rather than keep our sidekicks, it may not matter, but BOY are we gonna raise some hell if that happens…

  6. eunice Says:

    ReconRoger on October 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm said:

    so if we get our data back we don’t get the 100 dollars.

    So that’ll mean we went weeks with no contacts lost information and we are supposed to be content.

    Look ill take my information over the 100 dollars but I think that’s a little rediculous.

    So out of all this I get my data credited? Ill take it but doesn’t seem right to me

    I completely argee. I would love to get my contacts, pics, notes, etc., then the 100 credit from tmobile. But we’re going on 3 weeks since this outage happened. We need to get more than just our data service credited.

    T-mobile: “great customer service” my @ss!

    I just hope we get our contacts and things this week and not next week or a week from now! They can’t ignore the rest of their customers that still have the sidekick!!

  7. Zman Says:


  8. chinzo Says:

    ya i just got the txt saying to log in but my browser wont let me go to the interface because its a loop or something

  9. Matt Says:

    I Never got a text saying to login to retrieve my contacts. Glad I saw the comments on here. Signed on and got my contacts back. Saved all of them to my simcard. Wish you could organize contacts on your simcard like you can on your phone. I have people with the same name that I differentiate by nicknames in my address book. If I lose my contacts again I wont know which is which.

    Lets hope they figure out a way to restore, notes, dates, pictures, AND picture messages that I never saved to my phone because they had text that I’d lose if I just saved the pic.

    And how about a SAVE FOLDER in pic messages/text messages SO WE CAN SAVE OUT OWN DATA.

  10. Wicked1 Says:

    I didn’t know about the downloading your contacts and crap on the tmo site either, way to inform your effected users. Okay, so they have our contacts. If they don’t get the rest of our stuff back, do we still get the $100. Either way, I still am switching phones. I’ll be sad to do it, but it needs to be done.

  11. Wicked1 Says:

    And the contact file are still missing some of my numbers, it has the names but no numbers. What the hell? I’m missing 23 numbers. Anybody else have blanks where numbers are supposed to be?

  12. snuzzle Says:

    Yup, blanks where numbers go, addresses, emails… these contacts are great but woefully incomplete. But I’m sure that because we got them, and cannot prove they’re incomplete, that flushes the $100 down the tubes. GG Microsoft.

  13. Kelikeke Says:

    My sidekick III sucks! I insisted buying blackberry than holding on to my sk3 All of my addresses, appointments, etc wiped out! So why can’t I have everything back in no time? My wife & I feel so miserable with our sidekick pagers Why can’t we both have $100 & also $100 credit back asap? I doubt that we ll have everything back orelse we ll switch to another company soon

  14. Kaila Says:

    Boo to my sk2! Hope that I receive $100 & $100 credit back in no time! Saw that on news about getting $100 & $100 credit on tmobile…

  15. DaffyDuck Says:

    ‘Management Failure’ ???

    Say it ain’t so, Roz….

    I guess she’ll be moved to some other high profile project next, undoubtedly to screw that up too.

  16. MrSeatle Says:

    I tried to buy a new Sidekick LX last night and they aren’t selling sidekicks right now… wth?

  17. Joe Says:

    It’s not good to look at roughlydrafted for articles. Everyone knows that Daniel is the largest Apple fanboy the world has ever seen and he never ever says anything positive about Microsoft.

  18. Jen Says:

    My Sidekick was on a pre-paid plan. I don’t think I have to explain what a nightmare I went through, everyone else here’s been through the same thing. I did the data-restore, and I got about 90% of my contacts back, and none of the rest of my lost data. After spending a few combined hours of my life on the phone with t-mobile, they’ve credited my account a whopping $8. And then proceeded to explain to me that it’s not their fault, it’s Microsofts. Well, guess who decided on having Microsoft’s system on their phone? YOU T-Mobile! I have since sworn T-Mobile off for the rest of my life. I have an iPhone now, and it is AMAZING! As is AT&T, the company I never should’ve left in the first place.

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