Sidekick data saved: “most, if not all” files restored

Oct 15, 2009
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Sidekick owners, you can stop mentally-spending that $100 gift-card T-Mobile promised.  In a new statement updated to the Sidekick forums, Microsoft's Roz Ho - VP of premium mobile experiences - has confirmed that the company has recovered "most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage."  She also confirms that the restored files will begin to feed back into devices starting with contacts; reports yesterday suggested that the process had already happened.

As for the cause of the data loss - which Microsoft now claims "affected a minority of Sidekick users" - Ho is blaming a system failure in the core database that was then spread to the backup version.  This partly tallies with previous rumors that Microsoft outsourced a Sidekick system update to Hitachi but neglected to perform full backups before handing over responsibility.

Once contacts are restored, Microsoft will deliver users' calendar entries, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores.  They've also changed their data management policies in the hope that this doesn't all happen again (and that they can convince users to stick with the Sidekick platform).

Official Statement:

Microsoft Confirms Data Recovery for Sidekick Users

Data Restoration to Begin as Soon as Possible for Affected Customers

Dear T-Mobile Sidekick customers,

On behalf of Microsoft, I want to apologize for the recent problems with the Sidekick service and give you an update on the steps we have taken to resolve these problems.

We are pleased to report that we have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. We plan to begin restoring users’ personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after we have validated the data and our restoration plan. We will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.

We now believe that data loss affected a minority of Sidekick users. If your Sidekick account was among those affected, please continue to log into these forums for the latest updates about when data restoration will begin, and any steps you may need to take. We will work with T-Mobile to post the next update on data restoration timing no later than Saturday.

We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data.

We will continue working closely with T-Mobile to restore user data as quickly as possible. We are eager to deliver the level of reliable service that our incredibly loyal customers have become accustomed to, and we are taking immediate steps to help ensure this does not happen again. Specifically, we have made changes to improve the overall stability of the Sidekick Service and initiated a more resilient backup process to ensure that the integrity of our database backups is maintained.

Once again, we apologize for this situation and the inconvenience that it has created. Please know that we are working all-out to resolve this situation and restore the reliability of the service.

Sincerely,
Roz Ho
Corporate Vice President
Premium Mobile Experiences, Microsoft Corporation


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