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Microsoft server failure causes Sidekick data loss

Contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists and photos belonging to some Sidekick smartphone users have been lost, most likely for good, following a disruption at a T-Mobile cloud-based data services provider.

Sidekick customers' information — including their contact lists and other data — is stored in the cloud on servers at Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, a T-Mobile spokeswoman told on Monday.

A server failure occurred at Danger last Thursday and affected all Sidekick owners, the T-Mobile spokeswoman said. Customers were able to use their phones but lost virtually all their data. Some users tried to restart their devices during the server failure by removing their battery or letting it drain completely, which reset their phone and likely eliminated any hope of recovery -- unless Microsoft can restore what it lost on their servers.

“Regrettably, based on 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,” T-Mobile said in a notice to customers Saturday. “… 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.”

It is unknown how many Sidekick users lost their data as a result of the incident, the T-Mobile spokeswoman said. Some data, however, has since been retrieved.

“If they left their phone charged and abstained from removing the battery their data should be retrievable,” she said.

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