Yet Another Reminder That You Don't Own Your Ebooks: B&N Nook Deletes Files, Blames User

from the poof-gone dept

Just as Barnes and Noble is updating the Nook, its ebook reader that hasn't gotten much traction, comes reports that of an upset customer who found that the Nook deleted all of his files, and when he complained to B&N, the company basically told him it was his fault and there was nothing it could do. While B&N was able to restore the ebooks, it could not restore anything else, not from B&N, such as his own documents and notes:
I tried to turn my Nook on this morning and it wouldn't turn on. Finally, it gave me a screen that said it was updating and that I needed to leave it be, so I did. When it had finished updating it had wiped all of the files off of my nook. When I reregister the device, the books from B&N will return, but everything, including documents not from B&N, has been deleted.

When I called technical support (1-800-THE-BOOK) to complain/make sure they were aware of the problem so that it wouldn't happen to other people, I was informed that this can happen when the device hasn't been updated in awhile. I asked if this was something they were trying to fix and I was blamed for the fact that everything had been wiped from my device because I had not been studiously updating the device. I asked if he understood how absurdly incompetent this was, my computer, after all, does not delete all my files because I don't update it for awhile. I was informed that my computer updates everyday, whereas I have apparently not updated my nook in a terribly long unspecified length of time, which was just too long and too many updates for it to handle without deleting all my files.
Amazon got in a lot of hot water years ago for deleting copies of an ebook. You would think Barnes & Noble would know better than to do the same.


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    Jay (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    Well damn...

    I'm actually in the market for an e-reader and it's been a debate on this one versus the Kindle. Looks like I'll be going with the Kindle if they have better service.

     

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      Nina Paley (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:59am

      Re: Well damn...

      Yes, Kindle offers remote unilateral book deletion service. Go for it.

       

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      TheStupidOne, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:22am

      Re: Well damn...

      The nook reads the open format epub and runs Android so it is hackable (nookdevs.com)

      Those are the two primary reasons i bought mine. This story stinks of a software glitch that someone at B&N idiotically explained away. The moral of the story is that if you have anything on your reader that isn't from B&N you should have a backup of it (I suggest DRM stripped backup versions of the B&N books as well)

       

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:19am

      Re: Well damn...

      Get yourself a Sony ereader or some other brand (I'm quite happy with my Bebook)
      and don't buy into the "all-in-one package" of B&N or Amazon.

       

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      Colin (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

      Re: Well damn...

      I followed the Kindle debacle on this site and it is what led me to buy a Sony e-book reader, which I've populated with approximately 3000 "evaluation" books downloaded of torrent networks. When I'm through reading them, I'll be in a position to report on the suitability of the Sony product as an e-book reader. To this point, I can tell you that the books don't seem to mysteriously disappear, nor have I had any problems with losing notes.

       

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      superpeople, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 1:46am

      Re: Well damn...

      Try a sony ereader you actually own the books with no worries from a company deleting them .

       

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      Beth, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

      Re: Well damn...

      Buy a Kindle B&N Suck, I got a NOOK tablet in May and something went wrong with it yesterday, I paid extra for a replacement plan, and I went today and they don't even make them any more so they gave me a preowned assuring me it was like new, it's worst than the one I returned I'm so upset, they are rude and that was the second time I took it back the first time they said there was nothing wrong with it.

       

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      Beth, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:17pm

      Re: Well damn...

      Buy a Kindle B&N Suck, I got a NOOK tablet in May and something went wrong with it yesterday, I paid extra for a replacement plan, and I went today and they don't even make them any more so they gave me a preowned assuring me it was like new, it's worst than the one I returned I'm so upset, they are rude and that was the second time I took it back the first time they said there was nothing wrong with it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Hum...telling your costumers that they are stupid. Interesting business strategy.

     

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    Scote, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Not analagous

    "Amazon got in a lot of hot water years ago for deleting copies of an ebook. You would think Barnes & Noble would know better than to do the same. "


    Amazon *deliberately* permanently deleted purchased books from customers e-readers because of licensing issues, taking not only the purchased e-books, but also customer notes. It was not an accident. The nook has a bug, a bad bug that deletes stuff from the nook when it does a big update, with the idea being that it can re-sync with your computer. But if you haven't synced with your computer recently, you may loose the documents you made in between syncs. It is an appalling, inexcusable bug, but it is not the deliberate memory holing of customer e-books the way the Amazon fiasco was.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:31am

      B&N is in what business?

      Agreed that it's not analogous to the Amazon situation.

      Also agreed that this is an appalling inexcusable bug. What makes it really bad is that some people don't see these products as a mobile platform to read books purchased from their online bookstore. They might see this as a platform to view their own documents.

      Their care with the customer's data and reply from support seems to suggest that this market segment is not one of their priorities.

      This might be good to know as there are other options: competing ebook readers, iPad, netbooks, etc.

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Ye Olde Double Standard

    Companies get all upset if you "infringe". They then threaten you with all sorts of lawsuits demanding excessive compensation for the supposed damage that they claim to have suffered. Yet when they "destroy" your data or "brick" your device; the universal response (blowing you off) is: "Not our problem, go pound sand.". It's amazing that our economy even works.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:11am

      Re: Ye Olde Double Standard

      If economies stopped working due to jackassery, we'd have no economy anywhere at present.

      This situation persists because there is no competitor stepping up and saying things like "No sir! We'd never delete your books or personal files of your device! Please forgive this incredible inconvenience, how can we make it up to you?"

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: Ye Olde Double Standard

        There doesn't have to be a competitor. The real issue is people have this crazy impulse to buy things without waiting for a marketplace to test it in the real-world. Or at all?

        I want an e-book, I'm just not happy with what's on the market now. I like the iPad probably the best, but I hate Apple and I won't give them 1 of my money. I still won't jump on any gen1 product. My data integrity and time is too important.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ye Olde Double Standard

          "people have this crazy impulse to buy things without waiting for a marketplace to test it in the real-world"

          If people don't buy things then where does the marketplace come from?

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:36am

      Re: Ye Olde Double Standard

      Our economy works? News to me.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    This is just like a computer crashing and if the user doesn't have a backup, is it the manufacturers fault that they didn't save those files? The part you just kinda skim over is the fact that the books he PURCHASED ARE STILL THERE. He was able to get them back no problem, they helped him do it, and just informed him that he would have to reload the other files. If he had used an SD card too, that also would've been fine and it wouldn't have deleted off of there either. And considering the last update was in JUNE, I find it hard for someone to be upset if they haven't used their device in 4 months.

     

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      JEDIDIAH, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:17am

      The jailbreaking problem.

      Can the end user make a real backup?

      Or will the platform specifically prevent him from doing so?

      This is a real issue with the new generation of PC "appliances" that no longer allow you to access your own data anymore.

      If you can't mount the device on a PC like a harddrive and do what you want with the data, then you aren't in a position to fend for yourself in terms of backups. This is something that should be much more prominent on the "consumer radar" than it is currently.

      If you can't "pirate" stuff then you can't preserve it. This goes for conventional archiving as well as backups.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:23am

        Re: The jailbreaking problem.

        The files that he is worried about are files he had to have gotten OFF OF HIS OWN COMPUTER, then put onto the device. The device like anything else can restart. Do I blame apple when it deleted all my music that I loaded on there when my ipod updated it's software? No. I had my backup and just reloaded, an inconvenience but I'm not crying out that they're trying to get rid of music that I don't own. This entire argument is ludicrous. The NOOK allows you to load Epub, ereader and pdf files, but in order to do you, you must first have the files on your computer. If you are worried about those, they didn't come from barnes and noble, how is Barnes and Noble responsible for them?

         

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          rabbit wise (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: The jailbreaking problem.

          I know I am about to get CAPPED AT but I think you are missing the point?

          Writing updates that in any way shape or form destroy your customer's data is not a winning business strategy. Should he back up his data? Yes. Should it be B&N's problem that he did not back up his data? No. Should B&N be putting out software that has the apparently anticipated effect of destroying someone's data. No. Do I have to spend money at B&N? No. And why would I when this is their product? And why would I waste my money on any other product in their stores if they can't be bothered with this franchise product they've been crowing about for how long?

           

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        TheStupidOne, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:27am

        Re: The jailbreaking problem.

        You can mount the nook as a hard drive. This guy didn't lose the books he got from B&N, he only lost the files he put on himself. He should still have those files and can put them back on there, and if not he should have made a backup.

         

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      Rich, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      That's not it at all. He is not upset because the nook crashed and he lost all his data. He complained because when a nook updates, it can wipe all your data. He wanted them to FIX that issue, because it's an idiotic thing to do. He wasn't complaining because he was too stupid to do a backup. You shouldn't have to restore your data because the thing updates.

       

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        LEChakan, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:11am

        Re: Re:

        So, when I update my technology's operating system - whether that be a laptop, BlackBerry or likewise - I'm entitled to be aggrieved when my previously stored data is lost?

        Seriously?

        Anyone with a lick of tech sense knows to backup their data before messing with updates. Especially when we're talking third-party applications and related data....

        And that truly is what we're talking about here:

        This guy side loaded third-party data, and he now expects Barnes and Noble to replicate it for him, post-update.

        It's time, me thinks, to add the use of e-book technology to that list of activities requiring background checks, training and licensure. Otherwise, God knows...we'll end up with a world of dangerous e-book idiots - like this character - running around, creating havoc, stupid and scot free.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Let me get it right - you sincerely do not understand an issue here or just trolling is in your blood?

           

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          Rich, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He didn't update anything. The device updates itself. A lot of so-called always-on or connected devices do that. They don't destroy your data in the process. As for your "lick of tech sense" swipe: I'm a Software Engineer with 20 yrs. experience, specializing in real-time, embedded systems.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      No no no. Rookie mistake.

      The correct analogy is:

      You update your web browser (on your PC) and it decides to erase your hard-drives. Now, it's your fault that you didn't feel like updating it for 4 months and that your were using your internal HD to store important files. I mean, come on, nobody uses an HD anyomore. Please...every one knows you should always keep your PC's data in an SD card. They are much more reliable.

      So stop complaining. You BIOS is still intact isn't it? Hell, customer support even helped you to reinstall windows. You are stupid and dumb and stupid and it's your fault that you lost your data. We made no mistakes at all.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    NOOK is 20% of the e-reader market. So the idea that they don't have much "traction" is bogus.

    They should be more customer service based, definitely. For God's Sake they are from a bookstore. You should be able to call your local Barnes & Noble and talk with a person. If you can't resolve the problem over the phone, you're able to take it to the B&N, this is way easier than dealing with a Kindle.

     

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    Woadan, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Just as with synching your smartphone, this is the customer's fault as much as it is the fault of B&N. We all learned to "save as you go" with documents on our PCs and Macs. We all learned to synch up with our PDAs, then our smart phones. Why would a Kindle or a Nook be different?

     

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    DS, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    DS@mailinator.com

    "I was blamed"

    Ahh, the angry customer... I'm sure the tech asked if he had backed up his Nook, as that would be the best way to restore everything, and the customer went into even more of a froth.

    I HIGHLY doubt the tech 'blamed' him for anything, and instead, asked him a question about his backups.

     

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    LEChakan, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Ummm. Wrong.

    Non-B&N books are uploaded onto the Nook by the end user, and are not maintained on the Barnes and Noble site. Rather, those books are kept on the end user's computer, usually in Adobe Digital Editions.

    I'm all for bashing the Big Bad Corporate Demi-Gods, but truly...in this case, it wasn't the fault of B&N. The end user has a backup somewhere, otherwise he'd not have been able to get the documents onto his Nook. More than likely, he's a neophyte Nookster and doesn't know his disk drives from his elbows.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:22am

      Re: Ummm. Wrong.

      Huh?

      So you see nothing wrong with a standard update wiping entire hard drives?

      You see nothing wrong with a company brushing this off?

      I'm sure you'd be happy if installing a Windows patch wiped your hard drive, right? Because you obviously backup everything.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re: Ummm. Wrong.

        question: do you understand how things like the nook and ipods work? you seem to be missing something.

        also, back up your shit.

         

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          The Groove Tiger (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ummm. Wrong.

          I think everybody here understands how the nook works: it works by deleting your stuff.

          The complaint here is that it shouldn't.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Sony for the win

    No wifi, no 3G, and DRM that is so incredibly easy to strip off the books means I can do anything I want with MY books and there's no a damn thing Sony can do about it. Cancel my account? Go for it, I've already got my books DRM free and backed up in a directory that their software can't see.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    i cannot believe how misleading this headline is. i expect this kind of reporting from the consumerist, not techdirt.

    and i am calling you out on it.

    during a nook update all his files were lost. but they were only lost ON THE NOOK. the books were still there in his account, and all were fully restored to the reader by B&N (which is strange, he should be able to just log in and get them)

    His other files? the ones he put on there? well, those files should also be somewhere else, like his computer. You cannot generate content (other than notes) on your nook. you can only consume it. And the chance of losing files is present in ANY device when conducting an update, your ipod, your phone, your computer.

    imagine if the story was: guy loses all of his iTunes when he updates to windows 7, Apple restores all of the purchased files but refuses to restore the MP3's he got from ripping personal CD's. Would your headline be about how evil Apple is?

    basically you are using one guys lack of back up to prove we don't own ebooks, even though he got all of his ebooks back? B&N does the right thing and he does the wrong thing, and ... what exactly?

    look, DRM bad, yes, ebook policies which allow sellers to erase ebooks, bad, yes. but seriously, false reporting is bad too. i expect better of techdirt.

    i expect better.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Reading comprehension isn't your strongest point is it?

      Imagine if a story was: Windows XP Service Pack 3 deletes your hard drive. Oh, but that's okay, because you still get all your Windows pre-installed software!

      Or: Updating iTunes deletes all MP3's off of your computer, even self-ripped ones that have nothing to do with Apple.

      And then the response is "It's your own fault".

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re:

        it is your fault.

        seriously.

        back up your shit. all of it. i've been singing this tune since windows 95 took out my 500meg harddrive in college. back.up.your.files. and don't cry to me or any of your computer savvy friends when you lose them.

        and reading is something i do a lot of, thanks.

        the files were erased, that was bad. but it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with 'Another Reminder That You Don't Own Your Ebooks' as the title says.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Backup my shit, that's good advice. My hard-drive can, one day, fail and I lose everything. But, on updating my software, I don't expect my hard-drive to be erased.

          Suppose you are doing a routine update to, I dunno, Java. Do you admit the possibility of your hard-drive being erased? If that ever happened, there would be bloodshed. And plenty of it. I certainly would demand blood.

          It is an obvious programming error that can cost people something that, in this day and age, is much more important than money: data.

           

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          Richard (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course you should back up - but even if you do there is still substantial hassle and wasted time when something like this happens. So no - isn't such a big disaster - but no - it shouldn't happen - and if it does the company should be sympathetic - and keen to make sure it doesn't happen again.

           

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          The Groove Tiger (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          One day, a piece of software will be made that will delete not only your hard drive, but also all your backups.

          I suppose you'll then demand that people back up their backups.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 6:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            i don't demand anything.

            i had a friend have her entire appartment complex burn down. in the time it took her to get dinner she lost everything.

            all the harddrive back ups, all the printed back ups in teh world would not have saved her files.

            see, here is the deal. these digital things, your writings, your mp3's, your books, your pictures, whatever. they are yours. how important are they to you?

            if they aren't very, and you don't back up, then don't be upset when they are gone. period.

            we went through every email, every file, anything we could find to get her any writing she had back. but it wasn't nearly a tenth of what was now gone.

            my back up plan includes printing out files, because it is hard for paper to crash or become corrupted, multiple external harddrive back ups, i use dropbox and have several friends who share files as off site storage.

            so no, i don't demand anything of you or anyone else when it comes to back up. i am speaking from experience. if these things are important to you, then YOU must be pro-active in preserving them.

            (and, as i have learned, that also means saving them in a file format that will be readable years later. i'm looking at you lotus notes...)

             

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    raelalt, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Don't backup your data to SD cards. Sheesh.

    "Please...every one knows you should always keep your PC's data in an SD card. They are much more reliable."
    .
    I hope this was said in jest because, if not, it shows extreme ignorance about the stability of SD cards which have a limited life span. And even if you were just being funny someone may take you seriously and actually do this.

     

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    Vic, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    RE: You would think Barnes & Noble would know better than to do the same.

    You would also think that people won't buy Kindles anymore, but they still do...

    I am adding Nook now to my no-buy list!

     

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    wifezilla, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    So erasing all your data during an update is a "feature"? I wonder if that is in the Nook manual...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    Every computer is connected to the internet. Every computer connected to the internet updates every day.
    Somewhere, someone's computer still uses Windows 3.11. It gets updates too.
    Everyone updates. Everything updates. Your updates. My updates. Update's updates. Updates updates updates

     

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    Jason G. (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    I don't see a problem

    As a computer engineer who designs hardware level code (not 'apps') for embedded systems (i.e. e-readers, phones, etc.) I would say that this is 80-90% not an issue about B&N intentionally clearing user content. Calling users idiots to their faces is not exactly a smart plan, but the sad truth is that users are, as a whole, idiots. Clearing user space memory, while not desirable, is at times unavoidable when updating a device like this, and B&N should defiantly warned users that all their content would be erased as well as providing a convenient backup method. As far as being an intentionally anti-consumer move, however, I just don't buy it.

     

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      Rich, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

      Re: I don't see a problem

      That can be true, especially for single-block FLASH devices. But I would call that a very bad design for something like this. I think people are missing the point. It is not about backing up your data. A device that could, randomly, delete all the stuff you have on it whenever it updates, is not a very reliable or usable one. At the very least, they should warn people it could happen.

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 1:23am

      Re: I don't see a problem

      the sad truth is that users are, as a whole, idiots.

      Unfortunately the same goes for (computer) engineers. I could provide some examples here that are not yet on my blog.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    If he would have bought a real paper book, he could have taken it off the shelf, opened it and read it.

    No calls to tech support needed - PLUS; he would really own it.

    If it was something like a reference book, it could have well been needed in a timely manner. E-books offer less value than a real book - still.

     

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    Nicole, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Really?

    I can't believe how unbelievable misleading this post is... Sure the guy on the custer service line might not have been as helpful as the caller would have wished, but really??

    The way the nook works (for those of you who obviously don't know) is that you can buy books through B&N directly, and oyu can buy ePub and pdf's from other eBook retailers. When you buy books from other eBook retailers, it is the users responsibility to load and manage those titles.

    If the nook crashes, or has a large update and the additional information gets wiped somehow, it is not B&N's responsibility to keep that data for you. Every other eBook retailer keeps an online library for you. You still own your books, you just have to reload them.

    Keep a back up of your "my documents" nook folder, then if it happens again, you can easily copy & paste the documents back onto your nook.

    Shame on you for making B&N seem like the bad guy in all this. Does the situation suck for the consumer? Sure. Is it B&N's fault? No.

     

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      techflaws.org (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 1:25am

      Re: Really?

      Is it B&N's fault? No.

      Unless you can't provide a very good reason why an update should delete any non system files, hell yes, it is.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Correct analogy

    People seem to be trying to throw out all sorts of analogies, like someone saying its like if you upgraded your internet browser and it wiped your hard drive... which is a bit of a stretch.

    If you want a real world correct analogy to the topic at hand its like if you upgraded from windows XP to Windows 7.

    You couldn't upgrade from XP straight to 7, you had to install fresh and for most people that means a quick format of the hard drive as well, either way you have to re-install all your programs.

    But if you had kept up with your updates and went from XP to Vista to 7 then you never would have had a problem.

    I have a nook, I love it, and everything in My Documents on my nook is also sitting in a Calibre library on my desktop so if I go home tonight, and update it and lose My Documents, it takes me 30 seconds to plug into my computer open up Calibre, select the books I want and hit "Send to Device"

    I would be a bit peeved if I wasn't warned this could happen, but I wouldn't be upset over it since I still have everything that I put on there to begin with on my computer.

    Also I highly recommend calibre, can convert from any ebook format to another, download meta information like ratings and covers and its makes it really really easy to manage the books I have and which I have on my device at any given time.

     

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      Rich, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Correct analogy

      The problem with analogies is they are usually wrong. This is not like upgrading to Windows 7. First off, that is a one-time thing. Secondly, it is controlled and done by the user. The device updates itself whenever. It's not about keeping backups. It's about a device that may and can wipe itself whenever. I would be miffed if every time I walked down to the park to read, the stupid thing updated and wiped out my files. Sure, I have them backed up at home, but I shouldn't have to carry those back ups around with me because of the potential for a random update. I would want to go on vacation with just the reader. I don't want to have to lug around backups, too.

       

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        athe, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 4:24pm

        Re: Re: Correct analogy

        How can you assume that the analogy is wrong (not saying that the analogy is correct either, there is not enough information either way).

        Perhaps this was similar to a major version update to the embedded device's OS, 1.x to 2.0?

        If so, what it should do is warn the user that this may/will cause data loss, and give them an out so that they can back up their data (B&N's fault if it doesn't).

         

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      vastrightwing, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

      Re: Correct analogy

      Do you carry your Nook backups around with you on vacation or your business trip in case B&N decides they want to reflash your device and clear all the memory? My guess is no. So imagine you're on a trip and the Nook decides it's time to reflash itself. Oops! You're caught without your backups. The whole point of the Nook is to have access to your content without lugging around a laptop. I don't care what the device is, I want control over IF and WHEN the device is updated. I even turn off my OS auto-updates because I want control of when it decides to update. On some occasions, I have returned to my PC with an empty desktop after Microsoft applied a "critical" update and it thus rebooted itself and closed all my open documents and applications (I didn't loose any data). It takes me an hour or so to recreate the same configuration I had. So I wish all manufacturers would stop this horrible assumption they can automatically reboot my devices without my consent. It's extremely annoying!

       

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    vastrightwing, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:34pm

    I'll ask the question

    Why in heck didn't the Nook ASK the user to backup his data before it cleared his files? Hummm? Most software will inform you that it's about to do a destructive operation and inform the user before the damage is done. There is no excuse for this at all. The update could have been deferred indefinitely until the owner gave it permission to do the update. In principal, I hate the idea of auto updates, especially when they are destructive. I have no tolerance for the engineers who were so sloppy with their implementation. bad bad!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Alright, maybe this is a dumb question. Why do I have to update my books? They aren't changing, the hardware isn't changing, yet they're releasing updates? Is there some malware for e-readers that I haven't heard of that necessitates this?

    This is almost like the "electric abacus". An abacus is easy to use (once you learn how to use it), can do many things, requires no power, and is portable. Much like a book.

    The electric abacus (i.e. abacus computer program) has odd limitations due to memory sizes, is not portable, requires a lot of power, suffers from random failures, and is not necessarily easy to use. Much like an e-reader.

    Next time I hear someone say "Whoops, my book ran out of power" I'm going to punch them in the face.

     

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      athe, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

      Re:

      It's software running that allows you to view those books. Software will inevitably have bugs in it that need fixing...

       

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    Rekrul, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:06pm

    Here's a radical idea; They should make a device that works properly right from the start without the need for daily updates.

    Personally, I find today's trend of making devices that are constantly "updating" by connecting to the home company, and which can be controlled remotely, to be disturbing. The last thing I want is for some company to be able to control a device I paid for.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      Daily updates? really? they released major software updates four times over the course of eight months, about one every two months, and when you used the nook, these updates improved the performance and added a ton of features every time. Sure they don't have to be updated, but if an update includes a bugfix to say.. a randomly crashing device that would then erase all the user data.. I think that update should be pushed through. You have to be at and connected to wifi anyway for that software update to download. And often it doesn't delete everything, its also even possible that he told it to by the way he pressed and held the power button, inadvertently reseting it to factory settings, by messing with it. None of those situations are directly barnes and noble's fault, and again, they arent books that he paid for from the barnes and noble store, so how are they responsible for backups of them?

       

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        Karl (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Sure they don't have to be updated

        If the story is correct, they do.

        Remember, he didn't manually install the update. He just turned it on one morning, and it updated without warning, losing all his data in the process.

        Is B&N legally responsible for his documents? No. But it's still a dick move, and it does point to the idea that he doesn't have control over the device he owns.

         

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    bratwurzt, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 1:34am

    deleting books

    I have prs-505 and am using Calibre for my book management - no updates, no deleted books, no problem. For Noodly Appendages sake - it's your gadget, take control of it! If customer service sux - search for alternatives.

     

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    rochrist, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    re:

    You folks seem to go to great pains to bend stories to fit your agenda. It doesn't really help your case to do that. Just so you know.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

      Re: re:

      see this is what pisses me off so much about this post. techdirt DOESN'T usually do that. usually they are the voice of reason in a situation providing some sort of explaination.

      this? the title and the story are mostly unrelated, and it is being spun as anti-DRM when DRM isn't even involved!

      i repeat, i expect better from you, techdirt.

       

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    Courtenay, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Nook updates and erasure of files

    THAT'S WHY YOU BACK UP YOUR FILES....FIRST RULE OF TECHNOLOGY...BACK IT UP!

     

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    Courtenay, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Nook updates and erasure of files

    THAT'S WHY YOU BACK UP YOUR FILES....FIRST RULE OF TECHNOLOGY...BACK IT UP!

     

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    Jessica, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Sounds to me like someone doesn't know what he's doing. Going by his description, it almost sounds like he factory-reset his nook by holding the power button down too many times trying to turn it on, thus resetting the whole thing. The very first thing the nook does after a factory reset is apply the latest update to the nook and wipe everything off of it.

    Lesson? He should keep his non-B&N materials backed up on his computer (considering he has to actually use the computer to put the documents ON the nook to begin with) and try storing the non-B&N materials on a microSD card as opposed to the main memory, because it wipes EVERYTHING from the main memory when it factory resets.

    This story is being seriously misrepresented all over these tech blogs, and frankly, I'm appalled.

     

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    jenn, Feb 7th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    This has happened twice to me in the last two weeks. It is rediculas. I would not buy this product unless you are only going to purchase B&N products

     

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    whatruthinking, Feb 22nd, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    nook owners expect miracles

    If you get a virus on your home computer that wipes out your harddrive do you call the maker of that computer to complain NO. Just exactly how is Barnes and Noble suppose to know about all of your personal files. There is no random huge storage computer out in never, neverland that is monitoring every darn thing you do to nook and storing a backup just in case. No-one does it for your computer either. Fact is, you wouldn't want them too. Don't expect absurd things. Don't post a stupid complaint when you haven't a clue what you are talking about. They didn't steal them from you.

     

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    Y.Y., Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:16pm

    Nook does nothing for customers..... Bad move for Nook buyers....

    This is what happened to me today. I wrote the below to their customer service email address. I have heard nothing from them.


    I just became a Nook customer for the first time and I had issues with a ebook purchased. I downloaded it into my ipad under your Nook ipad App.
    I was unable to open the the file so I deleted the book in hopes of re-downloading it to resolve any issues. (As this can occur with ipad apps as well.)
    I was then no longer able to access the book. Minutes thereafter, I searched under the website for Support and sope with your Nook Tier 1 Staff.
    The conversation was very disturbing. The first thing that I was informed was that I had to buy the book again. and when I confirmed, she says "yes."


    Only after mentioning that this may be an issue, I am informed that she will try to undelete and to wait an hour to access the book. When I deleted
    under Nook, I was given no warnings whatsoever that by deleting it under the library, I may be risking to have to purchase the book again. This is
    potentially a major lawsuit waiting for you guys at Nook. I am writing to you before I conduct myself in any other way. Please respond as to how
    Nook intends to fix this issue for future Nook customers.



    11:10:09 : (MY NAME): Initial Question/Comment: I bought this inline, downloaded it on my ipad nook app.. didn't load so I deleted it in the library... now I can't access it...

    11:10:14 : System: Welcome to the Barnes & Noble Chatroom.

    11:10:39 : System: Angelica has joined this session!

    11:10:39 : System: Connected with Angelica. Your Reference Number for this chat is 370195.

    11:10:44 : System: Thanks for joining us.

    11:11:00 : (MY NAME): hi

    11:11:05 : (MY NAME): can you help?

    11:11:28 : Angelica: Thank you for joining Barnes and Noble Digital Chat Support.

    11:12:14 : Angelica: As I understand, you are unable to open a book. Is that correct?

    11:12:15 : (MY NAME): just bought The Hospice Companion [NOOK Book] downloaded it once to the app library.... it didn't open so I deleted it in hopes of downloading it again... I can't

    11:12:45 : Angelica: I am sorry for the inconvenience, Yasushi. Let me assist you.

    11:13:00 : Angelica: With regard to your concern, where did you delete the book?

    11:13:14 : (MY NAME): in my ipad nook app

    11:13:23 : (MY NAME): under library

    11:14:05 : Angelica: Did you archive it or delete it?

    11:14:23 : (MY NAME): delete

    11:15:05 : Angelica: I see.

    11:16:20 : Angelica: What you've done is to permanently delete the book. In that case, you will need to repurchase it.

    11:16:43 : (MY NAME): so I have to pay for it again?

    11:17:25 : Angelica: Yes.

    11:18:04 : (MY NAME): you guys are crazy.... what's tech support for?

    11:18:33 : (MY NAME): I didn't get any warnings regarding this when I deleted

    11:19:49 : Angelica: I am still looking for the resolution, Yasushi.

    11:20:03 : Angelica: Let me see what we can do.

    11:21:43 : (MY NAME): I'm printing this conversation. This can lead to a major lawsuit for you guys by Nook customers. (This is not a threat remark) Apple customers can download their apps time after time once you purchase anything. I hope you have a better system....

    11:22:30 : Angelica: What I will do is to undelete this book, please try to open it again after an hour.

    11:22:47 : (MY NAME): okay... hopefully it works....

    11:22:55 : Angelica: Is there anything else I can help you with?

    11:23:24 : (MY NAME): we'll just have to wait an hour. What Tier level support are you by chance?

    11:24:10 : Angelica: We are Tier1.


    11:24:41 : (MY NAME): and your protocol is tell customers to repurchase the book?

    11:25:25 : Angelica: No, you'll just have to open it again.

    11:25:39 : (MY NAME) what's your agent number?

    11:26:09 : Angelica: You may just take note the session number 370195.

    11:26:40 : (MY NAME): I need to discuss this with someone in a higher Tier level. It's not your fault. The system they set up for you is inadequate.

    11:27:07 : Angelica: I understand, (MY NAME).

    11:27:43 : Angelica: Once I've already undelete the book, you'll just have to open it again. It will not cost you anything.

    11:27:59 : (MY NAME): There aren't enough warnings before people delete. Nook has been around long enough that there isn't an excuse for all this.

    11:28:34 : (MY NAME): what's the corporate IT's contact?

    11:28:50 : (MY NAME): email or phone

    11:29:30 : Angelica: Unfortunately, we don't have that information. But you can send an email to Service@barnesandnoble.com.

    11:30:02 : (MY NAME): okay, will do. I'll see where this leads to.

    11:30:15 : Angelica: Sure.

    11:30:20 : Angelica: Do you have any concern?

    11:30:23 : (MY NAME): merry Xmas

    11:30:34 : (MY NAME): plenty of concerns

    11:30:40 : Angelica: Thank you for contacting Barnes and Noble Digital Chat Support. Have a good night.

    11:31:00 : System: The session has ended!


    ********

    9:13PM PST I Checked my account only to find nothing..... Now I'm disturbed.

     

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    Eric Britten, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 10:25pm

    My books disappeared, too!

    I found this discussion when I Googled my problem - all my books disappeared when my Nook software updated. I hadn't updated it in a while 'cuz I usually only use my Nook when travel. So, I read that this is a problem everyone has if they don't update their Nook regularly. I just went to the Nook site and sent them a message saying that I got on a plane to start a 20-hour flight, opened my Nook - and NO BOOKS! This absolutely stinks, so I told them I'm just gonna permanently retire my Nook. I don't have the time or patience for this crap. I'll use my Ipod. Anyone want a slightly used Nook cheap???

     

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      Alexander E, Aug 17th, 2012 @ 10:24am

      Re: My books disappeared, too!

      Yes, I will buy your nook! What I don't think people are realizing is that B&N is being very nice by letting you sideload epub and pdf files in the first place. It makes it very easy to just download pirated copies of books. Hence how used to have almost every D&D manual ever made. Oh no! I lost all my sideloaded files when I updated for the first time in months, good thing I backup my OWN files, and B&N backs up THEIRS. It is known that all devices can delete shit when you update to a much newer version of software, and it's not B&N responsibility to backup your personal files. Just theirs. I find that most consumers are computer illiterate and get very irate and defensive when their knowledge on how to operate their system is proven inadequate. Learn how your device works right after you buy it and figure out how to manipulate it. Quit being an electronics sheep.

       

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    Bruce, May 10th, 2013 @ 9:29pm

    new os dumps everything to put android on nook

    For anyone still thinking of buying a nook I relate ny recent (today) experience.
    My entire operating system was just converted to android with chrome for a browser and every setting switche when barnes and noble decided that they would decide what software my device could run.no request for permission no warning and no reverting to what I paid for. Now microsoft is looking at buyingthis platform so it cansell adds and access to you device. My advice is don't buy a nook. I bought the nook hd+ and hadto return it immediately for some software failure that corrupted any book it downloadedfrom b&n now the inside components slide around every time the device is turned and the updates are swapping OS completely with no option to decline. Iexpect this one month old device to fail in less than six monthes and b&n will not be getting any more business from me

     

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    identicon
    rich, Feb 7th, 2014 @ 6:47pm

    Something is rotten in Denmark.

    Don't buy a book except paper back!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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