This is what one user submitted to the Apple Support Thread:
...I took them into the genius bar at apple on 59th st, nyc. They see the issue is intuit's quickbooks auto updater. this is a serious issue that may require data recovery or a quick resolution from intuit who is obviously not yet aware of the issue.
Genuis bar says, when you see, "YOUR HARD DRIVE DOES NOT HAVE A ENOUGH HARD DRIVE SPACE", DO NOT HIT OK!!! YOU SHOULD FORCE QUIT QUICKBOOKS.....
This thread was the only place I was able to find reports of the problem - but with the number of different users commenting, on both Intel and PPC machines, Tiger and Leopard, I felt more inclined to err on the side of caution and post this warning.
The issue has been confirmed by users in the comments, additionally, here is a link to a thread on Intuit's site
that is dedicated to the issue.
If this has already happened to you and you aren't running Time Machine, short of using a program like Data Rescue II or File Salvage 6.1, there do not appear to be any clear cut solutions. It looks like the updater is deleting all files from the desktop, as user-generated Spotlight searches are not turning up the content.
Just another reminder for all OS X users - whether you use QuickBooks or not - it is NOT a good idea to store files or folders, especially if they are important, on the desktop! Update:
I say this because of how system resources are allocated due to windowserver and icon memory usage. It can slow things down tremendously and lead to a less stable system. /Update
Use your Home folder or Documents folder instead. If you really want easy Desktop access, consider creating an alias, as this will at least be non-destructive in the event of some sort of problem. Additionally, Leopard users can use the Stacks function on the Dock, and Tiger owners can drag a folder to the dock for easy access as well. Programs like QuickSilver and Overflow can also make it easy to access frequently used documents and folders.
In the comments, Tom Mulhall posted this suggestion for a workaround that I think will be useful for QuickBooks users:
Before launching Q'Books, simply Get Info on the Desktop folder and
LOCK the folder. Launch Q'Books and dismiss the bogus messages. You
can then safely unlock the desktop folder for normal use (whick will
be required for other functioning of the system). You can then use
and safely quit Q'Books . Just be sure to relock your Desktop prior
to relaunching each time.
Tom has posted two more workarounds. Instead of locking the desktop folder, this turns off the auto-update function in QuickBooks:
Fix #2 (with credit to "tangrams"); for the more savy users---
Type in terminal:
defaults write com.intuit.QuickBooks2006 QBCheckForUpdatesKey NO
Then hit Return
Then Quit Terminal
(Editor's note: for QuickBooks 2007 users, replace QuickBooks2007 in the above query - while most of the reports I've read seem to revolve around 2006, 2007 seems to have its own update/internet related issues as well.)
OR Fix #3 (used here late Sunday night)
Open the file com.intuit.QuickBooks2006.plist in Users/~your user/Library/Preferences and with Property Editor set the flag for QBCheckForUpdatesKey to Boolean "No"
save and quit Property Editor