Apple has released a patch to cover a hard drive problem in its Snow Leopard system.

Releasing what it calls a ‘performance update' for OS X 10.6, the company claimed that a feature in Snow Leopard causes the hard drive to ‘pause'.

A statement said that the problem affects only a small number of users, and a total of 15 machines, including versions of the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Mini.

Following reports of complaints by Apple users earlier this week about their data being deleted when they logged into the operating system using a guest account, Apple claimed that: “This update addresses intermittent hard drive related pauses reported by a small number of customers.”

Full details on the patch installation and affected computers can be found here.