1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Microsoft has fixed the Windows 10 October Update data deletion bug

By Shawn Knight · 20 replies
Oct 10, 2018
Post New Reply
  1. Microsoft last week paused the rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) due to reports that it was deleting user data. Fortunately, the rollout was in a very early stage as only those that had manually checked for updates had received it. Better yet, Microsoft said reports of actual data loss were limited to one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs.

    After a full investigation, Microsoft managed to fix all known issues in the update and conducted internal validation. Now, the update is being re-released to the Windows Insider community.

    John Cable, director of program management, Windows servicing and delivery, said Microsoft will study the results, feedback and diagnostic data from Insiders before taking further steps to re-release the update to other users.

    Cable said the issue was related to Known Folder Redirection (KFR). Specifically, the update introduced code that removed empty, duplicate known folders. Combined with another change to the update construction sequence, the update was deleting the original “old” folder locations and their content.

    Microsoft identified three specific issues and has implemented fixes for each in the revised update.

    Now, the “original” old folder location and its contents should remain intact.

    Those still experiencing issues are encouraged to reach out to Microsoft Support ASAP and limit their use of the affected device. Microsoft said it cannot guarantee the outcome of any file recovery work but there are procedures in place that should help users recover lost files.

    Microsoft has also added the ability for Windows Insiders to provide feedback regarding the impact and severity of future issues. This, Microsoft said, will allow them to better monitor the most impactful issues, even when feedback volume isn’t high.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,579   +5,139

    Just tell me when they relaunch. And if system currently running 1809 update without issue.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,237   +1,671

    I wish they weren't so vague on what files dispersed. Were they all random? I haven't noticed anything missing on my machine.
  4. Thorney

    Thorney TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +18

    Will they actually undelete what has gone as surely they can reverse it at software level as long as that memory hasn't been overwritten? I lost my documents but I had barely anything in it as I usually use OneDrive but then I cant be sure until I want something...
  5. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,599   +1,588

    The files were only deleted if you maintained the original default folders in your library - and if you stored files there ('documents', 'pictures', 'music', etc)... Anything in a separate folder or drive would be fine...

    Since this only affected people who ran the updates manually - those people SHOULD have backed up their devices first... Never run ANY updates without running a backup - or better yet, run a regular scheduled backup on your drives weekly (or even more frequently).

    Of course, there are always people who decide not to do this... those are the ones who are now suffering...
  6. from the first article (Oct 9 MS explanation):
    "our engineering investigation determined that a very small number of users lost files during the October 2018 Update. This occurred if Known Folder Redirection (KFR) had been previously enabled, but files remain in the original “old” folder location vs being moved to the new, redirected location. KFR is the process of redirecting the known folders of Windows including Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc. from the default folder location, c:\users\username\<folder name>, to a new folder location. In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with KFR reported an extra, empty copy of Known Folders on their device. Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders. That change, combined with another change to the update construction sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original “old” folder locations and their content, leaving only the new “active” folder intact."
    If your folders mentioned above are ok, you are good!
    Reehahs and stewi0001 like this.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,237   +1,671

    Ah, I never really use those. Thanks for the info.
  8. again, from the article....
    "Microsoft Support is assisting customers and trying to recover data for users who may have experienced related data loss. Microsoft retail stores support services also offer this same level of support in-store. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any file recovery work, if you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area. For more information, please refer to our Windows 10 update history page (KB article), which we are updating with new information as it is available."
    edit: I suspect as in any data recovery, if as soon as you noticed the problem you ceased all use of the affected computer, you will not have overwritten the 'deleted' data. If you have been using the affected computer for days, I suspect you may not be as lucky.....if anyone knows different please correct me.
  9. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 403   +430

    The crux of the problem is that MS intended for empty folders to be deleted. Instead, they did not run any checks to confirm the folders were empty. They just deleted them. That is the worse screwup that they have made in 30 years. Damn sloppy work.
    Reehahs, JaredTheDragon and stewi0001 like this.
  10. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 749   +298

    You can stop with your bs. Read the full article from MS. You are making it out to be a way bigger issue that it ever was. It wasn't a big issue and a very very few people were even affected. Most of the folders and/or contents were just moved not deleted. Also anything that happened was fixable.
  11. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 749   +298

    Do most not know that MS has already released the update to 1809, I got it yesterday from windows update. I didn't have any issue anyways.
  12. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,599   +1,588

    Lol... they ran lots of checks - it only happened in a VERY small percentage of cases. And that was because of alternate coding that conflicted with the update... basically, one set of instructions said "delete these empty folders", while another set of instructions said, if A, B, C, D, E, and F are true, delete folder X, Y and Z.... in like 1 in ten thousand cases, this resulted in folders that weren't empty being deleted...

    And they've made plenty of bigger screwups in the past 30 years - Windows Phone, I'm looking at you!!

    That's not quite true - there are a very small amount of people whose files were DELETED - not moved... and not all of them were "fixable". If the user did any file transfers after losing their data, MS could not guarantee full data recovery.

    Still, this was a VERY SMALL percentage of users - and everyone SHOULD be backing up their files on a regular basis... certainly before performing any system updates!
    Reehahs likes this.
  13. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Booster Posts: 105   +42

    You should currently now be able to download the patch if you had originally updated to 1809.
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Files issue what about when you watch a Movie and Cortana takes over my screen and asks me if I want to put in a grocery order in the middle of a movie! This only happens on the living room laptop. I hope the update take care of that issue.
  15. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 730   +472

    Let's not bash Windows phone that much, it was one of the most responsive OS out of the iOS and Android. Mostly likely because nothing was on it.
  16. GaryMove

    GaryMove TS Enthusiast Posts: 169   +13

    I always knew that it has many issues which are making users too annoying.
  17. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,599   +1,588

    I still believe it's one of the most puzzling failures in the tech industry... MS had a virtual monopoly on PC OSes, and with the emergence of the mobile phone, there seemed no reason to believe that they wouldn't extend this monopoly - or at least be right up there with Android and iOS. Users were already used to Windows, how would they not want it on their phones?!? That it basically doesn't exist any more can only be viewed as complete incompetence.
    Reehahs likes this.
  18. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,189   +2,475

    As I see it, M$ was late to the game with a modern smart phone OS. Their initial smart phone OS was the Pocket PC OS until they realized that the Pocket PC OS was archaic compared to iOS and Android. Would I call that incompetence? Perhaps. However, it may more have been arrogance or simply not wanting to invest the manpower/resources into updating their phone OS. When they finally did, it was too late to catch up to the competition.

  19. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Booster Posts: 105   +42

    I did not realize people use Cortana.... interesting.
  20. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Yes I use it because I am into AI's use to write code for computer voices. But now they sound more human. Still Cortana is my favorite out the other two woman AI's. Funny I am into robots one for the floors and the other one for cleaning the tiles floors. Top it off I have Zoomer the robotic dog. Well that was a gift from prior ex-gf. But Cortana is like your girl friday.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...