Microsoft Explains Why Windows 10’s October 2018 Update Was Deleting People’s Files

Microsoft can recover lost files Windows 10 October 2018 Update - But You Need To Call Them

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) was made available on October 2nd but hadn't yet been pushed through Windows' automatic update system. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update was installed the original "old" folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:\users\username\pictures would be deleted; c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures, the new location, would be preserved).

Microsoft has issued an updated OneDrive client that moves the files as expected.

John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery penned a long blog post to explain what went wrong during testing.

Microsoft added code in the October 2018 update that would make sure these empty duplicate folders were removed. The company states that it has investigated, identified, and fixed all the issues that led to the loss of data for a "few (one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs)" users.

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After the April 2018 Update, some people who had previously used this feature reported an extra empty copy of the original folder.

Additionally, the blog post explains in some technical detail how how the glitch happened, and says that Microsoft will assist anyone who lost their personal files with recovering their data. This is the feature that lets you move a known folder like C:\Users\Name\Downloads to D:\Downloads, for example.

Unfortunately for some users, "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", Cable said. At just two days into the rollout when we paused, the number of customers taking the October 2018 Update was limited. However, it is holding back on releasing the new operating system generally until further testing is completed.

However, if you're somebody who wants to keep hold of the files they've downloaded for whatever reason, or uses the folder for storage in some way, then obviously this is something you need to be careful around if you're using Disk Cleanup.

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According to Cable, the company has activated a feature "for users to also provide an indication of impact and severity when filing User Initiated Feedback" to better ensure that serious issues actually end up in front of an engineer.

The new version also received patches for a range of critical remote code execution vulnerabilities, as part of Microsoft's regular monthly Patch Wednesday security updates.

Windows 10 1809 won't be broadly released until early adopters in the Windows Insider program have tested the revised update and provided feedback to Microsoft.

For those who are affected, they should call Microsoft at +1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area. Still, if you lost any personal data after proceeding, be aware that Microsoft will offer free customer support online and at its retail stores.

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