Headline: October 6th: Microsoft pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update after reports of mass file deletion
A number of users have reported that the October 2018 Update has removed user profiles and some folders. Microsoft is actively investigating the issue, but the company has not yet fixed the issue and has decided to pull the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
Windows Insiders had reported this issue as early as 3 months ago. If you refer to the Feedback Hub and search for “documents deleted” you will see multiple reports from Insiders who reported that files were automatically deleted after they installed the new update.
The latest Windows 10 version is no longer made available through Windows Update or the media creation website, and for the moment only allowing the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
The halted Windows 10 release rollout is no consolation to early updaters affected by the data deletion bug, however. Microsoft says to call 1+800+MICROSOFT or your local customer service number if the October 2018 Update wiped out any of your files.
The info below is quoted direct from Microsoft’s Windows 10 update history page:
Known issues updating to Windows 10, version 1809
We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809)* for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.
If you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files after an update, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT, or find a local number in your area https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4051701/global-customer-service-phone-numbers. Alternatively use a different device to contact us at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/contactus/ (link will vary according to country of origin).
If you have manually downloaded the Windows 10 October 2018 Update installation media, please don’t install it and wait until new media is available.
We will provide an update when we resume rolling out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update to customers.
Microsoft has confirmed the news stating:
“We have paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.”
It is likely to be some weeks before Microsoft re-release the corrected Windows 10 1809. The latest version hasn’t only resulted in data deletion for some users, but it was also blocked for some specific devices due to a high processor demand and (resulting) reduced battery life.
I have successfully done the (early) October 2018 Windows 10 release by using it as clean slate, and then migrating user files in after the full update cycle.
Because the problem appears to be associated with the data migration portion of Windows Setup, it’s unlikely that it will affect you if you have successfully upgraded to this October 2018 feature update.
For now, at the 7th October 2018, there is no information on how or why the data loss occurred and Microsoft has not provided any time-scale as to when the 1809 rollout will resume.
On that note, if you are not already doing some type of backup, now would be a very good time to invest in an external backup drive and set it automatically sync at least once a day. Most of all your data in the user profile.
Update: October 8th 2018:
Microsoft has made a pledge to rescue those all-important personal files for users who have had the October Windows 10 update and suffered lost files.
According to a recent tweet from Dona Sarkar (6th October), who runs the Windows Insider Program, users who have been affected by the crisis need stop using their machine, and contact Microsoft directly. Sarkar has stated that technical support teams “have the tools to get you back to a good state.”
#WindowsInsiders If you’ve run into the “missing files after update” issue for 1809/October 2018 Fall update, please call our support line. They have the tools to get you back to a good state. This build is no longer available to download manually: https://t.co/Ce9WVILknp pic.twitter.com/fvisQi1c8g
— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) October 6, 2018
If you are effected by this “missing files after update” issue for 1809/October 2018 Fall update, then call 1+800+MICROSOFT or your local customer service number.
At this time, October 9th 2018, Microsoft have not yet revealed how this “deletion bug” made it into the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, and perhaps it is unlikely they ever will. This support article shows that Microsoft is investigating “isolated reports” of documents going missing after the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is installed. Many people are pushing Microsoft to have a good look at Microsoft’s Windows 10 feedback program which was designed to capture such events – prior to a public release.
Update: October 9th 2018:
Microsoft is now testing an updated version of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that they believe will fix this issue. Microsoft is currently testing a new build that it claims fixes the file deletion issue. Windows Insiders can try this “updated release” starting today, and Microsoft says it will “carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data” from Insiders before continuing a public rollout.
Microsoft has supplied the following technical details about the events that caused files to go missing:
In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with [Known Folder Redirect] 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.
Correcting this issue required three specific fixes, read more details in Microsoft’s blog post here.
Update: October 10th 2018:
Microsoft has announced that the problem with the first release of Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) has been identified and permanently resolved starting with the new build 17763.17 (KB4467228). An updated version of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update Build 17763.17 (KB4467228) is already being delivered to participants of the Windows Insider program on the Late Access channel and the Release Preview ring. (I am on the Insider list and have used the Update Build 17763.17 to successfully update my Windows 10 Laptop with no user loss @ the 10th October 2018.)
Microsoft have committed to monitor all feedback from the Windows Insider community by an added “severity field” for users to provide an indication of a problem when filing “User Initiated Feedback“.