This bug slipped past Microsoft in the Win 10 October 2018 Update

By Alexandra Bagratian | December 10, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

‘Everything is designed.
Few things are designed well.’
Brian Reed

What happened with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update?

When getting big updates from Microsoft, we all expect seamless experiences, not devastating bugs tampering with the file system of our computers. However, the latter is exactly what happened when the 1809 build arrived this October. A lot of of tearing of hair occurred as the tech giant’s latest development made user files on a large number of computers vanish into thin air. Most victims failed to recover their important data despite all their crying for help and bombarding Microsoft with complaints. This forced the company to halt the rollout of the October update in order to fix the issues plaguing the new build. Now it is here again – it was re-released on November 13, but today one cannot help but ask, “Will Windows 10 October update delete my files?”

To answer this question, it is important to understand why the issue came to be in the first place. The tech giant has an army of testers around, and nothing is supposed to slip past them. How come Microsoft didn’t know about the file-deleting bug? Well, the thing is, they knew. The issue had been reported by a large number of insiders before the buggy update was publicly released – yet the problem had not been addressed. It’s time to figure out how that happened.

How did the file-deletion bug make its way into the final cut?

In a nutshell, Microsoft messed things up. The new build was rolled out swarming with bugs, and Windows insiders encountered lots of problems, including missing files, while testing it. File losses were reported in the Feedback Hub, so Microsoft engineers finally came to know about the file-deletion issue and started their digging.

And that’s where things went astray: some of the users claiming to have their data missing were using a temporary account to install the build and simply couldn’t see their files because they were stored in their own account. In such a scenario, all one needed to do was switch back to their permanent account. Microsoft provided instructions on how to do that, and that was it. Things looked nice and easy, and the problem was announced to have been worked out. To be fair, it was indeed resolved – but only for a small portion of users, which emerged only later.

Other users kept losing their data. New reports about files going missing were seemingly dismissed for the reasons mentioned above. However, those red flags had nothing to do with the temporary account problem, and a large number of users actually had their files deleted. That is to say, a severe bug was at play, and it was mistaken for another, much less destructive issue and thus overlooked by Microsoft.

The real culprit was Known Folder Redirection, which is a Windows 10 feature that allows you to redirect Windows known folders, such as Desktop, Documents, etc., to OneDrive or another drive. That is extremely handy when you have your hard drive full but want new files to appear in your default Windows folders. The problem is, users who had this nifty setup enabled ran into the notorious file-deletion bug. Their files were either considered duplicate or were not migrated at all, and they were removed by the update in question.

If you are one of those unfortunate users, you can utilize Auslogics File Recovery to get your precious data back. This intuitive yet powerful tool is capable of recovering all file types from your hard drive, USB device or memory card.

Is Windows 10 October Update safe now?

Microsoft claims it is. The bug is reportedly no more, and something like this is not supposed to happen again – that’s what they say. Microsoft promises that user reports will be looked into more carefully so that such catastrophic consequences can be avoided. In addition, a new bug rating system has been introduced: now you can rate the severity of a problem on a 10-point scale, and this is going to help Microsoft distinguish between minor issues and grave problems.

As of this writing, the 1809 build is running on less than 3% of Win 10 PCs, which doesn’t appear to be up to Microsoft’s expectations. The rollout is pretty slow, and other bugs have been registered so far. If you haven’t received the update yet, it wouldn’t hurt you to play it safe and defer the update until it is proven to be 100 % polished. Nevertheless, you are free to install the thing. Check if it’s available for you here: Settings -> Update and Security -> Check for updates. In a case like this, you should ensure all your drivers are up to date. The easiest way to do that is by running Auslogics Driver Updater: this software will fix all your driver problems at one go.

What do you think of the Windows 10 October 1809 update?

Please share your thoughts!

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