The Windows 10 October 2018 Update rollout has turned out to be quite a fiasco, as Microsoft recently decided to pull it completely due to major bugs discovered by users.
In addition to other smaller issues, there’s one critical glitch which leads to the complete removal of user files stored in libraries.
The bug was first reported shortly after Microsoft started the release on Tuesday, and it was eventually acknowledged by the software giant itself late on Friday.
While a workaround doesn’t seem to exist at this point, Microsoft decided to suspend the rollout indefinitely until it completes an investigation and figures out what’s happening. And more importantly, why it is happening, as right now nobody can tell for sure who is affected and whether there’s a pattern triggering the removal of user files.
One of the most common questions right now is “am I affected or not?” Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if your computer can be hit by this data removal issue before installing the October 2018 Update.
All users whose devices experienced this issue figured it out after the update was already deployed on the systems, so pulling the October 2018 Update completely is probably the best way to go. However, it’s worth noting that there are lots of users out there who created installation media or downloaded just the ISO for a later install, so the number of affected devices could increase anyway.
Some of the people who upgraded the October 2018 Update have a hard time figuring out whether the bug exists on their computers or not.
Microsoft, however, says that the easiest way to check this out is to look in the Documents folder. Technically, if all your files stored there are gone, the bug hit your system too. If everything is untouched, then you’re good to go.
In case the glitch does exist on your system and the data was lost, Microsoft says it’s critical you get in touch with the company’s support line. Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider program, says Microsoft has the tools to help users get their files back.
“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,” Dona Sarkar explained.
As I had already told you yesterday, data recovery software can come in handy too, and you can run your own scan before reaching out to Microsoft. Recuva can help look for deleted files and recover them for you, though as a reminder it’s worth knowing that there’s absolutely no guarantee everything would be recovered.
However, the best thing you could do is leave the local drives untouched, which basically means that you shouldn’t copy, delete, move, or download any files. The less activity on your drives, the bigger the chances to recover the data.
For the time being, it looks like this isn’t quite a widespread bug, but it goes without saying that its severity is what triggered this unexpected reaction from Microsoft. Losing data after an update is critical for users, and without backups, recovering the files may be impossible.
Right now, Microsoft is still in the process of conducting its own investigation on the issue and it’s not known exactly when the rollout would be resumed. But if you’ve already downloaded the October 2018 Update and planned to install it using installation media, you better not do it until Microsoft gives the go-ahead. This could happen next week, as fixes are expected on Patch Tuesday.