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  • February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, KB 4532693, causing desktops to disappear

    Home Forums AskWoody blog February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, KB 4532693, causing desktops to disappear

    This topic contains 47 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  EP 3 hours, 37 minutes ago.

    • Author
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    • #2139867 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Excellent overnight analysis from Lawrence Abrams and a surprising observation from Günter Born point at a possible smoking gun. Microsoft should be p
      [See the full post at: February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, KB 4532693, causing desktops to disappear]

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2139879 Reply

      radosuaf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Oh, that’s nice, Microsoft! 🙂

      MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Aorus Radeon RX 570 4GB * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 10 Pro 1909 64-bit
    • #2139895 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      Why is Microsoft playing around with the desktop now? Seems like they’re on another one of their secret missions which will later cause uproar in the community when it is revealed.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      • #2139983 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        Loss of profile has historically been a race condition between the boot process and something holding files open.  I personally have seen antivirus most often do this but it could be other things like antiransomware protection, group policy settings.  Microsoft DOES test their patches they really do.  What they can’t do is test for the myriad of unknown ways that we set up our computers.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2140003 Reply

          Mr. Natural
          AskWoody Plus

          Loss of your profile would certainly change the appearance of your desktop.  🙂

          Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

        • #2140457 Reply

          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I look at this issue this way:
          If your/mine user folder is affected, in this update, there has to be some procedure, that does something user folder – move/rename/delete files – or messes up with some registry where path to user folder is stored.

          If it manipulates for example wit syswow64 folder, how it can crash my user folder? It happens for 1% of users, but still, there is always risk and this update has to colaborate with user folder somehow.

          It just cant cant happen randomly, otherwise we created AI.

          And still, if some third party SW blocks windows update resulting in user folder crash, how is it, that it does not recognize windows update process?
          I think that affected computers could be somheow infected with malware or viruses.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, WX 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

    • #2139890 Reply

      anonymous

      Seven domain attached computers (1909) with MS AV had no problems with KB 4532693.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2139907 Reply

      tijsco
      AskWoody Plus

      In The Netherlands some people also report these problems. On my website, four visitors said they lost their personal folders. One of them had Norton and of them had no anti-virus, so, it’s not only Avira possibly causing trouble. Here my article about it in Dutch.

      https://www.gratissoftwaresite.nl/nieuws-windows-10-81-beveiligingsupdates-februari-lekken

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2139956 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        I also have a tweet from @JasperKusters that absolves Avira….

        Nope, they are not [running Avira or AVG]. But they are running some software that make sure the system/usee can’t do crazy stuff and is pretty boxed.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2140057 Reply

          tijsco
          AskWoody Plus

          I don’t know if this has something to do with the problems, but two of the users had a local account for Windows 10 (not logged in with Microsoft account). Don’t know about the other two.

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  tijsco.
          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  tijsco.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2140651 Reply

            tijsco
            AskWoody Plus

            Now six visitors of my site are reporting these problems and three stated they had a local account. The other three, I don’t know yet. Maybe something going wrong with the local accounts?

    • #2139913 Reply

      anonymous

      Will this company ever get anything right ? This is an absolute joke. Sounds like they’re out to trash every ones PC’s.

    • #2139911 Reply

      anonymous

      The desktop disappearing is only the most visible sign, but the issue is that the entire user profile or user data is not accessed so My Documents would also be gone.  Restarting again is the safest first step if you see this problem.  Some reports are that Avira antivirus users are affected.  The profile data is not actually deleted, it sounds, so if it does happen don’t panic.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2139947 Reply

      abbodi86
      AskWoody_MVP

      And we thought v1809 deletion bug was serious enough to have Microsoft do more tesing before releasing

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2139953 Reply

        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        And we thought v1809 deletion bug was serious enough to have Microsoft do more tesing before releasing

        Not all of us.  I ran v1809 with no real issue until Microsoft pulled it.  I restored my drive images and waited for Microsoft to sort it out.  I soon as they reissued it, I was right back one it.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2140000 Reply

          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          Likewise, but still, it was scary bug 🙂

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140059 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      What they can’t do is test for the myriad of unknown ways that we set up our computers

      If Microsoft can’t test all the various hardware/software/settings combinations, they should go Apple’s way and restrict Windows to specified list of hardware/software and don’t break users’ PCs with beta updates.

      PS : Even when they do go Apple’s way they **** up like with the Surface tablets/laptops..

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  Alex5723.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2140132 Reply

      rontpxz81
      AskWoody Lounger

      Please report when and if this problem is fixed by Microsoft.

    • #2140148 Reply

      anonymous

      If you have a temporary account, consider yourself lucky.  Update on my surface deleted everything.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140248 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        Did you look in the C:\Users folder for .BAK or .000 folders?

    • #2140237 Reply

      zeuswoz
      AskWoody Lounger

      In my years (20+) of doing IT support on Windows, I have seen this issue countless times. And each time it was caused by one of two things. The first reason is the user profile service had a “moment” at logon and couldn’t access the correct profile. With a hard reset (power off / power on) the issue cleared. The second reason is no free space on the the system volume. This prevents the logon process to create the temporary files it needs to load the profile correctly and thus it shows a temp profile instead.

      Rgds, Zeus

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2140251 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        I hear ya… but the reports I’m seeing are across wide swaths of machines — 80 for one unfortunate admin. I think Susan’s right and it’s a race condition… but I’m surprised an installer has problems with race conditions when restoring temporary settings. Should be relatively easy (and very common) to program around. I think.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140502 Reply

        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve also seen many times where a user logs in and their profile doesn’t load properly and they receive the temporary profile message. The easy fix that worked every time is to have the user log off and back on. No reboot needed, as a matter of fact a reboot would often result in the same thing. Log off and back on and the profile properly loaded.

        That would not resolve this issue with this update since the entire profile has been renamed.

        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140401 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      And we thought v1809 deletion bug was serious enough to have Microsoft do more tesing before releasing

      I saw a post of a Microsoft Surface user that claimed he LOST all of his data after the update.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140404 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Where? Please provide links / info.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2140458 Reply

          woody
          Da Boss

          I’ve seen several – and what’s amazing is that they specifically mention Surface.

          Günter tells me he’s looking into it. Expect an update shortly. (He says as he scarfs down his first cup of coffee.)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2140542 Reply

          woody
          Da Boss

          Ends up that Mayank Parmar ran an article about completely missing data this morning, in Windows Latest, Windows 10 KB4532693 could delete and hide your data.

          He’s very careful to point out that he’s reporting what folks have said. Like him, I’m a bit skeptical – but would welcome more info!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140405 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      KB 4532693

      This is not the post I saw but probably a reference to similar posts :

      “Some users of Surface have no temporary accounts, and no restore points. Their data is gone. Let me be the first to say it’s so.”

      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/windows-10-kb4532693-update-bug-hides-user-data-loads-wrong-profile/

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2140632 Reply

      anonymous

      A minor update in December wiped out all my files, and first I found them in the Users folder but when I turned the computer off, they disappeared completely. When I took my laptop to Geek Squad, they found a few of my folders (incomplete) in the recycle bin — interestingly, that hadn’t been wiped out. So I sent the laptop to Geek Squad’s tech lab, they reported they found some of my docs and photos but when I got it back from them, there was absolutely nothing of my original files or folders. And I paid $450 for that — nothing. Plus, I had to buy a new laptop that I didn’t even need. If there’s a fix, I’d love to hear about it because Geek Squad couldn’t help me.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140660 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        My #1 rule when somebody thinks they’ve lost file(s): Run Recuva first, ask questions later.

        Geek Squad won’t be able to do any more than a round of Recuva.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2140680 Reply

          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          My #1 rule about files is one I heard at least twenty years ago, probably longer than that.

          Any file for which you don’t have 3 copies is a file you’re willing to lose.  How many external storage drives would $450 buy?

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2140663 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      If there’s a fix, I’d love to hear about it because Geek Squad couldn’t help me.

      Of course there is a fix. Restore from your ‘last before the update’ image backup.

      No one should use any device running any OS (pc, smartphone, smartwatch…) without creating a daily backup.

      • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  Alex5723.
      • #2140750 Reply

        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        A little kinder but what he said.  Everyone MUST have backups.  Short of a total crash of a hard drive, updates (with the exception of the lovely feature update a few years back – and even that was an odd set of circumstances that involved onedrive) – updates don’t delete files.  Given that you found some in a recycle bin, it feels more like a botched ransomware or something else afoot.  Patches don’t delete files.  Hard drives do crash, they can wear out and have damaged sectors.  But mere monthly updates don’t touch doc and pictures and everything else we hold dear.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2141068 Reply

          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          Everyone MUST have backups.

          I completely agree.  Why is this so hard for folks to wrap their heads around?  I haven’t had any problems with updates/upgrades, but obviously some have.  And yet I stay fully prepared with drive images.

          And hardware failure is a matter of when, not if.  I have replaced motherboards and hard drives on my machines, always with drive images at the ready to make a smooth transition after replacement.  It is not that hard to do, and pays huge dividends in both time and money.

          Why people would rather complain bitterly about Microsoft instead of preparing for an easy resolution to problems is something I simply don’t understand.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2141089 Reply

            anonymous

            Because people would rather have patches work correctly the first time rather than be Microsoft’s guinea pigs and having to fend for themselves.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2141691 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        “…without a daily backup.”

        My data don’t change that often. So at least for System Images I can get away with once or twice monthly. That’s manageable for most people. My DATA on the other hand, get at least one external round of backup every time I make any change I don’t want to lose — at that moment and without any delay whatsoever. (I also do this in Linux, where I find this practice even more critical.)

        -- rc primak

    • #2141604 Reply

      Win7and10
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m on Win 10 Home 1909 and down the chute it came yesterday after pause expired. So far no issues.

      Win 7 Home Premium x 64 SP1 (DELL INSPIRION i5) Still Alive!
      Win 10 Home 1909 (HP ENVY i7)

    • #2141848 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      I’ve applied KB4532693 on Win10 v1903 education on an old HP computer and found no problems, not even the “disappearing desktop” problem

    • #2141897 Reply

      anonymous

      After updating windows 8.1 last week I got a temporary profile. I had to remove the last updates to get my normal profile back. I have Avast clean up, driver updater and premium security.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2142173 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      a follow up on my previous comment – I manually downloaded & installed KB4532693 from the Microsoft Update Catalog site rather than thru Windows Update. that could be one big reason why I’m not experiencing the problems with KB4532693; I did not install it thru WU but from MUC

      anyone else with Windows 10 v1903 or v1909 brave enough to download & install KB4532693 from MS Catalog (instead of thru windows update) to see if the desktop user profile problems occur?

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by  EP.
      • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by  EP.
    • #2142188 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      Three machines at home (all 1909 Pro) with 4532693 installed via Windows Update – no issues. No issues at work (primarily 1903 Pro installs with a few 1909s out there for testing purposes).

      Work PCs are primarily new/newer Dell machines; machines at home are Dell and HP of considerably older vintage.

      Just a data point.

    • #2143939 Reply

      anonymous

      A few different websites are posting the possible Avira, AVG, Avast connection.

      If someone posts their success or failure with updating to 4532693  on 1903 or 1909, could you please state if you have either of those anti-virus packages installed?

      Thanks!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2153715 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      From Windows Central site – “Microsoft confirms major Windows data-deletion bug (sort of) and offers an (awkward) fix”

      https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-confirms-major-windows-data-deletion-bug-sort-and-offers-awkward-fix

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2153718 Reply

        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        The awkward fix may be beyond the skills of the average client.

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
        online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
      • #2153908 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        Several problems with the Windows Central post — and the reason why I didn’t mention it on the main blog page.

        • It’s based on Mayank Parmar’s reporting. Adds nothing to his report, as best I can tell.
        • I’m not convinced, yet, that anybody’s actually lost data after installing KB 4532693. I’ve seen lots of reports of missing data, but none of them pass my sniff test. (May just be my faulty sniffer.)
        • The title “Microsoft confirms major Windows data-deletion bug (sort of) and offers an (awkward) fix” stretches way too far. It isn’t supported by the evidence. Same complaint I have with many Forbes posts.

        That said, clearly there’s a problem with the patch. Clearly, MS should acknowledge it. They’ve had ten days to clear the air and they’re just twiddling their thumbs.

    • #2153933 Reply

      anonymous

      Just a thought. If you have not installed the update yet. As a preemptive measure, could you not just back-up all the files and folders from your user folder? Then if the issue occurs, place the backed-up file in the new user folder that it created?

      I am not a Windows power user by any means, but would this work?

      Personally, my user folder is quite empty as I store all my working documents on an external drive that is backed up every night. App Data would be the only “big” folder.

      Just a thought. Could be a bad one.

      Or, just pause updates as everyone has suggested and wait for MS to fix the update…

    • #2167293 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Plus

      Now might be a good time to build a spare profile. The instructions below say Windows 7, but work for Windows 10 and are quite explanatory. Especially useful is how to move documents, pictures, and other such information from private profile to Public profile.

      Creating and using a Standard User Account on Windows 7

      G{ot backup} TestBeta
      offline▸ Win7Pro • SP1 • x64 • InUse
      online▸ Win10Pro • 1909.18363.657 • x64 • i5-9400 • RAM8GB • HDD • CanonMG3620 • Firefox74.0b6 • Windows{Defender/SystemImage/RescueDisk/Firewall}
    • #2169370 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      Born also reported a similar situation with the KB4537821 update for Win8.1 destroying some user profiles and possibly causing the disappearing desktop problem:
      https://borncity.com/win/2020/02/16/windows-8-1-update-kb4537821-kills-also-user-profiles/

      I was unable to reproduce nor encounter the problem with the KB4537821 update on a Win8.1 machine, though a few other Win8.1 users seem to have gotten the problem.

      so it’s not just Win10 alone that may have the problem

      • This reply was modified 3 hours, 36 minutes ago by  EP.

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