• WHY are 1809 upgraders getting their files zapped?

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    I’ve been looking at reports from all over the world, and can’t find a pattern. Some people got hit, others didn’t, and I have no idea why. If you had
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    • #221843

      It’s on the verge of criminal, given the circumstances!
      There’s nothing worse than being led to think you’ve lost your own files, time, work, effort, photo memories etc..due to a bad OS update.

      Hopefully most would have backed up prior to the upgrade.

      Wonder what the success rate is of recuva?
      Please let us know in your posts should you need to use the utility. TIA

      Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #221854

      Wonder what the success rate is of recuva?

      I’ve been wondering that, too. There are several factors at play, not the least of which is how much the installer overwrites data on the hard drive after deleting the files…

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #221859

        Let’s just hope MS don’t introduce aggressive storage sanitization methods during an upgrade.

        Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #221863

        I posted yesterday that Recuva does not work on a SSD.

        Woody said again to use Recuva to try to retrieve the files. I tested again with various files types. When I delete a file on a SSD and then immediately try to recover it with Recuva it still does not give me a file that can be used. Recuva says the file is in excellent condition that no sectors are over written. But when you restore it and try to open it it fails complaining that the files headers are missing or broken. Looking in advanced mode and selecting a file for restore when you look at the header option all I see are zeros.

        Note: DO NOT restore files to the same Drive use another drive or USB stick. In case of an SSD using a different Partition on the same SSD might also be bad as they work differently from HDD’s.

        Another thing of note is the Trim function of SSD’s. Turning that off in case of file loss might be wise. Any further use of the SSD should be avoided if you have files on it that are deleted. Maybe someone else can explain how to retrieve deleted files from a SSD. Is it possible? Are there people who used Recuva successfully on a SSD and ended up with files that could be opened, read and used again?

        I tested it on a Windows 7 64bit with a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB and the latest Recuva version.

        Maybe using Windows 10 gives different results?

      • #221867

        If deleted files were highly fragmented you can expect to recover many copied of the same files. I’ve recovered files on PC’s where someone mistakenly hit reset that had over one million files recovered. It’s a very long process to sift through the list, which we can again thank Microsoft for by automatically fragmenting every file that it opens. It’s also a great way for someone that hasn’t yet learned the value of file backups to quickly learn it.


      • #221914

        Order certainly matters.  If the deletion occurs during the final upgrade “cleanup” process it should facilitate recovery as long as the user doesn’t go nuts with large file changes before they notice the missing data.  It also matters if a defrag on a spinner occurs before the recovery attempt.

        And I can also confirm that if TRIM runs on a SSD before the recovery is attempted then those bytes have truly passed on into that great bit bucket in the sky.

        We don’t use Recuva, but I see the same problem with a very advanced ($$$) file recovery tool we use in our lab for those times we need such.


        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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    • #221864

      Microsoft keeps making Windows worse. Chromebooks look better all time. Linux Mint to replace Windows is a good choice also.


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      • #221870

        Chromebooks have all sorts of advantages.

        • #221933

          Woody, you need to do a post comparing Chromebooks to Windows. It would be interesting to see your comments on the merits and demerits of each.

          • #221973

            The section of the Lounge on Chromebooks has a lot of topics (more than I thought). I have not read them all but it is popular.

            Chromebooks and ChromeOS for Windows wonks has 13 Topics and 79 Posts. I have found the “Other platforms – for Windows wonks” to be a wonderful, and very helpful section of this site.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #221909

        I tried Mint but kept having trouble with software in the repository installing but refusing to launch. I’ve settled now on Kubuntu, but I agree with your sentiment. My laptop is now setup to dual-boot Kubuntu and W10 Pro. Kubuntu is the default. While I’ll always need Windows for some things, it is really nice to be able to get on my computer without worrying about fighting what the OS is doing in the background.

        Group "L": Linux Mint dual-booting Windows 10 Pro.

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    • #221877

      After that, you can roll back the upgrade. Which ain’t a bad idea.

      Would a roll-back reinstate any personal files removed/hidden during the upgrade process to v1809?
      In theory, it should, if W10 is as good as is claimed.



      Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
    • #221881

      Wonder if this is only affecting people who keep their files in the default locations within the operating system itself?

      In my case, with the main PC I have all of my files on a separate SSD which has several partitions including one for documents, pictures, etc.

      With my old laptop which I’m using now, I have the files on a separate partition. Then I have used the ‘Move’ option in Documents, Pictures, etc. to change the default location of the files to the new ones.

      Of course, everything is also backed up on an external ‘spinner’ hard drive which is only powered up when I need to use it.

      This setup (in both machines) also makes it much faster to make or restore Macrium Reflect images of Windows – or even do a clean install – since you don’t need to save/restore all of your files as well as the operating system.

      I wonder if the 1803>1809 upgrade wipes out files with this sort of configuration? If I could get the upgrade to work on this old laptop (it won’t so far) I could probably find out although I get the impression it might be more of a ‘random’ problem. Might be OK the first time but if the ‘experiment’ is repeated on the same machine a second or third time there could probably be a different result.

      PC1: Gigabyte B560M D2V Motherboard, Intel i5 11400 CPU, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional 22H2 64bit.
      PC2: Asus H81M-PLUS Motherboard, Intel i3-4160 CPU, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Home 22H2 64bit.

      • #222293


        I have my Documents on a separate drive (both SSDs) and did the upgrade w/o incident.

        Of course this was on my TEST machine with full Macrium Images taken first!

        As always YMMV! 😎

        May the Forces of good computing be with you!


        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

    • #221897
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      • #221915

        I’m wondering if free-up-space is now automatic in the latest upgrades.

        Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
        online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1778 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox114.0b8 MicrosoftDefender
      • #221920

        Any idea whether this has an effect on deleting user files?

        • #221930

          No clue, i never upgrade

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          • #221935

            No clue, i never upgrade

            Well while I second that, the only times I have ever upgraded is on a “bare” install machine, for fault finding i.e. current pet peeve at the moment working network cards interaction with Network explorer, works with one version but not the other. Trusting my data to the upgrade Gods??? ROFLMAO errm nope. With 1809 its in a separate VHDX clean installed, rather than mess around with it I have decided to wait if anything comes down the old “update chute” be it drivers or one of the monthly nightmares via Patch Tuesday.

            • #221944

              My main OS is Windows 8.1, so i use Windows 10 just for testing and keep up with changes

              i only upgraded 3 or 5 times from Windows 10 build to another
              i always ended up with problems 😀

              it take me less than 15 minutes to deploy and set up Windows 10 ready to use, thanks to answer file and scripts/registry tweaks

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    • #221903

      I’ve heard that it has something to do with a OneDrive integration that was rolled out in 1803. OneDrive can indeed backup profile folders to the cloud. However, I would think that more people would’ve noticed that OneDrive simply hadn’t been logged into before this blew upto this extent.

      I suspect maybe that is half of the story. From what I’ve also heard this feature didn’t provision correctly on many machines that upgraded to 1803. I suspect that it’s a combination of a bug in a poorly thought out or communicated feature and the 1809 upgrade. Esssentially some systems probably falsely report that they are configured with this OneDrive setting, which causes domino effect for affected users.

      • #221907

        If they rolled out the Insider Preview, as they did for 1803 without changing Insider settings, the install assumes access to One Drive b/c Insiders have to use a MS ID. If you are using a local ID, you do not have access to One Drive necessarily, so there would be no place for the data to go (but blowup).

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        • #221922

          Something a read on a Dutch Tech site translation from Dutch menu options may be different:

          The 1809 update also updates OneDrive to v18 if this has not been updated already prior to the update to 1809.

          If you update OneDrive to v18 prior to installing 1809 (with patch my pc for example) and go to settings (Automatic save) then you can select if you want to sync your Desktop and Pictures. If you then choose documents then you get an error:

          My Pictures in documents is a split map or symlink, and can not be secured or moved. Delete this item and try again to procede.

          If you upgrade OneDrive and Windows at the same time to 1809 then MAYBE something goes wrong there. Where the symlink is not recognized correctly during the restart when updating.

          Talk is that if you update OneDrive to v18 prior to upgrading to 1809 then this error does not happen and you do not loose your data.

          You may not even have have to actively/knowingly be using OneDrive. Just having it installed on the PC could get you this issue.

          All this needs further investigation. I just post this here since there since there still seems to be very little known about what has been going on. I also take no credit for the above. These are not my findings I use a Windows 7 PC and am not effected by this issue. But at the same time wish to contribute to a solution to this very nasty situation.

    • #221924

      One or two of the Windows Insider builts did that. Some one had feedback  Hub on it but MS delete it. MS does not want any record of making mistakes that delete user data. This shows how bad MS is that they ignore user feedback and do the same mistakes over and over.

    • #221927

      Caught this take on the issue last night from Martin Brinkman over there at Ghacks who has postulated that it may be something to do with Group Policy. This would or should only affect Win10 Pro and above Vers. that are so equipped so in theory Win10 Home users shouldn’t be susceptible:
      Disturbing to say the least, I am probably really going to have to go back years 95/98 days to remember such a phenom. that’s generally why with an upgrade I always prefer a clean install because I consciously back up what I need to and not trusting the “upgrade deities” to be the custodians of all that work, in some cases, anything I miss is my own silly fault and I retain control, to limited extent. With Win10 we seem to be all on the M$ upgrade Roller Coaster.

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    • #221931


      I went this morning to try and reproduce this bug for fun.

      Four machines in my test lab.  Changed update settings back to defaults (they were on deferred updates.)

      Removed WSUS referral settings.

      I cannot get any of them to perform the update using the “seeker” method. (Click the check for updates button.)

      Is there a chance that MS has temporarily stopped pre-updates due to the press coverage on the problems this week?


      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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      • #221932

        Is there a chance that MS has temporarily stopped pre-updates due to the press coverage on the problems this week?

        I would say it’s highly likely.

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        • #221934

          Just saw this:

          A Microsoft spokesperson said that the company is “aware of these reports” and that it is “actively investigating.” No other information has been provided at the moment. We will update this space as we hear more about this issue and possible workarounds.


          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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      • #221937

        Seeker behavior failed on all my test machines, no idea why.

        Using Edge on the MS update web page got things rolling.  Let the fun begin!

        1809 upgrade in progress.  Oh, and there’s an ironic promise on my status page.


        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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        • #221957

          @netdef see ya on the other side “fingers and Toes” crossed here and everything else that you can possibly cross that it all goes ok for ya 🙂

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          • #222004

            An aside;

            Two machines did have minor issues with network cards not appearing after the upgrade, both had an older Intel NIC.  Both resumed proper function as soon as I applied the latest Intel driver to them.

            This exact problem has been occurring on odd random machines during different Win 10 Feature Upgrades for the last three years across my entire client base.  I’ve almost come to expect it . . . .



            ~ Group "Weekend" ~

        • #222000

          Well . . .  happy to report that all four of my (slightly diverse) machines upgraded to 1809 with no problems whatsoever. There was a mix of hardware, types of user profiles (some local, some domain, some MS accounts) and some with or without OneDrive syncing the four library folders in question.

          Sad to report I have zero useful insights in what might be the cause.

          It’s a very very small sample set, hard to determine anything causative even if the bug had hit one of them.

          Best of luck everyone! My advice is to use Pro and set the feature delay out a year (the max of 365 days deferral) as always.  By then you’ll be getting a tried and true stable build.

          I will say that my production machines will continue to stay on the GPO enforced delay.  I use 7 days for patches, and 365 for feature upgrades.



          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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    • #221970

      https://myitforum.com/the-cause-for-windows-10-1809-upgrades-deleting-user-files/  While that may be the cause for some, I have credible folks say it’s not it.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #221984

      That anybody mess around with their OS *before* making sure backups are up-to-date simply blows my mind…

      Should it happen to me, I would just open the backup file in explorer, click the missing file and copy back…

      It would of course never happen for me as I – besides having updated backup – never update until AskWoody sets the All Clear flag! 😀

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      • #221995

        That anybody mess around with their OS *before* making sure backups are up-to-date simply blows my mind…

        Amen to that.  Sadly, I often find people that never think of it, or they tell me “but I did a backup last year!”

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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    • #222016

      I’ve been looking at reports from all over the world, and can’t find a pattern. Some people got hit, others didn’t, and I have no idea why.

      It would appear that if the 1809 installer runs into real or perceived disk space issue during the “upgrade” Satya, in his infinite wisdom, decided to just have the installer delete the user files to make working room instead of popping a warning message to the user about the problem and stopping the upgrade.

      I guess continuing the upgrade so Satya can brag about how fast 1809 is being adopted by the masses is more important than stopping the upgrade and preserving the users often irreplaceable files.


    • #222079

      My files were also wiped during upgrade to 1809.  Only the files in “documents” folder were deleted.  All other files preserved “desktop” “pictures”, “videos” folders etc.  My boot drive is a 500gb SSD with 250GB free, so if there is disk space analysis built into the Windows installer, it sure isn’t working right.  Luckily I had a backup of my files <whew>.

      Seeing as lots of people are having this problem with Windows upgrades it would be prudent to move files from the default windows user folders (e.g “documents”) to a non-standard folder preferably on a different partition, or even different drive altogether.  Of course, continue backing up the data once you move it 🙂 especially before the next OS upgrade.

      I also found a strange bug in 1809 when using the new “Dark” mode (that gives File Explorer a dark skin).  Sometimes my files in File Explorer window will disappear, except for the very 1st file, in every File Explorer window I have open.  The disappearing files still exist, they just disappear from the window view. Moving the File Explorer window around doesn’t do anything so it’s not a video refresh issue.  Only closing and reopening File Explorer fixes it until it happens again.  I’ve only seen this randomly but will keep trying to find a way to recreate the problem.  I’ve only used the “dark skin” File Explorer since upgrading to 1809 and have not tried the default skin, so can’t say if it’s happening on the default skin.  Wondering if anyone else has seen this behavior.

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    • #222085

      What is the most shocking to me is that Microsoft didn’t withdraw this update yet. Total -but really TOTAL – disrespect for its users. It shows clearly that they chose quantity far above quality, user control far above usability. One starts wondering why on earth professionals are still using this piece of malware. Because that is what Windows became. :-(((

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      • #222187

        I ain’t a lawyer, and never hope to be one, but you’d think folks who clicked “Check for updates” and ended up with all Documents/Photos deleted would have a bit of a beef.

        • #222510

          No doubt Microsoft pay a lawyer very well to say they provide instructions to “back up your data before making change”. I can’t help thinking that’s a smart thing to do. Make up your own mind which half is the smart thing to do 🙂

    • #222124

      It seems that 1809 is retracted from WSUS and MCT page

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #222147


        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 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.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #222116

      So MS knew about the problem and didn’t fix it in RTM?

      Yes, they knew about it. The Insider feedback are being ignored by MS. This is why there is no point in making feedback because nothing will be done.

    • #222127

      It seems 1809 is not availible on windows update for the moment, yesterday morning it was there, but this morning as I was going to try installing it on my gaming rig, it was not there anymore.

      Guess they must have taken it down to fix this, at least one can hope

    • #222152

      Wondering what kind of “genie” over there @ Redmond keep coming up with “features” such as “Delete user profiles older than”?!?!

      Your computer’s RTC clock went mad (dead battery or whatever)? Tough cookies, data gone!

      Been out for a long holiday? Bad luck, data gone.

      Returned from hospital after being seriously sick for many weeks? Welcome back, we’ve made your computer nice and clean again as convenience.

      Someone hijacked your NTP traffic and redirected at fake server? Yay, what a massive data cleanup, remotely, no auth required.

      Seriously… no-one with brain left there to decline such nonsense?

    • #222213

      Guess they must have taken it down to fix this, at least one can hope

      Do not hold your breath on it. MS will just put a small tiny bandage on it and move on rather than try to find the root cause to this. After a few months when the bandage falls off, will be seeing this problem again and again and again. There were several Insider builds that had this happen to with user feedback and they did nothing.

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