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Windows 10 update causes people's files to disappear

Version 1809 of Windows 10 was meant to 'empower a new era of personal productivity,' according to Microsoft

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 08 October 2018 17:38 BST
Microsoft's Vineet Durani speaks during the launch of Microsoft Windows 10 in New Delhi on July 29, 2015
Microsoft's Vineet Durani speaks during the launch of Microsoft Windows 10 in New Delhi on July 29, 2015 (AFP/Getty Images)

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Microsoft has halted a major new update for Windows 10 after people reported that it caused their files to be deleted.

Version 1809 of the popular operating system was meant to "empower a new era of personal productivity," according to Microsoft.

But shortly after its roll out, complaints of data going missing began to spread across social media.

"My 'Documents' folder got deleted somehow causing *all* of my personal documents (Word docs, spreadsheets, etc) to disappear... My last backups are ancient," one Windows 10 user wrote on Twitter.

"As far as I can tell, my computer downloaded the latest Windows 10 update around 3pm today and during that process it unlinked my Documents directory then unpacked its own setup files that overwrote my own files. I am so angry at Microsoft right now – if this is the case."

The root cause of the issue has not been determined, however it does not seem to affect photos or music. Only files in the main 'Documents' folder appear to have been deleted.

Microsoft said on a support page dedicated to the new update that it is investigating the issue.

"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," the company said.

Some users reported that a third party piece of software could be used to recover the lost data, though this fix did not work for everyone.

Using the free version of the Avast-owned Recuva recovery software can help in some instances, ZDNet reported, though it does not work on Windows 10's Storage Spaces.

"They are 'definitely deleted' regardless of whether or not they might be 'recoverable,' one user wrote in a post to a Windows 10 forum on Reddit. "The files have been deleted -- period. Not moved anywhere else.

"That being said, the first thing I did was run Recuva and, yes, I found many of them, of course. But a good portion of them had been over-written already. Which makes me think that this happens fairly EARLY in the upgrade process -- and then the rest of the upgrade uses the disk, of course, and therefore has a good chance of over-writing the lost data."

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