back to article Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft has taken the unprecedented step of pulling a Windows 10 release a mere four days after its arrival amid a clamour of users complaining about files not being where they had left them. Windows Insider supremo Dona Sarkar took to Twitter to announce that Windows fans would no longer be able to get their hands on the …

  1. Sureo

    "where Windows 10 goes from here"

    Dust off Windows 7, apply all those updates since SP1, and release it as Windows 20.

  2. markrand

    At my ex-employer (65,000 people, at the time) I was a network admin. I got into a number of rows due to the department's policy of exempting all MS patches from any form of change control and requiring 100% installation within 5 days.

    Schadenfreude, anyone...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My tablet has updated to 1809 - as I had an issue with the April update being stuck.

    I didn't lose any files as it was in a factory reset anyway and OneDrive did sync and download all my cloud files.

    What do I need to do in order to avoid losing any files in future as I can't roll back?

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: 1809

    MS claim you won't as it's a problem with a migration process to the new version.

    Yes, it's actually like updating from XP to Vista or Vista to 7 or 7 to 8 every six months, only without you backing up beforehand as it's just pushed out and automatically installed.

  5. Updraft102 Silver badge

    Re: 1809

    What do I need to do in order to avoid losing any files in future as I can't roll back?

    Nothing. The problem was with the installation of 1809, so once it is installed, that particular threat has passed. Other threats, though... there will be more.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Document Shredding

    Did they bring in Banksy to make the UI a little more edgy?

  7. Cynical IT Manager

    OS SaaS = Fail

    Quite clearly Microsoft's SaaS approach to Windows 10 is failing. I've never been able to shake the feeling that an OS using SaaS approach will never work. It seems I'm right. This methodology means patches and major updates can be rolled out so quickly that simply put they are not tested sufficiently. Any users of the 365 platform can attest to the amount of borked updates and rushed fixes across all of the products.

    I mean what company would announce that they will drop a major CRM plugin for outlook, and it's "upgrade" replacement lacks the core functionality of the original? Oh yea Microsoft.

    To think, I trust them with the most fundamental piece of software, my OS.

  8. Anonymous IV

    "If you've had to pick up the phone to one of Redmond's support team, let us know"

    Are you seriously suggesting that an unscheduled phone call from someone alleging to be from Microsoft's support team is not a scammer?

  9. LRO(EX)

    I always do a backup to NAS monthly and before any Windoze update. Saved me on several occasions.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will this put the brakes on MS's ridiculous bloated updates every 6 months ?

    Nope, I think they are too stupid or too deaf to listen to the customer.

  11. Long John Silver

    Microsoft could inadvertently bring commerce to a standstill

    Mess-ups like that reported here may be inevitable regardless of how well Microsoft manages development of its products. In particular, Windows 10 code nowadays measured in gigabytes offers many opportunities for unintended consequences when developers make 'enhancements' or merely attempt to correct known bugs. Even when components of the whole are modular their interactions with other modules can trigger occult faults elsewhere. Perhaps the probability of such failure increases with size of code nearer to geometrically than linearly?

    The problem is compounded by the code being known only to Microsoft and some trusted outsiders. Users encountering problems not of their own making are in weak position to devise workarounds. Maybe, in particular instances, the community of expert users and enthusiasts can devise interim fixes; however, these take time to be verified and propagate via backchannels to Microsoft's official communication with users and there is the matter of trust.

    Hence, it's ceased to be idle speculation when pointing out the potential for an operating system which dominates the market for PC and laptop installation to bring about chaos in the commercial world and beyond when a fault emerges. These days, all activity appears to be (mindlessly) frenetic. That means even outages of an hour or so can be catastrophic. Add to that national and global interconnectedness provided by the Internet and the possibility of knock-on effects from a software fault cascading outwards, perhaps at geometric rate, leaves the realm of fiction.

    Accepting that Microsoft is an honest vendor (with reservations about how it captures the market) shouldn't deter conspiracy theorists speculating on what might be in the future. There's little preventing a bad actor from forcing Microsoft to target a specially malformed 'update' at devices within a particular nation or branch of commerce. Implicit deniability would arise from the malware being embedded in an 'update' and from the rapidly being established fact that, despite all good intent, Windows updates and security fixes bring hazard, albeit small.

    The considerations above provide ample reason for preferring open source software for critical applications. Not only that but also, code unrestricted by copyright encourages 'derivation' from which can emerge exciting possibilities unlikely to arise from a silo containing developers dedicated to a particular business plan.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Finally, a release that uses less space!

  13. Ratty.

    Microsoft Support

    "Hello, Microsoft Support.

    Have you tried switching it off and on again?"

  14. stephanh Silver badge

    windows home == beta tester

    The internal Q&A has been mostly fired, the Insider program clearly cannot find its own bug reports.

    Windows Professional, Enterprise & Education can postpone updates, Windows Home users not really. All Windows Home users are now beta testers for the expensive SKUs.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple user here again...

    No updates pulled: iMac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, Homepod, Apple TV... all still ok.

  16. stephanh Silver badge

    Re: Apple user here again...

    Another macos user here, who vividly recalls left hanging for a week for a fix for the bash shellshock exploit, while Ubuntu got the fix the same day.

    But yeah, so far no user data eaten.

  17. agatum

    Re: Apple user here again...

    Another macos user here

    Third user here. I do not let osx updates anywhere near my production systems (2 laptops, 1 tabletop) before 6 months cool off period. Let the fanbois do the testing.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who needs it now?

  19. tmz

    Checks calendar ...

    It's 2018.

    How does anyone put up with this **** anymore?

  20. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    In Soviet Russia...

    In Soviet Russia, you do not perform Q&A on the software, the software performs Q&A on you.

  21. This is my handle

    A former US Secretary of State had a really early preview installed on her email server ages ago!

    That is all.

  22. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    However, if you have gone ahead and allowed the update to do its stuff and been hit by the missing files issue, leave your PC alone and give Microsoft a telephone call for help.

    Their customer service is great! "Microsoft" actually called me this morning to say that they found a problem with my computer, but they're able to remote in and fix it for me. He already fixed my Amazon, and now he's fixing my bank login. Super impressed!


  23. Howard Hanek

    Adapt a Script?

    From 'Little Shop of Horrors' to 'A Great Big Shop of Horrors'

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to the new improved

    Microsoft Windows Overwriting System

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even Vista was as Bad as this...

    Win10 is the only version of Windows that's eaten user files, not even Vista.

    This horror was predicted. Win10 users are just upgrade test-lab monkeys!

    .....Phone Microsoft......

    Outside Corporate Tier1 Support, is there proper phone support anymore?

  26. arctic_haze Silver badge

    No surprise

    The policy of more and more intrusive upgrades with less control by the actual user.

    What can go wrong?

  27. jamesdagger

    Microsoft yanks

    'nuff said

  28. rmstock

    apt-get install testdisk

    When you see this happen, all your files getting deleted, pull the plug and or battery. Next boot from a Ubuntu 16.04 installation or live usb stick :

    when booted live do : sudo apt-get install testdisk

    The manual for this tool, which works - i rescued a company's crown juwel files with it, after a accidental quick NTFS format had happened - is here

    an instruction video :

  29. RobThBay

    A better Canadian solution??

    I thought the Canadian solution would have been something along the lines of ...don't worry, be happy... weed will be legal very soon (Oct 17th).


  30. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge


    When Microsoft talk about "testing" they are talking about testing users patience - it has nothing at all to do with the testing of their products.

  31. nlight

    In the end, Windows will still be the main OS on the average Joe's PC

    People are living by defaults.

    Default browser: Edge

    Default search engine: Bing(Top 10 searches are Google, just typos)

    Default everything, why bother?

    Who's the winner?

    Drum roll.

    Same goes for the Apple.

  32. Stuart Dole

    Backup broken too.

    Alas, I was hosed by this. I *thought* I had backups - the WIndows Backup program was turned ON with a frequency of one hour (the default) and aimed at my NAS. But, even across many reboots and updates, the most recent backup (on careful inspection) was eight months old. Too late for that now...

    Funny how the security software will natter at you if you haven't done a scan in a while, but the backup program keeps it all to itself if it goes away.

  33. Codysydney

    Re: Backup broken too.

    I had that problem with Acronis True Image. Worse, its logs were reporting backup success. I never thought to check .. but the files it was creating were 0 bytes in size. Their support was AWOL. Fortunately I found out when I went to restore a single file, so I only lost one thing. Dumped their product immediately and never miss an opportunity to advertise the way it screwed up.

  34. Stuart Dole

    Re: Backup broken too.

    OK, I *did* call Microsoft and spoke with "Mohammed". He assigned me a case number and said they'd get back to me. They did! And they knew the case number, and did NOT offer to "remote in", but made an appointment for me to bring my machine in to a Microsoft Store. So I did. Luckily, the nearest such store is only an hour's drive away (the Apple store is much closer - but I didn't go there).

    The guy at the counter seemed to know what he was doing and booted up my box, and verified that indeed it was updated to 1809, but there was one more update pending. We talked a good deal about the chances of recovering the data, since I'd already done a restore - from the eight month old backup. We guessed it was about 0.01% chance of getting anything useful - his approach would have been to simply use some file recovery software. So we talked some more, and I left, with my box. The end.

  35. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: Backup broken too.

    We have definitely reached Peak Stupidity in Software Development.

    "What's a ... 'buhlean'?"

    "Don't know, do I look like I went to study medicine. Just install this new framework, it's come out yesterday, then we can code!"

  36. The Oncoming Scorn

    Plain And Simple

    I just run a simple back up script that copies everything in my user profile to a NAS box, with semi regular backup images.

  37. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Too much "fun" and ninja cat and not enough hard graft and data."

    An accute description to describe what will be the future of public media, whatever they are

  38. defiler Silver badge

    Re: "Too much "fun" and ninja cat and not enough hard graft and data."

    Dan Ashcroft, Preacher Man.

  39. xyz

    Can they stop all the other updates too


    I am (was) trying to develop, vs 2017 on win 10 (in the woods) and I seemed to spend half my dev time waiting for shit to update as whatever daily "optimisation" chomped through my mobile's bandwidth allowance. I mean over 500mb an hour, wtf is MS installing and who the hell DOESN'T have a metered connection outside of CorpWorld. I won't even mention all the other stuff that wants to update itself with the same enthusiasm.

    I got so fed up of this, I went back to my old 7, vs 2012 and SSMS to do the database and web services, so I've missed this update FAIL....yay! Then once a week, I go to the bar and and watch my win10 laptop melt their WiFi whilst I have a cold beer or 10.

    Can someone please point out to MS that not everyone has fibre cable the diameter of a sewer pipe nor the cash to pay to have their OS renew itself daily.


  40. Squareski

    Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers did this.

  41. shaunhw

    Why ? Just why ?

    Why is this happening ?

    It's clear to me that Microsoft can't keep pushing out OS makeovers at this rate. Each one seems to break too many things. The last one (1803) stopped my touch screen on their OWN surface pro 4 design from working properly. In 1709 it was fine, and it was fine again when I rolled back. One can use the touch screen to set the cursor position, on some text field one is editing. On 1803 this works sometimes, and then fails. Your attempts just get ignored. To make it work again you have to press the power button to get the lock screen on, and then go back to the desktop. Then it works again, for a while. Still not fixed after 6 months - I did report it by the way.

    It just seems that they don't test stuff even on their own gear. Are they all using Apple stuff at home I wonder ? Are their kids doing their homework using Apple Macs too ?

    I am sure if they were using their own hardware with the latest stuff they'd soon spot some of these things.

    Now we have vanishing user files too.

    All this from the firm which tries to tell the world how good software should be written.

    My motto for them is "Why make it easy when you can make it hard ?"

    Much too hard in my view.

    They should get their house in order. A stable OS takes years to get right, and they shouldn't keep tinkering with it, once it is working for everyone. The possible impact of any changes should be carefully considered. I'm sure this is how it used to be, from Win2000->XP->Vista->Windows7 and one could expect a NEW OS version to have changes which might affect compatibility with previously released software.

    One major update to Windows 10 every 18 months should be enough for anyone, (after it's been thoroughly properly tested), and is probably as much as they can reliably do by the looks of it.

    I'm more than fed up with these irritating updates which have no respect for my settings, even to the point of changing, my desktop background to their default one. What I want is a well designed OS which gets security updates, fixes and maybe some new features now and then, but is otherwise left alone, the way I set it up.

    It's becoming a complete joke really.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Why ? Just why ?

    On the topic of microsoft employees not using windows:

    Recently, I went to an interview at microsoft and began to discuss my experience with the interviewer. We began to talk about a thing I did that isn't relevant here, other than that it worked with creating logical disks. I spent some time describing this project when the interviewer asked me a question about how the disks were typically enumerated and mounted.

    That's when I realized that I'd only run this on linux and OS X, and that this probably wasn't going to be good for my interview prospects. However, I chose not to (also couldn't come up with) a good lie about it working on windows, and gave the correct answer with respect to the linux/mac mount points. The interviewer then said "Hey. This software sounds useful for stuff I'm doing on my home machine. Does it work on a mac?" So it seems that not all the microsoft people use windows when not on the job.

  43. Frank Thynne

    It seems finally to have happened -- Microsoft has lost control of its product.

    It has discovered the ultimate folly of having no Quality Assurance. It didn't even pass its release to its inadequate outsourced QA (Windows Insiders) before sending it to its innocent users. It didn't even listen to Insiders warnings of a problem.

    I am saddened to post such a comment again after some months of warnings.

    It's not going to be enough to fix the latest bug. Only a complete halt to development while a qualified QA and team are installed, with the power to veto a release if necessary will rescue Microsoft and its users from complete disaster.

  44. ProperDave

    Brilliant. So Microsoft have given all the phone fraudsters yet another excuse to cold call and try and scam the less-experienced user out of pocket.

    Good job Microsoft. Good job.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1809 BITS pulled from VLSC too

  46. thatwasit

    I learned this lessen painfully back in Windows XP days

    My advice to my clients for years has been. Never be the first to do Windows updates. Even the monthly Windows Updates. Delay them a few days. Let someone else find the issues Then they are dealt with before we install them. I learned this lessen painfully back in Windows XP days.

  47. Alephi

    Other issues with the update

    I didn't lose any files, but I did find that it had reset some of my default applications, my audio settings, screen size, and if I open the PC Settings window or access settings through the original control panel, it immediately closes again when I roll the mouse over it. It stays open on the second attempt, but to date, I have not been able to keep the Personalization window open at all.

  48. cob2018


    After nearly 30 years in the Unix/Linux world, I still rely on the old way. The "dump" and "restore" commands still work quite well for my modest needs, and the only issues I've had seem to always end being media-related crap such as bad tapes. The old simple approach works for me.

  49. Adam Jarvis

    *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool, now includes user directories.

    MS have added C:\users\{username}\Downloads to the "Disk Cleanup" tool in 1809.


    Microsoft have added the personal/user folder C:\users\{username}\Downloads to the 'Disk Cleanup tool'. The Disk Cleanup tool is normally used to remove previous versions of Windows i.e. 1803.

    Microsoft don't even highlight the change for regular users within the new version, that they have added this user folder to the list of directories the Disk Cleanup deletes data from.

    That's just sheer incompetence or a malicious act by MS.

    It's almost as though someone at Microsoft wants you to delete your own files "by mistake". Anyone would think MS need to sell a few more 1TB OneDrive subscriptions/Office 365 Subscriptions.

  50. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Re: Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool, now includes user directories.

    Next on their list to include is your NAS...


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