back to article Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

The world now knows why last week's Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade deleted unlucky users' files: the software treated the default user directory as ripe for destruction, because it thought the files were elsewhere. The upgrade has since been pulled. Last week, some unfortunate punters who hit the “download” button on the Windows …

  1. Forget It
    Coffee/keyboard

    Best

    wait until Patch Wednesdays

    guys

    1. 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 fails to 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.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

        Except if you had OneDrive and AutoSave it similarly trashed files.

        Never attribute to malice what can be explained by sheer idiocy.

        (For a start, why physically delete those files rather than "Recycle Bin" them?)

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

          (For a start, why physically delete those files rather than "Recycle Bin" them?)

          Because we have to cater for the users who find emptying the recycle bin too difficult.

          There comes a point where if you try to make an idiot-proof OS, your OS ends up just doing idiotic things.

          1. ma1010 Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

            @Dan 55

            There comes a point where if you try to make an idiot-proof OS, your OS ends up just doing idiotic things.

            THIS^

            I was amazed, reading the article. This is an actual OS "feature"? "I'm too dumb and lazy to manage my hard disk storage, so I want to just keep stuffing everything into C:\FILES, and if the drive gets full, just let the OS magically put the files someplace else without me knowing what's going on."

            There are times when "transparency" is good, but this strikes me as a bridge too far. I like to know where my data is stored AND where it's backed up AND have control over it all. And I'm not real big on "cloud," either.

            Excuse me, got to go chase those kids off my lawn again.

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

              "I'm too dumb and lazy to manage my hard disk storage, so I want to just keep stuffing everything into C:\FILES, and if the drive gets full, just let the OS magically put the files someplace else without me knowing what's going on."

              I suspect there's something to that. Some people save everything and every email including spam. And if something disappears, they get snarky.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

              "I'm too dumb and lazy to manage my hard disk storage, so I want to just keep stuffing everything into C:\FILES, and if the drive gets full, just let the OS magically put the files someplace else without me knowing what's going on."

              Where did you read that? And where did the 20+ people upvoting you read that? (Surely Reg readers wouldn't just emotionally upvote posts which play to their biases without considering the facts within, would they?)

              Known Folder Redirection has to be enabled by the user. Do you really think that once C:\ gets full Windows will just look for any random drives connected to the system and begin stuffing files there?

              I wouldn't put it past MS to try that one day, but today is not that day.

              1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: Do you really think that once C:\ gets full...

                Think of a "word".

                Two letters.

                The first is an "A". The last is an "I".

                MS are keen to try it out.

                What better beta tester than a W10 user with a full hard drive?

          2. Miss Config
            Boffin

            Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

            There comes a point where if you try to make an idiot-proof OS, your OS ends up just doing idiotic things

            There is no such thing as 'idiot proof'..

        2. Frank Thynne

          Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

          The mistake might have been idiocy, but releasing products with zero QA is malice.

          Insiders are not accountable for errors that aren't noticed or reported, so they aren't QA.

          Ignoring errors that are reported is deliberate negligence, and isn't QA either.

          QA is a professional exercise, and needs trained in-house staff and a departmental head, answerable to the CEO and strong enough to block product releases, even in the face of marketing and financial pressures. Nothing less will do.

          It seems to me that releasing software with known deleterious defects constitutes Computer Misuse and should be prosecuted under law. In the UK this is covered by the Computer Misuse Act 1998.

          1. Frank Thynne

            Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,

            Errata: It's the Computer Misuse Act 1990. (The 1998 Act was about Data Protection, and has been superseded).

            But I note from the 1990 Act that although intent might be difficult to prove, reckless actions are also covered. I believe that releasing products without QA and with known deleterious errors is reckless.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The title is too long.

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

        I disagree. Most user's download folder is cluttered with single-use setup(2).exe files and various attachments and PDFs that will never be opened again and just take up space.

        Adding "clear the Downloads folder" to the Disk Cleanup Tool is a useful addition in my opinion.

        If you'd like to keep some of those files, why not move them to the Documents folder. Oh, wait, I see...

        "The Disk Cleanup tool is normally used to remove previous versions of Windows"

        No, it's not. It also gets rid of thumbnails, temporary files and all sorts of cruft that either is no longer useful or can be downloaded again if needed.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

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

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

        No, because THEY own your hardware. Didn't you read the EULA?

      4. Agent Tick

        Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809..

        Actually Storage Sense is off by default and even when it is On MyDownloads cleanup is set to Never by default.

        Bit of a storm in a tea cup, no?!

      5. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: *** Be careful *** Also new in 1809, changes to Disk Cleanup Tool,...

        A different take:

        Computer operating systems -- all of them -- are very complex and nearly impossible for most folks to administer.

        What Microsoft seems to be trying to do -- automate system administration such that normal users don't have to worry about it -- is entirely reasonable and worthy of financial reward. Sadly, what they are trying to do is also extremely difficult. And they don't seem to be doing it very well at all.

        Screwing up system administration is easy and in Linux, it's free. Who needs to pay Microsoft to lose their files?

    2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      A spokesman from Microsoft said:

      "This Is The One Thing We Didn't Want To Happen"

  2. DarkRud

    An OS should never delete users' based files! Bad botch!!

    1. seven of five

      and moving your files off the OS partition actually is a very sensible thing to do. Most unkind to sting these users.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Yeah thats my job (I've only accidently formatted my second drive 2 times in the past few years)!

      2. veti Silver badge

        and moving your files off the OS partition actually is a very sensible thing to do. Most unkind to sting these users

        They didn't sting *those* users, those users were fine. The ones who got stung were the ones who started saving *some* of their files on another partition, but still left others in the original location. Which is *not* really "a very sensible thing to do" in my estimation.

        1. jake Silver badge

          WTF?

          "Which is *not* really "a very sensible thing to do" in my estimation."

          Why the fuck not? It's my computer, and those are my files! I should be able to place them anywhere I like without the OS destroying them without so much as a by-your-leave. No matter how much you try to pretty it up, Microsoft made a rookie error, and fucked up big time. Yet again. Lather rinse repeat.

          First rule of OS updates: THERE IS NEVER A GOOD EXCUSE TO DESTROY USER DATA!

          Questions for Microsoft apologists: Do you have a complete, verified backup of your user data? Are you sure? Have you tried to restore from that backup? Can you access that backup if your Internet connection is down? Can you access that backup from any OS you choose to use?

      3. Jakester

        Not only is moving user files off the OS partition sensible, it is idiotic for an OS be designed to put user files on the OS partition. I like to have my data files on a data partition (sometimes even on a separate physical drive), or on a server - yes I have a home server using Linux. If I have to reinstall Windows, then I only have to worry about restoring Windows from a backup image and adding/updating programs and hardware drivers for hardware that may have changed since the last backup. Unfortunately, many software manufacturers like to put user data files on the OS partition and not always in the user directories, but buried in the program directory tree. I put the ones that I can into a non-os partition. Even worse, I use one program where I can put most of the user data on a non-os drive/partition, but some of the data is put into the Windows registry.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      An OS should never delete users' based files!

      nor settings

      nor config changes

      nor extensions

      nor installed software

      nor UN-delete things you tried to make "go away"

      I'll add taking away the nice 3D Skeuomorphic appearance of Windows 7, too, and replacing it with 2D FLATSO and cram-it-up-your-ass updates, ads, slurp, etc..

      But they did it ANYWAY. Thanks, Micro-shaft!!!

  3. Richard 12 Silver badge

    An untested fix to an untested feature

    Both of which lose data.

    Impressive.

    Remind me why this continuous release was a good idea?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

      Microsoft need to dig out the old memo from the days of XP that led to MS focussing on code quality and security. I think it was lost just after Windows 7 along with the memo about UI design.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

        And when SatNav joined and wiped out half the employee base.

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

      What is worst is they "fixed" the creation of empty directories by deleting them in a later update - even if they weren't empty at all. That's the kind of "ad-hoc" fix that drives me mad every time I spot it in code I'm responsible for.

    3. oiseau Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

      Remind me why this continuous release using Windows 10 was a good idea?

      There you go ...

      Makes more sense now.

      Cheers,

      O.

      1. Stumpy

        Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

        "Move fast and break things" ....

        .... isn't that the Facebook Agile mantra?

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: An untested fix to an untested feature

        Remind me why this continuous release using Windows 10 was a good idea?

        There you go ...

        And again, fixed it further.

  4. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Bad user!

    My default Documents folder is generally ignored as any rebuilds or new machines have all documents elsewhere due to machines in the distant past having small drives and it's easier to bung data elsewhere than having to keep finding space.

    I just ignore 'My Documents'

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Bad user!

      That's fine when you have complete control of your machine, know how to set proper permissions on the new folders, and you're not bound to any company policy (backups, roaming profiles, etc.)

      For some users, that's not an option.

      Although when I can I use it myself.

    2. Adam Jarvis

      Re: Bad user!

      "I just ignore 'My Documents' "

      Maybe you could you tell Microsoft to do the same?

      1. Mongrel

        Re: Bad user!

        Loads of games (and I presume other software) dumps the config files and save games in the My Documents folder. No choices

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Bad user!

          Actually, they should dump configs in the AppData folders, not the My Documents one - even if a lot of bad applications - often ported from Linux, have still the wrong idea to treat the root profile folder as the home folder - and write there, but that's not correct in Windows.

          Saved games (and other "documents") could use My Document as a default, but should also allow to save elsewhere.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Bad user!

            often ported from Linux, have still the wrong idea to treat the root profile folder as the home folder

            Nothing to the weird things dumped into the Documents folder when running Windows programs in Wine.

            Gotten used to 'Documents' just being well, documents, (.doc, txt, .odt, .odf, maybe the odd spreadsheet or .pdf) on Linux. Suddenly a huge amount of clutter and junk starts getting gets dumped where Documents could thrive and breed in pristine sanctuary.

            Linux has it's own config issues I expect, but the only ire I can think of just now is for devs who dump configs in weird 'nickname' folders under $HOME/.config with titles that in no way resemble the name of the application.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AppData folder

            How many ordinary Windows users out there even know this exists?

            As it is a hidden directory tree most won't have any idea that it exists let alone realise that all that disk space they once had is gone and is now used by files that reside in the AppData folder.

            I've lost count of the systems I've rescued over the years by cleaning up that heap of stinking dog poo called the AppData Folder.

            Thankfully I now no longer have to wade through hundreds if not thousands of .tmp files as I've retired and no longer touch windows even with a 40ft barge pole.

            This mess shows how bad MS has gotten under the leadership of SatNad. They simply don't care about the users. All they want to push is the shiny-shiny cool stuff and they have forgotten that people expect their PC's/Laptops to work when they want and not when MS lets them.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "by cleaning up that heap of stinking dog poo called the AppData Folder"

              That's another issue when bad applications don't clear up the poo when uninstalled. It's even worse with applications using DIY installers instead of one of the good ones. They did it with the registry, they're doing it with AppData. Unluckily, there's little to defend you from bad developers but not using their applications.

              Still, I've seen Linux applications as well leaving poo behind when uninstalled - because even writing rpms and debs require some skills, especially when files are created after the package is run. Those not using the package manager can be even worse - often having some way to install them, but not a way to remove them fully.

              The AppData folder is hidden just like most config files in a Linux home directory are hidden.

            2. keith_w

              Re: AppData folder

              Should they not be dumping them into c:\programdata? Also, the easiest way to clean up APPDATA is to backup desktop, favorites, documents, pictures, video, and music and then delete the entire user profile. When you log back on, copy the stuff back. Did that to my son's machine on Sunday, went from 28MB to 5.81GB on a 32GB (Cdrive 28GB) Asus tablet.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                "Should they not be dumping them into c:\programdata"

                ProgramData is for non-user specific, non roaming files. You usually store there files that for some (good) reason aren't going into <program files> (which non-admin users cannot modify), and need to be accessed by different users.

          3. fandom Silver badge

            Re: Bad user!

            "not the My Documents one - even if a lot of bad applications - often ported from Linux..."

            You mean like, for example, outlook?

            Yes, those Linux so called "programmers", they don't have a clue

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              those Linux so called "programmers", they don't have a clue

              @fandom

              I bet you use C-pound and '.Not' and UWP, right?

        2. Daleos

          Re: Bad user!

          Yeah. That's exactly the reason you shouldn't use 'My Documents' to store your own files. If you want to keep thing neat and tidy, you don't want any old app bunging in their own files and folders in to your carefully crafted file tree.

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Bad user!

      "I just ignore 'My Documents'"

      Good news then. Now you can use it again if you choose. Most likely, it's empty.

  5. jake Silver badge

    After 43 years in the business ...

    ... one would think they'd grok the need for a proper QA department. Deleting user files? Really? And NOBODY in Redmond caught it? Where I come from, that's a stop the presses, shut down the line, everybody drop tools show stopper ... even if the concept is just hinted at by outside beta testers.

    I question the sanity of anybody who still champions Microsoft. Seriously, guys, how many times are you going to let 'em shit all over you before you yell "ENOUGH!"? There are plenty of options out there that don't cause headaches every time the wind blows.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: After 43 years in the business ...

      one would think they'd grok the need for a proper QA department.

      Beancounters have never understood that a QA department is, business-wise, a profit centre. They always treat it as a cost centre, and hence ripe for cutting.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: After 43 years in the business ...

        Beancounters have never understood that a QA department is, business-wise, a profit centre. They always treat it as a cost centre, and hence ripe for cutting.

        And you're surprised?

        Businesses seem to regard IT as a cost and nothing else. Management and Marketing would love to be able to just sell the promise alone, profits would surely be up, and along with that, management bonuses.

        Seeing the kind of half-developed crap pumped out due to asphyxiated development times and over-pumped steroid ambition feature additions it often feels like they are trying to skate along on the dreams and promises and more hot air than substance.

        It's almost sort works, look at Magic Leap.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: After 43 years in the business ...

          Businesses seem to regard IT as a cost and nothing else.

          Maybe. But it's an odd attitude when IT is what the business sells.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: After 43 years in the business ...

          "Management and Marketing would love to be able to just sell the promise alone, profits would surely be up, and along with that, management bonuses."

          Selling nothing more than a promise happens so often in the world of computers & networking that we have a name for it: Vaporware. Wiki claims it was "coined by a Microsoft engineer in 1982", but I remember the term being used at Berkeley & Stanford at least ten years earlier.

          1. John 61
            Go

            Re: After 43 years in the business ...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv6s_AnX9RU

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mystery

    >> There's still a mystery about why Microsoft let Windows 10 October update ship with the bug, because it was reported by testers of Insider releases in June and August.

    It's not really a mystery as it's certainly not the first time that Microsoft has ignored bug reports from Insider testing.

    1. Wolfclaw Silver badge

      Re: No mystery

      Delays for QA cost money/stock price and that comes before anything else, including the users as "we can fix that later for corporate release and its just the lame duck consumers beta testers" seems to be Microsofts mindset these days..

    2. ColonelDare

      Re: No mystery

      It's a mystery to me why anyone uses this stuff at all. I migrated off everything with M$ on the label 10 years ago and I'm so glad that I did!

      BTW did I notice elsewhere that M$ are increasing their W10 charges again? No mystery there then.

      1. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

        Re: No mystery

        Can you give me a link to these increased W10 charges ?

        I know it's a massive pile of crap but increased charges is something that can be taken to court. 8f only to get an extended W7 license.

        1. ColonelDare

          Re: No mystery

          > Can you give me a link to these increased W10 charges ?

          I'm not saying I'm certain about this (I don't buy the stuff and I don't care), but a Google search yields loads of reports discussing the price hike. Mostly from the US of A.

          For instance Forbes here.

          Just saying. :-)

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No mystery

      Isn't there a tickbox labelled 'data loss' on the bug report which gets the report looked at by an actual human being in a matter of days? If not, there should be.

      1. DryBones

        Re: No mystery

        There was no "severity" selection in the feedback form. Eventually MS still have their testers a bug reporting form that's almost as good as JIRA was 5 years ago. And games from 15 years ago.

        If they want to use users as testers they need to provide Insiders with a bloody proper Bug Report form with this kind of thing. Totally MS's fault for not providing any levers to facilitate triage of issues.

  7. beep54
    Facepalm

    So is the update safe yet?

    Ha, ha!!! just kidding!

  8. seven of five

    because it thought the files were elsewhere

    I might have heard that one before. Once or twice. From a user.

  9. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Let's try that one again

    How about no?

    I've not got the strength to make an analogy of the actions of MS on users via the OS that they are applying.

    Let's just say, if MS was a decorator, or utility supplier, at this point most of us would have no house standing... on the request they "try that one again", most of us would ask them to either go get proper training, safety and materials, and come back with their tail between their legs... or go get lost!

  10. DavidCarter

    Separately, still no sign of Server 2019 again though on VLSC

    1. Woza

      Did someone store it in My Documents?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I never use the default Microsoft folders, I prefer to create my own structure, admittedly it is inconvenient in some ways but pays off in situations like this

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      You're setting yourself up for a disaster there. This bug deleted files that were in the wrong place (still in the original directory when a new one was to be used).

      How long before an update moves or deletes files that aren't in the Microsoft-sanctioned places ?

      1. Alumoi
        Devil

        Adrian, I take it you've seen the next build.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "How long before an update moves or deletes files that aren't "

        Well, I believe it would make a lot of users quite angry... and I would like to be a MS lawyer if it ever happens. The fees to defend it would become soon astronomical.... think if Windows started to delete files on separate internal and external disks, shares, etc. etc... even Nadella chair could become very hot.

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Unhappy

        I'm pretty sure a Samba share on a FreeBSD server isn't a Microsoft-sanctioned location for documents. Am I likely to have a problem?

  12. Dave K Silver badge

    One of the biggest laughs about this is that whilst a big, pointless "feature" update is installing, MS likes to display a montage of messages to the user, you know the usual "Please don't turn off your computer", "We're getting things ready for you", etc.

    Unfortunately, one of the messages they display during the update is "All your files are exactly where you left them"

    ...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      MS likes to display a montage of messages

      turbo tax honestly says "ok this is taking longer than we expected" or similar.

      Micro-shaft should have messages that are more honest, like:

      a) we are busy resetting all of the changes you've made

      b) we are busy slurping all of your data

      c) this is taking way too damn long because we lazily coded it in Javascript

      d) we know this process sucks, but we don't give a damn about YOU

      e) you have been assimilated

      and so on

  13. SVV Silver badge

    Internet Explorer, ...., Internet Explorer

    So good, they patched it twice (according to their expansive list of things patched). With quality control like that, who could fail to have faith in their wisdom and competence?

    1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: Internet Explorer, ...., Internet Explorer

      and Edge was supposed to be a ground up new browser, its amazing how many bugs are in both it and ie

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that lost data ?

    How do MS restore that, pray tell.

    I assume that Windows Insider users are a microcosm/subset of Windows Users.

    So there will be a fair few who didn't have backups.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: And that lost data ?

      "How do MS restore that, pray tell."

      They don't. It's all your fault for running Beta code. Read the fine print.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And that lost data ?

      "I assume that Windows Insider users are a microcosm/subset of Windows Users"

      No. they're the lead lemmings....

      geronimo

      .

      .

      .

      .

      splat!

  15. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Windows 7

    How long before we're realistically gonna be forced to abandon Windows 7? There's no fucking way I'm going to Windows 10, so I either need to start reading about all the different flavours of Linux, or dust off my A4000T, which isn't for sale.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 7

      If the computer only has USB3 ports, it is a bit of a faff to get USB3 drivers onto the Windows 7 install image, but I'd say worth it.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Windows 7

        One of the problems I've run into trying to do this is that the USB2 ports on some of these newer machines don't have support for XHCI and/or AHCI, which apparently Win7 expects. I got my (legal) OEM Win7 disk to boot, but as soon as it presents the first screen (where you try select the language and keyboard type), the USB2 ports die...no mouse, no keyboard (which really makes it tough to select the language and keyboard type...of do much of anything else, for that matter). HP support (this is an HP Envy 795 desktop) wants very badly for you not to downgrade, coming up with all manner of excuses as to why this is a Really Bad Ideatm going even so far as to removing the availability to select AHCI/XHCI capabilities from the BIOS.

        Haven't tried to hook the kbd and mouse to the USB3 ports yet. Maybe that, and downloading the Win7 driver, might fool the system. Worth a try, 'cuz as we all know, Win10 sux0rz!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Windows 7

          Gigabyte Windows USB Installation Tool from here worked for my even though the new computer didn't have a Gigabyte board.

          However it doesn't like deep subdirectories, so put it in something like C:\X. Also it failed on the first computer I ran it on and worked on the second, the log file wasn't any help in explaining why.

        2. SharpOB

          Re: Windows 7

          If you can take out the hard drive, you can install Windows onto it through a virtual machine, and then shut it down before the first reboot and placing it back into the laptop. It should be fine, as the first boot is when it starts customising itself to the system it's on.

    2. Highinthemountains

      Re: Windows 7

      January 14, 2020 is the end of Windoze 7 support.

  16. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Why?

    "There's still a mystery about why Microsoft let Windows 10 October update ship with the bug, because it was reported by testers of Insider releases in June and August."

    Personally I would blame internal bureaucracy coupled with pressure to get the update out the door, and the somewhat arrogant attitude MS has had for its users for the last decade or so..

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      Only the last decade?!? N00b!

      ;-)

  17. Lee D Silver badge

    If they hadn't allowed every-man-and-his-dog to trash my My Documents folders so that it more resembles a list of every manufacturer's idea of what to call their product folder, with no useful files to me in any of them, and which stay there forever, maybe people would actually use it.

    And maybe you could do proper user-data / program-data separation such that programs NEVER have a need to iterate or access such folders and the user can choose what they do with their own data and how to organise it completely outside the scope of where a particular program feels it should shove "My Cyberlink DVD Projects", etc.

    We need to move to a container-style where programs each have two folders: Program Data. User Data. Anything saved in User Data *CAN* be accessed by the user, but the program can NEVER access any other file the user has. The user only ever sees a collated list of User Data for all programs that they CHOOSE to see (i.e. I don't care about seeing my Cyberlink DVD projects as I only ever access them from Cyberlink software, etc.) - kinda like "Add to My Drive" / "Shared With Me" in Google Drive. I mean... this is what all the Documents and indexing junk in Windows is SUPPOSED TO BE FOR.

    Similarly if the program then can only access the data it's GIVEN by the user, and the data it creates itself, it can't trash stuff or snoop into everything in My Documents (as it can currently do). Removing the program is a simple choice - delete the Program only, or the Program and the Data? Done. Gone. No traces. Finished. Out of here.

    Then the OS would NEVER have to mess with user files, redirects or anything else. The programs wouldn't be able to either. And I'd have a single storage for any of 20+ locations I choose to put things if I forget where I put them, without them cluttering up with everything from My Music to a folder for every damn program I've ever opened.

    Hell, use your brain and the registry could work the same way. And you could literally run a program and NOT give, say, GTA V access to all your CAD documents, where one slip of a temp-file removal code or a bit of macro could wipe out everything you've ever stored. How amazing would that be?

    We honestly still don't design software or computers properly. There's literally no need for this - and we still do it on Windows, Linux, Mac and Android (Android, ironically, gets closer than most!).

    Program in one folder. Data it creates / requests in another folder. Do it properly and they're nothing more than hard-links to the real file or even copy-on-write links so that even if program X thinks it's trashing your hard drive, it actually isn't, only it's own view of it. Use things like Redirection, Shadow Copies and Indexing properly and you ever get an "immutable" user space that you can give to programs and roll-back when they mess up, while your documents were always safe and sound.

    Do it *really properly* and you could even fake "Yeah, let this program think it's on the net / accessing my files / modifying the registry for real but just emulate the changes inside a container for it" for compatibility with those programs that feel they MUST be able to write to C:\

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "the program can NEVER access any other file the user has"

      Just, it won't work when you use different programs to work on the same files. While I understand a game has no need to access your CAD files, it's quite common for example to work on image files using different tools, and some applications use files from many other ones to create their output (think a DTP or PDF creator accessing text files, document files, images, etc.).

      It could be feasible to have ACLs that work with applications too, and not only users, but many users would probably dislike to be asked to give permission each time (and which privileges would you need to give permissions?)

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Maybe Cyberlink is the only program that needs to access "My Cyberlink DVD Projects", but Cyberlink might need to access "My Videos", "My Excel Documents" (yes I know it's not really a thing), or just about everything else.

      Also, what if you want to send one of your Cyberlink DVD projects to someone else? Outlook might not be the best tool for this particular task given that it could be 4GB+, but you are going to need some sort of program to do it. Microsoft would tell you to use OneDrive, there are other options.

    3. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      files are for everyone

      @Lee D

      If I understand you correctly you are saying that each app should have its private file area. If I have misunderstood, apols.

      I disagree about each app having its separate area. In MS Office, for example, there is one area for Outlook/your data, and another area for One Note/your data. Other commenters have also noted that documents may be needed by many different apps.

      Like everyone else, my 'My Documents' gets filled with directories for Outlook, One Note, Data Sources, etc. My answer is to create 'My Documents\Ownfiles', and then various directories below that. It keeps things reasonably clean.

  18. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    QA

    It's a quality assurance problem. When writing code that deletes user files (due to age, being in the wrong place, whatever), the code needs to go through some extra quality assurance. I'm sorry Microsoft but if we aren't told that there is extra quality assurance that occurs when this sort of code is written, we can't trust your code. It's just not an option. They need to get this done and reassure us.

    How they do this is really not our concern, they're the company we are all trusting with our computers. Sorry, I mean 'the computers that we are allowed to use by the grace of microsoft'.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: QA

      More than that. The offending code base fragment needs to be invalidated so it cannot feature in some clueless person's build.

      This is a failure of enterprise version control as much as it's a coder snafu and testing debacle.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And I thought I was just being funny..

    I was just making a joke when I posted I reckon it's the move from \users\%user% to \victims\%user% that went wrong. It's still all there, just linked to the wrong place so you end up with some data being stored correctly from newer software, and some still being dumped at \users\%user%... No, honestly, I was kidding.

    Or so I thought:

    The world now knows why last week's Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade deleted unlucky users' files: the software treated the default user directory as ripe for destruction, because it thought the files were elsewhere. The upgrade has since been pulled.

    Hmm. My condolences if you were one of the unlucky recipients.

    I won't stop making jokes at Microsoft's expense, though. That's what they're there for.

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So coder error compounded by uckfuped build.

    Broken fingers for two, then.

  21. Krzysz

    I don't buy the file-redirection stuff. I have never filled my Drive C, have never had files re-directed and still lost photos and docs. An hour with a Microsoft technician taking over my PC produced nothing. Mind you, after running Recuva I could see there were traces remaining. And some users have reported losing data from Drive D, for God's sake! What a shambles!

  22. Big Al 23

    And why is Microsoft not accountable for damages?

    Why is it that Microsoft can cause untold damage to Windows users yet they are unaccountable for their coding neglegence and damages?

  23. Marty McFly
    Mushroom

    Damn it Reg!

    I wish you would stop referring to Windows 10 as an "upgrade".

  24. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    a tool for folks who have filled their hard drive and wanted new files destined for their Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Camera Roll, and other such default directories to be stored on another device, such as in D:\user. You can keep saving files into the usual Downloads folder, for instance, and it's actually saved on another drive with free space, in other words.

    It's 2018, and operating systems still use hacks like this to use multiple disks?

    I thought this sort of hackery was just done on Android these days! (*)

    (*) Loyal android user, but damn, that data / FAT formatted internal_sd / external_sd with broken kludges to get around FAT lack of file ownership / .android_secure *.asec mount bullshit is horrifying - and I know this ain't a Linux restriction.

  25. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

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

    Oh dear. Seems that my comment in the other thread was a bit nearer to reality than I realised.

    1. LDS Silver badge

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

      As long as they don't know how to delete snapshots...

  26. napalmDaz
    Facepalm

    Ok, where is he?

    I scrolled the comments, twice now, expecting to find BOMBASTIC BOB!!!!! blaming it all on C-POUND and the evil that is JIT compilation.

    1. quxinot

      Re: Ok, where is he?

      >I scrolled the comments, twice now, expecting to find BOMBASTIC BOB!!!!! blaming it all on C-POUND and the evil that is JIT compilation.<

      Ctrl-f for ".not" and for "flatso".

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. dnicholas Bronze badge

    It wasn't me

    I'm glad Microsoft are getting the work experience chaps and chapesses involved in coding. It's inspiring

  28. Deadly_NZ

    This isn't the first time they have screwed with the /docs etc etc . A couple of updates ago I had a spate of calls from people who had lost their whole home directories and I lost mine too. It was easily found microosoft had just decided to rename all the bloody computers to \desktop\abcd1213 but it was the time taken to fix microsofts screwups. That they don't pay you for. And this time they the Docs/pictures are gone for good. Not good for some of my elderly customers who lost some pictures and Docs that are irreplaceable. And when you say Backup they think you mean reverse the bloody Car. Microsoft have got to watch what they are doing. Because a simple date error causes so much pain and distress.

  29. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Known Folder Redirection

    The bug, Cable wrote, affected people who had used a feature called Known Folder Redirection, a tool for folks who have filled their hard drive and wanted new files destined for their Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Camera Roll, and other such default directories to be stored on another device, such as in D:\user. You can keep saving files into the usual Downloads folder, for instance, and it's actually saved on another drive with free space, in other words.

    Linux has had this innovation for ages, you can mount an external partition to /home at boot or link the home directories into external partition/directories using something like: mount --bind /external/Music /home/user/Music. Now saving to 'Music' saves to the external partition. I find no known logic in deleting file in your home directory as part of an update.

  30. Silas

    Anyone seen similar in Win7

    I have today done some Win7 updates and I've had data loss in ProgramData.

  31. Ojustaboo

    I tried the 1809 update last week.

    All my user libraries except for Desktop had been moved to my D drive (by right clicking and selecting the location tab). These files were fine after the update.

    I had also moved the public directories to another drive using

    robocopy /MIR %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public H:\Public

    then from safe mode

    rmdir /s /q %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public

    mklink /J %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users\Public H:\Public

    After the update, the H;\Public drives were completely empty, and it had created new C:\user\Public directories, also empty.

    Of course I have numerous image backups and had done a backup before I updated so didn't loose anything.

  32. XmSss

    Great! But I already upgraded and "my doc" are gone...

    Of course without back up - I have no idea I need that! And for a few days was searching on good software. Recovered with DiskInternals software (Uneraser). They have a discount for software all October. Maybe, for someone that information be helpful.

    PS Back up! Doesn't matter that they fixed the bug. Don't trust them blindly.

  33. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Luser error

    How can MSFT be expected to handle the zany schemes of lusers?

  34. UncleZoot

    I guess since I store 98% of my files on external devices, I'm lucky on this one.

    My problem was back a few months ago, when after update my video card would crash on startup. With Microslop fashion, they make getting to safe mode next to impossible.

    Had to resort to firing up the bios and trashing the nVidia drivers and have to run the basic Microslop driver. Works for most things, but not well for Catia which the machine was set up for. Back to teh desktop HP still running Win 7.

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