October 8, 2018 // 11:12 a.m.
Microsoft has officially confirmed it is investigating a bug in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update release which has a non-zero chance of wiping users' files on upgrade, but claims that its support staff can help get things back where they should be.
Launched earlier this month after skipping the usual last round of Windows Insider programme beta testing - a decision which appears to have come back to haunt the company - Windows 10 October 2018 update has not had a smooth roll-out, even by Microsoft standards: As well as a known bug in CPU activity reporting in Task Manager and incompatibilities with the Intel Display Audio Drivers, the update brought reports of catastrophic data loss with users claiming to have had their personal folders, including My Documents and Pictures, completely emptied on installation.
In an update on its support site over the weekend, Microsoft confirmed it is investigating the issue - though claims that it has received only 'isolated reports of users missing some files after updating'. Whether isolated or widespread, though, the company has pulled the update completely for all affected platforms: Windows 10, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019, Windows 10 IoT Core, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2019, Windows Server, and Windows Server 2019.
Microsoft's Dona Sarkar, meanwhile, has taken to Twitter to advise users who have lost data to contact their local Microsoft support representatives. 'They have the tools to get you back to a good state,' Sarkar claims, suggesting that recovery of the deleted data - likely using an off-the-shelf data recovery tool - will be possible.
Some Windows users, meanwhile, have discovered that the data loss issue was reported to the company under the Windows Insiders programme as far back as three months ago - long before the flawed update was released to the public. At present, neither Microsoft in general nor Sarkar specifically have commented on these early reports.