Earlier this month Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2018 Update and a few days later paused its rollout. Apparently, some users reported serious data loss issues more specifically with user files including documents, photos, music, and other files. Initial findings across various sources point out that it may be some group policy issues, some even had a temporary fix for it by disabling some GPO settings while other pointed out that the issue is not with just the user files itself inside the boot drive, but even the files and folders that were moved to a different location (e.g. D:/Documents). The latter proved to be the real issue as Microsoft released a statement that indeed it’s because of the Known Folder Redirection (KFR) that was previously been enabled prior to the update. Microsoft introduced a code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders but apparently, it was not all empty.
Personally, I was a bit worried as I am one of those people who quickly jumped and updated my windows 10 because of the fact that they’ve finally included the dark theme for the explorer. After I found out about the issue I quickly scour the internet to know how to determine if I am affected. Luckily, all my files and folders are intact and I definitely dodge a bullet here since I also use the Known Folder Redirection to redirect my user files to a different drive.
Microsoft has since developed solutions for this issue and is now re-releasing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. They’ve also released some other fixes in the monthly update for customers who have already taken the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. More details are available in KB 4464330.
While Microsoft claims that the actual users affected with data loss are few at one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs, it’s still very rare and equally important and should not be taken lightly.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that as per Microsoft, the update was only available to those who manually clicked on “check for updates” in Windows settings. This is not a good sign for those people who always want their software up to date as much as possible, it can also be an indication about the quality Microsoft puts into their testings and rollout process.
With that being said, I advise anyone that until Microsoft finally put their heads together with these questionable updates, always back up your files or at least wait for a while before pulling the trigger to update your windows. As some say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.