Now Microsoft says it thinks it’s identified the issues causing files to be deleted and it’s assisting affected customers to recover their data.
Before rolling out the October 2018 Update widely though, Microsoft is taking a baby step: it will release a new version to members of the Windows Insider program first, see how that goes, and then consider releasing the update to the public.
This is probably as good a time as any to remind you that the Windows Insider program is basically an ongoing beta test. Members of the program get early access to upcoming features and the ability to provide feedback that may shape the future of Windows. But they may also encounter bugs… like the kind that delete your files. So make sure to backup anything important and think about only running Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 on a secondary PC rather than your primary computer.
In fact, thanks to the Insider program, Microsoft already knew that some users were losing files when installing the latest update before it was released to the public. The company made some changes to address the issue… but may have inadvertently introduced new problems, leading to the data loss experienced by users last week.
If you already installed the update and lost access to files, you should probably stop using your computer immediately and contact Microsoft. Data recovery can be tricky (and often expensive). When you “delete” files, they don’t necessarily disappear, but the space the occupy on your disk is marked as space that can be written over. So continuing to use your PC could cause those files to go away for good if they’re overwritten by new data.
So stop using your computer and contact Microsoft by calling 1-800-MICROSOFT to get take advantage of the free help the company is offering.
The good news is that it sounds like a fairly small percentage of users have been affected: Microsoft says only one one-hundredth of one percent of users who installed the October 2018 Update lost data as a result. And since the software wasn’t made available through Windows Update yet, we’re only talking about people who went out of their way to manually install the update.