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Microsoft: only 0.01% of Windows 10 users lost data upgrading to 1809?

According to the Windows Insider blog, only 0.01% of Windows 10 users who upgraded to version 1809 before the upgrade was pulled back last week lost their personal files. In a post from John Cable, Windows Insider reports that “At just two days into the rollout when we paused, the number of customers taking the October 2018 Update was limited. While the reports of actual data loss are few (one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs), any data loss is serious.

This is of course untrue. “One one-hundredth of one percent”, or 0.01%, would mean that only 10 users out of 100,000 who performed the upgrade were affected. Statements like this affect credibility quite negatively. The real percentage is, as Microsoft itself knows for sure, much higher.

Using my Outlook contacts as an example, after cleaning the contacts a few months earlier, I have 117 contacts left. Out of those 117, four have contacted me since last week asking for assistance to get their lost files back after the 1809 upgrade. Assuming all of my contacts had upgraded to 1809 before the upgrade was pulled back, further assuming all of those losing data had contacted me, it would mean that 3.42% of my contacts were affected. That percentage means that 3,420 users out of 100,000 would have been affected, compared to 10 out of 100,000 the Insider Blog claims. Knowing that not all my contacts are using Windows 10, and not all of those using it did the upgrade, the real percentage of affected users could be quite high.

A fellow Ten Forums member posted this today:

It’s 50 – 50 of about 12 samples I have seen up to now. Those are mostly 1 – 6 month old laptops so not much loss in files wherever there was loss.

Six out of 12 devices used by his immediate circle of friends and family were affected.

Another interesting claim by Windows Insider team is that the data loss was caused by Known Folder Redirection (KFR, an acronym I’ve never heard before!). Insider Blog:

– Using KFR the user redirected a known folder to a different drive. For example, suppose you ran out of space on your C drive. You want to save some files separate from your primary folder, so you add another drive to your system for these. You create “D:\documents” and change the location of the files known folder from the original “old” location c:\users\username\documents to D:\documents. In some cases, if the contents of c:\users\username\documents were not moved to D:\documents, then a user could also encounter this issue. When the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:\users\username\documents would be deleted; d:\documents, the new location, would be preserved).

– The user configured one or more of their Known Folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc.) to be redirected (KFR) to another folder on OneDrive. For example, the user changed the location property of the documents folder from c:\users\username\documents to another folder. During this process the system prompts the user and asks if they would like to move the files to the new location. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update is installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder.

– The user used an early version of the OneDrive client and used the OneDrive settings to turn on the Auto save feature. This feature turned on KFR for the Documents and/or Pictures folders based on the user’s choice but did not move the existing files from the original “old” location to the new location. For example, if a user turned on Auto Save for pictures the location of the Pictures folder would be changed from c:\users\username\pictures to c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures, but no files would be moved. The current version of this feature moves the files. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:\users\username\pictures would be deleted; c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures, the new location, would be preserved).

I can only say that two out of those four of my contacts requesting help have never used OneDrive and do not use nor have any Microsoft accounts. Their Windows 10 installs are default pre-installs, not a single folder is redirected or moved. In their cases, all the reasons Microsoft is claiming to have caused this issue are irrelevant.

In any case, Microsoft released a new, corrected version 1809 to Insider Slow and Release Preview rings yesterday. A cumulative update was released for those already upgraded, which brings the build number to 17763.55, instead of 17763.1 as for the original release.

Stay tuned, we will follow up ton his current “disaster recovery” from Microsoft, and post when new information is available!


About this topic earlier on Win10.guru:

Microsoft – Time to rethink Windows testing and delivery systems?
Win10 1809 Circus Closed for Intermission
Windows 10 v.1809 and Windows Server 2019 pulled back



Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

One Response “Microsoft: only 0.01% of Windows 10 users lost data upgrading to 1809?”

  1. CountMike
    October 10, 2018 at 12:02

    0.01 % is BS, just with my small sample it was 20 -25%, 50% if you don’t count ones that didn’t have anything to loose !
    I’m safe though.

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