Developer Journal: Error Windows 10 October Update Deletes 300+ Files (1809)

(Credit: Manchikoni)

Before I even knew about the infamous “October Update” I suffered data loss on an external hard drive due to this horrible Microsoft update. I lost a lot of time trying to figure out what had caused my files to disappear. A corrupted Master File Table error on a different hard drive made me realize I had better not wait any longer to do a full backup of all my files. The irony is they disappeared while I was attempting to back them up (with my LG external Blu-Ray burner).

I was taken unawares by this issue with Windows Update because:

  1. I had already shut off/disabled automatic updates, and thus was not worried about Windows Update causing any errors. But somehow — as reported by others in the past year — it turned itself back on (not cool Microsoft!)
  2. Microsoft didn’t even have the courtesy to alert me that Windows was downloading new updates — they just Hijack my computer and resources and don’t seem to care that it causes programs to hang and crash, and content to be lost (whatever wasn’t saved when the interruption occurred).

When I learned that this update caused file loss and was a known issue, I immediately rolled the update back. No use. As before, windows update re-enabled itself and because of resource hogging while it attempted to “stealthily” download updates in the background, my computer hung again.

In the US it is holiday season and I’ve not been able to use my computer since December 21. just to get it back to the baseline level it was at before the update. I have been troubleshooting my computer for days. I’m really not a happy customer with Microsoft right now.

Suggestions for better user experience with Windows 10 Update

Here are a few quick suggestions for Microsoft to improve the user experience of Windows Update users:

  • Display a progress bar module as an overlay on Windows Desktop or in Taskbar so that users can know roughly exactly how long any round of updates (including restarts and re-logins) is going to take. The progress bar in Windows Update isn’t sufficient because it only tells the percent complete of any particular update. But after that update, then some more are almost always required. And with some laptops it can take 5-10 minutes for the OS to fully load because of the overhead caused by the background update resource usage. An overall progress bar is needed to help users better plan their day around doing updates and to approximate when they will be able to use their computers again.
  • Prevent Windows Update from re-enabling itself. As mentioned, this has happened to many including myself. A user needs to know that when he enables or disables some option in software that it will stick and not become self-aware like some android automaton with free will. I have not heard Microsoft respond to this issue. No word on this from CEO Satya Nadella, Brad Smith, or John W. Thompson.
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