Windows 10 Version 1809 Suffers from Yet Another Data Loss Bug

Posted on October 23, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 77 Comments

Windows 10 just can’t stop deleting users’ data. Redmond, Hello? Anyone home?

As I assume most readers know, all isn’t well with Windows 10 these days: Windows 10 version 1803 was delayed for weeks when a major software flaw was found on the eve of its original release. And Microsoft actually pulled Windows 10 version 1809 just days after it was released publicly when it finally woke up to the fact—reported multiple times during testing—that it could delete users’ data.

Microsoft was expected to ship the fixed version of Windows 10 version 1809 last Friday, but that date passed without a peep from Redmond. And now we might know why: Users have found a second instance of this release deleting user data. And this one isn’t fixed by the fix.

According to these users, the Compressed Files feature in Windows 10 version 1809 doesn’t prompt the user when you move files or folders out of a ZIP file and those entities already exist in the target location. Instead, it just overwrites the originals.


As with the original data loss bug in this release, this problem had been reported months ago through the ineffectual Windows Insider program, whose purpose now seems unclear. As I’ve observed many times throughout Windows 10’s lifetime, Microsoft collects a lot of data during the development of each version, but it seems to have no understanding of what to do with that data.

Will this bug trigger another delay? Maybe. But it’s equally likely that Windows 10 version 1809 will come (re)racing down the track today, given that it’s a Tuesday. And that Microsoft will fix this issue with yet another quality update, which could be released at any time.

The bigger question is whether Microsoft will ever fix its quality problems. What’s satisfying to me, at least, is that I’m no longer the only one publicly complaining about these problems. I’m not sure what took so long, but welcome to my world, everyone. There are problems here and they need to be discussed and then fixed.


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Comments (77)

77 responses to “Windows 10 Version 1809 Suffers from Yet Another Data Loss Bug”

  1. ivan19998

    It's very obvious Microsoft have serious management and organisational issues. Something is really wrong with development/testing process there. Software testing and QA is a kind of a job which requires hight level of education. It's not random people which join insider program who can properly test complex software. And yet those people found deletion bug before 1809 release and Microsoft did nothing about it until they got more and more complains.

    • RM

      In reply to ivan19998:I think I read Microsoft cut back on those testers because the Windows Insider Program was supposed to replace them (not sure if that is true).

      • waethorn

        In reply to RM:

        It's true in that "it was supposed to". A public beta test with a quantitative Facebook voting system will never replace professionally-trained quality assurance testers though.

    • irfaanwahid

      In reply to ivan19998:

      I know where you are coming from.. though I don't entirely agree with you on serious management issues. If it was, then we would see similar serious issues with MS Azure, Office 365 etc.

      What it means, they are only investing in areas where they feel it's worth it. Windows 10? Not sure it is any value to them anymore.

    • Maktaba

      In reply to ivan19998:

      There is also the issue of hiring incompetent workers for the sake of filling gender quotas.

      • Jeffsters

        In reply to Maktaba

        So we’ve taken a QA issue and make it an anti-gender and diversity tirade? Well done!

      • skane2600

        In reply to Maktaba:

        We get it. You don't like attempts by companies to seek a greater balance in their workforce.

        • waethorn

          In reply to skane2600:

          Balance of the two genders for employment doesn't make one lick of sense in business. If there is a deficiency in one gender over another, it's going to be in qualifications, or relative numbers of applicants.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to Waethorn:

            . . . qualifications, or relative numbers of applicants.

            Which would be symptoms rather than causes. If only those reasonably sure of their level of intelligence would try to apply, would such people have shrewd notions of whether it was worth the effort or not?

            It'd be interesting to compare demographics between MSFT, Google, Amazon, SAP, Siemens and Oracle.

            • waethorn

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Maybe because women ARE different from men, and the technology business isn't an attractive job position for them. Take a look at the video game industry for more evidence of that. And yes, there are plenty of heroine characters in action games, but most of the people playing them are male. Action games, action movies, technology's all far more attractive to men than women. If you claim that it's a problematic symptom, are you thinking that women's brains are wired "wrong" because they're different enough to not be attracted to those? Oh, and just FYI: some of the top executive positions in enterprise tech companies are held by women.

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to Waethorn:

                Are the things with make tech jobs more attractive to men necessary to produce the best software, hardware or services, or are those things mostly traditions and the-way-things-have-always-been-done?

                As for women in top jobs, MSFT has had a few women as CFOs, no? You'd think anyone here should have no issue with women in the financial and business departments.

    • waethorn

      In reply to ivan19998:

      Microsoft has no QA testers anymore. That axeman nutjob Satay Nutella laid them all off. The first management and organizational change they need to do is to fire him for laying off the wrong people.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to ivan19998:

      Sadly, MS probably never looked at it since it didn’t get enough social upvotes.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        . . . enough social upvotes.

        That raises the question whether MSFT intended/intends for the Feedback app to produce bug reports or merely gather info in user preferences. Take a look at the items which get lots of upvotes and official responses. They're more often design items/preferences than bug reports.

        I figure a reasonable argument could be made that MSFT never intended Feedback to serve as a bug reporting system. If I'm wrong about this, then the people they have monitoring Feedback don't seem to be competent for that task. I figure MSFT doesn't retain incompetents very long, so odds favor the former (Feedback isn't a bug reporting system).

    • BoItmanLives

      In reply to ivan19998:

      Windows 10 has become a running joke at this point.

  2. paulpotter

    Is anyone else annoyed that Microsoft is dropping updates on the next version of Windows 10 and not getting 1809 out the door? It would seem like a pretty good PR move to not be updating a future product when you can't get the present one working properly.

  3. Winner

    Perhaps they will advertise for some software QA positions within the company.

    So nice that they gave this poor excuse of an OS away "free" as an upgrade so that you could add bugs, tracking, ads, advertising ID, loss of control over updates, and pushes to sell other Microsoft products to your notifications.

  4. fishnet37222

    One of the first things I do after installing Windows is to install 7-Zip, so this issue doesn't affect me.

  5. Jonne70

    Another funny thing about the Feedback hub. It's tied to the country and language you live in. So I can only search, find and post feedback in Swedish. There is no option to view the US-English feedback. I am 99,999999% sure no one at Microsoft reads or reviews - or cares one bit - about anything written in Swedish. Since you never get any response from Microsoft or any other user for that matter since the users speaking Swedish is pretty small compared to English, I have given up giving feedback a long time a go. What's the point of waisting my time.

    • dvdwnd

      In reply to Jonne70:

      Amen to that from a fellow Swede who has also given up on the Feedback hub. And we still have no collections, unless you count the one in Spanish. I present to you, the top feedback item in Sweden, the uncontested champion for years, the top-voted suggestion that captures what Swedish Windows users want most of all right this day:

      Soporte para iniciar sesión en la música Groove en más ubicaciones (738 votes).


    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Jonne70:

      Tangent: you'd think MSFT would want to dazzle Windows users by automatically translating feedback so that everyone could see all feedback without language or country barriers.

    • panderse

      In reply to Jonne70:

      This is absolutely the most annoying part of the Feedback Hub for me as well. I'm Danish and the feedback I can search is only from Danish users as well. Pretty idiotic, when I actually want to read and provide feedback on the OS itself, not translations.

  6. bluvg

    "What’s satisfying to me, at least, is that I’m no longer the only one publicly complaining about these problems."

    Nah, lots of people have been pointing out these problems for quite a longggg time.

  7. chrisrut

    I still believe that there's an end-game to this desire/need for rapid-fire development on Microsoft's part, after which the platform will achieve a longer-term stability. However, I expected it to bear fruit this quarter. Instead, this. I can only imagine your disappointment.

    Ya know, even a rudimentary questionnaire popped up on Insiders' screens after upgrades and updates would catch a great deal of this. Just ask a half dozen simple questions: Any irritants or unmet expectations? Any problems? Any lost data? Any misplaced Files or Folders? Anything stop working? Worded so "no news is good news." So simple; the reasons why not are hard to fathom.

    I do think answering these questionnaires should be mandatory for insiders - the price of being an insider. No opting out!

  8. ndwilder

    THIS is why I get annoyed anytime Sataya is lauded for what he's accomplished. (And the absolute lack of QA on the Surface line of products) If you're going to have a such a hard line on Windows 10, then deliver, don't talk. If you're not going to properly QA your software, then give priority to the feedback being given by those who amazingly are willing to debug your crap software for free.

  9. hrlngrv

    TBH, I can't recall the last time I used Windows's built-in Zip file handling. I've been using Beyond Compare for many years, and I've gotten used to comparing files as needed before moving them into or out of Zip files. That came from burning myself too many times overwriting files.

    As for Insider feedback, maybe most Insiders deserve a little blame for failing to provide details, and seeing how many replated feedback posting there are as search results, far too many Insiders post first and maybe never check whether anyone had reported their problem before. That could explain lots of separate feedback postings each with few upvotes.

    OTOH, it seems clear MSFT is failing to use feedback effectively.

    Has anyone at VP level suffered any consequences for upgrade screw ups? Other than Myerson, that is?

    Is there any public info on which MSFT mid-level manager is responsible for distilling feedback into usable error reporting? I figure it isn't Sarkar, but perhaps it should be.

    Given Peter Bright's article on the subject at Ars Technica, any thoughts about inviting him on Windows Weekly for a long discussion about what MSFT should be doing?

    • Jacob Klein

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Dude, I originally posted the feedback over 3 months ago, with full details. Search Feedback Hub for: "Copying/pasting a file from inside a ZIP will not properly replace an existing file" -- That is my feedback! And I can't help it that it only got 7 more Upvotes.

      Microsoft needs to find better ways to listen, as you allude to.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Jacob Klein:

        MSFT's online mail systems use spam filtering, so someone within MSFT knows how to use text filtering. A pity MSFT could let its e-mail admins train the Windows 10 Feedback admins about the effective use of text filters. Not having done so already tends to give the impression that MSFT's doesn't give rat's ass about Feedback.

  10. UK User

    Whilst all this is happening on the mainly consumer front Nadella pulls in a $25.84 million for his cloud strategy, many other top management also pulled in some heafty pay packets. He has no time for the consumer side of things whilst his cloud strategy is reaping rich rewards for Microsoft, and Wall St. I'm not sure how much more he can cut from the consumer side of things, sans XBox, the corporate side is all that matters it seems. Other platforms having problems is of no interest to me as I don't use their products, I have invested in the Microsoft eco system since the 386 processor days, and I had a feeling that the management were on board with the consumer, not any more it isn't.

  11. epguy40

    Recent quote from the MS answers forum about the ZIP file problem:

    "Microsoft is working on a resolution and estimates a solution will be available in early November for this issue. "

  12. Dan1986ist

    the compressed folder extraction not showing the Replace or Skip Files dialog when the same files or folders exist occurs in 17763.x, however the problem does not occur in 19H1 builds or in 1803.

  13. mrdrwest

    It better not touch my jump lists (emoji red angry face). LOL.

  14. colin79666

    It doesn't overwrite the originals. It does nothing, so you think it unzipped and you then delete the .zip file - deleting that copy.

  15. stlbud

    I just want to know when I'll be able to play my videos again. 1809 lost some codecs that makes Movies & TV unusable for some MP4 videos.

  16. LyonAdmiral1981

    I have to ask when are we ever going to stop resetting the odometer on things? I still have Windows XP as a daily driver and granted in the hands of a novice the risks are pretty real, but when you look at length of support over 14 years I would argue that while bugs are still existent eventually you do run out of show stopping critical bugs. I bring up this point of view because I wish they would do it for Windows 10, just stop re-releasing the entire OS every 6 months. Just keep fixing it and rolling out delta updates to the OS.

  17. Jeff Jones

    I would have figured the Zip software system in Windows was stable since it has been in there for the last 10 years without any big problems and shouldn't have needed messing with. Who screwed this up?

  18. fbman

    Why dont they just give up on 1809 and skip it, and rather work on 1903, so that can be released without too many problems.

  19. Jhambi

    "We have fully investigated all reports of data loss, identified and fixed all known issues in the update, and conducted internal validation."


  20. carl_taylor

    It's a feature to move users to use OneDrive

  21. Awhispersecho

    And yet we keep being told it's a good thing to offer only the Home version of Windows to consumers. The 9nly thing that comes out of that is MS has less and less people who aren't all updated at the same time.

    The Windows update situation and the overall quality and stability of all MS software is pathetic and embarrassing. At the rate things are going, the death of Windows and the complete exit from the consumer space by MS can't come quick enough.

    This is why everyone should have the option to delay or even refuse updates on the devices they spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on.

  22. brettscoast

    Agreed Paul this simply isn't good enough from Microsoft my PC rebooted after this latest update all my recent office files list were gone shortcuts gone or missing fortunately my data is saved on a seperate hard drive. Not happy Jan.

  23. dontbe evil

    clickbait alarming misleading title


    I still get no comments notifications on this website

  24. david.thunderbird

    Hummm, I was wondering why the media creation tool I got this morning was labeled 1803.

  25. kshsystems

    Sounds to me like they need staff that triages the feedback so that it can be properly categorized as suggestions, support requests, bug issue, if bug issue, what severity.

    One a Microsoft staff person applies the proper category/label staff would assign them to new or existing tickets to follow up, that would be tied to the release mechanism

  26. Rcandelori

    Sounds like a rather esoteric bug. The question is why they take no notice of the feedback mechanisms they've built into the product.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Rcandelori:

      It’s due to Insider’s Feedback Hub being a useless “social” setup. Upvotes get things noticed by the devs, but the only things that get upvoted are BS things like “OMG BRING BACK AERO GLASS!!!”

      The enthusiasts and fanboys have no time for quality issues. They just want their terrible ideas put into the product.

      • PhilipVasta

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        To be honest, I don't feel like *any* feedback is truly acted upon. Any time I've ever seen them say, "Hey we changed this based on feedback" it was something minor at best, or a bug they would have fixed anyway under any normal quality control process. I've never felt any real incentive to submit feedback. They're going to do what they're going to do and that's it.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to PhilipVasta:

          There's a valid use for feature requests. There's also a gray area between some bugs and features, e.g., the [Win]+X menu not seeming to pay attention to light/dark theme setting: bug or missing feature?

          The problem here is that seems to be no effective method for spotting high severity issues, or if they've been spotted, getting the development team to care.

          If the Zip file overwrite w/o prompt bug goes back to 1803, that'd be an awfully long time for it to have gone unnoticed if MSFT were using any moderately effective text filtering. If MSFT isn't using any text filtering, then as others have said, Feedback is just a social, feel-good, beg-for-more-Candy-Crush app.

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        In reply to jimchamplin:


        Feedback hub should be an incident/bug tracking application, not a freaking social app..."Oooh, I like that problem."

        Problems don't need upvotes, they need to be acknowledged, verified, and fixed.

  27. pepesilvia

    I read that it skips the extracted files if they're present in the target directory. If you then delete the zip file, you've lost the information in it. Though I may be remembering incorrectly.

    This sounds less severe than the previous issue, though. Should not have happened, nevertheless.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to pepesilvia:

      I read the same thing that you did about the extracted files being skipped and leaving the originals without a prompt. Could be the original article from somewhere else got it wrong.

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