Windows 10 Hit By Second File Deletion Bug

John Lister's picture

Another file deletion bug appears to have hit Windows 10's latest update. It's raised questions about Microsoft's review process.

This is a separate issue to the recent bug that deleted user documents.

The new problem - which is also related to the October Update - affects .ZIP files. ZIP files are used to store multiple files (and sometimes backups) into a single, archived file. Archives usually offer a high compression ratio, which means files inside the archive are shrunk. This makes .ZIP files especially useful for downloading files from websites because it takes less time.

Duplicate Filenames Trigger Glitch

When a user extracts the files from an archive, Windows is supposed to check the destination folder for any files with the same name. If it spots any, it displays a message asking the user if they want to replace the existing file, rename one of the files concerned, or cancel the extraction.

However, some users have found that since the update, the message doesn't appear. Instead Windows either doesn't extract the file in question, or extracts it and replaces the other file(s) of the same name without notice. (Source:

While this is likely to be a rare problem, it's provoked debate about the development process of Windows 10, which now gets two major updates a year. This is different than the old model of monthly updates, at which point an entirely new edition of Windows comes out.

Update Process Flawed

Peter Bright of Ars Technica argues it's not the frequency of the updates that's the problem, but rather how the development and testing are carried out - as these two stages overlap. While this allows for major updates to be released in a timely manner to the general public, it also raises the risk of bugs getting into the software before they can be addressed and fixed. (Source:

He also argues that the Windows Insider program has a big flaw. Insiders are essentially Windows 10 beta testers that use newly developed features of Windows 10 before they are released to the public. This is meant to test features and discover bugs; however, Bright suggests that because Insiders know the beta copies of Windows 10 are often unstable, they operate on secondary machines rather than on a main system. As such, this reduces the chance of noticing and reporting bugs before the next major release of Windows 10 is distributed to the public.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you confident in the Windows 10 update process? Does it matter that most of these bugs only affect a small proportion of users or is it a cumulative problem? Is it realistic to expect all bugs to be found before updates go out to ordinary users?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I have been using archives (.ZIP, .RAR, etc) for over 30 years. 99.99% of the time if I extract an archive to a folder, it's meant to be temporary so that I can execute a setup.exe file to install a program (for example). When I'm done with the folder, I simply delete it.

I realize some may consider this latest "deletion bug" a serious flaw, but I don't see it affecting people in the same way as the last one. Some may disagree with my sentiments, but no software is perfect and there is some risk involved (especially with an operating system). If you backup your data often and something like this happens, you have something to fall back on.

glen's picture

I think that MS had better get its act together! I was hit with the 'loss of sound' problem.

nospam_5346's picture

Who needs ransomware when Microsoft can delete your files for free? I have never liked Windows 10. I have it on one PC as a dual boot, but never boot to it and one laptop which I seldom use.

I would like to see an update model where you can download security patches only and skip their so-called enhancements and new features. Personally, I try to find ways to disable pretty much all of these since Windows 98. I use a Windows Clasic theme on my Windows 7 machines because if I wanted a Mac I would have bought one. The Clasic theme just works.

My ideal world would be a modular OS install where you can choose to install just the basic OS and none of their other crap. Let us choose what we want to install on our machines.

I will definitely be looking at Linux when support for Windows 7 expires. Windows 10 will definitely be the second choice in a dual boot system and I'll only boot to it when necessary.

rohnski's picture

I feel that any MS update that deletes user files is serious. Yes, in this specific case it is mitigated because people often still have the zip as well as the unzipped files, but that is no excuse for MS.

I also read the Ars article. They make some good points.

I agree that MS has a serious attitude problem. They have a problem with updates that they apparently are not acting on. The perception out in the world is that updates are unreliable. I see MS MVPs and media article constantly urge users to delay updates as long as they can. I do it myself.

As I see it part of the problem at MS is they don't put enough effort in to quality control. Cutting their software testing staff a couple of years ago in conjunction with the start of the Insider program was a totally wrong thing to do. The insider program is a good supplement to a good internal testing program and process. The insider program gives MS a free and willing pool to greatly expand the variety of hardware/software environments the changes are tested in.

While you feel that insiders using secondary machines is a problem, it is a simple reality. Insider code is "beta" code. It is not fully tested. It is expected to crash. That is why the insiders are running it. BUT as a tester, you cannot be expected to run Windows insider code on your only computer or even your primary computer. Look at the Windows 10 errors that have been encountered. NUMEROUS BSOD's. Numerous failures to install update leading to bricked computers or computers stuck in install update-update fail-restart computer-restart update- update fails again, infinite repeat ... That sort of code cannot be expected to be run on people's primary/ only computer. Yes, on the Office Insider side of things you could probably get away with running it on the primary computer. If Office Insider craps out, you can uninstall and install the GA version in a relatively reasonable timespan. No so with Windows insider, especially if is has serious problems at boot time.

MS is living in a SaaS fairyland.
On one hand they force uncontrolled updates on us, especially Windows Home users.

On another hand, they assume that these updates all work (FALSE ASSumption!).

On the same hand, when an update fails, it does not notify the user of the failure. I have seen dozens of reports where people a several major update Versions behind because they did not know they were having repeat update failures. The users don't know it until the failed updates cause an even more severe failure in subsequent updates.

On another hand, they assume that all users are all the way up to date, because they assume all updates have worked.

On another hand, they are willing to push their agenda even though it causes hardware (including 2 year old CPUs in one case) and software to become "unsupported" because the other builders can't keep up with the pace of change and are given advanced warning of the changes. Especially niche hardware and software.

On the other hand, MS does not publish technophobic user friendly documentation of all of the new changes, including (links to) instruction pages on how to use these new features! They depend on the public, users and media, to publicize new features and create extended "how to" instructions.

With all of those "other hands" MS is looking like the Indian goddess Kali, the goddess of destruction! Can you say BSOD ...

The way I see it there are several things MS can/should do:
- expand their in house testing group
- improve their program code change control process
- improve their use of the Feedback mechanism (they've already acknowledged this)
- until they get a better handle change quality control, extend the development cycle from 6 months to 1 year or more
- give Home users access to block new feature updates, exactly like business users
- if an update of Window/Office generates an error code, there MUST be publicly available documentation of the error and a process for users to fix it.
- the fix for many of the install/update errors depend on simple fixes, like resetting the update environment. If there is a documented fix, why not automate it and incorporate it in the update process. Check for known error codes and automatically apply non destructive fixes.
- and they have to do a massive overhaul of their existing official/corporate "Support" system. While it is adequate for trivial problems, it quickly fails into a quagmire of forwarded calls and "accidentally" dropped calls, and scheduled phone back from MS to user that are never made.

I spend a lot of time in the MS "answers" forum. There is a lot of user frustration with update failures, and with the official support process.

aquaman100_2510's picture

My wifes computer had an update just before the 1803 update, it wiped out her entire desktop, picture files, and removed Microsoft Office. The next day it updated to 1803 guess what everything is gone. I called Microsoft and one of their "engineers" went through the system then called his supervisor and that supervisor called his supervisor, that supervisor stated that it might take up to 2 weeks to resolve the problem. We paid good money to buy the office program and its gondy thanks Microsoft. The two other computers in the house updated with no problem what so ever!!!!! What gives oops I forgot to mention my update was I couldn't change from my speaker to my headphones unless I went to my settings. I can not change back and forth from my taskbar. I only have control of the volume.

royala_5291's picture

Microsoft is only aiming to control our computers for the sole purpose of financial gain and power. This control/power issue is and has caused more operational problems than should be allowed for many years. Sure we have backups, or the ability to try to fix these ourselves, but the $$ and time we spend for ALL of the computer equipment, let alone for the software and O/S's through the years deserves more responsibility/reliability from such a notable company.

Is it too much to ask for a bit more professionalism and accuracy from the largest supplier of the world's most used O/S? NO. They are irresponsible and unprofessional. If I had operated my computer business like that, I would have been forced out of business.

I have only 1 non-VIP desktop out of 4 with Win 10, the rest are Win 7. The 10 is always doing something "squirrelly" that needs to be addressed, as well as several of my customers' computers. I don't know who, how, or when, but I think that its about time this unprofessionalim and greed ends with some type of intervention or recompense.

buzzallnight's picture

Win 8, 8.1 and 10 are all disasters.
I wouldn't take Win 10 if they paid me!!!!!!!!!!!

Soon Win 10 will go where Win 9 went LOL !!!!
So, just wait for Win 11 :)

Just stay with Win 7.

End of support means nothing as no M$ product is secure anyway.
Just keep an off line backup of your files.

But hay, those H1b programmers are cheaper.