Apparently I’m not done beating this dead horse yet. That’s because yet another file-deleting bug has surfaced in Microsoft’s Windows 10 Build 1809 update. The same update Microsoft pulled from public circulation because it was wiping entire user folders from existence. The new bug centers around Microsoft’s Unzip application, and seems to present itself in two distinct forms.
There are entirely too many situations where this could lead to data loss with varying degrees of severity. Here’s how one Reddit user describes the issue:
“The issue is that in 1809, overwriting files by extracting from an archive using File Explorer doesn’t result in an overwrite prompt dialogue and also doesn’t replace any files at all; it just fails silently. There are also some reports that it did overwrite items, but did so silently without asking.”
Other users are confirming the same issue, and there’s currently an entry about it on the Windows 10 FeedbackHub.
In a pre-Windows 10 Build 1809 world, I may have glossed over this since there’s not much noise being generated around this particular problem. Then again, Microsoft completely missed the original, and more severe, file-deleting bug that caused the unprecedented decision to pull the update from public distribution.
Follow me here, let’s do some quick math. Microsoft said that original bug affected only “one one-hundredth of one percent” (or 0.01%) of its Windows Insiders. Microsoft also claims it has 15 million Windows Insiders that test early builds and future Windows 10 updates. This means it potentially affected 1500 of them. That doesn’t sound too devastating right? Well, extrapolate that out. We know that Windows 10 has a global install base of at least 700 million. 0.01% x 700 million equals 7 million people.
Had Microsoft waited even a few more days to pull that original Windows 10 1809 update, well, let’s say that seemingly inconsequential “one one-hundredth of a percent” really adds up.
And now another data-eating bug is affecting some users who did receive that update.
Hopefully enough people upvote this one to get Microsoft’s attention, because guess what? Windows Insiders caught this one, too. There are scattered reports ranging from 1 to 3 months ago.
To the company’s credit, it did recently revise the way Windows Insiders can provide feedback by providing the severity of a particular bug. I’m not remotely confident that’s enough.
Put another way, Windows 10 users are at risk every time Microsoft fires out an update. History proves this.
RELATED: Here’s How Ubuntu Updates Your PC And Why It’s Better Than Windows
Let me get in front of an accusation certain readers may level at me. Yes, I’ve completely ditched Windows in favor of Linux. So if you’re calling to call me biased, you’d be correct. And you know what? It’s Microsoft’s flawed Windows Updates that set me down that path. In my eyes, I simply can’t fathom how people put up with this month after month.
People have this assumption that Linux is obtuse and complicated and requires endless troubleshooting, but once you really start paying attention to how many articles — and even entire websites — are devoted to dealing with, preventing, and generally solving the myriad issues with Windows Updates, your viewpoint may slowly change.
For now, as always, I strongly encourage Windows 10 users to delay updates by any means necessary. Defer them if you’re on Windows 10 Pro, and follow this guide to more effectively manage them if you’re on Windows 10 Home. And do not, under any circumstances, use Microsoft’s built-in Unzip app. Grab yourself WinRar or 7Zip.
Or just install Ubuntu.