KB4532693 Windows 10 Causes Data Loss

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While there is no mention of the issue in the “known issues” section of the KB release announcement on Microsoft’s site, there is evidently a known bug causing files stored on the user’s desktop to be deleted. Users have also noted that desktop backgrounds and icons have also been removed. In some cases, the files were moved to a new temporary user account and support engineers were able to assist users in recovering their lost files. In other cases, the temporary user was not created and the files were unrecoverable. Personally, I am not too concerned with missing wallpapers, but I certainly do not want important documents to suddenly go missing. This is probably a good reminder to stop storing important files on your desktop, but we really should be able to store our files where we choose without Microsoft arbitrarily deciding to remove them. WindowsLatest spoke with Microsoft engineers recently who claimed that the company is aware of the issue and working on a resolution.

I still take the personal stance that the average home user should enable automatic Windows updates. The patching of known security vulnerabilities is more critical in my eyes than ensuring I am not trapped in buggy code. I take a change and assume some risk on my home computers by setting automatic updates to enabled. For an enterprise, this is entirely different. This means that those engineers working in patching and vulnerability management must take time to do research before applying patches and updates that could cause data loss across the organization. Keep in mind that these engineers are often overworked and already dealing with a backlog from the last Microsoft patch cycle. This leaves very little time for pertinant research prior to authorizing patches.

In case you are interested, here are the highlights from the patch:

  • Improves the installation experience when updating to Windows 10, version 1903.
  • Updates to improve security when using Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.
  • Updates to improve security when using Microsoft Office products.
  • Updates to improve security when using input devices such as a mouse, keyboard, or stylus.

References:
Updated article – https://www.techradar.com/news/microsoft-finally-acknowledges-that-windows-10-has-a-serious-problem-and-explains-how-to-fix-it
Past article – https://www.techradar.com/news/windows-10s-latest-update-fail-could-be-its-most-serious-yet
Other – https://www.windowslatest.com/2020/02/17/microsoft-is-investigating-windows-10-kb4532693-issues/
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4532693/windows-10-update-kb4532693

Author: Phil

Phil Williams is an engineer with around 20 years of information technology industry experience with past focus areas in security, performance, and compliance monitoring and reporting. Phil is a husband, father of 6 children, and an avid geek who loves building computers, gaming, and gadgets. He has an undergraduate degree in general IT sciences and has worked with the US Government as a contractor for over 20 years. He is now in a security solutions advisory role for a large vendor supporting commercial and enterprise customers.

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