1. Joined : Oct 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       23 Oct 2016 #1

    Entire Program Files (x86) folder deleted - coincided with 1607 update


    Hi,

    My entire Program Files (x86) folder was cleared out a few days ago, I only noticed because my shortcuts no longer have icons. I have lost 400gb worth of files, and cannot recover all of them. Mostly made up of Steam/GOG downloads, so could redownload the games if needed, however I would have lost my save data. Also there were some other apps which I could replace, but still this is a concern.

    I checked Windows Update, and the 1607 release (Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB3199209) was pushed out to me around 19/10 - which may have had something to do with this?

    Upon reading Google, I found out the Windows 10 sometimes deletes files it deems "incompatible" and then stores in Windows.old - however, this would not have worked...as I don't have 400gb free on my C drive.

    Is there any way I can track what caused this deletion? I won't blame Windows 10 unless I can prove it (the dates of update is a big coincidence).....is there an audit tool or similar that would capture deletions data?

    Note: I have done a deep scan of my PC for viruses with Kaspersky and Malwarebytes on maximum sensitivity and no viruses present. Nor are the files store in their Quarantines, as the space was completely freed up.

    Thanks for any help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jun 2015
    UK
    Posts : 1,149
    Windows 10 Home x64 (Laptop), Windows 10 Pro x64 (Desktop)
       23 Oct 2016 #2

    I doubt even MS is capable of a software bug of this magnitude. Do you have a backup to recover from? If not, you may as well do a clean install and reinstall all of your programs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Oct 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       23 Oct 2016 #3

    Steve C said: View Post
    I doubt even MS is capable of a software bug of this magnitude. Do you have a backup to recover from? If not, you may as well do a clean install and reinstall all of your programs.
    I do have backups, in that the software that was deleted was predominantly Steam/GOG content which is all stored in the cloud, so can easily replace.

    I was able to get *some* of the programs back via Recuva, but not everything.

    Thought it was very strange that the mass deletion was completed localized within the Program Files (x86) folder of just one drive, and the timing was when that Windows Update rolled out on 19/10/16.

    Would there be a log of the actions taken when an update is installed? It's still relatively recent
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Sep 2016
    Posts : 30
    Windows 10
       23 Oct 2016 #4

    Somewhat reminds me of this thread on reddit.
    My 64 bit Windows 10 install is acting like 32 bit, and also maybe deleting program files without permission. : techsupport
    The TC of that also reported randomly losing a entire Program Files folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 13,402
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       23 Oct 2016 #5

    If you haven't run disk cleanup and deleted your Windows.old folder:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You might be able to revert back.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    just make sure your 86x folder is there:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And open it to make sure the programs are still there;
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       23 Oct 2016 #6

    Cliff S said: View Post
    If you haven't run disk cleanup and deleted your Windows.old folder:
    Thanks Cliff - unfortunately the volume of data deleted exceeded the amount of free space I had on my C drive, so if this was a Windows initiated deletion of incompatible software, it would have failed here. There is nothing in my Windows.old

    I have never seen anything like this, a targeted deletion within one folder....the folder itself wasn't deleted, which makes me think it was a Windows driven clean out. For example, last time I had content in my Windows.old folder following an upgrade, it had in effect "moved" some of the contents of my Program Files folder into Windows.old - leaving the actual folder in place. The content that was moved was deemed "incompatible"

    Not sure what the prescribed behavior of Windows is during an upgrade, when it is unable to move the contents into Windows.old due to disk space issues - does it just plain delete?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Oct 2016
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
       23 Oct 2016 #7

    BobLeSaget said: View Post
    Somewhat reminds me of this thread on reddit.
    My 64 bit Windows 10 install is acting like 32 bit, and also maybe deleting program files without permission. : techsupport
    The TC of that also reported randomly losing a entire Program Files folder.
    Thanks for the Reddit link - there are definitely similarities here

    I am using a Windows 10 64 bit install, but I didn't have the slowdown issues that the user was reporting. Task Manager is all clear, RAM/CPU usage all normal.

    I also have Kaspersky Total Security and Malwarebytes running at all times, and I don't have them set to auto-delete when they find an issue, just to alert me. Even so, I still did an independent full-scan with both pieces of software to rule out the presence of malware, and got the all clear.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Aug 2015
    Spring Valley
    Posts : 558
    Windows 10 Pro/Windows 7 Ultimate
       24 Oct 2016 #8

    jjfabbsy said: View Post
    Hi,

    My entire Program Files (x86) folder was cleared out a few days ago, I only noticed because my shortcuts no longer have icons. I have lost 400gb worth of files, and cannot recover all of them. Mostly made up of Steam/GOG downloads, so could redownload the games if needed, however I would have lost my save data. Also there were some other apps which I could replace, but still this is a concern.
    Actually, it would have worked, because Windows doesn't need free space to move a folder or set of folders from one place to another. It just re-creates the tables that tell the system where things are. In fact, the whole x86 folder might still actually be there, but not linked to the system. Is the system GPT or MBR? a CHKDSK might repair this.

    Hm... I just thought of this, if the whole x86 folder were wiped, and if it were 400gb, your whole system drive would have suddenly sprouted 400gb of free space. Did that happen?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 


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