Windows 10: Entire Program Files (x86) folder deleted - coincided with 1607 update
Entire Program Files (x86) folder deleted - coincided with 1607 update
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
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.
Steve C said:
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
Scorched CPU Theory
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
Cliff S said:
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?
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.
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?
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