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Lost drive data due to ccleanerr


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What the heck happened?

I installed the Trial version last night and proceeded to analyze, then clean-up my PC. It was taking a bit of time so I left and came back about an hour later and there was a message to restart my PC, so I clicked OK.

Then as it's restarting, Windows 10 was installing a lengthy update (this surprised me, I don't recall an update in pending status). Logging in took some time and then BAM!

That's not my desktop, all my Taskbar shortcuts are gone, no MS Office anymore, all my document folders/files/photos are gone... the disk drive free space is only a fraction of what it was. I never in a million years thought this would be an invasive software. SOB!  ...and of course my backup is older than sh!t... SOB!   ::sigh::

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What the heck happened indeed. Don't panic.

First off:
CCleaner would not cause a Windows restart, either at installation or when run.

And a Windows Update is a Windows Update, it's nothing to do with CCleaner.
It's just a coincidence that you had run CCleaner shortly before Windows decided to Update itself.

So what has happened?

I suspect that what you have seen is an Automatic Windows Update to Windows 10 version 20H2, (or possibly even 20H1)
Microsoft have been 'rationing' them out over time, especially to machines that may not have been fully compatible with the Update.
There are some changes to 20H1/20H2 due next Tuesday and so more machines will now be compatible, which may explain why you got it now.
(I have a friends laptop here at the moment that says it's almost ready for 20H1/H2 but not quite yet, when it is it will automatically update itself).

Do you know what version of Windows you had before this Update?
If it was 1809 then Windows would automatically update it, even if you had automatic updates turned off.
(That's because 1809 has reached 'end of life').

So what now?

It is known sometimes for your files and desktop to go, or appear to be gone, following a Windows Update.
Again don't panic, they should still be there and you should be able to get them back.
(It's only in rare cases that they have actually gone).

The most likely explanation is that is because the Windows Update has logged you into a temporary user account rather than your usual user account.

Although as you say "logging in took some time" then I suspect that you have created, and are now using, a different user account than before. (A new one).
In that case you are now logging into and using a different user desktop and settings, different documents and photo folders, and so on.
That would look exactly as you describe. - You can't see your old documents/photos/etc. because they are in a different user account.
(PS. See below for what has happened to the free space on the disc).

The older account should still be there, with it's old desktop, settings, documents and photos, etc. If it is you just need to change which one you log into.
If you restart your machine do you see more than one account to log into?
If you can still see the older account then you just need to change which is the default user account.

If you can't see the old user account then there are various other things you can do; such as look for a backup of that account in 'windows.old'.
There are online articles that can help with that, but if you are not techie minded they can often be a bit much to follow.
If you are not techie minded (or don't have a techie friend to help) probably the simplest way is to just 'roll back' the Windows Update to the previous build. If you are still in time to do that.
(You may not be able to rollback if this was an update from 1809).
That does take an hour or two to complete.

The fact that you say a lot of previously free space has been taken up gives hope that you should still be able to roll back.
That extra used space will be full of a 'hidden' backup of the old Windows installation and files.

See this for how to roll back a Windows Feature (Major Build) update.
https://pureinfotech.com/uninstall-windows-10-2004-2020-update/

If you do that then once you have rolled back Windows make a current backup of your files, photos etc. - and let Windows try the update again to see if it can get it right this time.

*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:
https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/52668-tracking-files/?tab=comments#comment-300043

 

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17 hours ago, nukecad said:

What the heck happened indeed. Don't panic.

First off:
CCleaner would not cause a Windows restart, either at installation or when run.

And a Windows Update is a Windows Update, it's nothing to do with CCleaner.
It's just a coincidence that you had run CCleaner shortly before Windows decided to Update itself.

So what has happened?

I suspect that what you have seen is an Automatic Windows Update to Windows 10 version 20H2, (or possibly even 20H1)
Microsoft have been 'rationing' them out over time, especially to machines that may not have been fully compatible with the Update.
There are some changes to 20H1/20H2 due next Tuesday and so more machines will now be compatible, which may explain why you got it now.
(I have a friends laptop here at the moment that says it's almost ready for 20H1/H2 but not quite yet, when it is it will automatically update itself).

Do you know what version of Windows you had before this Update?
If it was 1809 then Windows would automatically update it, even if you had automatic updates turned off.
(That's because 1809 has reached 'end of life').

So what now?

It is known sometimes for your files and desktop to go, or appear to be gone, following a Windows Update.
Again don't panic, they should still be there and you should be able to get them back.
(It's only in rare cases that they have actually gone).

The most likely explanation is that is because the Windows Update has logged you into a temporary user account rather than your usual user account.

Although as you say "logging in took some time" then I suspect that you have created, and are now using, a different user account than before. (A new one).
In that case you are now logging into and using a different user desktop and settings, different documents and photo folders, and so on.
That would look exactly as you describe. - You can't see your old documents/photos/etc. because they are in a different user account.
(PS. See below for what has happened to the free space on the disc).

The older account should still be there, with it's old desktop, settings, documents and photos, etc. If it is you just need to change which one you log into.
If you restart your machine do you see more than one account to log into?
If you can still see the older account then you just need to change which is the default user account.

If you can't see the old user account then there are various other things you can do; such as look for a backup of that account in 'windows.old'.
There are online articles that can help with that, but if you are not techie minded they can often be a bit much to follow.
If you are not techie minded (or don't have a techie friend to help) probably the simplest way is to just 'roll back' the Windows Update to the previous build. If you are still in time to do that.
(You may not be able to rollback if this was an update from 1809).
That does take an hour or two to complete.

The fact that you say a lot of previously free space has been taken up gives hope that you should still be able to roll back.
That extra used space will be full of a 'hidden' backup of the old Windows installation and files.

See this for how to roll back a Windows Feature (Major Build) update.
https://pureinfotech.com/uninstall-windows-10-2004-2020-update/

If you do that then once you have rolled back Windows make a current backup of your files, photos etc. - and let Windows try the update again to see if it can get it right this time.

 

17 hours ago, nukecad said:

What the heck happened indeed. Don't panic.

First off:
CCleaner would not cause a Windows restart, either at installation or when run.

And a Windows Update is a Windows Update, it's nothing to do with CCleaner.
It's just a coincidence that you had run CCleaner shortly before Windows decided to Update itself.

So what has happened?

I suspect that what you have seen is an Automatic Windows Update to Windows 10 version 20H2, (or possibly even 20H1)
Microsoft have been 'rationing' them out over time, especially to machines that may not have been fully compatible with the Update.
There are some changes to 20H1/20H2 due next Tuesday and so more machines will now be compatible, which may explain why you got it now.
(I have a friends laptop here at the moment that says it's almost ready for 20H1/H2 but not quite yet, when it is it will automatically update itself).

Do you know what version of Windows you had before this Update?
If it was 1809 then Windows would automatically update it, even if you had automatic updates turned off.
(That's because 1809 has reached 'end of life').

So what now?

It is known sometimes for your files and desktop to go, or appear to be gone, following a Windows Update.
Again don't panic, they should still be there and you should be able to get them back.
(It's only in rare cases that they have actually gone).

The most likely explanation is that is because the Windows Update has logged you into a temporary user account rather than your usual user account.

Although as you say "logging in took some time" then I suspect that you have created, and are now using, a different user account than before. (A new one).
In that case you are now logging into and using a different user desktop and settings, different documents and photo folders, and so on.
That would look exactly as you describe. - You can't see your old documents/photos/etc. because they are in a different user account.
(PS. See below for what has happened to the free space on the disc).

The older account should still be there, with it's old desktop, settings, documents and photos, etc. If it is you just need to change which one you log into.
If you restart your machine do you see more than one account to log into?
If you can still see the older account then you just need to change which is the default user account.

If you can't see the old user account then there are various other things you can do; such as look for a backup of that account in 'windows.old'.
There are online articles that can help with that, but if you are not techie minded they can often be a bit much to follow.
If you are not techie minded (or don't have a techie friend to help) probably the simplest way is to just 'roll back' the Windows Update to the previous build. If you are still in time to do that.
(You may not be able to rollback if this was an update from 1809).
That does take an hour or two to complete.

The fact that you say a lot of previously free space has been taken up gives hope that you should still be able to roll back.
That extra used space will be full of a 'hidden' backup of the old Windows installation and files.

See this for how to roll back a Windows Feature (Major Build) update.
https://pureinfotech.com/uninstall-windows-10-2004-2020-update/

If you do that then once you have rolled back Windows make a current backup of your files, photos etc. - and let Windows try the update again to see if it can get it right this time.

nukecad -

1st: Thank-you very much for the thorough response. It is GREATLY appreciated.

2nd: I've been working with technology/computers/infrastructure for at least 36 years. Having been through countless fire drills (usually for everyone else) panicking just doesn't happen for me. After re-adding some more the more used apps (MS Office is entirely gone) and futzing with Windows 10 update  - I grabbed a recovery tool and let that run for about 14 hours. I decided on Disk Drill. It finds EVERYTHING and unfortunately renames all files vs. leaving the original file name partially intact - minus the question mark in front.

I never logged into a temp user account (that was an interesting thought and it did make me double check). I have three accts: Admin, myself, and my wife. I had logged into all three and only my wife's took a bit of time to let me in. Admin access was normal.

I also did the rollback, but that didn't do anything helpful, in fact it had to go back and re-do all the re-adding of apps and re-installing Disk Drill again.

It suxs that I'll likely have to purchase MS Office - it was Office 2010 SP2 (2013? 2014?). Being retired now I realize how spoiled I was with countless CDs lying about with the latest Windows or Office on them.    : /

Thanks again for your feedback!

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We never know how much technical knowledge a new member has, so we tend to err on the side of them having little when replying at first.

If you do a websearch for 'files missing following Windows 10 update' you'll see that it is usually simply an account problem.

However some Windows Updates have been known to actually delete files, the update to 1809 did it for users who had folder redirects in place.
(It simply ignored the redirects and deleted anything that wasn't in the default documents, pictures, etc. folder locations).

I assume that you know about the Elevated Administrator account in Win 10 which has more privileges than a standard Admin account, to see if you can find the files from there?

But after using Disk Drill, and rolling back Windows it's looking less likely.
Did DD find the files?

TBH I fell out with the costly subscription model of MS Office these days, (you can still buy Office Home & Student 2019 outright), and I now use one of the free alternatives.
Using it I've never had a problem with compatability with the 'genuine' Office.
I'm using Softmaker Free Office (theres a paid version as well); but there are other good Office alternatives out there, both free and paid for, so it may be worth taking a look and saving some money.
Give some of the free versions a try.
Just for ease of finding some: https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/best-microsoft-office-alternative
The one I'm using is second on that list.

*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:
https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/52668-tracking-files/?tab=comments#comment-300043

 

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CCleaner documentation can be found here

https://www.ccleaner.com/docs/ccleaner

Support contact

https://support.piriform.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

support@ccleaner.com

 

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On 06/12/2020 at 20:54, nukecad said:

We never know how much technical knowledge a new member has, so we tend to err on the side of them having little when replying at first.

If you do a websearch for 'files missing following Windows 10 update' you'll see that it is usually simply an account problem.

However some Windows Updates have been known to actually delete files, the update to 1809 did it for users who had folder redirects in place.
(It simply ignored the redirects and deleted anything that wasn't in the default documents, pictures, etc. folder locations).

I assume that you know about the Elevated Administrator account in Win 10 which has more privileges than a standard Admin account, to see if you can find the files from there?

But after using Disk Drill, and rolling back Windows it's looking less likely.
Did DD find the files?

TBH I fell out with the costly subscription model of MS Office these days, (you can still buy Office Home & Student 2019 outright), and I now use one of the free alternatives.
Using it I've never had a problem with compatability with the 'genuine' Office.
I'm using Softmaker Free Office (theres a paid version as well); but there are other good Office alternatives out there, both free and paid for, so it may be worth taking a look and saving some money.
Give some of the free versions a try.
Just for ease of finding some: https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/best-microsoft-office-alternative
The one I'm using is second on that list.

No apologies, please. You don't know what I know, and vice-versa. I just shared to allow speaking at a higher language of troubleshooting (god forbid we have to talk through all the steps to access control panel, or clear internet cached files - ugh).

Google is my friend (sooooo much better than Netscape/AOL). I was having a local account issue (my settings had become more hardened and it was confusing me - but at this point if I have to re-install Widows I'm running kill disk first) but this led me to trip over the Elevated Admin stuff, but that didn't help either. Although, I was crazy hopeful.

I'm on the fence about DD (not due to quality or performance - it's my expectations) - it's very different from recovery tools I've used in my career. It appears to be insanely thorough and I'm waiting for a reply back from DD techs. It found almost 1TB of files (from a 500 GB drive) which totaled 872GB in file size (the free version of DD only recovers 500MB). So, it's finding way more than what I lost last week and their filter (to eliminate locating files past a certain date) isn't working for me.

Also with DD instead of providing a partial name of the original file (just replace the question mark with a random character), it renames all files with a nondescript  File00000.doc, File00001.doc, etc. Tonight I circled back around to preview some files (now that I have MS Office and wanted to review what DD found) and I have locked up DD - just sent them an error report/dump and mentioned my inquiry - hopefully I'll get some questions answered. But I will look for other recovery tools/feature in between this gap.

I still have friends and was able to install Office on st Sunday (free too - MY absolute favorite four letter word).  But thanks for the Softmaker tip... 'cause I really LOVE free stuff.  Thanks again for your reply and info!! Bob  <eom>

 

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Not sure that you should have installed Office, or anything else, whilst your in the middle of a file recovery discussion.
But I'm sure you know that and took steps, it's just a warning to others who may be reading this.
I'm not familiar with DD.

It would be interesting to know just what happened during the Windows Update to remove your files, but sometimes you can never find out.

Hope you can get at least some of them back.

PS. One thing about Win 10, It's prompted me to now do a file backup at least every month before Patch Tuesday comes round.
I can easily reinstall apps anytime, so just backup my (precious?) files to a removable drive.

 

*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:
https://community.ccleaner.com/topic/52668-tracking-files/?tab=comments#comment-300043

 

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