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Windows 10 October 2018 Update Having Issues with ZIP Files

The Windows 10 "October 2018 Update," also known as Windows 10 version 1809, has a problem copying compressed .ZIP files, Microsoft confirmed this week.

Version 1809 of Windows 10 was suspended just days after its initial release on Oct. 2 after some users lost data as a consequence of the operating system upgrade. That particular issue had to do with a Known Folder Redirection problem.

Other problems associated with this release include driver issues, which resulted in blue screens for HP PCs and loss of sound for machines using Intel Smart Sound Technology.

The problem with the October Update's .ZIP capability, an internal file compression and decompression capability that's built into Windows 10, was noted in a Reddit forum last week, but it's only now acknowledged in a Microsoft community forum post. The problem affects users who tried copying zipped archive files to another folder without first unzipping the files, according to an explanation by Microsoft forum agent/moderator M. Hamer. In such cases, the copy operation seems to succeed but it actually fails.

But there can be an additional problem, which can result in deleted files.

"Note: While the copy action for the duplication file names does not complete and no files are overwritten, the 'move' command will also silently fail and might remove/delete the moved file," Hamer warned.

The deleted files, if detected, can be restored through Windows 10's Recycle Bin. Microsoft is working on a fix for the problem, which is estimated to be available "in early November."

In the meantime, Microsoft is recommending Windows 10 version 1809 users to extract .ZIP folder contents first before copying the enclosed files to a new folder. Users also are warned against using the Cut and Paste operation with .ZIP archives in Windows 10 version 1809 as it "may result in unintentionally deleting items that may not be recoverable."

The problem with .ZIP archives apparently was a known issue that was fixed in the Windows Insider version of Windows 10, namely version "19H1," according to this "Born's Tech and Windows World" blog post. Possibly, Microsoft knew of the bug for months, but it somehow got released with the Windows 10 version 1809.

Lately, there has been a growing consensus, spurred on by some Microsoft MVPs, that the Windows 10 update and patch process suffers from serious quality assurance (QA) deficits. According to Microsoft's view, the Windows Insider testing program is Microsoft's QA process for Windows 10. Microsoft's developers do some of the QA work, but busy IT pros are supposed to spend their time testing Windows Insider releases to assure quality, so this argument goes.

While Microsoft has so far held firm with its more agile Windows-as-a-Service approach and streamlined QA, longtime observers have been losing faith. Even veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley recently declared that "Windows as a service, as it currently exists, isn't working."

Other voices, as with this article by Andrew Orlowski of The Register, described Windows 10 as being "broken" due to a "QA crisis." Microsoft reportedly cut its internal Windows QA staff about four years ago, according to Foley, even slicing off some of its QA subcontractors, per Bloomberg.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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