Thursday, June 14, 2018

Oh Buggar!

Another set of “apparently” near disastrous, problems after yet another Windows 10 upgrade. Instead of just one issue I was confronted by a number or probably interrelated problem but just on my main desktop computer

  1. Much of my software, could read files but could not write files (seemed to be folder/directory specific)
  2. I was getting windows defender warning when I used a variety of programs (many where about stopping access to files with %userprofile% in a directory name)
  3. Several specific directories (housing my photo collection from several specific years) just would not show up in file explorer (or lightroom). This also happened after last windows 10 update.
  4. When I plugged my external USB backup drive into they computer the same folders where missing. BUT NOT when I plugged the same drive onto a separate computer.
  5. I could see but not write to the Google Drive or OneDrive folders on my computer. Dropbox however worked fine.
  6. I could not write Word Documents or Excel Spreadsheet to my Documents folder, but could save them elsewhere.

The first thing to highlight that things where wrong was an attempt to updated my OneDrive cloud photo archive. This is a bit disappointing as the whole idea of the cloud backup was to formalize the “off site” archive/backup and in theory make my computer immune from file lose etc. It does appear it doesn’t! A check from another computer showed everything was fine. I was probably lucky I had chosen the “manu-matic” approach using PhotoMechanic because I saw the warning and error messages straight away. Using a more automatic script/synch tool may have meant such problems might go undetected.

So what is the cause?

I don’t know, but looking at on-line forums I’m not alone. Further I can not find any believable explanation of the cause(s). I just have three personal theories and a cop-out

  1. It is a virus, malware, ransomware that hasn’t work (ie I have received a ransom note and the files are actually still around). Windows Defender Scans report no problem. So for the time being my desktop is quarantined (and disconnected from my home Local area network.
  2. The problems are related to the unpublicised turning off of the homegroup feature. My desktop was the owner of my homegroup.
  3. My desktop computer boots off drive C: an SSD drive but user accounts and software is located on drive E:, a conventional harddrive (might explain the %userprofile Windows defender messages)
  4. The ghost in my local area network has returned (meaning I don’t understand what is going on, and probably never will)

Is it time to panic? No, just sigh! Time to roll back the upgrade and stay off the internet. More importantly do all my important work in the meantime on an older (and reliable computer).

PS: Ok there is a problem staying off the internet and rolling back a windows upgrade, you can’t! (yet another buggar)

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