Everything changed or disappeared

I have two hard drives on my computer one with Windows 10 and one with Zorin 16 Pro, both working great.
Win 10 said I had an update so I updated it as usual, I restarted the computer and logged into Zorin Pro after I got the Win 10 drive working but it looked just like it was a fresh install, everything was gone all my files all my folders, downloads, imported files, my emails were wiped out, everything gone and changed back to the original install. I have never had this happen before and was wondering what could have caused it? Has anyone have this before? :?:
I might just reinstall Zorin Pro to start out fresh. What do you say? :?:

I cannot conceive of any possible way such a thing could happen.
Windows updates would only have an effect on the Hard Drive that Windows is on. Another hard drive, as far as the user Operating System is concerned, may as well be on another planet.
I would go that far even if we were discussing partitions, not hard drives...

That being said... even if we entertain a fluke that overwrote some of your data on the Zorin OS Partition (somehow), your result would not be a Zorin OS restored to Defaults.
You would have a crash or segfault... you wouldn't have only your user files targeted and selected with everything else left intact.

Windows 10 updates have been known to corrupt the bootloader, require grub repair in order to log into the Linux system. But the bootloader is shared by both OS's.

Was the USB Live Media plugged in? Perhaps you booted the Live Media instead of your bare metal install on the hard drive without noticing it.

Is your Zorin OS installed on an external drive? Perhaps you viewed the wrong drive.
Do you use Timeshift? Is it possible a very early snapshot got loaded?

If your hard drive install is indeed corrupted and your data lost anyway - you might as well do so just to have the peace of mind that nothing else is corrupted, too.

1 Like

Like @Aravisian has stated the possibility of Windows over writing another HD in this instance is to put it bluntly... none.

I ran 2 hard drives for decades in my box and never ever had Windows or Linux over write the other hard drive no matter what I did.

Are you keeping your files on a USB drive and accessing them from both OS's? Where are the files being kept that both OS's would have access to them?

1 Like

I have been using two or three drives since 2008 and never had this problem either. I built this computer in Dec 2021 and never had any problems and I have been installing different ISO also. I was in the window drive setting up my Bluetooth and noticed that in setting it said an update was available so I figured I would up date.
Zorin 16 Pro is on its own drive and windows is on another one.
Zorin boots first but I have the option to scroll down to the one for windows.
I plan on doing a clean install of Zorin.
The boot menu is still the same. I was just wondering if anyone has ever had this problem.

1 Like

Was all the Zorin data one a single partition, or did you use a shared partition?
In the past i've used a fat32 partition on a separate ssd for /home/sean and remapped c:\users\sean to the same drive so I could share the same desktop/files between systems.

Aside from a niche setup such as this, i don't see how a windows update would change your personal data inside a Zorin install it can't even read it as its ext4.

Do you use the standard install or do you use an additional DE?

1 Like

Do you have multiple logins on the computer for zorin? If so, is there a chance you used one of the other login credentials after the update? Windows stays within its partition... even if you somehow named the disks and partitions exactly the same, the device id wouldn't match... again making this impossible.

Multiple accounts would be the most logical reasoning, but since you give only vague references, it is difficult to hypothesis.


I have never heard of Windows 10 deleting stuff on GNU/Linux but I have heard of Windows 10 updates deleting all user data in Windows before and users left unable to get anything back. Guess the moral of the story where Windows major updates are concerned is to make backups before updating.

1 Like

In my research there were a few others that have had windows delete files.
What I did is I am just doing a New install of Zorin 16 Pro, it will make it easier and quicker. Thanks for the replies. I will see if it takes care of my problem. :grinning: :grinning:

It can only happen on a shared partition such as boot or a shared drive, Windows can't even access or read ext4 data, the drives don't mount in windows. If anything windows would format the entire drive and wipe everything including the OS.


Exactly ..... I dual boot with 2 drives one for Win 10 and the other for Zorin .... if you open your drives using gParted you will see both of the drives and their information both NTFS and EXT4 ..... but if you do the same thing using Windows software you get Windows drive info but blank on Zorin .....

If you use a Windows third party disk program you will see the info on all your drives ..... that is what I do if I want to use Windows to analyze all my drives ..... I don't need to do this anymore as I made a bootable gParted thumb drive so I don't need to go on Win 10 anymore .....

If I need to format my Zorin drive I can do so using gParted without relying on Win 10 and 3rd part software ....

I'm sorry but there hasn't been, and you're reading things in your research from people who don't know what they're doing or talking about.

Has been pointed out by @seanhinkley Windows can only delete files on a shared drive. Which is why you were asked where are your files. If Windows was going to delete your personal files, why wouldn't it delete and over write the OS files as well?

There's a missing part you're not saying

Yes, we all understand that Zorin boots first and there's an option for Windows in the grub menu. But that doesn't answer the basic questions that have been asked; Where are you keeping your files? Are they are on a USB, a shared drive, where are they? Can they be accessed by both systems?

Exactly, and even that has a slim chance of happening when you're using 2 different drives.

1 Like

I would not be suprised if they did this after all. Last year a windows 10 update destroyed my wifes wifi card.


I just reinstalled Zorin 16 Pro and will put this to bed. I don't know how or why it happened? I'll see what happens down the road. Thanks for the replies. :grinning:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.