Microsoft confirms Windows Data Erasure Tool could leave information behind


The “Remove everything” option used to reset the Windows device may actually leave some data behind due to a known issue that has now been acknowledged by Microsoft.

In one Publish On the Windows Health dashboard, the software giant explained that the issue is caused by its OneDrive cloud storage service, saying:

“When you attempt to reset a Windows device with apps containing folders containing scan data, such as OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, files that were downloaded or synced locally from OneDrive may not be deleted during the reset. selection of the “Delete all” option.

However, his problem can also be encountered during a “manual reset attempt initiated in Windows or a remote reset”.

Microsoft MVP Rudy Ooms is credited with first spotting this issue after noticing that both remote and local wipes of systems running Windows 10 would leave readable user data in the operating system’s Windows.old folder. At the same time, the problem also moves the data encrypted with Bitlocker into the same folder, although it is then readable because the data is no longer encrypted.

Working on a fix

The problem was first introduced after October cumulative update KB5006670 for Windows 10 systems according to Microsoft. However, all Windows versions including Windows 10 20H2 up to 21H2 and even Windows 11 are impacted by the bug.

Microsoft is currently working on a fix for the issue which it plans to address in an upcoming Windows update which will likely be released sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, however, the software giant has offered a workaround for Windows users to ensure that no user data is left behind when wiping a system by resetting a Windows device. Essentially, this involves signing out or unlinking OneDrive before resetting any of your Windows devices. You can check this supporting document for details on how to turn off, disable, or uninstall OneDrive.

If you can defer wiping Windows devices for now, you should at least Microsoft has designed a workaround for IT teams and others who frequently need to reset and wipe devices running its system. operation.

Via BeepComputer


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