As I have posted before, I have a Dell Venue as does my wife, son and several friends. When Redstone 1803 was released our tablets updated smoothly except for the bugs I noted in another post that Microsoft has yet to address. On Tuesday May 29th 2018 I discovered a new more serious bug. One that if not quickly addressed could cause data loss.
All in my family use the JW App, as well as my friends, the bug was first noted in the JW App. However the bug is NOT related to the JW App.
My wife and a friend experienced this issue at the exact same moment that May Tuesday night. They could not download video or audio files within the app. When I looked within the JW App under SETTING>DOWNLOAD VIDEOS TO there was no save location. In fact under Videos and Audio it had the same message “NO DOWNLOAD LOCATION AVAILABLE” Really odd. So I checked and the default Audio and Video folders were still there. I checked the write permissions, the “OWNER” of the tablets still had full permissions. I checked security and nothing wrong.
Going online I found one Microsoft Forum question about this matter. Microsoft suggested going into the Defender Security settings and making a change on folder permissions, but the poster stated that did not work. The poster also stated they had uninstalled and reinstalled the JW App several times and that failed to work. Now I was worried. But the poster did post what did work. The poster did a FRESH CLEAN install of Windows 10 1803 Redstone. A FRESH CLEAN install, not an update install.
I started pondering this and realized that after my tablet updated I had some permission issues with some other Apps, at the time I did not research I just backed up my data and did a FRESH CLEAN install of Windows 10 1803 Redstone, and my tablet ran fine. It did not occur to me that my wife’s tablet and my friends both did an update install.
I backed up my wife’s tablet and did a FRESH CLEAN install of Windows 10 1803 Redstone and then reinstalled everything including the JW App and it all worked great. I did the same to my friends and it too worked great. So here is the only currently known fix to the JW APP is you lose the ability to download videos or audio.
- Backup all data to an external drive or your OneDrive account.
- Goto SETTINGS>UPDATE & SECURITY>RECOVERY>RESET THIS PC
- Make sure to choose the option to REMOVE ALL FILES. YOU MUST REMOVE ALL EXISTING FILES TO DO A CLEAN FRESH INSTALL.
For the JW APP remember to backup your bookmarks, notes etc. GEM>CLOUD with 2 arrows>CREATE A BACKUP. Remember to move that backup to an external drive or your OneCloud drive.
So what is causing this issue? It happens in other apps besides the JW App and it may revoke permissions on your personal folders, Photos, Videos, Documents, Music. If the permission is revoked you may not be able to get it back.
I did some research and studying on this matter and what I am purposing is a very educated theory. With 1803 Redstone Microsoft added the “FILE TRANSFER RESUME” feature. This feature is supposed to allow a user to start a file transfer over a home network, pause it and resume it later.
If you go into SETTINGS>PRIVACY and start looking around you will see “Let Windows Have Access to your activities” “Let Windows Sync your activities to the cloud” Let Windows Sync Timeline…..” It goes on. But Google it. Turns out in order for Timeline and File Transfer Resume to work Microsoft is mirroring ALL that you do and ALL that is on your Tablet or computer. When our devices did the Update install I turned ALL of those extra permissions off. I did not allow Microsoft ANY right to any file system through that means. I use OneCloud to backup, but it’s my choice. I believe revoking this new permission that Microsoft wants somehow messed with the security of the folders. Because in order for Microsoft to obtain that kind of full access they must also have full permission access over 3rd party apps. When the owner of a computer installs an app like JW App the Owner is granting the app certain permissions over their content, but not Microsoft. This new Timeline and File feature must have those same permissions. So when Microsoft added permissions for themselves to that extent they in effect created a second Owner. When I revoked them from an update install something occurred with the new security feature that applied that revoke to the REAL Owner
After a clean fresh install on all 3 devices I again revoked Microsoft’s permissions and thus far the issue has not reoccurred.
But this brings up a serious and dangerous matter. The new TIMELINE and RESUME FILE TRANSFER features requires Microsoft to mirror all your data to an unknown location, and it is not clearly stated where it is, how it is managed and protected. Also who has access to the data? Some have already attempted to “find” it and Microsoft has stated they will not disclose how the systems works. Also in order for these new features to work EVERYTHING you do on your computer is being sent to this unknown location in order for TIMELINE and FILE TRANSFER to work.
This brings up serious concerns about data protection and privacy. With these two new great features Microsoft now has total and full access to ALL data on all Windows 10 devices. You think Facebook is in hot data water, Microsoft will mess this up.