Microsoft is working to re-release the October 2018 Update publicly, but it is first testing a new build that it says fixes the file deletion issue. So, if you moved your Downloads folder to D:\Downloads but still had a C:\Users\Name\Downloads folder with files inside it, Windows 10's October 2018 Update would remove the original folder and the files inside it. This caused a new issue, though - users with KFR previously enabled found that files still in their default location were deleted, the idea being that only the new "active" redirected folders would remain.
Over the weekend, Microsoft pulled the latest update build of Windows 10 (version 1809) after a bug that flew past its Feedback Hub without the company's notice resulted in mass file deletion for some users.
Cable suggested that only a small number of these users were affected by the lost files issue. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update is installed the original "old" folder was deleted including the files in that folder. While the reports of actual data loss are few (one one-hundredth of one per cent of version 1809 installs), any data loss is serious.
The company points toward Windows 10's Known Folder Redirection (KFR) feature, which allows Windows folders (like Desktop, etc) to be redirected from their default locations to new locations.
Quietly, Microsoft took the opportunity to fix a bug that saw user profiles being deleted due to an incorrect timing calculation. For example, the user changed the location property of the documents folder from c:\users\username\documents to another folder.
Furthermore, an early buggy version of the OneDrive client with autosave turned on didn't move files in users Documents and Pictures folders from the old location to the new one.
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Based on that statement, it appears that the deleted files may be recoverable, but it's definitely a good idea to refrain from using the computer further to ensure that things don't get overwritten and lost forever.
According to Cable, the company has activated a feature "for users to also provide an indication of impact and severity when filing User Initiated Feedback" to better ensure that serious issues actually end up in front of an engineer.
Microsoft says that the new Windows 10 release is available to Windows Insiders for the time being, with a broad rollout to follow, assuming there won't be any issues with the new version.
He added that Microsoft Support and our retail stores customer service personnel are available at no charge to help customers.