windows 8.1 spontaneously rolled back and lost all updates and installed programs
My father has a Toshiba laptop which came with Windows 8 and it had been upgraded to 8.1 some years ago. Yesterday he says that he was typing in a chat window, and suddenly, out of nowhere, his screen changed to a blue windows setup screen where you are supposed to set up a new computer for first use. Out of nowhere! If you fill in the selections for your settings, it opened into the tile homepage screen, and it was back to windows 8. All custom installed programs were gone and the OS was back to almost a factory state. Many user files were still there, but firefox browser was gone, along with all browsing history, settings, bookmarks, saved logins, etc. Other user installed programs like classic shell and vlc player were gone also.
I found the windows.old folder and at first it contained the folders Program Files and Program Files (x86)... but then moments later, those folders were gone. Almost as if by looking into the folder, it caused it to be deleted.
1. What is the most likely reason this happened out of the blue? He swears he did not update anything or do anything different at the moment this happened. Has anyone else ever seen this (instant screen change and revert to old OS out of the blue) ? I have never heard of this either from windows itself or even malware....
2. Why were the program files folders deleted out of the blue from windows.old? They were there and then they were gone.
3. Is there any way to get back to the old 8.1 installation without re-installing all the windows updates and again updating to 8.1 as if it never existed before?
Windows.old now contains about 13gigs, but the program folders are gone. There is a users folder and there is lots in the WinSxS folder. Is this enough to recreate the old installation?
I am not too familiar with Windows 8, and the other issue is I am not usually in the same location as this laptop, so I can't constantly access it.
Edited by mo713, 12 August 2017 - 03:46 PM.