Windows 10: Bad update or virus/hack?

New Contributor

This morning my Windows 10 that worked fine for years logged into a state that was almost what you see right after a clean install.  To get back to "almost normal" I had to go with a browser into the account page at Microsoft, reset my password (I didn't remember my old one), login again to Windows 10, restart windows and finally I got to something close to normality.  I am assuming that there was some level of UI layout restore from the server.

 

But... every password for every app seemed to be gone.  From some of the error messages it appears that some kind of windows 10 password vault file got deleted.  I am able to re-estiblish the applications passwords, but I am a bit uneasy because while the problem was likely caused by a bad update overnight, it could also be the result of a virus or hack (even though I already did a quick scan with Bitdefender that came out clean, and I am doing a deep scan now). 

 

The most concerning message is:

BrunoGenovese0_0-1651237884665.png

 

This message says nothing about what it is about and the URL it suggests going to for information is NOT a microsoft.com URL... exactly what you would expect from an intrusion.

 

Also, this problem would be very troublesome if it affects others in my office, regardless of whether it is the result of malware or if it really is just a bad windows 10 update.  I can only imagine what would happen if thousands of people are affected by this issue at the same time.

 

Any advice on what to do next? 

1 Reply

@BrunoGenovese0 

UPDATE: 

 

The cause seems to be a bad windows 10 update that causes issues when you have multiple accounts.  The same update seems to trigger an additional problem with microsoft applications if you happen to have two accounts (like a personal and work account) that use the same email address - a likely scenario if years ago you created a personal account using your company's email address and later your company moved authentication management to the cloud, like with a migration to office 365).

 

In my case I had one personal account that I used to login to windows, other personal accounts (for some applications), and then using my company's email address I had both personal and work accounts.

 

PARTIAL SOLUTIONS

 

- The main issue went away when I deleted all of my "devices" from my account page at microsoft.com.  Of course I then had to add them again and restart, but in the end my old desktop came back - after resynchronizing.

 

- Outlook and Teams came back to normal operation after deleting the "now superfluous" personal account that relied on my work email address.

 

- Other microsoft applications had a weird cycle of logins, but eventually settled... although some now seem to start MUCH SLOWER than they used to.