PSA: Do not run a repair of your DCS World install without an update

News has emerged over the last 24-hours that a bug in the DCS World repair system can unintentionally delete some or many files on the same storage drive – even those that have nothing to do with DCS. An updated installer is on the way. Here are the details!

Article updated: July 13 at 8:12 am EDT

A nasty bug

A post on the DCS World ‘Bugs and Problems’ discussion area of the official forums was the first indication that something had gone dramatically wrong with the update and repair system for DCS World.

It seems to me something went wrong with the Updater upate from 10th of July. After running the repair and accepting to delete all leftover files, the updater parsed the whole hard drive and deleted everything, including the parallel install of the stable version and other folders not even associated with DCS.

Requiem_Alpha on the DCS World forums

It wasn’t long before DCS World community manager BIGNEWY responded.

I am seeing strange things when I test it on my open beta, I have reported to the team.

BIGNEWY on the DCS World forums

A follow up from BIGNEWY this afternoon shed some more light on the situation and the rarity of the configuration that would require it, saying,

…the situation will only occur if you are using a custom download location via ( autoupdate_settings.cfg), which I imagine is less than 1% of the user base. It will also give you a warning about the files about to be deleted.

BIGNEWY on the DCS World forums

As of yet it doesn’t look like an updated installer version with the required fixes is in, however, one is likely to arrive soon. When I hear of an update I will update this article.

A rare but concerning bug

Although it looks like this bug is not going to happen to the average user, the repercussions of lost data are such that even if it does only happen to a few that it’s a serious bug enough to be sounding from the rooftops.

It’s a bit concerning that this has appeared and what lead to it appearing. Recent issues with DCS World have promoted the team to change their release schedule and for CEO Nick Grey to state recently in a comments section of YouTuber Samurai 1-1 that some of the recently failures were “unacceptable,”

Not everything we produce works out of the box and sometimes we let rubbish out of the door. This is unacceptable and there is no excuse, but it is a byproduct of our pace as well as a fact of life with the sudden closing of all our offices due to strict CV measures, which are sadly still in place.

Nick Grey, CEO of Eagle Dynamics posting on Samurai 1-1’s YouTube channel

I would say this appears to be one of them and another indicator that there is still work for Eagle Dynamics to do to improve their processes and ensure that, for the most part, high impact bugs like these don’t get introduced into the codebase. With millions of lines of code, this is surely a challenging exercise, however, ensuring higher quality software releases will certainly help repair some frayed relationships that have been incurred recently.

With the on-going challenges of a global health crisis, it can’t be easy for any organization (I know first hand in my own life what an upheaval this has caused) to adapt. Eagle Dynamics and DCS World got a big boost from their stay at home free module trials, however, recent performance issues and bugs have caused a lot of trouble.

With luck, the recent efforts to stamp out major bugs over the last four weeks will have paid off and we’ll see one of the better open beta releases very soon. Hopefully this will spur on a better overall experience for everyone. I for one still think DCS World’s future is bright. But I’d like it a lot more when things are mostly working rather than not.

Update: Installer patch now out

The DCS Updater has been updated and should automatically update when you start DCS World as you normally would. Though the update patch notes have not gone without some controversy. Still, the bottom line is that this issue is fixed.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. CanadaOne says:

    Good of you to post this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Yeah I don’t normally post every bug but one that could have a potentially devastating loss of data is one worth writing on.

      Like

  2. Fernando says:

    Thanks STEAM version is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Right now it’s far safer!

      Like

  3. Michal says:

    Thank you for this article. Strongly disagree that Steam version is safer than native DCS. For starters, Steam is a spyware and not without the “wipe the drive” issues: “Or the Valve script that wiped the drive.
    https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/197686-nasty-steam-for-linux-bug-can-wipe-all-your-user-files“.
    I have carefully read the Reddit thread and cannot agree more with the following Reddit comment: “You could simply add a check to ensure that the root folder contains the words ‘DCS World’. It it doesn’t don’t allow the repair to run and force the user to reinstall. There is an element of PEBKAC (Problem exists between keyboard and chair) here though.”

    Like

    1. Blue 5 says:

      The one I heard used was PICNIC: Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

      Thanks for the warning, Shamrock 👍

      Liked by 1 person

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