Microsoft warns Dev Drive daredevils to back up or beware after latest build

Rolling back will cause data loss, Windows Insiders told

Microsoft released a fresh Windows 11 build to the Canary and Dev Channels of the Windows Insider Program with a warning for developers - back up or risk losing data because a known issue with rolling back and Dev Drive is still there.

Redmond told users about the rollback problem shortly after the early February release of build 26052 and it remains present in build 26058. Users have been told that if they have a Dev Drive and attempt a rollback, their Dev Drives will break and data will be lost.

So be sure to take a backup before rolling back.

Microsoft also said it was "investigating an increase of reports of insiders rolling back when attempting to install the latest build (with error code 0xC1900101)."

Considering that one of the main targets of the Windows Insider program is developers, it's an inconvenient problem. Dev Drives turned up in 2023 as "a new storage volume optimized for developer workloads." Microsoft claimed a 30 percent better overall performance for build times compared to the latest and greatest Windows 11 22H2.

The Windows Insider program is a risky place to be, and anyone venturing in without ensuring anything important is backed up is asking for trouble. These are versions of Windows as close to the bleeding edge as one can get.

There is no indication from Microsoft of when the issue will be resolved. While instability is to be expected when using the Dev and especially the Canary Channels of the Windows Insider program, the issue is sufficiently serious that Microsoft flagged it up on its social media channels.

After the excitement of sudo in build 26052, this latest build is relatively quiet. There are some accessibility improvements in the form of the pointer being easier to find, a new navigation pane and notification badging for widgets, and improvements to the weather experience on the lock screen.

Microsoft has also added labels to actions running along the top of the File Explorer context menu and updated win + ctrl + s to open voice access instead of Windows Speech Recognition due to the latter's deprecation.

At present, Dev and Canary Windows Insiders will receive the same major build number, 26058. The minor number is, however, different. Canary Insiders will get 26058.1000, while Dev Channel Insiders will be on 26058.1100. There's no difference between the two in terms of code, and there continues to be an opportunity to switch from Canary to Dev, but some features might get switched on in the Canary Channel before the Dev Channel.

Microsoft said: "At some point in the future, the Canary Channel will jump to higher build numbers, and the window will be closed."

Dropping back to a lower build number will require a clean install of Windows. Another reason for keeping that backup to hand. ®

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