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By 3 January 2011 | Categories: news

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Microsoft and Hotmail may have survived Y2K, but it seems Y2011K may be a different story. 

According to PCMag, some users of Microsoft's resident email service, Hotmail, haven't had the best of time welcoming in the new year. According to the report and postings on Microsoft's support forum, several users have reported that all their email have been mysteriously deleted overnight.
 
While the accounts can still be accessed, all messages and all folders have been erased, leaving users with a "fresh" account, displaying only the first system welcome message.
 
As can be expected, this has left Hotmail users in a considerable amount of confusion. "I have a Hotmail account since I remember myself on the web (1990's). I logged into it on 31th December 2010 at around 06:30hrs. Got an error message and a 'new' hotmail account with a first system welcome message. All previous mails in the inbox are gone and all the folders created are also not there," wrote user Yair Gil on Microsoft’s support forum. 
 
As of yet there is no indication as to how many Hotmail users' accounts have been affected or how Microsoft is planning to address the issue. Moderators on the Microsoft support forums have claimed that the company is aware of the problem and is looking into it.
 
Many questions still remain, including whether these users will ever be able to reclaim their lost messages, which may easily number in the thousands. Message recovery, especially post-deletion may not always work as expected.
 
Usually the only reason an account's messages would be erased would be if its has been inactive for a period of 120 days or more, but this obviously wasn't the case in this issue.
 
-Update: It seems Microsoft has been able to retrieve most users' lost emails. A moderator on Microsoft's support site stated, "We have identified the source of the issue have restored email access to those who were affected. We recognize that even though we restored email access, some of the affected users did not receive mail sent to them during the last 24-72 hours. We are in the process of rectifying that and should be finished by late tonight Pacific time."

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