Hotmail deletion bug affects 17,000 Microsoft users

Some Hotmail account holders still could not access emails or contact lists on Monday, after Microsoft had said the issue was resolved on Sunday
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

More than 17,000 Hotmail users lost the contents of their mailboxes last week after a glitch disrupted the email system, according to Microsoft.

The problem, which began on Thursday, affected 17,355 people, the company said on Monday. Microsoft said that a load-balancing issue had caused emails to disappear.

"Customers impacted temporarily lost the contents of their mailbox through the course of mailbox load balancing between servers," said Windows Live vice president Chris Jones in a blog post. The issue saw some people lose all of the emails in their accounts, while other users reported that their contact lists had disappeared.

On Sunday, Microsoft said it had fixed the Hotmail problem that day. "We have identified the source of the issue [and] have restored email access to those who were effected [sic]," it said.

However, on Monday some users posting on Microsoft's Windows Live Solution Center said they still could not see their inbox emails.

"I was told my over 8,000 emails in my inbox, from the beginnings of emailing since I had this address (and use daily), were all gone and not retrievable," wrote a user called 'westcoastborn'. "Can you please check again, I have all my life, business, etc, in these emails and am devastated by this loss."

Other users complained of contact lists being deleted, and of not being able to log into Hotmail at all.

Microsoft had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

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