Can windows update cause lock on disk/files?

Just got in a computer that's used in the field, it runs a program that will realtime record data into a database file, the guys that used it reported back trouble with the computer - among other things they did have to reset the computer by turning it off.

They also said that the database file they recorded to was set to "0" (size) after the reboot/crash, and this happened to multiple files, causing data loss.

I'v had a bit of look on the computer and was able to crash it once, but when I rebooted then I realised that automatic update was on, and it had been downloading/updating, can this updating cause main disk and/or files to become "locked" in some way, and might it cause dataloss?.

(I know auto update should not be on such a machine, but for some reason someone have left this feature on).

Also noticed that some files in the "data directory" the data is recorded to have gotten a "lock" icon on them.....

Any info would be appreciated.

The computer being powered off before it was finished writing the files would probably explain the 0 size. The 0-size files may not even be the actual data. Often, live data collection goes to a temporary file until it is closed "gracefully". The "lock" you see would not be unusual for files being actively written to. It is to prevent the files from being used or corrupted while they are "open".

Windows update can slow the computer while it's running (competing for resources), and it can interact with Windows files, but I've never heard of it affecting files that have nothing to do with Windows (or Windows-related, like drivers). Normally, you can continue to work while Update is running. Typically, if Update does not complete its work, you might have to rerun those updates but it would not affect anything else.

Whatever issue is causing the computer to crash is responsible for both problems.

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