Agent.exe attempts to delete ALL files inside _retail_ and _classic_ on update

When the BattleNet launcher updates WoW, all symlinks from its game folder are recursively deleted. This leads to several of my in-development AddOns being deleted since I symlink into my projects folder. Any symlinks that exist within those folders are also deleted, recursively.

I’ve disabled automatic updates for now to see if I can collect some diagnostics the next time an update is available and I manually apply it.

The updater agent attempts to delete the entire directories of _classic_ and _retail_ recursively. It is only able to delete symlinks because they are the only items that are considered “non-empty” by Windows.

Some details:

OS: Windows 10 Pro
OS version: 1903
OS build: 18362.175
Developer mode enabled.

Issue occurs with: All WoW editions.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create a symlink inside Interface\AddOns pointing to somewhere else on the computer
  2. Apply an update to WoW Classic or Retail
  3. Symlink will be deleted, as well as any other symlinks within the target folder, recursively.

As mentioned, it doesn’t happen on every update as far as I can tell, but has happened three times so far.

UPDATE: This seems to happen every time I click the “Update” button.


Also suffering from this problem.
Have my Addons, Screenshots, and various folders within WTF all symlinked to an online storage account.

I wonder if this is an OS specific thing as I changed to Win 10 day before Classic release and never had this problem with Win 7.

The same problem is also reported here, as well as the issue of the Agent removing ‘tmp’ folders.

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I have created a Windows Scheduled Task that use the FileSystemWatcher Class to monitor for WoW Updates and executes your own PowerShell code when a change is found.
Can be found on GitHub. Import the XML into Task Scheduler and save the ps1 file to C:\Scripts.
The code I have chosen to execute in my local version immediately recreates all my symlinks when an update is detected, thought I have not uploaded this.

Yeah I have a script in LINQPad I run on every update. But this is a bug and needs to be fixed.

I agree that this is highly annoying.
Everytime I have to recreate the links to my Addons, WTF Settings and Cache (as this is on another drive).:tired_face:

Please Blizzard, stop messing with my symbolic links! :stop_sign:
Also some communication about this would be welcome. Are the devs aware of the issues they cause?

This is the first result in Google for this issue; and it’s still happening. It’s infuriating.

The file structure I use to share Addons, Configs and SavedVariables across machines via cloud-storage and symlinks may not be officially supported by BattleNet; but it’s also absolutely none of BattleNet’s business either. BattleNet should not be deleting files in what people reasonably consider ‘userspace’ directories within the WoW installation folders such as ‘Interface\Addons’ and ‘WTF’.

How long do we have to wait for something as fundamental as BattleNet not riding roughshod over user files?