Yesterday Microsoft dashed the hopes of users waiting for a fix to the Windows Home Server data corruption issue -- the patch will not be available in its official form until June.
The problem, discovered in December last year, means that when certain programs including Windows Vista Photo Gallery are used to edit or transfer files stored on a Windows Home Server-based computer with more than one hard drive, the files can become corrupted.
The way files are transferred and balanced across multiple hard drives is where the glitch lies, according to Microsoft, adding that which files will be affected depends on application use patterns, timing and the workload placed on the computer.
Although the Microsoft team is now able to reproduce the problem, the fix is still being developed, the Windows Home Server team blog announced yesterday.
The blog says that users must be asking "Why is this taking so long", but adds that, because the bug is at an "extremely low level of the operating system", it requires a lot of testing and the team now understands the issue "really well".
A member of the team, writing on Microsoft's support forum said: "The team has been making good progress on an updated file system mini filter which is currently going through an extensive internal test pass. The development team is now working on updating portions of the migrator service to interact correctly with the file system mini filter."
Internal testing is expected to continue for at least several more weeks, according to the team blog, after which if it passes quality checks, external participants will be asked to help test the fix. A beta should be available in the next few months and an official version in June.
Until then, the company recommends using Windows Explorer or a command line tool to copy files to from the Windows Home Server-based computer and not to use applications to directly edit or change files that are stored on the Windows Home Server.
Only a small percentage of users have confirmed the problem according to Microsoft, with a Q&A on the Windows Home Server site saying: "Less than 60 users out of several thousand have experienced data corruption, and out of these 60 some were due to other factors such as a faulty network card or driver installation, old routers being used with outdated firmware, or people incorrectly testing the limits of their home servers."