Data-corrupting Home Server won't be fixed til June

Data-corrupting Home Server won't be fixed til June

Summary: 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.

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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."

Topics: Windows, Consumerization, Microsoft, Servers, Tech Industry

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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Talkback

4 comments
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  • ZFS

    Now if they had used a file system that was actually up to handling mission critical data (that is free in real operating systems) this would not have been a problem.

    You do not need a Windows PC/Server to house all your prized and irreplaceable photos, movies and audio, it can be handled by Solaris 10, OpenSolaris (both using ZFS) or even Linux using XFS or JFS. I would like to point out that all these are free and will work with your PC network at home.

    The said operating systems and file systems mentioned above are trusted by the big financial institutions that handle your finances. Is Microsoft a bank? I know which one [filesystem/server] I would rather trust with my money.

    Personal Computer Operating System trying to be a Server or a Server doing what it does best, being a server? Which makes more sense? Is another way of looking at it.
    anonymous
  • WHS

    As expected, the usual Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD can do it all post but hat's not the point. If you don't want WHS, move on.

    The point is that many of us have paid good money for this OS and it doesn't do what it should or even be used as it should through fear of corruption.
    7 months is a long time for a fix to maybe appear.
    I'm starting to wonder where my compensation money is?
    anonymous
  • You gotta love it - blame the users

    "people incorrectly testing the limits of their home servers"

    Doesn't this just mean Microsoft were not thorough enough in their testing? How can a home user "incorrectly test the limits" of such a product?
    anonymous
  • Wrong tool for the job

    It's a server. Not exactly the right job for Vista anything. Perhaps MS should have used some of their *cough* 'Server' operating systems, or perhaps just left the job to someone else.

    Oh, and ZFS++
    anonymous