Print 85 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Jul 29 at 9:06 PM

The fix for Windows Home Server's broken file system finally is released to market

Microsoft's Windows Home Server (WHS) is almost fully back in operation after about nine months of difficulty.  The operating system marked the most troubled release of the last couple generations of Windows-branded systems.  Now at last it can move over and perhaps fulfill the bright potential that seemed to await it when it was released

Marketed as a home storage solution, and backed with hardware partners, Windows Home Server looked to be a very promising product, putting server style data backup in simplified form in the hands of the consumer.  However, soon after its release it was found that it corrupted files stored on it.  For a server, which is utilized primarily to safeguard data, data corruption is considered a "cardinal sin". 

As the months dragged on the list of file types corrupted grew.  The situations in which corruption could occur grew as well (initially the WHS believed that files could only be corrupted when edited on the server).  In the end, the WHS team discovered that the underlying file system to the OS was seriously broken.  In response to the problems, they issued a dire warning that files should not be stored on WHS boxes without having a separate backup.

However, they also got hard to work at making a fix.  Initially, they thought they might be able to pull one off by the end of the Christmas season, as they worked over the holidays.  Alas, the new year came with no fix.  Finally in May, the team released a beta build of the fix, followed by a release candidate in June.

On Monday the WHS team released the final fix, Windows Home Server Power Pack 1, in RTM form.  The English version is available through the Downloads Center, and Microsoft promises that German, Spanish, and French versions will soon be available.

The update will be pushed into Windows Update in August.  Also in August, Japanese and Chinese versions will be rolled out.

Microsoft briefly describes the pack, stating, "As many know, Power Pack 1 provides a range of new enhancements, including support for home computers running Windows Vista x64 editions, backup of home server Shared Folders, improvements to remote access, more efficient power consumption and better performance. And, of course, it delivers a fix for the data corruption bug."

HP, one of the hardware partners will be releasing updates of its own via its HP MediaSmart Server.  These will provide better security and streaming content.

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By therealnickdanger on 7/22/2008 8:54:23 AM , Rating: 2
This is what I was waiting for.

*looks for WHS copy to buy*

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 9:15:27 AM , Rating: 2
If this actually fixes the problems with it, WHS would definitely make a nice solution. Honestly I might look at changing my current video server over to this since it allows for "RAID" of sorts without an actual controller(right?).

One question though is if you have drives with data on them already, can you make that into one big drive in WHS without loosing the data?

RE: Excellent!
By therealnickdanger on 7/22/2008 9:32:13 AM , Rating: 1
1. I don't think the OS supports RAID (well). When you say "video server", do you mean a server for streaming video to devices or for video editing? I don't think the latter will be very successful.

2. I can't imagine that you would be unable to "pop in" a HDD loaded with files, but then WHS has a special storage schema. Hmm...

RE: Excellent!
By Blight AC on 7/22/2008 9:53:11 AM , Rating: 4
The WHS is a media extender, I'd imagine he just wanted to store the video there for playback on supported devices.

The WHS storage is a software RAID of sorts. It basically melds multiple hard drives to appear as a single folder. When you connect a new HDD you have the option in the console to add the new HDD to the storage pool, but it will delete the contents of that HDD. What you'd have to do is log into the Server and copy the contents of the new HDD to the WHS Shared folders (if you have enough room) and then add the new HDD to the storage pool.

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 10:28:58 AM , Rating: 2
There is redundancy in it though right? If a single drive dies do you lose data? Or is it just essentially a fancy implementation of RAID 0?

RE: Excellent!
By GreenEnvt on 7/22/2008 10:54:39 AM , Rating: 3
You mark which folders you want redundancy on. So if your photos and documents you want to be on two separate drive you just enable it for that folder. For folders you don't care about replacing, don't select those for duplication.

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Guess I'd be turning on duplication for everything then.

RE: Excellent!
By rykerabel on 7/22/2008 11:34:38 AM , Rating: 4
its a heterogenus mirror.

redundancy with different sized drives without loosing space. not an easy task and that is the feature that caused the bug.

RE: Excellent!
By jtesoro on 7/23/2008 1:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
If your WHS setup has two different-sized disks and you mark everything for redundancy, you your capacity will be limited to the size of the smaller sized disk right?

RE: Excellent!
By gramboh on 7/23/2008 3:22:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, with two drives that would have to happen if the smaller drive was full and there was required mirroring of ALL data.

The implementation is more effective with more drives.

Interesting concept, since I was thinking about getting a 4-bay RAID5 NAS with 1x 1TB. But with a WHS server I could add 4 1TB now, and when 1.5TB etc. comes out down the road I can add more drives to the same "array".

I wonder what performance is like, not that it matters hugely on a home network storage server.

RE: Excellent!
By Crassus on 7/23/2008 12:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
Not really, because the first disk has 20 GB taken out for the system partition, and the desktop backups are stored in the storage pool as well, so the space on the bigger disk will get filled as well.

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 10:29:18 AM , Rating: 2
I stream video to my 360.

RE: Excellent!
By arazok on 7/22/2008 11:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
Now that WHS is fixed, I want to do this. Can the 360 decode H.264 (bluray) video yet? I know they added DivX.

RE: Excellent!
By Icelight on 7/22/2008 11:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but it's a Level 5.0 and above is not supported, nor is any profile except for the 'Main Profile' (if memory serves correctly).

The trouble is, lots of HD video is encoded in H264 5.1...leaving you to re-encode it yet again to get it to play...

There's also only 2-channel audio support as well.

RE: Excellent!
By Alexvrb on 7/22/2008 7:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct about it currently only supporting 2-channel audio for H.264 content, natively. You are also largely correct that level 5.0 and above are not officially supported. However, you can change the reported level with h264info. I don't guarantee success, but i've seen files changed from 5.1 to 4.1 work fine. Also, it does support High Profile 4.1 as well as main and baseline. Supposed bitrate support is 10mbps, but this is not a hard limit and I have played slightly higher rate videos without any issues.

I know its not very high priority for MS, as they are concentrating on other things, but I would like to see native support for more stuff in future updates.

RE: Excellent!
By Doormat on 7/22/2008 11:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, if your video is encoded at Level 4.1 or below it'll work. You might have to do some work and install a H.264 decoder on the WHS box and tinker with it, but I have been streaming H.264 from my WHS box to my 360 for a while. I just use the PS3 preset in Handbrake, turn the bitrate down a bit and go from there.

RE: Excellent!
By Grast on 7/22/2008 10:56:06 AM , Rating: 2

I have been beta testing Power Pack 1 since May, I have ran about 10 different builds with PP1. I have found that since May the data corrupton bug has indeed been fixed. PP1 also includes additions and enhancements to the services offered by Window Home server.

I highly recommend the software. I personally have 4 Terabytes of data being served by my Window Home Server.


RE: Excellent!
By Mitch101 on 7/22/2008 11:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Since the underlying file system needed a major correction shouldn't everyone wait until they release the disc's containing the Power Pack 1 fixed version instead of buying the current version which could corrupt files as your doing updates till the patch?

It shouldn't be long until we see Windows Home server copies with PP1 pre installed.

I would mention slipstreaming but most people don't know how to.

RE: Excellent!
By glennpratt on 7/22/2008 1:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
The operating system is installed on a different partition that isn't included the in WHS storage system.

RE: Excellent!
By leexgx on 7/22/2008 7:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
hmm if you just installed WHS first thing you do is install that update so no problem then, make the disks after and turn on keep 2 copys option off untill the pack as been installed + all the updates

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 12:27:56 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks for the feedback.

RE: Excellent!
By stephenfs on 7/22/2008 10:56:54 AM , Rating: 2
WHS takes over the drive and you lose the files. What you need to do is install WHS on an empty drive (should be your largest drive or close to it since files are cached here first before being moved to different drive for "storage balancing"). Once that is done, you can put a second drive in the server box, but not add it to the storage pool. You could copy the files from it to the WHS shares, then add the second drive to the server. And so on. You may want to give the server some time after adding each drive to allow it to balance storage.
I've been running the beta of the fix and it works fine. I love my WHS, btw.

RE: Excellent!
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 12:27:41 PM , Rating: 3
I've got enough empty space on drives to add two drives to the "array" to start, copy the data from the rest, and then add the rest to the "array".

I'll look at this seriously in a few months.

RE: Excellent!
By omnicronx on 7/22/2008 11:03:21 AM , Rating: 2
One question though is if you have drives with data on them already, can you make that into one big drive in WHS without loosing the data?
Unless they have changed it, when you first install WHS, it erases all data on the partitions you choose to "RAID", but once installed, adding new storage is as simple as putting in a new hard drive or other external device and following the simple steps.

RE: Excellent!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/22/2008 11:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft Servers have drive mirroring, which is RAID 1 without the controller. It is an OS controller. This works fairly well.

I am not sure if you can extend a drive across another without losing data.

RE: Excellent!
By Donkeyshins on 7/22/2008 3:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Drive Extender is different model than standard MS Server drive mirroring. I can't really give you an adequate description of the differences, but there should be several white papers on how it works out on the interweb.

Apple equal?
By jonmcc33 on 7/22/2008 10:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
That's good to see although it's not a very popular Microsoft product by any means. Does Apple have an equal option available?

Good that it's fixed though. They are still in the process of fixing all the problems of Mac OS X 10.5!

New slogan for Apple: Work In Progress

RE: Apple equal?
By kmmatney on 7/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Apple equal?
By JCheng on 7/22/2008 11:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
The closest thing Apple has is Time Capsule.

WHS wins on functionality, Time Capsule wins on simplicity and price. Of course, most people won't be cross-shopping the two because WHS works mostly with Windows and Time Capsule works mostly with Leopard.

RE: Apple equal?
By jonmcc33 on 7/22/2008 3:06:52 PM , Rating: 2
What a pile of crap! It cannot even support my file server that has 2TB worth of data on it!

Holy crap! $299 for a 500GB NAS?

Same storage space and half the price! Apple, learn the market you dumb tards!

RE: Apple equal?
By Hare on 7/23/2008 10:45:02 AM , Rating: 2
You don't even know what the Time capsule does and yet you have no problems bashing it. It's not just a NAS.

Tell me, does the Western Digital NAS that you gave as an example have:
a) a built-in router
b) 4 gigabit ethernet ports
c) WiFI (a/b/g/n)

And no, I don't own a Tima capsule and never will. I'm quite happy with my hacked Buffalo Live station running linux.

RE: Apple equal?
By sxr7171 on 7/23/2008 12:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
How many f'n routers do I need? I mean I have 3 sitting around here doing nothing. It's a great system for the routerless maybe in Nigeria, but here in the US it's just redundant functionality. It's only good use would be if it functioned as a wireless bridge or repeater station.

RE: Apple equal?
By Hare on 7/23/2008 1:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume that it supports bridge mode...

How many people have a class n-router? I believe the point is that you can keep your dsl/cable modem and through away everything else.

As I said, I personally wouldn't buy one but there are lots of people that don't have a wifi router or want to upgrade to N-class. I like to keep my devices separate, that's why I have a modem -> wifi router (hacked linux inside) -> computers + tablettes + cell phones + nas.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/23/2008 2:14:42 AM , Rating: 1
Are you cornfedone or BeenThere? Did you get banned from this forum and decided to change your nick? Look, you are a really troubled Apple-obsessed braindead zealot. No matter what Mick is posting you start your stupid Apple whine. Jeez, you're totally crazy, just like cornfedone was... Time to see a doctor. No, seriously, seek professional help, man, before it's too late.

RE: Apple equal?
By jonmcc33 on 7/23/2008 7:43:44 AM , Rating: 2
You are the one that said that anyone that cannot afford a Mac is white trash. And you think I need to see a doctor for professional help? Sure... <rolls eyes>

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/23/2008 1:54:07 PM , Rating: 1
anyone that cannot afford a Mac is white trash
A minor correction is due. Not anyone, just you, moron :P

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 2:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
Do you realize how 3rd parties perceive your posts? I think not.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/23/2008 2:51:21 PM , Rating: 1
Do you realize how 3rd parties perceive jonmcc33's posts? I think not.

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/24/2008 1:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
You have the ability to rise above mutual asshatism.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/24/2008 2:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Then life become a bit more boring. I just enjoy ridiculing certain stubborn idiots. I teach them life and I also have fun at the same time. Now why would I give up this sweet pleasure? Makes no sense.

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/24/2008 3:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
It serves no useful purpose, including teaching. You are not having such a (devastating?) effect on others as you thought, it is all just an illusion, petty bickering. You have my pity though if this is what seems a good way to combat bordom and bring pleasure.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/24/2008 4:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well, how do you know it does not teach jonmcc33 a few lessons? Maybe he's not totally braindead and eventually understands that his stupid annoying posts about Mick will get him only the -1 rating and ridiculing from other forum posters? I bet he'll get tired of that eventually and will shut up, then this forum becomes cleaner - and you benefit too from that, so keep your pity to yourself, I'm doing a useful housekeeping/cleaning job here. You know, janitors are pretty important people after all. They keep air fresh and stink (including jonmcc33's) outta your living (cyber)space, dontcha agree? ;)

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/25/2008 4:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
How little you understand about human nature. People resist, even refuse learning from someone who (at least tries to) offend them.

yes, stupid annoying posts against some author are pathetic esp. when it's just about disagreeing with the theme, but two wrongs don't make a right.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/25/2008 9:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well, then I'll just have a little fun bashing this idiot who's bashing a DT blogger. If he's not learning - then it's his own problem, but I'll get my daily dose of fun here no matter what :o)

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/26/2008 1:13:39 AM , Rating: 2
But that's what is so sad, that you think it's "fun" to waste you time on trying to offend people instead of doing (anything at all that is) constructive things,

No matter how hard you try to gain (respect?) something through insulting others, it is entirely, 100% WASTED effort.

You will look back and not find any honor or usefulness in what you are doing, and wish you had spent your time in more constructive ways.

Mark my works. Maybe my time was wasted, but you have the potential to do more useful things.

RE: Apple equal?
By Pirks on 7/26/2008 3:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
If there was something "useful" to be done to stop that idiot bashing Mick - I would have done that a long time ago, trust me on that. Some people are, unfortunately, not good for anything but laughing at. If the guy is really smart (like masher for example) there's totally no point for me to ridicule him, I can present my arguments and he can present his counterarguments and we'll figure the stuff out eventually. But if you think that braindead people like jonmcc33 can be treated like this and can learn something from any sort of reasonable argument - you are gravely mistaken. I learned all that by my own experience in this forum, from all my posts and replies I get here. You saw my acid posts and my normal posts, you should have guessed already why I treat smart people totally different than braindead zealots. This stuff should be obvious to you, man! It's so easy to observe and deduct from my posts, really.

RE: Apple equal?
By mindless1 on 7/29/2008 9:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
Once it was revealed that s/he was an idiot, we need not bother anymore, everyone else including Mick can see it for what it is.

You keep thinking people need to be "treated" a certain way instead of accepting that they can be I G N O R E D .

Trying to teach someone, someone who is present just to troll and cause you to get upset, is playing into their agenda. That's what people who are starving for attention do, while your greatest alternative is to not give them that attention.

Hell No
By afkrotch on 7/22/2008 8:59:27 AM , Rating: 5
I was eagerly anticipating WHS, until this whole corruption of files came about. Needless to say, doesn't matter if they release a fix or not. This is too big a problem to push aside. Not did a backup solution corrupt data, but it took them 9 months to fix it.

That right there tells me that such a product will never touch my systems. What happens if another serious issue comes up? Will it be another 9 months to get a fix if a serious issue comes up?

I'll stick with my rock solid Win2k.

RE: Hell No
By Grast on 7/22/2008 11:09:28 AM , Rating: 3
You have the right to spend your money as you wish. However it is your loss. I have managed and built servers for my house for the last 10 years. I have used Linux, Windows XP, Every flavor of Windows server, and some harware solutions.

In all of these cases, they were just a fileserver. A WHS is several things rolled into one.

1. A file server
2. Web server
3. Back-up server
4. Basically a 2003 Server box

WHS is a fantasic product for people who wish to have a central location for storing files without the hassel of managing a domain, messing with drives and partisioning the data, and managing a seperate application for backing up workstations. It has the ability to protect files from single hard drive failure with out expensive or requirements of hardware solutions.

The data cooruption bug was a bleeding wound for WHS. However that wound has been fixed and is just a scar now. If you have spare components laying around, I believe that WHS is the best bang for your dollar. If you do not, the WHS options by HP are really price competitive.

I suggest that just for courious sake. Load up a demo of the software and take a look.

RE: Hell No
By redbone75 on 7/22/2008 4:47:34 PM , Rating: 1
File server, OS, whatever, I would simply look the other way if one of the bugs is you lose your data. WTF!?! We're not talking about something like "you might get a lolcat in some pictures", we're talking about loss of data. That's unacceptable in any OS, especially a file server. When this bug was first reported the product should have been pulled until it was fixed, no matter how exciting it is. I've been contemplating WHS, but completely changed my mind when I heard of the file corruption bug. I might reconsider, now that it's been corrected (maybe), but don't kid yourselves about the severity of that "little" bug.

RE: Hell No
By leexgx on 7/22/2008 8:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
i agree i was very close to implementing WHS my self untill this bug showed up, i even had it when i had it running WHS in an VMware box the bug is very repeatble and should of been picked up very very start (some users did report the bug but i guess norm users would edit files from there pc not move files back and 2)

recovering an WHS server is more an problem to me then any thing els if i have to reload it what happens to my data, the boot drive is not redundant nor is the store folder that points to where all the files are on the other disks that are disk mounted onto the store partition

Speed of WHS seems to be an other problem as well seems to work more like windows Vista superfetch (it does not care if your accessing the disks at the same time it is syncing the disks up)

RE: Hell No
By Grast on 7/22/2008 9:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Anwser your question regarding loss of system disk. Since WHS data protection is based on it disk extender technology, the loss of the main system disk is NOT an issue.

WHS disk extender uses small files called Tombstones. When a file is first copied to the server, it creates a tombstone file on the data partition of the system disk pointing to the location of the file. If multiple disks are installed, the disk extender automatically moves the file to a location on the second disk. However, the original Tombstone file remains on the system disk as a pointer. Additionally, the second disk also has a tombstone file. The result is this. WHS in a multi disk system will try to keep all data off of the system disk when possible. This means that if the system disk fails the tombstones on the secondary disks are not harmed. Once the primary disk is replaced and you reinstall the WHS software, WHS will detect the tombstones on the secondary disk and rebuild.

The end result is the WHS will reimport the disk you and you are back up in operation. I have tested this issue multiple times with no issues after rebuild. The system disk is the least important in the system. So long as you keep free space available on your secondard disk, your primary disk will never fill up and loss of the system disk is an issue but does not result in the loss of data.

Additionally, this is the same mechanism used for file/folder duplication. The loss of a disk is mitigated because tombstone records exist on all drives which have a copy of the file and on the system disk.


RE: Hell No
By mikefarinha on 7/22/2008 10:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious, can you replace the system disk, reinstall WHS and have it contain the same settings as the previous install had? Like nothing had happened?

I'm very interested in WHS but haven't had the time to research or implement it.

RE: Hell No
By Grast on 7/23/2008 10:44:43 AM , Rating: 2

Short Answer is NO. When you lose the system disk and then perform a reinstall, it is like a brand new WHS. The only migration which occurs is when you re-add the other hard drives. The WHS will notice the extend partition and ask if you would like to import. The import process finds all of the local tombstone files and creates new ones on the system disk. Once complete, all of the files located on the new disk are now available.


RE: Hell No
By sxr7171 on 7/23/2008 11:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly that's weak. There should be an option to install the OS on a small 8GB or 16GB SSD and the HDDs should be purely data. In fact there should be 2 small redundant SSDs for the OS. I can't pay for a fileserver whose OS is not recoverable.

RE: Hell No
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 2:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
The sane answer when it comes to data storage is KISS.

The more complex it is, the more there is to go wrong. This has been proven countless times year after year in so many different ways, marketing propaganda aside we do see that people who just stuck with a RAID1 or 5 never had to worry about issues like this, or other new bugs. We can assume there are more bugs, or does MS not release a lot of patches for all their OS? Not that other OS are bug free either, but again the prudent choice is KISS.

RE: Hell No
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 2:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to break it to you but if you've built so many home servers over a mere 10 years, you're doing something terribly wrong. In that period you should have had two 'nix servers, the 2nd replacing the first, and no reason at all to build a new one with WHS. You must be kidding about mentioning XP or Linux then suggesting things like "web server" is a difficult task on those? Are you aware of what quite a lot of the world's web servers run on?

For someone starting out fresh on the other hand, who has some mental block against using anything other than windows, WHS is the natural choice.

Bang for the dollar would be a crazy statement since 'nix is free and many distros are ready rolled for file and web server. It's only when one starts talking about MS-centric technology that the rest "seems" important. To some it is really important and that is another reason to buy WHS but this is very subjective, it would be false to so quickly suggest something is someone else's loss when you have no idea what their particular needs are.

RE: Hell No
By Hare on 7/23/2008 2:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
My personal choice:
Clark Connect

Brilliant distro for home or enterprise server needs. Great web based admin section and can do pretty much anything out of the box.

By Spivonious on 7/22/2008 9:30:31 AM , Rating: 3
The situations in which corruption could occur grew as well (initially the WHS believed that files could only be corrupted when edited on the server).

I never heard of other situations where the corruption would happen. Do you have a source for that, Jason?

Also, using words like "dire" in a news article is just bad journalism.

RE: Cite?
By Yawgm0th on 7/22/2008 10:05:24 AM , Rating: 2
Although I've occasionally complained about the language used in Jason's writings, it is important to note that this is not a news article. It's a blog, and I don't think the rules of journalism apply to blogs.

RE: Cite?
By johnsonx on 7/22/2008 10:45:54 AM , Rating: 3
No, this isn't a blog. It's a news article in the software section. The word 'blog' appearing next to the author name merely signifies he HAS a blog, not that this IS a blog.

RE: Cite?
By PAPutzback on 7/22/2008 10:05:36 AM , Rating: 2
Seeing as the definition of dire is:
1. causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity.
2. indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like: dire predictions about the stock market.
3. urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.

I'd said dire is the correct word to use. We are talking about a server O.S. whose primary purpose was to protect your data.

I could rebuild a money or quicken file but I can't replace a picture from 5 years ago.

RE: Cite?
By Spivonious on 7/22/2008 10:58:44 AM , Rating: 3
Oh I don't argue with you that it was a dire problem, but in a news article the journalist is supposed to present only the facts and not include opinion, unless stated as such.

He could have said "In what many considered a dire warning," which would have much better, and more correct from a journalistic viewpoint.

RE: Cite?
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 2:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
Many of us don't want things overly verbose just to suit your supposed, politically correct idealisms. It's a bit sad someone whines about another using a word even if it does happen to have 4 letters.

RE: Cite?
By blaster5k on 7/22/2008 10:07:09 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, it was only editing files on the server. If you just copied/moved files back and forth between your machine and the server it worked fine.

I never encountered any problems in about 5 months of using it pre-fix (not that I tried to duplicate it though either). I forgot to change the Windows Media player settings that cause it to modify files, but it still didn't cause any corruption. It definitely wasn't as if all your files would die immediately if you touched them.

consumer adoption
By crystal clear on 7/22/2008 9:14:38 AM , Rating: 2
An outlook into the home server market-(Reuters)

The home server market is currently all potential, with only an estimated 400,000 U.S. households employing one today, according to multiple analyst reports, dominated primarily by tech enthusiasts and IT pros installing them in their homes.

But Forrester Research projects the U.S. market will grow to more than 4.5 million households by 2012, while the Diffusion Group predicts it surging to as high as 21.5 million in all of North America by 2015.

Microsoft, and its Windows Home Server software that it launched in January, is expected to rule the home server market for the next five years, during which PC-based servers will be the dominant solution. But Theocheung says the real spike in consumer adoption won't come until after consumer electronics companies begin building server-like functions into their entertainment system products, which will overtake the PC as the primary source of such store-and-synch capability. In particular, he expects cable operators to be leaders in this transition, doing for servers what they did for DVRs by including the functionality in set-top boxes.

"That changes the whole model," Theocheung says. "If you have to buy these yourself, the trend is going to be slower. But when service providers latch onto this and let you just add $5 to your $100 monthly cable bill, it's not a noticeable impact. Then you're going to see some action."

Perhaps when this market begins to expand, music subscription services like Rhapsody and Napster will place support for their technology on these home servers. Rhapsody in particular has been aggressive about making its service compatible with non-PC music appliances. Meanwhile, the move to digital rights management-free downloads for purchased content will also be a key step toward ensuring that digital music takes advantage of the coming media server boom.

RE: consumer adoption
By Grast on 7/22/2008 11:17:02 AM , Rating: 2
I believe this article has some good points. However, I believe their time table is a bit optimitic. 5 years is a very short period of time for service providers. The cable companies have just started to make reliable and intuitive DRV's. Those devices just store TV and Movie programs.

How many peope will trust ComCast with all of their pictures, movies, music, and applications?

I do not think many. The current line of WHS products is limited. In the next 10 years, I believe the WHS products will get smaller and even cheaper. My prediction is that Microsoft will migrate this technology into the next or fourth generation console.

While it pains me to say this, the console is probably going to be the main focus in a digital life for the future.


RE: consumer adoption
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2008 12:33:55 PM , Rating: 1
It's also doubtful Comcast and the like will ever support streaming Divx through their machines.

Honestly the need for a cable box is rapidly disappearing. Cable card's really need to get better developed. Let me plug a cable card into my PC, 360, or PS3, and watch TV through it.

The problem is content providers though. Here's a clue providers. Don't try to screw us all over, and the majority of people won't pirate. They don't now. Let us watch and record our shows easily. Hell even create a method of inserting ads in to previous recorded content (Microsoft already came up with this I think). All it'll take is a <play ad here tag> in the video which goes out and gets an ad from the web and plays it. It'll require a new format probably but still.

RE: consumer adoption
By crystal clear on 7/23/2008 1:27:34 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe something like this-

Sony HES-V1000 ($3,500): Five hundred GB of storage with 200-disc Blu-ray DVD changer; integrates with Sony PlayStation 3 and Sony TVs that include the XrossMediaBar, a multi-option, onscreen menu that offers access to content from home networked devices and Internet-based sources like online music and movie services.

RE: consumer adoption
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 2:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
They will trust whoever offers a guarantee of data preservation and confidentiality, considering the litigious times we live in.

Frankly I don't see the average consumer wanting a separate solution at all. Whatever is being served has to be used by some other (client), with the server just costing more than placing the hard drive/etc into the other client and sharing it. People want cheap, aren't going to be tricked into paying for a server even if the OS was free except for the techies who just like playing with toys and rationalized their way towards the fileserver even when they don't actually need one in many cases, versus tossing a couple of new drives in some client system.

Some will of course argue against this, citing more advanced uses, but these are the things the average consumer is not so likely to be wanting, let alone doing.

RE: consumer adoption
By sxr7171 on 7/23/2008 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
As a user of Rhapsody + Pandora + Last.FM etc. on my Squeezecenter, I don't know how anyone who's seen what this thing can do would want to live without having all your music stored on a fileserver and playable anywhere in the house. But with Rhapsody, it's like 3 million+ songs in any room of your house.

What a joke
By damicatz on 7/22/2008 3:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well this has certainly been nothing short of a joke.

Microsoft certainly has their priorities straight. Instead of working nonstop to fix the bug, they took time out to add new "features".

Let them try and pull that crap with their business customers and see how long it lasts. A data corruption issue in an operating system is unacceptable period. Especially unacceptable for a server operating system. That crap wouldn't fly with Server 2003 or Server 2008; if such a bug was discovered in those operating systems, they'd be working 24/7 to fix it, have it fixed in under a month (probably under a week) and heads WOULD roll.

As far as I'm concerned, WHS is a waste of money. Not only does it have questionable support (again, a data corruption bug going unfixed for over 6 months is absolutely unacceptable) but it's a ripoff when you can get and install Linux for free and it will do everything that Server 2003 will do (let alone Windows Home Server, which is a seriously crippled version of Server 2003), you don't have to worry about nonsense like per-user licensing and connection limits and your data doesn't get mysteriously corrupted because someone couldn't be half-bothered to fix a critical bug.

The only thing that WHS has is a nice graphical interface. But quite frankly, if you need your hand held through a nice GUI then you really shouldn't be running a server to begin with (much less one exposed to the internet; god knows the botnets are already large enough without a bunch of idiots exposing their WHS systems to the internet without the first clue about computer security).

RE: What a joke
By Donkeyshins on 7/22/2008 3:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
Gee...tell us what you really think?

And how do you know they didn't work nonstop on the bug - are you a software developer at MS?

I was lucky enough to be invited to beta-test the original release as well as the corruption fix and the reason the 'features' as you describe them were added was that (1) there were already enough people working on resolving the data corruption bug and (2) many of these 'features' were cut from the original release and were intended for Power Pack 1.

There is a point that more people attempting to work on a bug or project actually causes harm. You might want to read 'The Mythical Man Month' (synopsis here: and perhaps you will learn something new. However, clearly you have your anti-MS, pro-Linux agenda / axe to grind, so I doubt if you will do so.

RE: What a joke
By jonmcc33 on 7/23/2008 7:47:49 AM , Rating: 2
And how do you know they didn't work nonstop on the bug - are you a software developer at MS?

If a serious flaw in Windows is released does Microsoft not make a critical patch and push it out through Automatic Updates within 24-48 hours in most cases? Let's be realistic here.

RE: What a joke
By sxr7171 on 7/23/2008 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
You have to start that article yourself, but really all you had to say was the oft repeated "too many cooks spoil the broth".

Anyway, granted having people working on features might not slow down the bug fix, however releasing a file server OS with a data corruption bug of all things is just terrible. Did no one test the f'n OS with an alternate data stream? I mean how does this get released? Do you really think this would have been released in this state to business customers? Or do you think they would have f'n bothered to test it first? If this had been released to business customers and it caused tens or hundreds of millions of dollars data damage, MS can kiss the server market goodbye.

Absolutely f'n ridiculous to try to create a new market with a product that pretty much when released did the OPPOSITE of what it is designed to do. Granted it's over now, but as a customer I'm now worried that there might be something else wrong with it that will rape my data.

I've had my finger on the buy button for the HP Mediasmart server for days now, but I am not sure if the f'n OS is actually tested and finished yet. You CANNOT release a server OS that is not tested properly even if it is meant for piddly little home users.

As much as I like the Mediasmart servers, a part of me wants to build my own with the OS running off an SSD and my HDDs purely for data.

RE: What a joke
By mindless1 on 7/23/2008 3:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
Since the OS is, at least to the developer, modular, it is quite likely they had separate teams developing and finished with the other features already, that the holdup in this power pack was the critical corruption flaw patch - to test it enough before deployment.

Too many cooks do spoil things, often you can't just throw 100, even 20 more people on a problem and speed it up, many would have no hands-on with that portion of the OS and just be in the way, further time spent trying to bring them up to speed.

What case is that in the picture?
By noxipoo on 7/22/2008 3:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
looks sweet.

RE: What case is that in the picture?
By BarkHumbug on 7/24/2008 9:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think its the "SCALEO Home Server" by Fujitsu Siemens although the logo is missing/has been photoshopped... You can find it here:

I believe HP also manufactures custom WHS-solutions...

By noxipoo on 7/24/2008 4:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
boo, so can't buy just the case huh.

Power Pack?
By Sulphademus on 7/22/2008 11:51:17 AM , Rating: 3
Isnt that what I use to plug my laptop into the wall socket?

Please, Microsoft, call it Service Pack like all your other Windows products. Power Pack sounds really stupid.

RE: Power Pack?
By Crassus on 7/23/2008 12:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing - but it occurred to me that that would probably cause confusion with the Server 2003 Service Packs, which I assume will need to be installed as well in some adapted fashion.

By bldckstark on 7/22/2008 12:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have had WHS running for about 8 months. I have had no corruption issues, but I was worried about it the whole time. I installed the PP1 beta a few weeks ago.

I did have problems with the Live Domains update crashing my router(s)before the update. I bought a new router thinking my old one was the problem, but it did the same thing on the new one. The update seems to have fixed this issue.

I have three Win XP SP2, one Vista Home, 1 Vista business, and 1 Vista Ultimate hooked up to it. It backs them all up flawlessly, even with two laptops on wireless G.

I have three drives in it for a total of 1TB of storage. 512MB RAM, P4 2.0GHz CPU. Two drives are on an SATA PCI card, and I have an Gb ethernet card on PCI also.

All our pics are on it (8 GB) and duplicated across drives. I installed the Whiist plug in for an ultra simple photo server. Just drop your photos in the specified folder and they are posted for all to see. The webserver works well also. I don't have much content other than the photos, so I only use a single page with links to the photos, calendar, and our remote connection link.

I have not had much luck using the remote connection to the other PC's from work, but the remote connection to the server works great. Download, upload, whatever.

I have used it to restore a couple of PC's and it worked great.

While I was running the 90 day trial I installed the Server 2003 activation cracks. The cracks seemed to work, but I was concerned that if they locked users out of cracked machines that I would lose my data so I bought a real version before the 90 day trial was completed.

By cheburashka on 7/22/2008 6:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
I have not had much luck using the remote connection to the other PC's from work, but the remote connection to the server works great. Download, upload, whatever.

I have the same experience. But now I have installed Live Mesh on the machine I wish to control remotely and that works incredibly well. Check it out.

Now Upgraded!!
By Fnoob on 7/22/2008 9:10:56 AM , Rating: 2
... to issue a RROD as soon as your (hopefully not) irreplaceable pictures of Grandma or your (hopefully legal) 5TB MP3 collection eats itself.

what happened to service pack?
By albundy2 on 7/22/2008 10:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
so is this power pack the beggining of the end for sevice pack? ie, wait for windows 7 power pack 1?

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