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Microsoft issues a dire warning that its Home Server product may irreversibly damage pictures, torrents, and other files

Microsoft just announced a big bug that many users of its Windows Home Server users may wish to take note of.  Microsoft warned users not to edit files stored on their Windows Home Servers.  Editing and saving files on a home computer connected to Windows Home Server can lead to data corruption within a week it has been discovered.

Microsoft describes the problem, stating, "When you use certain programs to edit files on a home computer that uses Windows Home Server, the files may become corrupted when you save them to the home server. Several people have reported issues after they have used the following programs to save files to their home servers."

Microsoft details that the following file types are among those affected:

  • Photos
  • Office Outlook files (2007)
  • Office OneNote files (2003/2007)
  • Microsoft Money files
  • Quicken files
  • QuickBooks files
  • Torrent files

Microsoft has not yet announced a concrete schedule for the release of a patch to fix the problem.  It blames the current bug on an internal glitch with Windows Home Servers' shared folders code.  Microsoft is currently trying to reproduce the bug and better understand it.

An anonymous blog was posted on Microsoft's developers pages stating that Microsoft's Windows Home Server Team is working full-time through the holidays to try to fix the problem, so obviously it is a relatively significant issue.

Windows has aggressively tried to market its Home Server products and grow a business in consumer backup storage.  The Windows Home Server software retails for $189.99, while a number of partners produce the physical hardware.  Among these is the HP 500GB EX470, which retails for $599.99. 

So for a total of about $790 you can have a working home server set up for backup operations -- you just probably don't want to back up your pictures, emails, or torrent files on it for now.

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RE: Not a typical problem
By ViRGE on 12/28/2007 5:12:40 PM , Rating: 3
To be more specific, there's two things going on:

1) Alternate Data Streams: WHS is munging the ADS part of NTFS files. Very few apps use this, and it only appears to happen in a few situations, so it's not a huge deal. The WHS team will have a fix out for it fairly soon from the looks of things.

2) Local vs. network file access: Network drives do not act the same as a local drive under Windows, for this reason applications that engage in certain DB-like operations on files can't use those files over a network because their operations aren't atomic, which is critical for dealing with a networked environment. Outlook 2003, Quickbooks, etc all have specific warnings against actively using data files directly off of a file server of any type. WHS is affected just as well here; these unsafe apps will have problems with WHS just like they will any other Windows file server. This quirk will likely never be fixed.

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