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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: MSFT: You've got data, not anymore!
By TomZ on 12/29/2007 9:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
There were tens or hundreds of thousands of beta testers for WHS, and this never cropped up as a widespread issue. So I think that situation can speak for the severity of this particular problem.

By mindless1 on 12/30/2007 4:35:28 PM , Rating: 1
Of course not a widespread issue, but if you discount every possible issue that isn't "widespread", pretty soon you've left so many issues that quite a few people are effected by one issue or another.

Maybe part of the problem is the screening and qualification process for good beta test groups, that they're looking at it as an opportunity to play with a toy but not being so serious about putting it through its paces.

The real question now is how MS is going to handle notifying users about this, because even if it doesn't effect everyone, those it does effect are going to find this goes directly against the purpose of the file stores.

In other words, IMO it's not enough to just slip a patch into installs, people may now need to verify the integrity of their files which they'll need to know (be informed that) they need to do. Certainly everyone isn't reading a computer tech news 'site to find out about it.

By SmokeRngs on 12/31/2007 12:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
There were tens or hundreds of thousands of beta testers for WHS, and this never cropped up as a widespread issue. So I think that situation can speak for the severity of this particular problem.

You are now witnessing one of the possible disadvantages of an open public beta.

Don't take it the wrong way, I think they are a very good idea and should be continued. It's one of the best ways to do a lot of bug testing in a short period of time using a lot of configurations that the company developing the product does not have the time or money to test.

However, while this problem may have not been widespread, I'm sure it did show up. Even if not a lot of people experienced the problem; it's still a severe problem. The loss of data on a server is always a severe problem.

Something else to keep in mind is that this problem, while actually being a WHS specific problem, may not have been caused until there was a change or patch to some of the other software that is required to create this problem.

I've been helping someone bug test a rather large webpage lately and when doing so, I have to continually re-check everything when a bug is found and fixed. The fix may cause a problem where there was not a problem before. Something similar to this may have happened here. It may have come through the public beta testing without any trouble but a small change later on to any of the software using it may have caused the problem to show up.

I'm just glad I didn't choose programming as a profession. It can be a real pain and I'm on the easy side just doing bug testing.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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