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Windows Home Server, the gift that has kept on giving ever since Christmas. The only bad news is that what it's giving is irreparably corrupted files.  (Source: TabletPC2.com)
The list of troubles for Windows Home Server continue to expand and after a promise of a quick fix, two months later no end is in sight

Windows Home Server was aggressively marketed as an attractive consumer storage solution for everyday users, as part of Microsoft's next generation of Windows products.  With a retail price of $189 and hardware setups such as the HP 500GB EX470 retailing with the OS for as little as $599, the price certainly seems to be right. 

Unfortunately, Windows Home Server is still experiencing teething problems.  DailyTech previously reported that users' files were being corrupted by Windows Home Server when simply trying to access and save files.  Microsoft responded to the data corruption by 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."

Originally the issue seemed relatively germane as the list of programs afflicted was relatively small -- photo editors, Office Outlook '07, Office OneNote '03/'07, Quicken, QuickBooks, and torrents.  A Microsoft employee during Christmas break, soon after the issue cropped up, wrote in an anonymous blog posting that Microsoft staff were working full time over the holidays and the issue would be resolved very soon.

Two months have passed and the issue has not been resolved.  Instead, Microsoft conceded that the scope of the problem is much bigger than initially estimated.  Microsoft acknowledged numerous customer reports of corruption in the following programs, though it says it has thus far been unable to replicate them:

  • Apple iTunes
  • Zune Software
  • Photoshop Elements
  • WinAmp
  • Microsoft Office Excel
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Visual Dataflex

The expanded list greatly increases the number of users who may eventually experience the problem.  Between the iPod and Zune player populations alone, many may now be wary of Windows Home Server use until Microsoft can get to the root of the data corruption.



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The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By ATWindsor on 2/21/2008 3:45:03 PM , Rating: 5
To a fileserver, and I would even say a computer in general. There is no worse fault than corrupting data, even not working is better than destroying data. one of the main reasons for a computer is the production and safekeeping of data.




RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By mattclary on 2/21/2008 3:48:37 PM , Rating: 3
Abso-freaking-lutely. You would think MS would have the process down by now.


By lexluthermiester on 2/22/2008 1:04:20 PM , Rating: 1
As I've stated in other posts, Microsoft has not been doing well for the past few years. There has been an unending string of security issues with XP and now Vista[all you 64 bit adopters are in for a rude awakening soon enough], then there is Xbox360 and the record making defective rates[and after 2 years of manufacturing] and issues with XboxLive, Zune is only just becoming viable as an alternative to ipod, again because of defectives and stability issues[again after 2 years of manufacturing], the very luke-warm reception of Vista due to more issues then I have space to go into, then these issues with Home Server[which are frickin critical issues]. The smack down they received from Yahoo[thank God!] has only added insult to injury. Add to all of that the FACT that people all over the world are migrating to Linux and Mac. And so long a Steve Ballmer keeps doing his thing Microsoft doesn't have a prayer. I hate to say this but things for them were better when Bill was in charge. What to blame someone for the whole activation BS? Look no further than Ballmer.

I guess my real point is, how can anyone be surprised by the issues with Home Server? They should be expected by now.....

In Vista's defense, like Windows ME, the OS can be made to run stably after disabling un-needed parts and changing the configuration of many others. Still, I fail to understand why one should be required to know, let alone apply, the need to tweak the hell out of an OS just to get it working stably. Mac OS works the way it should out of the box and so to do most versions of Linux. Microsoft has spread itself to thin, has the wrong people in leadership positions and is down right too greedy.

OK thats a little more than $0.02 worth, but needed to be said...


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By Mitch101 on 2/21/2008 4:06:26 PM , Rating: 5
Couldn't remotely be a motherboard driver that isn't fully compatible with home server?

I have seen plenty of people use the CD's that come with their motherboard and never bother to download the latest's motherboard drivers off the web only to have corrupted files in relatively no time then find out the drivers on the disc are some 7 revisions old. Why 7 revisions if they were perfect to begin with?

Microsoft so far hasn't been able to recreate the issue so it could be anything. Bad batch of SATA controllers on the hard drive? Who knows. They need to first be able to create the problem to be able to figure out what or why its happening.

Lots of dumb tech's out there too. I once caught a tech trying to create a Mirror (Raid-0) on a single drive with 2 partitions.


By Etsp on 2/21/2008 4:31:41 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Lots of dumb tech's out there too. I once caught a tech trying to create a Mirror (Raid-0) on a single drive with 2 partitions.
That is just hilarious =D


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By traxcore on 2/21/2008 4:53:42 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Lots of dumb tech's out there too. I once caught a tech trying to create a Mirror (Raid-0) on a single drive with 2 partitions.


Well you just proved you dont know much either.. mirror is raid 1 not raid 0 :)


By Mitch101 on 2/21/2008 5:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. I cant believe I did that.

Oh well you get the point single drive raid.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By carl0ski on 2/21/2008 5:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
you can create RAID-1 (mirror) why do so many people incorrectly believe 0 = mirror?

0 = no protection.

Linux Software MD-Raid allows you to create Various raid configurations with unequal partitions or drives

even 2 partitions on the same drive, which would defy the point of raid anyway.


By johnsonx on 2/24/2008 4:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
There are possible reasons to want to do RAID-1 on a single drive. None of them really good reasons, but there are reasons.

First, mirroring partitions on a single drive could provide limited hardware fault recovery in the case where the entire drive doesn't fail, but chronic bad sectors appear in the beginning of the drive. Over the years, I've certainly seen enough drives in that condition to make me think RAID-1 on a single drive wouldn't be completely worthless.

Second, there are plenty of times where you'd like to mirror a partition before you do something potentially ugly to it. You mirror the partition, break the mirror, and then do your major OS upgrade or whatever... if it all blows up, you bring the mirrored copy back online and you're back where you started.

There are probably other cases I didn't think of.

In both cases of course, it's far better to actually have a second drive. I don't doubt that many attempts to do so with a single drive are due to technical stupidity, but that doesn't mean there's never a legitimate reason to do RAID-1 with a single drive.


By Clauzii on 2/21/2008 5:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
What about some kind of DRM not functioning??


By omnicronx on 2/21/2008 7:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Couldn't remotely be a motherboard driver that isn't fully compatible with home server?
I think its more of an issue with the way WHS combines the hard drives to simulate one big drive. Aside from this, WHS being directly based on Server 2003, I do not see what could possibly be causing corruption issues.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By Shoal07 on 2/22/2008 8:37:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Microsoft so far hasn't been able to recreate the issue so it could be anything.


That's not true and this whole article is misleading. They have recreated the issue but it took a long time because this issue is incredibly rare. It affects a minute percentage of WHS users and it requires a "perfect storm" of factors for it to happen. For example, of the two computers this happened to during thie beta they were 1) running multiple drives (this doesn't affect single drives machines) 2) both running the same AVS 3) both were maxing out the network subsytem with large file transfers and 4) both were editing files with other programs (like Office 2k7) directly on the server. It does and always has taken just the right amount of combinations to trigger this bug.

Is it still the worst possible fault? Yes it is. Is it going to effect you if you have a WHS, odds are it won't. Have they identified it and are fixing it, yes they are.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By imaheadcase on 2/22/2008 9:27:42 AM , Rating: 3
Its not as big deal as DailyTech is making it out to be, it effects a VERY small % of users, even only a small % of users that use the programs listed are effected, its not all users of those programs is why its so rare.

I use the Zune software and thunderbird on WHS and have no problems the past 3 months I've had it.


By lexluthermiester on 2/22/2008 3:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
Of those using WHS, many[if not most] are using multiple drives and this is a flaw that I've personally witnessed on two separate machines neither of which were owed by me. I only know two people use WHS so for me that is 100% failure rate. Out in the wild this issue is far more widespread than people think. Microsoft is just being tight lipped about it, as usual. DailyTech is simply reporting information that has come to light. This issue has been reported by MANY others so if they are blowing it out of proportion, they are not alone.

Having seen it for myself I would agree with those think it's a serious problem. Having the entire file system crap out to the point of not being able to boot or recover files is a critical problem.


By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 9:17:51 AM , Rating: 2
These are OEM boxes. They should already be updated. And the server should update it self via Windows Update. The home owner should not have to worry about drivers.

The really sad things is that MS knew about this before the O.S. shipped. All of us testing the beta still had various issues right up to the day it was released.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By Wagnbat on 2/21/2008 6:12:33 PM , Rating: 1
But is this really surprising?

I mean, it's a computer that backs up files and acts as a media center to some extent. Something computers already do. All they had to do was put a nice GUI on it for the laymans and it would have been successful.

But no, it's another Microsoft dork up.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By omnicronx on 2/21/2008 7:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But no, it's another Microsoft dork up.
I would have to agree with you. I beta tested WHS, and this error was present at the time of testing for some people. Although I would like to note, the majority of beta users had absolutely no problem, except for slow file transfers when transferring a large amount of files..


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 9:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
You have to remember how small the beta group was. I bet I had a couple posts on there each week.

I don't know if the files are getting corrupt or if the tombstones are not be kept up to date or failing.

The first thing WHS does when it receives a file is to bring it down to its first drive. Then it splits it off onto the other drives and creates a pointer to the file. This how you are able to add drives on the fly and your space grows, you don't see another drive letter your volume just appears to get bigger. And these tombstones are an index to where the files are located. My bet is these are messed up.


RE: The worst possible fault in a fileserver
By omnicronx on 2/22/2008 12:00:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The first thing WHS does when it receives a file is to bring it down to its first drive. Then it splits it off onto the other drives and creates a pointer to the file. This how you are able to add drives on the fly and your space grows, you don't see another drive letter your volume just appears to get bigger. And these tombstones are an index to where the files are located. My bet is these are messed up.
Exactly! I know for a fact this problem only occurs when multiple hard drives are in use. On the other hand the problems are not as widespread as you are making them out to be. There are many conditions that have to be met for these problems to occur, mainly the system has to be at load, and you must be editing files on the file server. The problem does not occur when backing up files from another computer.

And even if these conditions were met, it seems only people that are putting a massive load on the server seem to be having problems. As such, this being a home server, 99% of the people out there will never meet these conditions. I hope a fix comes out soon, because I liked the WHS interface, and how it works. I won't take a chance on it though, a data corrupting backup system is not really a backup system at all ;)


By lexluthermiester on 2/22/2008 3:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
See my post above... LOL!


By eye smite on 2/21/2008 6:17:39 PM , Rating: 3
Seems like MS has been fumbling the ball in the last few months alot more than they used to, starting with Vista. Are they all popping XTC pills over there? If it's not one of their many softwares for PC's it's the xbox, or a bid on a company gone sour. I really do think it's overdue for MS to have new leadership. Balmer is just scarey looking. lol


By Wolfpup on 2/26/2008 4:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. Corrupting data is worse than just plain not working. I wonder what on Earth the issue could be? It dosen't seem like there's anything that complicated about what they're doing that they'd even have this issue to begin with, let alone that it would still exist after 2 months.

I love that it doesn't affect many programs...just some of the most popular programs on Earth, ya know only Office, Mozilla stuff, Quicken, iTunes. Nothing major ;)


Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By mankopi on 2/21/2008 7:40:06 PM , Rating: 5
I've noticed that almost every article pointing out negatives about Microsoft is written by Jason. If you doubt me, go through Dailytech archives. I'm yet to see any positive news about M$ coming from him. On the other hand I'm yet to see him write anything negative about Apple. All he has for apple is praise and worship. Jason, isn't your job supposed to be that of a journalist and not a fanboy rants? I have no problem with you crucifying M$ at any given opportunity but dont make it obvious how much you hate Microsoft and how much you love Apple. You are making this too obvious and for people like me, it daints the quality of your work.




RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By traxcore on 2/21/2008 8:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, actually I was just thinking about WHS today and how i wanted to throw it on a old beige box I have sitting under my desk.. but then it hit me with the corruptions problems and I wondered if they ever got sovled..

So at least give him credit for being a mind reader!


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By hopsandmalt on 2/22/2008 2:11:55 AM , Rating: 3
I still would. I have WHS and I absolutely fricking love it. What they fail to mention in the above article is that the corruption happens when the server is under a heavy load... like doing backups and you use one of those programs. I have 6 home computers that are attached to my WHS and not one of them have had a corrupted file. I set my backups to run from 1 am to about 6 am when everyone is sleeping. As long as you run your program outside of those times you wont have an issue. Or at least I havent and my Zune and Quicken files on our WHS.

Andre


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By RogueSpear on 2/22/2008 2:27:45 AM , Rating: 3
So now we're supposed to expect a "home" user to be constantly monitoring server load? And just what constitutes "heavy server load"?

"Could you please stop streaming that video file while I back up my data from the office? I don't want to corrupt 1TB of data by putting a heavy load on the server." Nice.

What I do find interesting is that I've never read of any reports about this sort of problem with Windows 2003 Server which WHS is allegedly based on. I think the guy who's blaming it on some sort of DRM is probably on to something.


By hopsandmalt on 2/22/2008 4:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
I didnt realize DRM was placed on Quicken or Money files.

Interesting...

I mean really... Dont you think the whole DRM thing is a little... um... conspiracy-ish?

<shrugs>

Sorry. My family doesnt stream videos at 3 am. So, what I was saying is; we have not been affected yet.


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By Shoal07 on 2/22/2008 8:40:55 AM , Rating: 2
No, your not expected to do any of this. MS is expected to fix the issue and they are trying. You make it sound like they said shut up and deal with it. Go hate somewhere else.

For now, the early adopters are stuck trying to avoid risk factors that *might* trigger this bug. I am in a similar setup as the previous user and I also have never had 1 corrupted file. I run my backups at night (like most people) and I edit right off the server frequently. I'm not concerned because it is a very rare bug.


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By RogueSpear on 2/22/2008 2:35:53 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm yet to see any positive news about M$ coming from him.

So how schizo can you be? On the one hand you seem quite offended that someone might say something negative about Microsoft and then on the other hand you use the uber l337 kewl way dissing MS by replacing the S with a $.


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By mankopi on 2/22/2008 6:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Words morph over time. M$ may have originated as a way of dissing Microsoft but it is now obvious who we are refering to when anyone uses M$. We know it's Microsoft but MS could be interpreted as Multiple Schlerosis - a medical condition. Moreover it is easier and faster to write M$ rather than Microsoft, it keeps things brief.


RE: Jason, how much do you hate M$?
By DASQ on 2/22/2008 10:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
Right. Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis released new software today. Multiple Sclerosis has problem with it's Windows Home Server!

Did you honestly mean that when you typed it? That's just ridiculous.


By robinthakur on 2/22/2008 4:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yer Jason, it "daints" the quality of your work. Harsh. I thought the article was good. It stopped me from installing Home Server to see what its like and conceivably losing all my data. I can't see how its Jason's fault. I'd rather know about the problem thanks very much. If MS has delivered on their bluster of recalling their drones from holidays and working round the clock to fix the issue then I might be more sympathetic. Its been months and the same problems still exist.

Microsoft needs to test more, and on a more diverse range of hardware. Several enterprise products which they offer currently run into problems when they encounter older equipment due to the fact that most of the software is tested internally at MS using pretty state of the art identical kit, and nothing else. This is not always the case in the real world...especially for this sort of home targeted product.

I get the feeling that MS would care more if this was either Vista/Office2k7/Any of its Enterprise products as this release was never going to sell that well as the market it serves (no pun intended) is pretty small really. Its merely unfortuante that they've just provided a stick to beat them with yet again...MS do ALOT right and given the scale of their catalogue currently that is saying quite a bit. People only remember your failures sometimes...


I wonder...
By noirsoft on 2/21/2008 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't see any mention of what hardware the corruption is appearing on. There are a limited number of full-blown WHS boxes. Is it known to affect those, or just OEM copies of the software on random PC hardware?

On a completely different tangent. A great plugin for WHS would be one that synchronizes the documents folder across multiple machines (i.e. desktop and laptop) -- not just individual backup, but ensuring that all machines have the same contents. Kind of like syncing on mobile devices combined with light revision control (no need for merging, but manual conflict resolution would be needed)




RE: I wonder...
By Bremen7000 on 2/21/2008 5:47:33 PM , Rating: 3
See SyncToy.


RE: I wonder...
By Shoal07 on 2/22/2008 8:42:51 AM , Rating: 3
I Use Synctoy 2.0 beta (one of the listed programs) without any issues. It takes a combination of factors, its not a situation where the use of program A will corrupt all data on the device. Plus, if you use VSS then you can just use a previously dated version of the file.


RE: I wonder...
By bldckstark on 2/22/2008 12:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
It already does this. The documents file on my computer is actually a network folder on the WHS. I write and save from the server folder. I have the server set to mirror this folder, and to mirror it across two drives. And I did this without ever actually physically connecting to the server.

My wifes laptop blew up last week. I had it back to the exact condition it was in before it blew up (hardware issue) in a couple of hours thanks to the WHS backup feature.

WHS is the best thing ever to happen to computers in my house.


RE: I wonder...
By noirsoft on 2/23/2008 4:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
That's not the same thing as a sync. What I want is to ensure that the documents folder is the same on both my desktop and a laptop, and that when I disconnect the laptop, I still have access to those files locally. Then, when I reconnect the laptop, it will update any files on the server that were changed on the laptop. This change then propagates to the desktop's local copy of the files. Conversely, any files that were changed on the desktop while the laptop was disconnected will be propagated to the laptop when it re-connects. Just like ActiveSync between my phone and my computer.

SyncToy mentioned above may do the trick. I've downloaded it but not yet tried it out. It almost certainly won't be as automatic as I'd like, but sounds like it will be good enough.


By OpaqueBubble on 2/22/2008 10:17:35 AM , Rating: 3
Obviously written by a MS hater.
The title itself is silly, using "crippled" to insinuate that WHS is unusable.
WHS is a tremendous product.




By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 11:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
It is crippled. Potential loss of excel files or your checking files, pictures. Or bascially one of the most important things WHS is supposed to do correctly. I've lost my money file before and talk about a PIA to recreate. You don't have to be a hater you jsut have to have some common sense. This isn't a freeware app this is a Server O.S.


By OpaqueBubble on 2/22/2008 11:46:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well its not crippled for me and the vast majority of users - I have thousands of jpg's mp3's and have nevr had an instance of a corruption


By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 4:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
From the article.

Instead, Microsoft conceded that the scope of the problem is much bigger than initially estimated.

Your obviously one of the lucky ones. Unless you have some magic version of the O.S. then it is crippled for you and the vast majority and in fact every single person that has it. You just haven't put the box under the conditions that can cause the problem yet. But there is something there waiting for the right scenario.

And unless you check your files how do you know you don't have corruption. How I found the corruption was when i was using beyond compare to synch up a backup of all my photos from the WHS to another drive and about 1 in every few hundred photos was corrupt. I might even go as far as 1 in a 1000 or so. So like cancer you might not even know you have been affected. And 1 photo didn't bother me but had it been a money file I'd been pissed.


VMWare VS WHS
By Senju on 2/21/2008 11:24:21 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think installating VMWare first on 2 servers and then installing WHS would be interesting project. You could share and backup resources on multiple platforms. But probably a overkill! :D




By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 9:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
I always had problems with WHS and large downloads. If I am in California and my box is in Indiana and I want to download my son's soccer game the server times out and sometimes even locks up when it hits somewhere around a gig. When we were beta testing WHS last year the thought was that increasing session timeouts would help. But changing that from the default caused memory issues and would crash the box.




This Just In!
By spindoc on 2/22/2008 12:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
DailyTech writers go on strike!

Last new article posted February 21, 2008 3:18 PM




Lost
By Cobra Commander on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Lost
By Homerboy on 2/21/2008 3:46:03 PM , Rating: 4
I don't think you did your homework here. WHS does a lot more than just "network your computers together". Please read-up.


RE: Lost
By Homerboy on 2/21/2008 3:49:58 PM , Rating: 3
Let me add to this that I am a very technically oriented person, and find WHS completely indispensable at this point in my home network. With over 2TB of storage over 6 HDDs, tens of thousands of files (music, video, image etc) I have yet to experience any of these reported problems.

I will admit I edit 99% of my files locally on my workstation and then copy over to the server for "final storage" which I think is what is saving me from (theoretically possible) data corruption.


RE: Lost
By Cobra Commander on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Lost
By traxcore on 2/21/2008 5:00:27 PM , Rating: 3
WHS is not for the tech savy(although i see no problem in tech savy people using it).. it is build for the everyday kind of guy who wants a server for backup, central storage, security monitoring, system restore etc. It has big fisherprice buttons and is simple to use..


RE: Lost
By blaster5k on 2/21/2008 5:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
- Treating multiple hard drives as a single data store with ability to add/remove drives

- Automated file duplication across drives

- Delta backups of machines inside the network

- Built-in web server allowing access to shared files

- Proxy for secure remote desktop connections to machines inside your network

- Plug-in architecture for additional server features (like waking up computers on your network via WOL)

- Support for MediaConnect to stream media files to the XBox 360 and other CE devices

There's plenty of features it has that aren't in XP Pro. There's still plenty more that they could do make it a more compelling product, like adding tuner farm functionality. I installed it recently and it's pretty neat, but I'm being extra cautious with how I use it to the corruption problems. All of the data on it is duplicated on other machines, kind of defeating the point of a file server. I didn't expect it'd take this long to fix it.


RE: Lost
By mindless1 on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Lost
By lexluthermiester on 2/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Lost
By lexluthermiester on 2/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Lost
By mindless1 on 3/2/2008 1:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
You got rated down because Dailytech has a ton of MS shills lurking about. It makes no difference if your point is valid or not, only if it supports that anything MS does is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The really funny part is if I or you find some fault we must be "bashers" or haters or some other nonsense, which the silly fanboys so quickly declare without realizing someone can find fault and still find other products from a company worthwhile and useful choices. They don't want to hear that though, they just want to make it seem like the majority doesn't mind.

The plain truth is out there, most other news 'sites are not so clearly MS biased. Nothing against the author (of any particular news article) but we see this very clearly that Dailytech participants have an unusually, suspiciously high predisposition.

I still can't believe it though that anyone could keep a straight face while downrating the idea that it's silly to use a server OS that corrupts files. It's like some people have rocks for brains.


RE: Lost
By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 9:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
There isn't enough space here to do that. And that is before you throw in the addons.


RE: Lost
By Cobra Commander on 2/21/2008 3:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
To clarify, I see now that it offers centralized backup with individual file/folder restore option that XP Pro cannot do on its own. But am I missing something or is everything else already-in Windows? Or is this merely something aimed at the technologically-challenged at that's all?


RE: Lost
By Homerboy on 2/21/2008 3:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
It does incremental backups.
Pretty decent remote access to your stored files.
Remote access to any/all of your PCs on your network via a web-based RDP session.
It utilizes single drive pool(s) versus individual HDD named storage
It also will allow you to replicate any network share within the pool so that is replicated over physically diverse HDDs. Example: If you have /photos/ shared and you want /photos/ to be replicated on diverse HDDs in case of failure you can do so.


RE: Lost
By Cobra Commander on 2/21/2008 4:13:48 PM , Rating: 1
Incremental, yes that is good.
I just hack the RDP ports in Registry and set port forwards on my SOHO router to gain access to multiple computers. Or I RDP into one box and from that RDP session RDP into my other computers if I don't want to hack ports and open up pinholes.
And simple RAID has been sufficient. Perhaps I'm more anal about my data management than most people - I'm staunch when it comes to locating files in common directories with specific standards of naming files, etc. Maybe if I had a family where I cannot drill this into childrens' minds or something it'd be better for me?


RE: Lost
By Clauzii on 2/21/2008 5:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
Can't good old file-copying and a good backup program, such as retrospect, do that together with the Windows network routines???


RE: Lost
By Clauzii on 2/24/2008 10:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
At the moment the problem is that it doesn't really work. So what's the point in using it???


RE: Lost
By noirsoft on 2/21/2008 3:56:24 PM , Rating: 5
What makes it attractive is its unified server appliance interface. Sure, I had a 2K3 server box that theoretically could have done all the same stuff as my Home Server, but getting everything set up properly would be a multi-week task of learning, installing optional programs, and ongoing maintenance. I just never got around to it, and when the drives on the server died, I upgraded. Home Server literally is plug in, run a CD installer, and it does everything out of the box.

And I am a techie. Just because I could read up and do what is necessary doesn't mean that I want to do that for my home network, when there is a box that does it better. I want to spend my time being asoftware developer, not an IT admin at home.


RE: Lost
By y2chuck on 2/21/2008 3:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100%. I'm in the same boat as you.


RE: Lost
By rykerabel on 2/21/2008 5:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
exactly, i'm IT admin at work... sometimes i'd like a break from that :P


RE: Lost
By fleshconsumed on 2/21/2008 3:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
More than likely it's the ease of use. I have not tried Home Server because I don't have any real use for it, but from my understanding it lets admin manage videos, music, photos from a single place, manage rights as to who can see what content, automatically back up other computers to Home Server and it also has web interface to manage it from the internet. Of course you could do most of these things on regular server, but creating users, and then setting rights to individual directories one by one would be rather painful. If Home Server can abstract it all in a simple drag and drop interface it might be worth it for certain people who really do have a lot of content to manage.


RE: Lost
By arazok on 2/21/2008 3:59:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a techie who would love a home server (after they fix this problem!).

It's not about networking, it's about centralization. Right now, my photos are on my main PC. If I want to access those from another PC, my main PC must be turned on. If I want to access them remotely, I can't. If I'm playing games on my main PC, forget about streaming video.

What this offers is:

1) Simplicity. I may be a techie, but I'm also lazy.
2) I can access my files over the internet
3) Minimal hardware requirements. My main computer is a gaming powerhouse. I don't like leaving it on 24/7, sucking electricity, so other machines can access it's files. A WHS only needs a cheap, economical, machine.
4) Expandability. Just plop in more drives as you need more space. No need to worry about physical drives and how to organize your files across them.
5) Better backup without needing to have a RAID setup.


RE: Lost
By Homerboy on 2/21/2008 4:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
As long as you aren't editing the files DIRECTLY on the WHS machine/storage none of this corruption should occur. As I previously stated files only get moved to the WHS after they are "done" and the get transferred over to their final resting spot on the WHS.


RE: Lost
By blaster5k on 2/21/2008 5:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
You still have to be very careful, since even something innocent like playing music files in Windows Media Player may cause the files to get edited I believe.


RE: Lost
By sgtdisturbed47 on 2/21/2008 4:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a bit of a techie and I think having Windows Home Server would greatly simplify the server process.

WHS would be a great thing for me, so I don't have to use such a simple Apache file server that I currently use. I hate using the basic Apache file server since there is no graphical representation of the files (no thumbnails), it's just a list.

Once WHS is cleaned up, it will be a great tool to have.


RE: Lost
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 4:23:13 PM , Rating: 1
Centralized automatic backup
File server
Media server
Sees all drives as one big drive

This isn't just a fileserver, which, as you rightly state is easy as pie for "techies".


RE: Lost
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/21/2008 4:29:31 PM , Rating: 3
All of this can be done on Server 2008, but WHS is far cheaper than putting in a full blown Server 2008 box. Think of it as Server 2008 Lite.


RE: Lost
By Pirks on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Lost
By blckgrffn on 2/21/2008 5:33:19 PM , Rating: 3
More like server 2003 plus. If you are going to throw crap, at least know what you are talking about as well. Server 2003 doesn't have the key features of WHS (centralized backup mechanism, pooled HD storage).


RE: Lost
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/21/2008 6:41:48 PM , Rating: 3
Indeed. Those are key features available on Server 2008 that are not on 2003.


RE: Lost
By PAPutzback on 2/22/2008 4:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
Are they? Perhaps this very problem is why a lot of the MS server apps aren't supposed to be put on the 2008 box yet.

But does 2008 have disk pooling.

I think the next version of WHS based on the 2008 server will be the one to get.


RE: Lost
By grampaw on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
I have a 1400GB FS
By Magnus Dredd on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By Spivonious on 2/21/2008 4:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
WHS is much more than a fileserver.

I've run Windows since version 3.1 and I've never had a virus.

A prebuilt WHS machine costs under $500.

Not for Linux freaks.


RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By Magnus Dredd on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By Magnus Dredd on 2/21/2008 4:26:52 PM , Rating: 1
I have considered switching it to FreeBSD though, for automatic updating, though.

There's a project called Linux Home Server, which might prove interesting here: http://www.amahi.org/

This would be especially useful if paired with ZFS.


RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By Chadder007 on 2/21/2008 4:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
Thats cool. Another one is EBOX, its features vary slightly
http://ebox-platform.com/


RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By zpdixon on 2/21/2008 11:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

This would be especially useful if paired with ZFS.

Yeah, I was about to mention ZFS in this thread. WHS might be fine for non-powerusers, but for hardcore Unix users, I highly recommend ZFS. I just built myself a 4.5 TB ZFS fileserver for about $1350 based on OpenSolaris b82 and AHCI & SiI3132 SATA HBAs: 7 x 750GB disks in a raidz pool (parity-wise equiv to raid 5). The list of hw and sw features this gives me is pretty impressive: pooled storage, automatic fs resizing (no need to manage disks individually), end-to-end checksumming, self-healing, periodic scrubs via cron, snapshots, clones, no raid5 write hole, easy administration, dynamic stripe size, hotplugging & replacing drives without rebooting the server, 380 MBytes/s sequential read throughput, 200 MBytes/s sequential write throughput, and on and on.

http://opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/docs/zfs_l...


RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By walk2k on 2/21/2008 6:12:22 PM , Rating: 5
Oh geez why is it every time there's a story about Windows or Microsoft all the nerds start shouting about how much better [insert "Linux" flavor-of-the-month] is and how much windows suxxors because of spyware and DRM and Bill Gates?

NOBODY CARES OK! Save it for your nerd-of-the-month meetings. Personally if I was going to buy a networked media server I'd get something like the Buffalo Link Station 1TB for under $300... Plug it into your router ...and you're done! No fussing with Linux installs or drivers or any of that crap you need a damn computer science degree to use.


RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By mindless1 on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By schmandel on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: I have a 1400GB FS
By zpdixon on 2/22/2008 12:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
NAS appliances smaller than about 1.5 TB are reasonably priced.

However anything at or above 2 TB is artificially highly priced. Therefore I wouldn't want to waste my money on an inferior proprietary NAS product (no snapshots, clones, scrubbing, self-healing, etc) when I can build my own file server with more features for less money, and enjoy doing it.

Data point: Bufallo TeraStation 2 TB = $800. I can build a 2 TB fileserver with more features for $650.


Should've seen this coming.
By marsbound2024 on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Should've seen this coming.
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/22/2008 12:01:30 PM , Rating: 1
That is interesting since given the large market share by Windows Server in the business environments even Sun is selling Windows on their servers.


By marsbound2024 on 2/22/2008 5:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
My statement was more inclined to alluding to the long-term stereotypical humor against Windows and not actual personal beliefs. Of course that probably wasn't obvious. ;)


Two words
By phatboye on 2/21/08, Rating: -1
RE: Two words
By marsbound2024 on 2/21/08, Rating: 0
"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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