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After nearly half a year diseased Windows Home Server may finally be getting close to a fix for its corruption issues

Microsoft is urging Windows Home Server (WHS) users not to get too optimistic that a bug-free fix for the operating system's chronic corruption problems will be finished by June, due to the time needed for testing.  It is understandable why it has to issue such a statement; WHS users obviously are likely to be a bit impatient after the long saga of problems that have plagued the OS.

Initially released last November with high hopes and billed by Microsoft to be the future of home user storage, it was soon discovered that the OS corrupted some types of files.  As the month passed, the number of file types found to be corruption susceptible and the situations under which corruption arose merely grew.  Microsoft promised a fix soon after Christmas.  By March there was still no fix and word came from Microsoft that the WHS's underlying file system was broken and that a full fix would not be available to June.

Microsoft did discover that the problem seemed to revolve around the use of multiple hard drives.  Users with two or more hard drives were the main victims of corruption.  There have been scattered unsubstantiated reports of single hard drive corruption.  In its blog Microsoft wrote, "It is at an extremely low level of the operating system and it requires thorough testing to ensure that the fix addresses the issue."

This week Microsoft finally rolled out the beta build of that fix, named WHS Power Pack 1.  Microsoft's WHS team is being cautious with beta release and checking for problems.  They write in their blog, "We intend to allow adequate time for feedback and thorough testing during the beta process."

As Microsoft points out, if this means missing the promised June release date, so be it.  They state in their blog, "
That date could change as testing progresses."

Until the fix is released Microsoft is basically recommending WHS users to limit their use of files on their systems.  This includes changing the server's share folders settings to read only and avoiding the use of media management programs such as Windows Media Player or iTunes with files on the server.  According to Microsoft, users should "
also avoid redirecting applications to access files that are stored in the Shared Folders because some applications may change the metadata of a file without explicit user action."

The problems with WHS have been perhaps the greatest on any recent Windows OS.  With the new patch the WHS team hopes to turn over a new leaf.  But they acknowledge that they may have to wait to do so.

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RE: why?
By Locutus465 on 5/27/2008 12:02:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not intimatly familiar with the issue, but my basic undestanding is that home server abstracts permenant storage to a level that other window's OS's don't. Unless I'm mistaking I think that basically it will mesh all your harddrives (and perhaps networked storage) into a single storage space, regardless of whether you have any sort of physical raid or not.

If my undestanding is wrong please feel free to correct, but that's my basic understanding.

RE: why?
By leexgx on 5/27/2008 6:10:23 AM , Rating: 2
if you have 2 or more disks and its turnd on what the WHS does is makes sure there is 2 copys of the file on 2 disks
so if you have 4 disks 2 of them will have the same file on it, the setup is like RAID 1 but the freedom of been able to use any disk size

so if you wish to remove an disk fire up the wizard to remove an disk and you can remove it (unpluging not recommend with out the wizard but if the hdds are quite should be ok)

WHS does not support networked disks but i think you can use USB ones (not check on that one tho)

i was going to use WHS on my server as it of been perfect for my use but due to this bug loseing files was lieky to happen and very poor disk perfomace when its syncing up the disks it is not giveing network I/O priorty so perfomace suffers alot (same problem as vista superfetch on windows desktop load)

i do think linux has some OS around that can do this 2 copys to an hard disk as some companies sell them

RE: why?
By leexgx on 5/27/2008 6:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
-- USB disks pluged into the WHS server directly --

it is best to not use WHS at this time (or use the beta for test as i am in VMware you can reproduce the bug very fast)

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