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The Windows Home Server is almost there, readies for final version of fix

After months of little word on a fix regarding Microsoft's Home Server 2007, which corrupted a variety of files due to unfortunate problems in the underlying system architecture, DailyTech finally brought news of some good tidings from Microsoft -- a beta version of the patch was available.

Now the Windows Home Server team has announced the availability of Release Candidate (RC) beta for the fix.  Typically, a release candidate precedes a finalized Release to Manufacturers (RTM) of an OS patch.  The new RC comes with release documentation.  Additional list of known issues are available on the Windows Home Server forums.

Microsoft encourages users to back up all their files before using them in Home Server, even with the fix.  Microsoft states, "While internal testing so far indicates that we have fixed the data corruption bug in the beta release, the whole point of a beta test is to validate internal testing. This means there is a risk that our internal tests have not detected all issues. As a beta tester it is your responsibility to ensure that your data is backed up and protected before you install the beta."

New version Home Server can automatically get the fix through Microsoft Connect upon startup.  Whether it is a new machine or an old one, the system must be up to date with all Windows Updates in order to install.  Microsoft recommends turning on Customer Experience Improvement, as they state, "[this information] is invaluable in helping us understand how we are doing against our testing goals."

The arrival of an RC version indicates Microsoft just may make its promised June release date for the final fix.  Microsoft had previously warned that testing could take months.

Problems were first seen by users in December following the holiday release of the product.  They represented perhaps the single greatest flaw found in the current generation of Microsoft OS software.

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By mcnabney on 6/10/2008 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 5
I find it amusing that users are recommended to backup their files on a home-oriented product which is designed to be the backup in the first place.

RE: Backup
By JonnyBlaze on 6/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: Backup
By ahodge on 6/10/2008 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 3
I almost replied with an inflammatory comment. Seriously, very close. I don't often want to call people names or make observations about their seeming lack of intelligence. But, that post really warrants some response. JonnyBlaze, please think long and hard next time. Or, perhaps try to avoid getting drunk and/or stoned before your next post.

RE: Backup
By TomZ on 6/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Backup
By deeznuts on 6/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Backup
By TomZ on 6/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Backup
By blafrisch on 6/11/2008 8:21:54 AM , Rating: 3
a beta version of the patch was available

Directly from the article. Let me reiterate again: The article is about PATCH.

WHS is currently full version and corrupting data.

Microsoft encourages users to back up all their files before using them in Home Server, even with the fix.

Remember again, the FIX is what is in beta, not WHS.

Get it now?

RE: Backup
By JustTom on 6/11/2008 8:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think the real point is WHS should not have been released with such a glaring bug in what is arguably its most important feature. A server, whether it is consumer level or not, that corrupts data should not be released.

RE: Backup
By thesid on 6/12/2008 8:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well, stating that you backup is just letting the inexperienced uses know the risk of using beta patches.
Any software, for beta patch or a beta version, doesnt guarantee any data, so always they recommend a data backup. Flaming that is ludicrous.

RE: Backup
By leexgx on 6/10/2008 6:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
your response could of been better then that (in the resulting -1 for you)

when you beta test stuff you should always back up your data (thats all you needed to say)

still this is one of M$ big mess ups ever as this one destroys files and should have never been released like this (maybe the M$ blaster one still beats it but that was an security hole but that one really was mad) i was hoping to use this WHS my self would make adding and removing disks allot easy, but as its underlaying system works is flawed to start off with i guess i should wait for WHS v2 not WHS ME v1,

hope M$ add network I/O file priorty as it realy sucks as if WHS starts moveing stuff around it does Not stop to let the user access files fast so resulting speeds is poor

superfetch on vista suffers from this same problem (when windows is at the desktop before ram is filled) and so does system restore when it bugs out starts to do shadow copy but errors but keeps on trying but makes lots of disk use happen {i turnd mine off to stop it from doing that}

RE: Backup
By StevoLincolnite on 6/10/2008 8:51:20 PM , Rating: 1
You think this is a mess? Don't you remember Windows ME? :P

RE: Backup
By saiga6360 on 6/10/2008 10:26:11 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not understand what IRONY means?

By Chadder007 on 6/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wow
By zaxxon on 6/10/2008 4:36:05 PM , Rating: 1
to continually back up the home users PC automatically.

<Dr. Evil style 'fingers in the air quoting>
...Time Maschine....

RE: Wow
By anotherdude on 6/10/2008 6:16:38 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, up to 10 connected PC's (IIRC) cab be auto backed up daily, partially or imaged completely, and with no redundant file storage on the server, which can save a lot of space. It's really quite a nice concept and at least appears to be a great design. I had a beta WHS and I did encounter some data loss. I'm just waiting to be sure ALL the bugs are out and then I'm building one again.

RE: Wow
By jimbojimbo on 6/10/2008 6:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it was such a drastic bug that it actually took them that long to fix it. Considering at what level of the disc system it was occuring it didn't seem like an easy fix although you would've thought tests before release would've revealed it.

I think the only thing that could drag me to using this server is the disc reduncy you can get without having to resort to a mirror or stripe, both of which require exact size partitions to accomplish. Almost all my discs are a different size and I'd love to piece them together into one big volume but not using a volume set which would die if one disc goes bad. Unfortunately it's implementing this feature that screwed it up in the first place.

RE: Wow
By mfed3 on 6/10/2008 6:45:02 PM , Rating: 1
yep he nailed it. the big thing about whs is that youre basically getting the windows server 2003 platform for all you would need in a home plus software raid for $120.

believe me ive been looking for a free linux alternative too, but nothing comes close to the ease of use and configurability.

id much rather work a few hours overtime and earn the $120 than sit on the internet configuring a friggin linux box for hours and hours and it still be far from what i originally wanted.

free is not always the best, just most of the time :)

RE: Wow
By praeses on 6/10/2008 6:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
In case it has slipped by you, UnRAID may fit the bill. It does not offer the Windows-esque experience and all the features however for a pure mixed drive NAS with redundancy, it works extremely well.

RE: Wow
By TomZ on 6/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wow
By saiga6360 on 6/10/2008 10:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft encourages users to back up all their files before using them in Home Server, even with the fix.

Hmmm, with what pray tell? I guess anything that hasn't been acknowledged to screw with your data.

Anything but WHS.

RE: Wow
By mindless1 on 6/11/2008 12:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
Just because something is in WHS, doesn't mean most people want or need that feature. The goal is not making something as much like whs as possible, it's getting the core goal accomplished. Let's leave out a few features like, umm, file corruption.

Do you dare consider that whs doesn't have some features linux does? Of course not because you always have an illogical windows bias.

RE: Wow
By TomZ on 6/11/2008 8:19:21 AM , Rating: 1
Well, the point is that Microsoft obviously did research as to the desired features for that market. And also most of the reviews and anecdotes I've seen on WHS around the web are pretty positive. The two are probably related. What's illogical about that?

RE: Wow
By jimbojimbo on 6/11/2008 2:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
UnRAID sounds good but if I'm going to have a PC running I'd like to have one with a full OS of some sort on it so I can run whatever I want be it UPnP streaming apps or anything else I want. Still, nice I guess although if you want more than 3 drives it'll cost you $60.

Still worthless
By bigboxes on 6/10/2008 11:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Why does this "almost ready" software make the news? It doesn't do the thing it needs to do the most... protect your data. Worthless. I'm a MS supporter, but the fanboys shouldn't be defending something that is indefensible. It's a defective product.

RE: Still worthless
By imaheadcase on 6/11/2008 1:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
Did you post under the wrong news item? Cause WHS is far from useless, it works great for majority of people.

The issue at hand does not effect most people, WHS is a great product from the get go..the only "problem" with it has been Microsoft to get partners to sign up with it because of the issue that could effect a small % of people.

Once the issue is fixed, other OEM have already stated they will start making products based on it. I don't remember the exact numbers, but maybe 2 have products based on WHS when it was suppose to be around 10 or so.

Seriously people, most use WHS as a pure backup/storage device..use reason and common sense you post. I know this is the internet and all so its hard..

RE: Still worthless
By jimbojimbo on 6/11/2008 2:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
It seems nobody with a WHS has bothered to read about what's causing the corruption and are just happy that they don't have it. How naiive.

If you copy a Word file to your WHS, then via a network share connection open it from another Windows machine, work on it, then Save it - which writes directly to the WHS drives - then corruption will occur. If you save a file locally then copy it up later, like everyone's backups, no corruption. For media servers it won't be a problem because most people copy straight up.

Happy as Leisure Suit Larry
By AikenDrum71 on 6/11/2008 8:54:20 AM , Rating: 2
Hello Guys
I dont often post here.
I consider myself a very happy WHS customer. The product appears to work exactly as promised.
Amittedly I dont push it beyond its basic functioning as a media/file LAN server, backup and remote access to approximately 1TB of files (mainly music and 2GB of journal articles for a journal club which serves about 100-200MB of web traffic day - miniscule I know).

I have not seen any of the problems outlined in these forums. I have wondered why I appear to be immune to them.
Perhaps the problem is people asking it to perform functions for which it was not designed?
I am open to ideas?

RE: Happy as Leisure Suit Larry
By JustTom on 6/11/2008 8:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
The problems associated with WHS and file corruption are pretty well documented, they really have nothing to do with users pushing the system beyond what it was intended. It might pay you to google WHS and data corruption so you can avoid the activities that lead to such corruption.

One major caveat is that if you have only 1 drive in your home server you will NOT experience any data corruption.

RE: Happy as Leisure Suit Larry
By bldckstark on 6/11/2008 12:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm also happy with my WHS. I use it for daily backup of three computers, two of which are laptops that backup over 802.11g at the same time of day without any problems. I use it for redundant data storage across three drives that equal 1.2TB (soon to be four drives and 1.5TB). I have a family website, and a very nice third party photo server created by Whiist that my far-flung family loves. I also use it as a media server to the 6 computers in my house.

I have added and removed drives successfully. I have restored two computers from the WHS backups and it worked perfectly. I grab files from my computers and the server from behind the firewall at work pretty often with no problems.

I have only had one issue, and that was related to WHS trying to upgrade to .NET 2.0 and failing mid-install. Got it fixed via a MS KB article, and everything is fine.

It is running on an old P4 2GHz platform with 512MB Ram and onboard graphics. The extra storage is on an SATA card over PCI.

I assume that so far I have just been lucky since so many people complain about WHS being broken. I rarely see posts on DailyTECH stating that they had a WHS and actually lost data on it.

WHS and Server 2008
By forshor on 6/10/2008 8:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
One of the nice additions of the new Power Pack for WHS is the ability to back up 64bit Vita clients. Well I can also confirm that my Server 2008 x64 backed up just fine to the server, for what it's worth.

By iFX on 6/11/2008 6:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft encourages users to back up all their files before using them in Home Server

They should just encourage people not to use Home Server instead.

I love the pic :)
By P4blo on 6/17/2008 7:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
"Quick, operate or we're gonna lose this oversized turkey!"

Another Microsoft baby falls out of the nest...

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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