Windows

Windows home server corrupts your files

A flaw in the way Windows Home Server works with certain Microsoft applications, such as Windows Vista Photo Gallery, could result in corrupted files.

A flaw in the way Windows Home Server works with certain Microsoft applications, such as Windows Vista Photo Gallery, could result in corrupted files.

According to Ed Bott over at ZDNet, the response from Microsoft is as follows:

This is not an issue that affects every Windows Home Server installation, and the symptoms require several factors that are not mentioned in the KB article. The largest contributing factor is when a home server is under extreme load. If you’re doing a large, highly demanding file copy operation in the background and you’re using one of the listed applications to edit a file that’s stored on a shared folder on the home server, and you save the edited file to the server, then you might see this bug.

CNET News.com rounds it up:

The main culprit seems to be if you're putting Windows Home Server under a heavy load, and I doubt many of the people running the software have reached that point yet.

You can find a list of the specific applications in the support document.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

35 comments
raproy2
raproy2

There are problems with any program when you use things in a certain combination or you have too many processes running at the same time. Always back up your picture files. If you don't you only have yourself to blame. And also, if a picture you are working on is corrupted in most cases you can retrieve the original picture from your temp files. And if you are transfering pictures to a HD or DVD, don't delete the originals before you check the transfered pictures. I'm sure microsoft is already working on this problem. Raproy2@msn.com

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I personally can barely stand "move" functions in Windows let alone left button dragging rather than the right mouse button and resulting context menu. Copying files to a new location and manually deleting the originals after confirming is something I couldn't support more. (sitenote, with MS network shares you usually have to copy files rather than move them else the "moved file" retains the security access settings from it's original location instead of taking the new location access settings.) I do have some questions though: - given a WHS with four 250 gig drives raided too top out about 800~1000 megs of storage space, what does one back up too? Most people who already have a tarabyte tape drive at home are not going to be in the WHS target market. - given the target market of the WHS, do you really forsee Daddy Warbucks jumping off into the temp folders to retrieve a previous image copy? After all.. it's backuped up on the home server isn't it? MS will find and fix the bug (speed depending on how much negative attention they get to free up budget) but shipping a NAS with a bug that could have been found simply by load-testing the system; well, that is the Microsoft way isn't it.

sbrooks
sbrooks

Consider this, the WHS IS your backup. You keep your childrens digital videos on your personal computer with a backup on the WHS (that's what it's or right?), decide you want to reformat and start afresh, copy all your latest files to WHS, reformat, reinstall, go to WHS to get your data back, and it's all gone, oh dear.

lindfalas
lindfalas

If a person dont take backup, he will sooner or later loos data. I have also seen this on some company. But the WHS ?r for storing files and stuff. Its not to be a computer you sit and work/play with. Thats a main problem with the bug that people just use it like other computers. There are many place that tells the user to take backup, not to have only one copy of a file. So its even simple for an unexperience user to work with-. Linux?? you must be kidding-... Greetz

sbrooks
sbrooks

And you are a fool if you think I am a fool. I have been required to rescue data from many hundreds of hard drives because that is the only location the data is kept. Photo's, business data, movies, music, the one common denomintor being that they are almost all home users. I know better than to keep the only copy of my data on single hard drive, but almost no average home users have any idea about backup at all. And strangely enough who is this product aimed at? Well it's caled Windows Home Server so I guess your average home user, who will promptly treat it as a repository of everything with no further thought. It's bad enough MS actually promoting it for this purpose; "Introducing a simpler, smarter way for families to organize, share and PROTECT photos, videos, music and much more.", but to then release a faulty product to do so is almost unbelievable.

j-mart
j-mart

As I see it to use this product safely with your data especially with "bug" we are starting to get away more and more from the concept of it being a product for uses with "limited knowledge of servers". To know that a server is something you could use, requires a level of knowledge of what a server does, to protect your data with backups requires a level of knowledge, so if you need to have a server you will have some knowledge, don't bother with this piece of rubbish from MS that would not be worth it even if it was free, Don't be frightened of the opportunity to use you brain and learn and develop new skills, if you need a good reliable home server go for the Linux option, it is not as difficult a thing to do as you may think.

lindfalas
lindfalas

If you use a server lika the only backup system, you are a fool. All know you must have a backup on other media then a harddrive you use in a system. Tape/CD/DVD or other harddrive( usb or other) ir the only good way to have backup. You always know you got you data on one more place.. Not only ONE place... Greetz

j-mart
j-mart

Don't wast you money on this product. A server that corrupts data isn't a proper server. It is a "pretend server". It is a totally pointless product

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

The only versions I am aware of are the Windows Server 2003 Standard, Enterprise, DataCenter, and SBS, and Vista. What version are we talking about here exactly?

sbrooks
sbrooks

Windows Home Server Version http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/default.mspx How on earth MS can justify a flawed product by claiming that "it doesn't affect everybody" mystifies me. How about if it was a car that exploded and the manufacturer claimed that "it only happened under certain circumstances"....oh wait that actually happened didn't it,they had to recall lthem all! To me a product that fails under normal use, and you can't claim that heavy file copy isn't normal use for a Server, is a faulty product and should be recalled and repplaced with a product that does work.

nentech
nentech

Wish they would give us a way to delete these

nentech
nentech

Got to love TRs quirks

nentech
nentech

I thought you were suppose to keep it on the market then Start a PR campaign Blame the people using it for the problem Blame the way they use it Blame the hardware and or drivers (somehow) Blame third party software Pay people to trash any discussions that may lead to the truth or loss of profits Show people your new shiny but useless products that are designed to work with this wonderful new product Accuse all the critics of being biased or insist that they just don?t like you But never never recall the product That would mean you were wrong

richie086
richie086

reminds me of the time i was helping a friend fix his new PC that had vista installed on it. The machine kept BSODing. The message that came up on the screen was saying "contact the manufacturer of the problem software for further assistance".. The funny part was, the crash was caused by NTFS.sys failing :) If MS cant even write a filesystem driver you can pretty much forget a stable OS :)

j-mart
j-mart

Linux is great for a home server - the price is right, can be as simple, or as complex, as you want it, with well proven reliability. I see Windows Home Server as pointless and a waste of money.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The irony is that in the computer industry MsDonald's is where most people go to dine while the more educated minority enjoys our 12 ounce steaks. It'd be nice to think that every home owner is going to through a Linux Distro's liveCD at there homebuilt server box there's still too much myth, fear of change and fear of learning. I can think of two out of the many people I know personally and professionally who would turn to building there own *nix home server and I know more than two people in the IT field (which makes that a little sad). For you and I, the MS Home Server is not a viable product but for the less tech literate (or tech lazy for some of us IT folks), it's just what they think they want. Good to see it's still built to MS high exacting standards though.

symington
symington

You sir, are an elitist pig. The choice of (not the necessity of) dining experience is no more tied to education than education is tied to choice of dining experience. I get most of my calls from, "the less tech literate", doctors that can do more in 12-hours on a surgeon's table than you can in a lifetime of haughty IT bullshit. Also... 12-ounces of red meat is not exactly a fact to be proud of. Have a shake and fries and really check-out early :-) Have a great... albeit delusional... day symington

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I could possibly have been more clear with my meaning originally also as it was meant to compare two generalized ends of the spectrum not attribute the intelligence of the end user too any single product. The irony that keeps me smiling is still that I was defending it's existance. One person's humourous analogy is another's insult sometimes though. I thought someone had posted the link too the WHS bug report in one of the three related forum chats from that week. Basically, WHS had some sort of bug that could eat files when transfering heavy loads between storage and network clients; that was the story anyhow though either way, I'm sure it's been fixed in one of the later updates. Anyhow, good to see that your not a passing pidgin. I'm not one who wouldn't admit to being out of line so I figured I'd ask further and try to clarify.

symington
symington

Let me begin Neon, by publicly stating that "elitist pig" was a bit over the top in the choice of words department. It was more the tone that implied two classes of people... "MsDonald's [sic] is where most people go to dine while the more educated minority enjoys our 12 ounce steaks." It was like you were making a carte blanch statement that if you use WHS, you are less literate, or lazy. Thereby implicitly saying that if you used *NIX for a home server, you are somehow more literate and not lazy and obviously "above" the Big Mac munchers. The generalization was just as unnecessary as the McDonald's analogy. However, I over reacted and thanks for taking the time to respond. McDonald's by the way does have some very good salads that are also good for you. Oh and I am still trying to find more information regarding WHS corrupting files.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Mind you, there are three comments from you long after the discussion has gone quiet and they are two demands for a citation of the bug report showing WHS issues under heavy load and one comment doing little more than calling me an ?elitist pig? without coming close to the topic that the thread was discussing. That sounds more like a pidgin trolling along so I wouldn?t usually respond but as the comment was made directly too me; please explain how I?m an elitist pig of IT snobbery. In this case, I believe I was replying to someone who couldn?t understand why anyone would choose WHS so I?m actually defending the product?s existence. The first point I made was simply that while most people choose (by preference or lack of knowledge) to use Microsoft or Apple (the McDonalds brands of the computer world), on average, those who have more knowledge of computers tend to gravitate towards other alternatives. That?s not to say that the smartest computer people in the world don?t use Windows anymore than it says that the most basic computer user is only using Windows. On average, I find the dislike of the IT versions of McDonalds increases along with the knowledge and experience of IT. It?s still true today, while the masses continue to gorge at McDonalds, the more tech literate either choose to use Microsoft or gravitate towards options that fit there needs better. I don?t think I said the worth of someone was empirically bound do what they choose to eat and what the us for there computing needs. You?ll notice my second paragraph saying that I know lots of IT people who would choose WHS for use at home. Again, even though I?m not the target market for the WHS, I can see where it is of use. That?s very elitist and IT snobbish of me I guess; being open minded enough to understand something even though it?s not my area of interest. Also, that?s great that you have doctors on your client list though it doesn?t relate in any way. I?m sure they do really great work. I?m sure you do a great job keeping there IT running so they can do really great work. I?m sure they pay on time and life is roses. I just don?t understand how that relates. Last, I?m not sure where your hung-up on the feed analogy. The food bit simply used ?12 inch steak? representing the smaller, more gastro pleasing end of the spectrum cooked to perfection by a papered chef and ?McDonalds? representing the more general end of the spectrum where minimal prep time and price outweigh quality when being cooked to bearable by this month?s minimum wage new guy. In the computer world you have software produced to high standards of quality and functional freedom finding use in custom cases and among the more technically literate; this is a small user segment but a large amount of available software. You also have software produced to ?good enough? standards to meet a deadline, stay under a budget or be pretty enough presentation to sell; this is the larger segment of used software derived from a much smaller library. No where in any of that did I say that not doing things the same way as I do them makes you stupid. I wasn?t being exclusionary but if I have come across as elitist then please explain where and how so I can at least understand if not correct the misconception.

j-mart
j-mart

" Don't be scared its a good day when you learn someting new." I have looked at setting up a Linux home server from this point of veiw. The task may seem daunting from the outside but once you start it can be easier than you think. From my point of view why bother with WHS. It is prooving to be not that great, I don't see the gap in the market it's supposed to fill especially when you can't trust it with all of your data.

sbrooks
sbrooks

The EULA covers them for you losing your data, that's certainly the case, and it also covers them for you using the device or software not inaccordance with the purpose of the device, but does it cover them for DELIBERATELY destroying your data? Does it say in the EULA we WILL destroy your data if you have the temerity to use our software? There is an arguable point here, the software covers them because they cannot cover every way a user may mess with the software, or for unknown bugs that may corrupt software or data. But a deliberate act by MS to destroy your data? Hmm, interesting.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Liable? But under the terms of the MS BAU (business as usual).. they've been distributing untrustworthy products for years. (ha.. couldn't resist the cheap shot). But seriously, the EULA states that any data loss due to there product is your own fault for buying there product. In using there product, you agree to the EULA which means agreeing that they are not liable for there own poor quality control. And that right there is why there is so much love for MS within the technically knowledgable population.

sbrooks
sbrooks

Sorry I have to pick this up. "especially when you can't trust it with all of your data." While correct on first read, it's logically absurd, the correct wording would be; "especially when you can't trust it with ANY of your data." A server device that can't be trusted with ANY of your data is a device that has no use, period. To continue to distribute a product that MS knows can corrupt possibly vital data should make MS legally liable for any data loss thus incurred.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

An old boss of mine used to say "Thank goodness for Microsoft or we wouldn't get to visit (and bill) our clients weekly." It was a MS shop supporting local businesses buy it's still the benchmark I've yet to get back too and go beyond since leaving it to persue University. Don't get me wrong.. free OS distros are the first thing that comes to mind for anything I do at home. Heck, in consulting I consider FOSS first but in that case, I have to consider all options for what is a best fit. I can understand the target market MS is going after though. There is a majority of the population (everyone outside IT) that only know the MS/Apple brands and think there is nothing else or that the alternatives are impossible to learn. I just thank FOSS that my home systems and network isn't limited by only those two options and the premium license fees charged for the software instead of service as the product.

lindfalas
lindfalas

You are missing the point. Its a very easy way for the normal user to get a home server to work without to learn Linux. If they had all that knowlish to run a server in the first place, they would not use home server in the first place. They would use other Windows server or a Linux server. I have tested this home server, but I did not se any point way I should use it. I got all I want In my Vista Ultimate 64b computers. All behind a Linux firewall.. Greetz

j-mart
j-mart

WHS is proving to be CRAP. Linux is not. Linux is cheap and value for money ( basically free). It is not that difficult to learn enough Linux to set up home server. At the simplest level a home network may only be a few windows machines linked together in some peer to peer setup (for the kids to play games against each other etc), but if you are moving into a more complex network and know you need dedicated client - server type of set up you are at least going to have a basic networking knowledge. The step of learning to set up a basic Linux server should not be too hard for any user who has enough knowledge to know that they could use a server based home network. You have tested it, as you say, and did not see the point of this product, and you have also seen the Linux advantage by having a Linux firewall, another big plus for Linux based Home Servers over the poor windows equivalent.

symington
symington

Please give a citation regarding WHS corrupting files.

lindfalas
lindfalas

ITs file you use that can be corrupted.. Not the one you have saved already. And if you dont save pictures more then on a harddrive, than you are a fool. No one trust a system like that. A company always take backup of the data on the disk(s). So way should not a home user take a backup of important files? Greetz

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

WHS is based on the server 2003 code, minus the AD and domaine integration (among other stuff), uses an NTFS file system, and has layers of new "functionality" added in.... This being said, the server 2003 code base is quite stable, and NTFS, while no champ, is not so shabby either. The "bug" is unique to this server product. Server == stable. Bug =! stable. Therefor server cannot == bug. All in all, it is unexcusable that a major bug should exist in a server product, even if the product is not aimed at enterprises. That being said, I can see why this bug is being downplayed, as the conditions needed to be met appear to be specific, and seem to only effect the file in use, not the file system (though I could be wrong here.)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

the server eats a year's worth of family photos of your new born child. "Well, I did just loose an increadable amount of irreplacable family memories but no biggy.. it's just a bug.." Sure all systems can currupt files under some situations like loosing power half way through a giant file move but WHS is a fileserver. A fileserver that eats files because the user had the gawl to copy them too or from the system is ok? Heck, this file server is supposed to be the backup so how many target market consumers do you forsee being a little upset when billie's first steps get scrambled, or the backup images of the client machines, or the music archive they've baught off iTunes/msTunes, or the years of financial files? (what does a home user backup hundreds of gigs too anyhow?) Jmart may be going out of his way to not see the target market for the product (his choice and that's fine) but he also has a pretty big point; a NAS box that eats files under regular use (for any reason short of hardware failure) is unacceptable.

lindfalas
lindfalas

All system can corupt file under some special time. Its called a bug. Try to understand what the system is for and who will use it.. Greetz

j-mart
j-mart

Can under conditions, that would be possible under normal use, corupt files and isn't classed as crap.

lindfalas
lindfalas

Its not crap. The point is that its already an windows server or Vista that work almost the same way. But the point with WHS is it just for the people that dont have the knowledge about servers and stuff. Yes I use Linux for my firewall, but its only basic setup with no gui. Only conf I do is basic and the rest is in the web gui. But to say WHS is crap its not right.- Greetz