back to article Microsoft admits big delay on Home Server bug fix

Microsoft has admitted that it will not deliver a fix to a Windows Home Server data corruption bug it first discovered late last year until June at the earliest. The firm confessed to the massive delay on a Technet blog post yesterday. It claimed that only a “small percentage” of people have been affected by the bug. …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    NAS/Linux

    Just use a NAS/Linux for home server. Problem solved.

    Also

    "“BTW, thanks to Home Server my wife stopped talking to me as she is now really mad at me. Not only are some of our pictures gone, I spent countless hours in my room figuring out what the hell is wrong instead of with the family,” he added."

    his wife should be rightfully mad at him, where were his backups?

  2. mixbsd

    Black Box Mentality

    Home Server looks like a turnkey solution for people who can't be bothered to learn how to set up simple network shares.

    Kind of ironic that something billed as a backup device actually corrupts data.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    a “small percentage” of people have been affected

    is that the small percentage of people who were stupid enough to buy it?

  4. Dick

    Home Server 2008 – which is built on similar code to Vista’s kernel?

    Really? Is there a "Home Server 2008 – which is built on similar code to Vista’s kernel"? I thought this problem was with Windows Home Server - which is built on Server 2003?

  5. Ian Peters

    Can someone please explain

    Is the application or OS at fault here? If its the OS, why does it not appear to affect any other MS OS?

  6. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    Now see if it were Apple .....

    ... If it were Apple, HISTORICALLY, Apple would rush out a fix that was BUGGIER than the bug it was trying to fix. Sorry, but the Archives of macfixit.com are stelar PROOF, so start your whinning Apple Mac FUDs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    He should have used ZFS :)

    Poor guy!

    http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/a-home-fileserver-using-zfs/

  8. Edwin
    Unhappy

    @mixbsd & AC

    Not entirely fair - it does more than just sharing, and it's a damn sight more user-friendly than some of the Linux distros I've seen that try to do the same.

    In fact, I think it's one of the cleverest things M$ has done in ages.

    No excuse for letting a bug like that go unfixed for so long though...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    @ Dick

    "Really? Is there a "Home Server 2008 – which is built on similar code to Vista’s kernel"? I thought this problem was with Windows Home Server - which is built on Server 2003?"

    Agreed and i'm pretty sure it's 'loosely' based on 2003 server then it was hacked together by the client team apparently not the server team. Oh dear.

  10. Angus Wood
    Flame

    @Webster Phreaky

    You know, I'm actually starting to appreciate your commments. They provide a refreshing jolt of what I can only term "WTF!" reminding me to stop reading the Reg (slacking) and get on with my to-do list.

    BTW, to satisfy my curiosity; was it a powerbook which ran off with your wife or a desktop mac?

  11. Colin Morris
    Paris Hilton

    Microsoft Beta testing program phase 2

    By now all IT industry workers know that paying through the nose for newly released MS software means you are actually paying to almost 'Beta test' their software in actual real world conditions.

    Unfortunately this software is primarily aimed at the general public who don't read about Microsofts numerous 'new software disasters' on tech sites such as this one.

    [I'm quite sure, however that avid Reg reader, Paris wouldn't buy any pre-SP1 Microsoft software, either....]

  12. Stuza

    @mixbsd & AC

    Why dont you go and learn about it, its far more than a NAS box.

  13. Lyndon Hills

    @mixbsd - fixed

    Home Server looks like a turkey solution for people....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stuza

    But, a NAS box would accomplish what 99.99% of the consuming public would want, wouldn't it?

    The idea of a windows home server is a bit oxymoronic, anyway, when one contemplates it-- people who have both the knowledge to realize their need for a server, plus the proficiency to maintain one, are the people least likely to be impressed with this product, and most likely to have built their own solution offering more features and nicer hardware years before.

    The target audience, that is, Joe Schmoe who still can't distinguish his Windows version number from his Office version number, and thinks the monitor contains his data, has no knowledge or experience with the features of a server, and is unlikely to suddenly understand them without any context or education, and are therefore the most likely to suffer from any bugs or design flaws within the product.

    Kind of like selling tractor lawnmowers to elderly apartment dwellers.

  15. Phil Rigby
    Paris Hilton

    Some salient points

    1) Why is it taking 6 months to fix?

    2) Is it related to the Vista slow-file-copying bug?

    3) 180Gb of data... he lost "some" pictures... what kind of crap does that blogger have on his system anyway?

    @AC (first one) - where do you back up 180gb of data exactly, when your server should be able to handle it?

    Paris because I hear she has Windows 95 Home Edition :-)

  16. kb9aln

    A product looking for a niche...

    This particular server product is clearly something meant for an enthusiast. One who likens his toys to the length of his....You know. "Oh yeah, well I have a SERVER at home!"

    I agree with Stuza. If the average person wants big storage accessable through a network, that storage should be a box that they plug in and _don't_ have to maintain.

    As usual, Redmond's marketing and product planning are off the mark.

  17. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    The Core Issue.

    "We understand the issue really well at this point – it is at an extremely low level of the operating system and it requires thorough testing to ensure that the fix addresses the issue." ... Ohh? It seems to be right at the very highest levels of the operating system.

  18. Risky
    Gates Horns

    Working fine here

    I'm dissapointed this isn't fixed but the bug doesn't impact me as I tend to use the shares for passive storage. I'm pretty pleased with the product and it has a lot of potential.

  19. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    More than just a NAS

    WHS is more than just a NAS device. It's a centralized media center, backup and recovery, media sharing, and remote access device, amongst other things.

    Not saying that you couldn't hobble all this together yourself on a *nix system, but Joe Sixpack couldn't.

    It has some relatively neat features, though not my taste for doing things. Including media integration with the XBox and Media Center. So, why not?

    But why such a horrid bug let go so long? Primarily, if the bug only affects machines with multiple hard drives, most home-bodies won't have that (they SHOULD at least have RAID 1 and an external backup drive, but alas.) Seems like MS branched Server 2008 (which begot Vista) and then proceeded to let it hump Vista to produce a retarded in-bred offspring, in some grand scheme to dodge ISPs restrictions and prohibitions on running servers on a home connection.

    Really, no excuse for letting this go so long. OR for NOT CATCHING IT in the first place. How long was this friggen thing beta? Oh, still is...

    Paris, for humping to produce retarded offspring.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Stuza

    > "Why dont you go and learn about it, its far more than a NAS box."

    Yes, it IS far more -- it's a broken NAS box, and it's about as much use as a chocolate teapot or an ashtray on a motorbike :)

    Why don't you go and learn that there are far better alternatives than this pile of trash? There's a reason M$ is getting their ass sued by the European Commission every 5 minutes. Read the news lately? Now why would they want to sue such a nice, friendly company like M$? And if you were making machines holding people's memories (photos etc), wouldn't you fix it quicker than (possibly) 8 months? (Oct '07 -> Jun '08). Try thinking about those things before you answer.

  21. Elmer Phud

    @AC

    "people who have both the knowledge to realize their need for a server, plus the proficiency to maintain one, are the people least likely to be impressed with this product, and most likely to have built their own solution offering more features and nicer hardware years before."

    Nah, that's sooo last year.

    People now have laptops and desktops at home, all with wireless connections and realise that a central store of music and films and pictures is better than everyone having their own copies.

    They have identified a need but, like most, need a plug-and-play option as they have idea how to set up a server - they didn't need to know anything to set up the wireless router or the individual machines, either.

    If something is offered off the shelf as a solution then it should bloody work. Instead there is a product still being sold but with the manufacturer just shrugging their shoulders at those who need it to work in a certain way.

    Maintaining? -- isn't that just remembering to do back-up's now and then or is it the usual fiddling by 'those that know' that also renders kit unusable for months? ;-)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Phil Rigby

    > @AC (first one) - where do you back up 180gb of data exactly, when your server should be able to handle it?

    500GB disks are cheap, so I see no problem with 180GB. Even, especially servers need a backup policy in place.

  23. Futaihikage

    Wow...

    See, I'm thoroughly impressed. For the team that programmed Home Server to NOT test it properly with Microsoft's OWN applications is just amazing! Forget uTorrent, and Quickbooks... the fact that Microsoft's photo and music managing software rips data to shreds when it writes data to and from the Home Server box, really, it just leaves me speechless.

    But, at least now I know why Ballmer was screaming "Developers, Developers, Developers!" at a recent interview. Seems the developers that are there are more inept than he is.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. J-Wick

    @amanfromMars

    ... Wow - that's the first time I've made all the way through one of your comments without giving up!

    I was just about to stop reading when I realized I'd finished already...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @Phil Rigby -- 2nd attempt :)

    > @AC (first one) - where do you back up 180gb of data exactly, when your server should be able to handle it?

    Maybe I misunderstood. If you're talking about my server, then I have another machine containing a bunch of old disks, used purely for backups. Redundancy on the fileserver to protect against disk failure (and snapshots to guard against file deletion etc), and then the fileserver is backed up to said backup machine across Gigabit wired ethernet (cheap these days -- see: D-Link DGS-1008D 'green ethernet' version, for example). Using this setup, backing up 180GB would only take one hour (sustained 50MBytes/sec across Gigabit wired ethernet easily achievable). Works like a charm :)

    http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/a-home-fileserver-using-zfs/

  27. Cameron Colley

    People pay money for this shit?

    Seriously, if you bought MS home server and lost data, you deserve it.

    As has been mentioned a cheap NAS box or, even, a pre-built Linux server would have been a better investment.

    If, however, the homeserver works for you -- fair enough, I'm sure you can afford the data recovery.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    There is a bigger problem

    All what will happen now is M$ will release new products cutback on some items and sell it. The after 3 months release the rest of the code as SP1 so you suckers can buy the software. These days its SP2 becuase there is no way they can release SP1 and then SP2 directly after. Since looking at this case its a year after they discover a problem they might make a fix so that means

    6months to find problems

    1year to fix problem

    So if its anything to go by.. I dont get it untill 2 years have passed.

    Thats how bad beta testing has become.

  29. BitTwister

    Translation for the cynical

    > Fixing this issue is the Windows Home Server team's top priority and the team is making good progress on the fix

    Crap! Someone *did* get hit by that bug - look busy!

    > We understand the issue really well at this point – it is at an extremely low level of the operating system and it requires thorough testing to ensure that the fix addresses the issue.

    Crap! We *still* have no idea what's wrong. Look busy!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monopolist arrogance

    How long would it take a decent storage vendor to correct a known bug that is causing data corruption ... or if it was just about any other OS product? Even free software would have a fix available in days, if not hours.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    2c Worth

    I have used home server since the beta and it seems to be a fairly good product with one or to pitfalls. Having said that I always keep a backup of any data on it just in case, anything else is plain silly.

    At $160 US for the OS though it is hardly expensive and works well for a small home network with a few PC's/Laptops and maybe a Xbox / Playstation or media extender thrown in and easier to source and setup that a Linux solution.

  32. alex
    Paris Hilton

    this is a little unfair and inaccurate

    Firstly calling it WHS 2008, suggests its on the server 2008 / vista code base, its not. Its built on server 2003, SBS edition. The bug is deep in the way the server balances data across multiple drives, as this tech is WHS only it doesn't affect any other server OS. It also only affects a limited number of programs when used to edit files over a network share, the backup database, remote access etc are not effected.

    Don't get me wrong, its a major bug and a 6 month fix is pretty poor, but its a clever tech and the bug doesn't make the server useless. Mine has done 2 bare metal restores so far, which is a life saver.

    Paris as she maybe wrote the disk management driver and/or this article!

  33. James Gibbons
    Black Helicopters

    @AC Monopolist arrogance

    "How long would it take a decent storage vendor to correct a known bug that is causing data corruption ... or if it was just about any other OS product? Even free software would have a fix available in days, if not hours."

    How about the D-Link DNS-323, a cute little Linux Toaster NAS. Took a year of firmware upgrades to fix the problem with it freezing every 2 weeks. I never lost data, but I wasn't driving it very hard. I only used it as a backup device for some other servers.

    I quickly purchased a real quad core system and built out a proper Linux system using some large SATA drives, and only used the DNS-323 for non-critical use until the firmware was fixed. Not a bad little unit once they fixed it.

    Not all vendors are equal, but free software and Linux is not the solution.

    Even hardware sometimes has problems (Intel bug on a Server-2003 system):

    http://www.folding-hyperspace.com/bugs_p4.htm

  34. auser

    I've actually read the documentation...

    and it looks like that microsoft's dynamic mounting point handling has a bug in it's software raid driver when configured in jbod mode. All that an application has to do is to seek in a file while writing. So touching a file with almost any microsoft product will trigger the bug and trash the data partition on the disks. (office, ms photo, using a live account, etc.)

    In short, microsoft's implementation of the unix 'mount' command is bugged. On the other hand, all unix versions use mount and it tends to work. One of the reasons is that mounting is done directly by the kernel and not by a software trigger in one of the filesystem drivers, reaching back above its head to restart parsing on a different path. Because of this the unix way can't have the cool feature of having data implicitly duplicated across disks by the filesystem layer, but going top-down only cleary results in a more stable implementation. (common unix versions using the classic mount point structure include linux, bsd, macosx and others)

    Why is this takes so long to fix? Because they clearly left out a few locks from the kernel. And adding one big kernel lock on the whole code would slow down certain metadata operations (like file delete) to a crawl.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @auser

    > Because of this the unix way can't have the cool feature of having data implicitly duplicated across disks by the filesystem layer

    What about this?:

    zfs set copies=3 pool/filesystem_name

    http://breden.org.uk/2008/03/02/a-home-fileserver-using-zfs/

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Backup a Backup?

    Clearly the word BACKUP is the problem, system recovery yes you backup then becuase there is no backup but you dont backup a backup. I can see it now some clever marketer says. Lets call it a backup becuase research says people will tend to buy it more if its called backup. Wrong! reduce price not a backup device, just simple file share at a high price, cheaper to get a NAS what does same thing at lower price.

    If I purchase a backup tool I expect it to BACKUP my data, not me buy another tool to backup the backup, border paraniod person!

    By any view if a production server looked like this and took this long to fix we all in trouble..

  37. Ralph
    Unhappy

    QuickBooks Pro vs Internet Explorer 7

    QuickBooks Pro has issue with IE7. HELP screen crashes and shuts down program. The way to update QuickBooks is to go to HELP screen. Intuit has been aware of this problem for around a year and has no patch. I would not buy QuickBooks Pro until they fix this issue.

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