Glitch in Windows Home Server Corrupts Files

Microsoft has issued an alert to users of its recently released Windows Home Server not to save or edit data files directly to the server because it may cause corruption of the file.

Windows Home Server is a scaled-down and modified version of Windows Server 2003, meant for home users and consumers. It’s designed to provide simple, fast backup of data files from main computers that can be easily restored in the event of data loss.

Bill Gates first introduced it at the 2007 CES show in January and it shipped in November at a starting price of $599.

Ironically, the product may do some users more harm than good. In product support posting KB946676, Microsoft confirmed the problem, which it said was due to a glitch in Windows Home Server’s shared folders.

“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,” Microsoft said in the document.

The company also said it is working on a fix.

Until it releases one, Microsoft advised users not to edit data files stored on their backup systems if they use any of a slew of its applications: Windows Vista Photo Gallery, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Office OneNote 2007, Office OneNote 2003, Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Money 2007 and SyncToy 2.0 beta.

Other applications affected by the bug as well. The support document said Intuit Quicken and QuickBooks program files, along with BitTorrent files, also could experience the glitch.

While potentially alarming, the problem ranks far below some other notable file-corruption bugs, such the infamous MS-DOS 6 DriveSpace fiasco in the pre-Windows 95 days. Partially, that’s because a workaround for the current bug is quite simple: users shouldn’t alter files directly on their WHS server, and work instead with the file locally.

Microsoft is closed for the holidays and did not respond to inquiries for further detail.

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