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More on the Windows Home Server data corruption issue

Eric Rux examines the problems plaguing Windows Home Server:

Nearly three months have passed since Microsoft announced that Windows Home Server (WHS) had a file-corruption problem. Microsoft has dutifully kept us in the loop as it learns more about the problem and has mentioned that we might see a fix in June (at the earliest)--a full 6 months after the company acknowledged the bug. You might be asking, “What the heck is taking so long!?”

When it comes to disks and disk management, Microsoft wanted to introduce a different paradigm than classic RAID. WHS needed to let users add additional hard disks and remove older, smaller disks, all while presenting to that user one set of network shares that appeared to grow and grow. WHS also needed a way for users to protect important files in case of a hard disk failure.

To accomplish this feat, Microsoft came up with a new technology called Windows Home Server Drive Extender. This technology takes care of the important “behind the scenes” work that happens when a user adds or removes an internal or external disk drive.

Check out the rest of the article for the dirty details. I recall my first meeting with the Windows Home Server guys back in December 2006, I believe (I later wrote a WHS preview article based on this encounter). There were a couple of technologies they had essentially implemented from scratch that seemed dicey to me at the time. The big one was the data duplication technology, where instead of implementing a RAID setup, the WHS folks had done their own thing. (Todd Headrick described RAID to me as "an insect spray" at the time.) I'm not sure if this is specifically what caused the current data corruption problems, but I am curious about how well this stuff was tested. I'm also (I hope, understandably) freaked by how long it's taking Microsoft to fix this issue.

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