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WHS "Vail" Beta D-Day Arrives Tomorrow

It's a busy day here at Casa de Thurrott: I've got to prepare an Internet Explorer 9 review for tonight, finish my Windows Intune cover story, write my weekly UPDATE commentary, fend off crazy Microsoft lies about my Windows Phone coverage, and prepare for my trip Thursday to France. There's just one thing I forgot, at least until yesterday: The Beta version of Windows Home Server 2011 ("Vail"), which I'm still using to store all my important home and work data, is now set to expire tomorrow, March 15, 2011.


You may recall that Microsoft had previously intended for the Vail Beta to expire in January 2011, because the product was going to be completed by the end of 2010. But then Drive Extender was killed and all hell broke loose; Microsoft rescheduled the pre-release schedule, issued a near-final RC build last month, and plans to ship the final version by the end of the first half of 2011 now. But for those of us who were using the Vail Beta, January came suddenly, and I scrambled to back up my data before the server stopped working.

Then, at the last minute, Microsoft issued an 11th hour fix for the Vail Beta, extending its usage period until March 15, 2011. I've been testing the Vail RC on a different server, and had hoped to simply leave the Beta machine untouched until the final version appeared. But the truth is, I just forgot about it. And now I have less than 24 hours to get my data off there, reformat the machine, and start over with something else (probably the Vail RC).

This is my fault, of course, and I'm not blaming Microsoft. (Though I would gladly accept another extension, I'm just saying.) Fortunately, I began my (slow) 2.6 TB backup (over USB 2) yesterday. So it should finish sometime today.

When I do reinstall, I'll be putting a USB 3.0 card in the server and using that faster connection to blast my data back onto the server at what I hope is a better clip. But before that can happen, I need to get the data off, and I've had the remote desktop window open in the corner of my PC's desktop since Sunday morning so I can monitor the progress.

It's going slow, but at least it's going. But the window that pops up periodically, noting that "This pre-release version of Windows Home Server Premium will expire in 1 days" (sic) isn't helping matters.

Anyway, if you're silly enough to still be running the Vail Beta, like me, here's your belated heads-up. It's D-Day. Get that data off of there.
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