As is the case with my problems with the Xbox 360's Fall 2007 Dashboard Update, where I am having many issues that no one else seems to be having, I'm sort of hoping that what I'm seeing on Windows Home Server (WHS) lately is just me. But I'm concerned enough about these issues to at least just throw them out there and see what happens.
Here's what's up.
First, I've literally just completed my switch-over to WHS and have taken down my previous Windows Server 2003-based server. I'm using HP's Media Smart Server and have added two 512 GB drives for a total of 2 TB of storage. I really only need 1 TB but I do use WHS's data duplication functionality extensively, so what the heck. Plus it's backing up several PCs regularly. The point of all this is that I'm really using this thing. It's not a best test or an experiment. My data is all on this server.
The HP has had a troubling number of hard drive corruption issues. These issues seem to be occurring mostly on a single disk, but that's not necessarily true, so I will keep watching this. Occasionally, I will logon to Vista in the morning, see a red WHS icon and click it to discover that something's wrong with a hard disk. WHS lets you repair these problems, and it takes a long time but always seems to work. I don't have any offsite backup so this is troubling. I am experimenting with backing up to my old Firewire 800-based BiggerDisks over the network, but it's slow, and if the WHS-based data is corrupted, I'm screwed anyway.
I'm not sure if it's my router or my home server, but three times now I've gotten an alert that the remote access feature had stopped working. Just navigating to the Remote Access tab of the Settings dialog triggers a re-configuration, and that does work each time. But what if I'm away when this stops working and thus can't access my files remotely? It sort of renders the feature moot, doesn't it?
Now, I see this scary little Microsoft knowledge base article (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). As you might imagine, I use several of those applications. All my data is stored on the home server. Are you seriously telling me that my personal photo collection might be corrupt, Microsoft? Really? Sorry. But this is scary. Really scary.
Is this stuff doesn't freak you out, it should. It freaks me out. I really, really like WHS and the HP MediaSmart Server specifically. But I've got this growing concern about these products, and I just need to communicate it. Is anyone else having any WHS issues? Is it just me?
Update: There's also this WHS-related KB: Data files that contain NTFS alternate data streams can be corrupted on a Windows Home Server-based computer. This is related to the previous KB in that applications like Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Live Gallery are among those that use NTFS alternate data streams. Apparently, WHS has no idea how to deal with these kinds of files, which can lead to corruption.