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July 21, 2008 12:56 PM

Windows Home Server glitch fixed, finally

Posted by Brier Dudley

Microsoft today released a final patch for the data corruption glitch in its Windows Home Server software.

The company said the glitch only affected a "very small" number of customers, but its existence still spooked enthusiasts who embraced the first version of the product and added a question mark to the otherwise nifty server's promise of simple, secure backup.

The glitch could corrupt data on home servers with more than one drive, when users tried to manipulate data on the server itself rather than on client machines connected to the server.

A public beta of the patch was released in early June and the final version is available for download today. It will also be added to servers automatically through Windows Update.

About 10,000 people downloaded the beta version, but Microsoft wouldn't say what percentage of the Home Server units sold that represents.

Microsoft is releasing the patch as part of a set of upgrades dubbed "Power Pack 1." It's not trying to downplay the patch, said Joel Sider, senior product manager.

"We've been very upfront about publicizing the data corruption issue, making our customers aware of it,'' he said, adding that the company decided to include the patch in the power pack rather than issue "two separate deliverables."

In addition to the patch, the biggest advance in the upgrade is support for 64-bit systems. Until now, the backup capabilities didn't work with 64-bit systems on a home network.

The pack also adds the ability to back up shared folders on the server, improves remote access and adds support for Chinese and Japanese languages.

Also being released is a Home Server new software development kit.

I wonder if one of the first users of the kit will be the Live Mesh team. Can't wait to see how they connect cloud storage with the Home Server, which already touches Live services by providing Web access to your home files via a Live URL.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.