Microsoft ships final patch for Windows Home Server corruption bug

Includes fix with Power Pack 1 update; HP also upgrades MediaSmart Server software

Seven months after it first acknowledged a data corruption bug in Windows Home Server (WHS), Microsoft Corp. yesterday officially released a patch as it rolled out the final version of a major update to the server software.

On Monday, Microsoft said Power Pack 1 had been released to manufacturing and posted to the company's download site, where users could grab it manually. It will be pushed to systems running Windows Home Server (WHS) next month via Windows Update.

New versions of WHS localized for the Japanese and Chinese markets will be released to distribution in August, Microsoft said.

Also on Monday, Hewlett-Packard Co., which sells its MediaSmart Server with WSH pre-installed, unveiled an update of its own that added server-side anti-virus scanning and enhanced media streaming.

Microsoft has maintained since the problem surfaced in late 2007 that the data corruption bug affected only a limited number of users who edited files stored on their WHS-equipped backup systems. Work on a fix for the data corruption problem had delayed the release of Power Pack 1, a general update that features stability and performance improvements and adds several new features.

In April, Microsoft said it would delay Power Pack 1 to work on the corruption bug and would roll out a patch concurrently with the update, rather than launch Power Pack 1 first, as it had originally intended. The problem was eventually traced to the WHS drive extender technology, which the operating system uses to write data to more than one disk drive.

Last month, the company released a preliminary version of the Power Pack that included the bug fix.

Other features added to WHS via the Power Pack 1 update include the ability to back up files stored in the shared folders on the server and support for PCs running the 64-bit version of Windows Vista.

HP, meanwhile, wrapped up its own update Monday, and said the new code -- dubbed Software Update 1.3 -- would be immediately available to WHS users via their server consoles. The update adds a trial of server-side anti-malware scanning courtesy McAfee, as well as improved audio and video streaming to client machines. The update also preps HP's hardware to support 64-bit operating systems.

HP sells two models of its MediaSmart Server: a box sporting 500GB of storage for $599, and a brawnier server packing 1TB of storage for $749.

Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 can be downloaded from Microsoft's site.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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