A Windows Home Server backup engine’s serious issue

I consider Windows Home Server as an excellent backup solution for doing disk image backups – it is wickedly fast and consumes minimum space possibly on the server. Unfortunately it lacks reliability. The most notorious bug, the one that corrupted its file system in combination with certain client applications, is fixed. But there are other problems to worry about.

Today I’ve come across a show stopper. Let me first explain how WHS reclaims free space. Once the backup data expires it isn’t automatically reclaimed. Instead a cleanup process has to be performed. By default it runs once per week but one can change its scheduling. So far so good. And guess what. The cleanup process doesn’t work anymore on my WH server – it runs to 5% and then it just stops leaving the data as is. Not even sure when or why it started to fail. No space is reclaimed and I am slowly getting out of disk space because the storage just grows and grows. At the same time it is unclear whether this is a consequence of a corrupted data (yikes!), a software issue or both. Similar bug was reported last year through Connect but so far, even after more than 4 months, no fix is available. Microsoft guys claim that they solved the problem but just this fact without a solution for us doesn’t help us, does it?

And I though the most important feature of backup engines is their reliability.