As some of you might know Windows Home Server (WHS) is a new product released from Microsoft that allows you to have a server at home. WHS does a variety of things like backup all of your computers and makes sure you have your files on all of your machines and integrates with many other apps. It is really cool and of course some people out there are interested in storing their notebooks up on WHS and they have been asking to see if this is possible.
This is possible and you can store your files on your machine so it would be on a remote share in your house. Something like \\whs\NotebookShare and then you can open that in OneNote on all of your computers in your house and you will have a nice little shared notebook.
As of mid-December we have been getting a few reports that there is a problem where WHS will corrupt OneNote files. I first heard about this from some blog comments:
Almost exact same scenario for me - WHS (release version), OneNote 2007 notebooks stored on share on WHS (duplication is turned on for this folder), offline folder on client. The only difference I have is I'm running an XP client. In my initial research, some folks are saying this is a WHS problem related to folder duplication. I'll be testing to see if this fixes the corruption problems that I'm seeing. Pasted from <http://blogs.msdn.com/ControlPanel/Blogs/commenteditor.aspx?cid=6434539>
Almost exact same scenario for me - WHS (release version), OneNote 2007 notebooks stored on share on WHS (duplication is turned on for this folder), offline folder on client. The only difference I have is I'm running an XP client. In my initial research, some folks are saying this is a WHS problem related to folder duplication. I'll be testing to see if this fixes the corruption problems that I'm seeing.
Pasted from <http://blogs.msdn.com/ControlPanel/Blogs/commenteditor.aspx?cid=6434539>
We're also getting corrupted pages and sync erros on a Onenote notebook stored on Windows Home Server (release version), accessed by both Vista and XP machines. Very annoying. It has been in a duplicated folder, so I'll turn off duplication and see if it fixes things. It isn't backed up then, though... Pasted from <http://blogs.msdn.com/ControlPanel/Blogs/commenteditor.aspx?cid=6719461>
We're also getting corrupted pages and sync erros on a Onenote notebook stored on Windows Home Server (release version), accessed by both Vista and XP machines. Very annoying.
It has been in a duplicated folder, so I'll turn off duplication and see if it fixes things. It isn't backed up then, though...
Pasted from <http://blogs.msdn.com/ControlPanel/Blogs/commenteditor.aspx?cid=6719461>
Additionally some people have reported this on WHS Forum: WHS causes OneNote to corrupt data.
I know we are aware of the issue and we have been talking with WHS team to bring this to their attention. As soon as there is a solution we will blog about it and let you all know.
While waiting for a solution, it would be good to know if turning off duplication really does work around the problem. Duplication isn't so important for OneNote, since there are copies on the local machines(s) in case of disaster.
No - disabling duplication does NOT fix the corruption issues. I've kept an eye on this problem since running the WHS betas and it's still a bug with the latest WHS November update. Having to keep my OneNote notebooks local on my workstation is a huge bummer and I hope this gets resolved soon!
There are several programs that seem to corrupt files if they are used to run the programs directly from the home server share:
Outlook .pst files
MS Money/Quicken files
.vhd files for virtual machines
This happens regardless of file duplication or not.
The only known workaround is to use a batch file and a tool like robocopy or sync toy. You would copy the file from the home server share to the local drive, run the program on the local file copy, then after the program exits, copy the updated file back onto the Home Server shared drive.
Note that a fix for MS Money was posted a little bit ago, this is ONLY for the MS Money backup function.
Great thing I believe we'll implement this in our company. We are actively using OneNote now for sharing the work between the members of our departments. We deployed it for every department. It significantly reduces the document management hassle and reduces the time need for the project manager to assign a meeting or a task to the whole crew or just a few people. That's very useful for preparing post-meeting short reports. Project manager can initiate a live session with just a single click selecting Share|Live Sharing Session|Start Sharing Current Session (that's if you have already created a shared notebook). The best thing that then when you are presented with the notebook creation wizard you can either store the document into the shared folder or you can upload it directly to the SharePoint site! The really great thing is that OneNote's document is a container that adapts nearly any kind of information so that anybody can just record his/hers thoughts right in time when he's writing the notes and then share this multimedia file with everybody! This process however has some glitches. If you put say the WMA file right into the document (but do not link it to the notebook leaving the multimedia file somewhere on your hard disk separately from the OneNote's document) and click on it, the audio recording panel appears on the screen and OneNote starts playback the attached file. But it plays it with recurring pauses _until_ the moment you close the panel! For then on the file begins to play smoothly without any glitches in the playback. If however the file will have the format like a AVI container that contains another codec within it (such as video conference recording or other screen recording produced by some screen grabbing software) you can't playback it with built-in OneNote's tools and have to play it back right within the Windows Media Player that you can launch by double-clicking the embedded video file.
That's why we are thinking about upgrading our server farm and extending our collaboration facilities to SharePoint Server 2007. I've heard many good thoughts and feelings about its robustness and increased security and administrative ease. But when you find ease you generally find the ease in everything. Well, if you easily can close the door basically you can do the reverse tasks with the same ease. I doesn't mean that if your door works well it's badly designed or has been broken right within the factory. I may sound like a nonsense but the irony is that once you are dealing with network computing this propagates to you too. If you have a highly collaborative network where everyone can share his documents with one another don't sit and wait when the troubles come themselves. The basic practice shows that if you have something shared absolutely without no auditing you are playing with fire. So the best suggestion in my view would be to not sit and wait but to act immediately. We for example revealed more than a dozen of serious security breaches just in a one part that can be affected to the exposure when we first made a scan with Scriptlogic's Enterprise Security Reporter http://www.scriptlogic.com/products/enterprisesecurityreporter/sharepoint . You know, we started our experience with working with collaboration through OneNote by sharing the document via shared folders and everything went smoothly until then one of us had realized that we started exposing a big amount of information that is critical to the company's life. And since sharing technologies are not so modern they can present a big challenge and a threat for security. That was quite simple. One of us just said one day hey look we are sharing a lot of documents for that division. Indeed if one had look at the result given after enumerating our shares with srvcheck tool he would clearly realize that you have something to do with monitoring these shares to be able to track down the security holes. The problem is that there's a plenty of 'show me my shares' tools but most of them are just of the small use for the corporate network. They probably will be helpful when you have to deal with the small number of network shares located within the same local network where everybody sits in the same building. Well, a very rare situation for the moment. Usually we now have a Windows domain that can be scaled from several dozens to tens of thousands of computers. Go handle all this park using the methods that were old even 10 years ago! Thankfully, we found a tool from Scriptlogic called like I have already said Enterprise Security Reporter. That wasn't very hard to find the information about this tool because google says that this tool have been the winning tool for making security scans that won several awards form such editorials as Windows IT Pro magazine and others. However the most important thing for us was that our the very first experience made a huge impression on us with its ease of use, fast work and more importantly the effectiveness of work proved by results that the tool produced to us after the very first scan since the moment we implemented it within our network. We scanned our domain, everything that we have in our resources and what a shocking result we got from it's report! We had several open shares that had a full access for the Everyone group. I believe somebody had set this up to avoid access troubles for our users and then have forgotten to remove these high privileges from the share. You know somebody starts using this share for storing non-important documents and then when time passes by he forgets about the initial settings and starts storing there documents that are not allowed to be stored in such unsecured places. But the source of all these problems is the complexity of the procedure that you have to follow to reveal a problem such as that within the large enterprise. With the Enterprise Security Reporter we've been able to reveal such problems with the same ease like we open the notebook in OneNote. I just create the scan task, assign the targets I want to scan by selecting the resource I want to scan from Active Directory and then I start the job and that's it. I don't have to care about something else because I know that when the tool ends with its job it will present me with the report that I can save as the PDF document, encrypt the document and store it in the safe place. What I like about scanning shares there is that I can get an information about all permissions that I have under particular share the tool finds on the network . Additional feature which is of no small importance to me is that the reports are compliant with HIPPA http://www.hipaa.org/ and Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance http://www.s-ox.com/ standards. That frees me up from the need to develop standards or report templates myself if I don't have the wish to do that. Moreover I am always sure that everything that I do with the tool has been approved with by professional organizations. As I said we are thinking about upgrading our server farm with MOSS 2007. We just upgraded to the latest enterprise security reporter which has now http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/12/06/3145925.htm special reports for reporting on SharePoint sites and documents security and I think it's the right time for us to start upgrading to that Microsoft Collaboration tool. Microsoft will care about our productivity and Scriptlogic will take care on our security.