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Thread: Re ReFS

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    Re ReFS

    Noted that Windows 8 offers this new (to other than the server family) file system.

    Hoping someone would discuss:
    1. What are its advantages/disadvantages compared to NTFS?
    2. For the average hobbyist/home-user is there really any advantage(s) to switching? If yes, what?
    3. Why will it not function on the boot drive?
    4. What are the implications of this split file system (NTFS boot drive, rest of system ReFS)?
    5. If a file is, for eg., stored on an NTFS volume how is it changed when it is stored to a ReFS volume? Is a "file a file" or is there an "NTFS version"and a "ReFS version" (poorly expressed, I admit)?
    6. Is it a Windows 8 64 bit implementation only?
    7. Are all current (NTFS-based) file recovery utilities rendered obsolete? Is there a ReFS-compatible utility?
    8. Is conversion from NTFS to ReFS destructive or non-destructive (ie, convert the partition to ReFS without losing the data?
    9. Is a ReFS non-destructively reversible? Or, is it a case of pulling off all the data, reformatting to NTFS & replacing the data?
    10. What would a current hex-editor display for a ReFS file? Or, would a ReFS-compliant hex-editor be necessary?

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    The Resilient File System is not yet implemented on Windows 8. I believe Microsoft have plans to role it out onto the client OS, but as yet I think it is only available on Server 2012.

    Will it be useful for the hobbyist and or general user: I think undoubtedly in terms of data robustness and reliability, yes. Will many general users notice the difference?...probably not.

    A few links to Technet article on ReFS:

    Here, here, here and here.

    I really should get round to testing it on Server 2012, but I haven't had time, so can't comment much further.
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-11-14 at 15:29. Reason: added an extra link for the original Windows Team blog discussion on ReFS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    Noted that Windows 8 offers this new (to other than the server family) file system.

    Hoping someone would discuss:
    1. What are its advantages/disadvantages compared to NTFS?
    ReFS is a 64-bit file system, for Windows 2012 Server.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    2. For the average hobbyist/home-user is there really any advantage(s) to switching? If yes, what?
    No. Windows 8 cannot boot from a ReFS partitioned drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    3. Why will it not function on the boot drive?
    It's a 64-bit file system for file server use. Windows 8, in all flavors including Server 2012, aren't configured to boot from a 64-bit file system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    4. What are the implications of this split file system (NTFS boot drive, rest of system ReFS)?
    Too soon to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    5. If a file is, for eg., stored on an NTFS volume how is it changed when it is stored to a ReFS volume? Is a "file a file" or is there an "NTFS version"and a "ReFS version" (poorly expressed, I admit)?
    It is changed on the ReFS partition/disk, but not on the NTFS partition/disk.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    6. Is it a Windows 8 64 bit implementation only?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    7. Are all current (NTFS-based) file recovery utilities rendered obsolete? Is there a ReFS-compatible utility?
    There are tools in Window 2012 Server for ReFS. NTFS tools are unlikely to work on a ReFS partition/disk, although many NTFS features will work on ReFS, such as BitLocker.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    8. Is conversion from NTFS to ReFS destructive or non-destructive (ie, convert the partition to ReFS without losing the data?
    I don't have an answer for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    9. Is a ReFS non-destructively reversible? Or, is it a case of pulling off all the data, reformatting to NTFS & replacing the data?
    I don't have an answer for that, either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    10. What would a current hex-editor display for a ReFS file? Or, would a ReFS-compliant hex-editor be necessary?
    Again, I don't have an answer for that, either.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I had no idea about this. Very useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan_1 View Post
    8. Is conversion from NTFS to ReFS destructive or non-destructive (ie, convert the partition to ReFS without losing the data?
    9. Is a ReFS non-destructively reversible? Or, is it a case of pulling off all the data, reformatting to NTFS & replacing the data?
    I think this says "No" to those two:

    Q) Can I convert data between NTFS and ReFS?

    In Windows 8 there is no way to convert data in place. Data can be copied. This was an intentional design decision given the size of data sets that we see today and how impractical it would be to do this conversion in place, in addition to the likely change in architected approach before and after conversion.


    Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS

    Bruce

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