Windows Server 2012 comes with the new File System ReFS, which is Microsoft's upgrade to NTFS. Is there any way to use this for my Windows 8 partition?


Microsoft is planning to upgrade ReFS to be capable of being a boot volume, but no time span has been given yet.

With this in mind, we will implement ReFS in a staged evolution of the feature: first as a storage system for Windows Server, then as storage for clients, and then ultimately as a boot volume. This is the same approach we have used with new file systems in the past.

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  • +1. My answer has a list of other things wrong with it, but not being a boot volume is up there :-) – user3463 Oct 29 '12 at 17:42
  • Amazing that Server 2016 is coming in a few months and storage spaces + ReFS is still not the standard. Microsoft needs an answer to ZFS badly. Add insult to injury, client storage spaces can't do tiering, so on an enthusiast Windows 10 build you can't tier your 8x 6TB drives under two replicated 2TB SSDs like you can in Windows Server. – Arthur Kay Sep 16 '15 at 16:34

In its current iteration, it is not an upgrade to NTFS.

According to this article by Denny Cherry:

The NTFS features we have chosen to not support in ReFS are: named streams, object IDs, short names, compression, file level encryption (EFS), user data transactions, sparse, hard-links, extended attributes, and quotas.

In my mind, this is a significant list of reasons why you shouldn't even consider ReFS for the immediate future.

If this changes and they support those features, then I may consider changing my mind. But it's a storage-first model at the moment, and I wouldn't touch it for a desktop environment.

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  • +1. Nice list. I'm not sure what those things are, but if they make it a boot vector and optimize it for consumer user storage, I'd use it. – Caleb Jares Oct 29 '12 at 17:44
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    Things like EFS, hard links and quotas are a non-starter in a corporate environment. Personally, I use a number of these features as well, though I do consider myself an edge-case user. But yeah, bootable is important too :-) – user3463 Oct 29 '12 at 17:46

With Windows 8.1 it is possible to enable system-wide support for ReFS (including disk manager and format tool) with the following registry key. This will allow you to format exsisting partitions to ReFS.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MiniNT] “AllowRefsFormatOverNonmirrorVolume”=dword:00000001

Source : My blog

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