ReFS File System

Were you exploring custom settings offered by your PC and stumbled upon a feature called ReFS? If you’re not quite sure what to make of ReFS you’re in the right place, and this article should be helpful.

ReFS (Resilient File System) is a file system developed by Microsoft for internal storage devices as an upgrade to NTFS. It checks files and data for corruption, saves storage space by creating an alias instead of copying files, and has copy-on-write technology. It calculates checksum values for metadata and can validate file data with optional integrity streams. It can only be used in a storage pool and uses B-trees to organize data. ReFS cannot replace NTFS, cannot be booted from, and is only available on Windows 10 or 11 Pro for Workstations or Enterprise.

This article is intended to shed light on some common data loss scenarios faced by ReFS users. Data loss can occur as the result of viruses, accidental deletion, power failure-related loss of ReFS partitions, and a myriad of additional scenarios.

What Sets the ReFS File System Apart from Other File Systems?

Integrity Checking

ReFS derives the first part of its name from the word resilient, due to it’s ability to check files and other data for corruption on the fly, theoretically eliminating the necessity of the end user ever needing to be concerned with file corruption. This concept, also known as metadata integrity checking, can also be enabled for files, in which case it is called file integrity checking.

While these systems often function as intended, they are hardly perfect. It’s important to keep in mind that despite the benefits of ReFS, data loss can still occur and professional data recovery services may be needed. If that warning is coming a bit late, it’s fortunate that you’ve already found a professional data recovery service!

Data Deduplication

ReFS performs data deduplication by identifying and eliminating duplicates of the data blocks within the file system, not by creating aliases of files. The data deduplication feature of ReFS is optional and needs to be specifically enabled, and it may not be applicable to all types of files or workloads.

ReFS File System Data Recovery

Issues arise when files stored in ReFS become corrupted. When you encounter file corruption on a Windows machine using ReFS, the next actions you take may determine whether a professional lab like Gillware will be able to recover your data, or if your files will be gone for good. Gillware can help only so long as the original data hasn’t been overwritten yet. Even our team of highly skilled engineers can’t recreate your files if the space where they had existed in storage is now holding something else. None of this information is intended to condemn ReFS, no file system is perfect, and issues will arise no matter the hardware you’re working with.

Gillware has been tasked with recovering data from PCs and computers running the Windows operating system on thousands of occasions. It doesn’t matter if you represent a multinational corporation or you’re reaching out on behalf of your mother-in-law, we will he happy to help you get your valued data back.

Gillware offers a free estimate on the cost of your recovery, so don’t hesitate to ship your device to our laboratory today and we can get you back up and running ASAP!

JB Larson
JB Larson

JB Larson is technologist passionate about researching data storage devices, educating clients about technology, and playing the piano when he's not working.

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