With Windows 8, Microsoft will introduce a new file system named Resilient File System ( ReFS ).
According to Microsoft, the new file system is “built from scratch” in an attempt to offer a better way to manage files on hard drives and other storage devices. The ReFS system offers improved support for high capacity volumes, used by current and future hard drive generation, improved mechanism for protection against data corruption and better support for sharing storage space between devices.
The ReFS system will only be available for Windows Server 8, at the beginning, so the majority of Windows 8 users will have to settle with the old NTFS system introduced with Windows NT. Apparently, Microsoft wants to test this file system a lot before deciding to introduce it in the Windows 8 Home version.
ReFS can be applied to a newly formatted partition just like any other file system and it is build on the foundation of the old NTFS so hardware compatibility is insured.
Some of the advantages of this new file system is the ability to detect all forms of data corruption that may appear, data stripping support for increased performances and a new way of data writing, named copy-on-write ( COW ). Microsoft already used the COW concepts in SQL Server products and Volume Shadow Copy, to facilitate a fast writing of high data volumes.
Unfortunately, ReFS cannot be used along with portable storage devices and it can’t be used on the boot partition of the operating system.
Until ReFS will be introduced on a larger scale, the client version of the Windows 8 OS can only access the data stored in ReFS volumes for reading.