Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Refs File systems - Preparations for Backups

  1. #1


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Refs File systems - Preparations for Backups


    Hi there
    I'm hoping in one of the next few leaked builds to test the Refs file system -- it won't yet be available on the boot system but will be on other volumes.

    This will mean a change in your backup strategy if you back up disks by Imaging partitions. It will be a while yet before the standard backup vendors build this new file system into their backups - but whatever the change of data format in the partition layout you should still always be able to backup if you select "Backup by SECTOR" mode - as this mode simply copies byte for byte exactly what is on the disk without regard to data organisation whatever - it's a pure physical address sector by sector copy. It will probably take longer but it should always work.

    (Although I'll be running this on a VM which can be backed up in other ways - I want to try the actual sector by sector backup from the Guest machine).

    In theory though as most backup solutions are Linux based any sort of Windows file systems are just DATA as far as Linux itself is concerned - however sometimes these utilities do a bit of data compression and optimisation which requires knowing details of the SOURCE file system - usually FAT / FAT32 / NTFS. This could cause problems with the new Refs file system so I'd go for the physical sector by sector dump.

    In any case while I'm sure we are all waiting to test the new file system - don't rely on it on any machine until your BACKUP and RESTORE strategy works.

    I'm sure we'll hear a lot more of this in as Refs is rolled out.

    Cheers
    jimbo

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    Hi jimbo45,

    You didn't mention a file-based image format (WIM), and it's a native Windows format since Vista. One can create and register a custom refresh image with
    Code:
    recimg /createimage D:\backup
    to capture the system and installed software, and let File History take care of your personal files.

    The disadvantage of the refresh backup strategy compared to the legacy VHD way is the lack of incremental backup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Vadikan View Post
    Hi jimbo45,

    You didn't mention a file-based image format (WIM), and it's a native Windows format since Vista. One can create and register a custom refresh image with
    Code:
    recimg /createimage D:\backup
    to capture the system and installed software, and let File History take care of your personal files.

    The disadvantage of the refresh backup strategy compared to the legacy VHD way is the lack of incremental backup.
    As it happens I just tried making a custom refresh image and restoring it yesterday.

    It has its place if your computer is totally messed up, but it lost so many settings that I wouldn't really describe it as a backup.

    Good thread though. Sector-by-sector backup is all very well, but if you have a 1TB disk and have only filled 100GB, does that mean every backup is 1TB?!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by Vadikan View Post
    Hi jimbo45,

    You didn't mention a file-based image format (WIM), and it's a native Windows format since Vista. One can create and register a custom refresh image with
    Code:
    recimg /createimage D:\backup
    to capture the system and installed software, and let File History take care of your personal files.

    The disadvantage of the refresh backup strategy compared to the legacy VHD way is the lack of incremental backup.
    Hi there
    This won't work as you can't currently have the Refs system on a Boot device. I was referring to backing up your USER data if partitions / Disks are converted to Refs. We won't have the Windows system ITSELF yet on Refs for a while until Boot is supported.

    Windows 2012 server currently has Refs available but also not on the boot device or removable devices.

    I'd also be interested to see if say a standard (no boot) HDD can be spilt into NTFS and Refs partitions or does the entire disk have to be one or the other.

    The Storage spaces scheme looks good also in Refs -- I'm currently using Spanned volumes (NTFS) but hope to replace that with something a bit more robust.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    As it happens I just tried making a custom refresh image and restoring it yesterday.

    It has its place if your computer is totally messed up, but it lost so many settings that I wouldn't really describe it as a backup.
    Interesting. It worked fine for me in RP, but I haven't tested it with RTM. What kind of settings have you lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    This won't work as you can't currently have the Refs system on a Boot device. I was referring to backing up your USER data if partitions / Disks are converted to Refs. We won't have the Windows system ITSELF yet on Refs for a while until Boot is supported.
    OK, great point, but you still can use DISM to capture a volume to WIM, right? And why would one be rushing to convert the data drive to ReFS? If your data is so precious that you go an extra mile to back it up (unlike most of home users), why would you switch from well-known NTFS to new and unproven ReFS?

    I'm asking in the context of home users, since this is a client OS forum.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    For those of you (like me) who did not know what Refs was: Resilient file system (Windows)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Vadikan View Post
    Interesting. It worked fine for me in RP, but I haven't tested it with RTM. What kind of settings have you lost?
    Well I perhaps exaggerate slightly, as it was a fairly recently clean installation without much software on it so it didn't have too many settings in the first place. But for instance:
    * autoplay settings in Control Panel
    * settings in File Explorer such as the daft default to hide file extensions
    * settings in TrueCrypt software (I had a file which was set to mount as drive H: at logon).

    At that point I got fed up and restored from the more conventional backup I'd taken at the same time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    I believe paragon supports refs already.

    There is a free one about - not a huge amount of functions, but it does the job.

    Paragon Image Backup for Windows 8 Download - Softpedia
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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