Linked by Andrew Hudson on Mon 29th Nov 2010 21:50 UTC
Windows NTFS is the file system used by Windows. It is a powerful and complicated file system. There are few file systems that provide as many features and to fully cover them all would require a book. And in fact there is a book detailing NTFS, and it's already out of date. The purpose of this article is not to cover all of the features of NTFS, nor will it exhaustively cover NTFS features in detail. Instead we will cover its basic structure and then describe some of its more advanced features and provide use examples where possible. We will focus more on what it does, rather than how it does it. Trying to walk the line between informative and detailed is difficult and so this article contains a lot of references for people who hunger for more detail.
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another thing done right
by renhoek on Mon 29th Nov 2010 22:35 UTC
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NTFS rocks, don't let anybody fool you. Transparent compression, encryption, rich acl and a lot of other stuff I don't know about. Too bad some features are not exposed to the interface (hard/soft links for example).

And only after 20 years the cracks start to appear. Throw a few hundred thousand files in a directory and it breaks down. But other than that, i have little to complain.

The absolute crap Microsoft build on top of it is an insult to the original designers. We need more metadata in NTFS, but this is not the way to go. NTFS did its job, it did it well but the time for plain filesystems have passed.

We need something like ZFS for the volume management and BeFS for the metadata and we are good for another 20 years. No rewrite needed ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: another thing done right
by malxau on Mon 29th Nov 2010 23:33 in reply to "another thing done right"
malxau Member since:

And only after 20 years the cracks start to appear. Throw a few hundred thousand files in a directory and it breaks down. But other than that, i have little to complain.

Did you disable short name generation?

I don't think the article mentioned this, but NTFS generates two links per file: the name you use (long name) plus an autogenerated short name for DOS applications if the name you use is not 8.3 compliant.

Unfortunately the 8.3 namespace tends to congest pretty quickly, leading to painful times to insert and delete entries as NTFS searches for a free name.

Turning off shortname generation dramatically improves scalability at the filesystem level. Explorer et al may still struggle, but that's a different issue.

- M

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: another thing done right
by renhoek on Mon 29th Nov 2010 23:59 in reply to "RE: another thing done right"
renhoek Member since:

Turning off short filename generation on a stable production server is a bit of a no-go. But you might be right, since the files started with the same characters. I suspected improper hashing or something like that in the first place, but it was a long time ago. Listing the directory took about 15 minutes before it even started printing in a dosbox, deleting the files was a pain.

Explorer struggles even with a few hundred files, which is what i meant with the crap they build on top of it. I really look forward for the day 8.3 is disabled by default and explorer is usable.

Now i'm a ZFS fanboy, which has different imperfections.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: another thing done right
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 30th Nov 2010 03:24 in reply to "another thing done right"
UltraZelda64 Member since:

I admit, I view NTFS as a relatively nice and very reliable filesystem. I don't recall ever losing a file on it as a result of a problem with the filesystem itself. It beats the living hell out of FAT, which would always manage to "lose" critical system files and require copying them back over from the OS CD back in the Win9x days (though to be fair, this could have equally been caused by these OSes' tendency to crash and burn constantly, but IMO likely a combination of poor filesystem *and* operating system design...).

But one thing I will never praise NTFS for: performance. Sure, NTFS can take a hell of a lot more fragging than FAT ever could and slow down less due to it, but it still fragments to hell and back in very little time of normal use and will noticeable slow down in a short amount of time. Just like its predecessor, it constantly needs defragged--once every week (two at the very most) back when I used to run Windows XP on NTFS. And no, from what I've seen of Vista/7, it's not improved; the filesystem still seems happy to scatter pieces of files all over the disk.

When nice and clean (no or few excess fragments) NTFS is very snappy. It's just too bad it can't stay that way for much more than a week.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:

Yet, most DVB set-top-box manufacturers still ship their PVRs with FAT32 instead. Your recordings are split into 4GB chunks. Why don't they pay a license fee to use NTFS?! (or even an open-source filesystem)

Reply Parent Score: 2