ReFS drive no longer recognized

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
Ok, bad news. I just had one of my ReFS drives disappear. I received an error notification from Windows to check my storage space. For the drive in question, "Storage Spaces" shows "Error Failed; remove drive" for each physical drive. "Disk Manager" shows this volume now as RAW rather than ReFS. DISKPART shows Volume 10 (this drive) as FS of RAW but "healthy".

I checked the WER and the only thing listed is the AppCrash for the app I was using at the time and which aborted when the drive disappeared.

This is my documents drive so I do have back up for some of this but not everything on it. I would prefer to recover this rather than lose those other items.

Anyone have recommendations on recovery software for ReFS drives?

This is pretty annoying since the whole point of using ReFS with multiple physical drives is to address issues where one drive has a failure, inconsistencies, etc. And now both of these physical drives are supposed to have gone out at the same exact moment while all other drives are fine? These are both Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500 and I have others of these in this same system supporting other volumes. I find it unlikely that the hardware of these two drives would both fail at exactly the same time. Certainly possible, but everything else -- including the other EVO 500 drives -- are all working.
 
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livix07

Well-Known Member
According to Wikipedia, in regards to ReFS:

37891


If I were you I would use NTFS instead of ReFS.

You can run a Linux live-DVD/USB in order to try to recover your files stored on those disks.
 

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
Thank you for the reply. This, of course, does nothing to help me resolve my current situation though it could help in the future. I have found these tools which indicate they can recover ReFS data: ReclaiMe, EaseUS, and Remo Recover. I guess I'll look deeper into them.
 

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
I downloaded and purchased EaseUS which successfully recognized the entire drive structure -- which was impressive. However, so far, none of the recovered files have been usable with any of their apps. I'm still investigating and have reached out to the vendor for recommendations.
 

Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
It depends on how long the drive was running in its defunct state. It goes without saying that many files may not be recoverable. Also, the more you read/write to the drive, have it powered on, could cause you to lose data integrity. Best case scenario for data recovery in such instances is that you could recover some important documents. Files with a larger file structure may not be recoverable at all. Recovering an entire partition would be extreme luck.. and likely involve freezing the drive as soon as it goes. You may want to even clone the partition/drive structure to another drive and work from there to reconstruct that data. But whether or not its worth it - depending on what was on the drive - is a cost vs. benefit situation.
 

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
The drive became unusable immediately at the notification. Windows would no longer access the drive at all so no further file access occurred beyond the failure.

This isn't a case of overwriting deleted files. It is an instance of the volume beginning completely inaccessible.
 

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
UPDATE: I ran EaseUS and talked with one of their techs about my situation. The software can read the volume file system structure but, unfortunately cannot recover any files from it. However, it is able to recover nearly all of the files for those file types which it recognizes. Sadly, the most important data I wanted to recover is in file types which are not recognized by EaseUS.

However, on the hardware side, my motherboard utility confirms that the health of the two physical drives is healthy. And, given, that EaseUS can recover files from this volume, they are clearly responding rather than "failed" as indicated in storage spaces.

I am severely regretting having gone with ReFS. It really seemed like a good solution but, clearly, has become a dead end. I should have just stuck with RAID 1.

I'm going to reach out to some data recovery companies and see what they might be able to offer. I'm also going to try moving these drives to other SATA ports on the board. Although, this does not seem to be a hardware issue but simply an instance where ReFS lost its understanding of the drives below it.
 

Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
UPDATE: I ran EaseUS and talked with one of their techs about my situation. The software can read the volume file system structure but, unfortunately cannot recover any files from it. However, it is able to recover nearly all of the files for those file types which it recognizes. Sadly, the most important data I wanted to recover is in file types which are not recognized by EaseUS.

However, on the hardware side, my motherboard utility confirms that the health of the two physical drives is healthy. And, given, that EaseUS can recover files from this volume, they are clearly responding rather than "failed" as indicated in storage spaces.

I am severely regretting having gone with ReFS. It really seemed like a good solution but, clearly, has become a dead end. I should have just stuck with RAID 1.

I'm going to reach out to some data recovery companies and see what they might be able to offer. I'm also going to try moving these drives to other SATA ports on the board. Although, this does not seem to be a hardware issue but simply an instance where ReFS lost its understanding of the drives below it.
Yeah I generally have avoided storage spaces for this reason. The Microsoft Surface Pro 5 (aka "Surface Pro" and not Surface Pro 6 or 4) used 2 NVME SSDs in a built-in hardware based Storage Space solution crafted by Microsoft. Mind you this was NTFS-based. Still exhibited hard disk corruption problems on multiple models; even new out of the box. Solution was ultimately warranty return for a literal upgrade to the next version of the hardware. Also had a home user running Storage Spaces and it caused nothing but mayhem with around 10 1TB drives. This person ultimately switched to not even running a software based spanned volume and just did separate drives. Software based solutions that involve proprietary architecture has never really been a good replacement for RAID1 or RAID10, although I do understand how convoluted and annoying RAID itself can become. Sorry that you lost data. Like I wrote earlier, whether or not the actual files are worth even trying to recover is really questionable, unless it contained some seriously mission critical stuff. In such a scenario, even under RAID1, I'd consider making monthly backups and keeping them in a safe or off-site somewhere if the data is that extremely important. I'd also seriously just ignore ReFS and stick with what we know works. Really NTFS or ext4 at this point.
 

RodBarnes

Honorable Member
UPDATE: Well, the ReFS volume is back. I went in this morning, brought the computer up out of sleep, and the volume is there and both drives are showing as "OK". Other than the steps I've reported (the attempted recovery of data and such), I'd done nothing else. I had actually contacted a company about an attempted data recovery and was planning to send the drives to them on Monday.

What changed? Unsure. Yesterday, I'd shut it down to remove a WiFi card I no longer needed. So, maybe the extended shut-down made a difference. Haven't any other clue. But this does confirm what I was seeing: That the physical drives were actually fine and the ReFS volume had only "lost track" of things.

In any case, I am already copying all of that data to another drive so I can get rid of the ReFS volume and go back to RAID 1.
 

detsiwt

New Member
thanks for your post and followup. I'm glad your situation was resolved positively and I can see REFS may not be reliable. I am a tentative user of 7disk-REFS with 1-mirror-copy, nothing mission-critical but I appreciate hearing the good and bad. All my backups are manual about once a week.

In my own setup Storage Space issued a "warning" about one disk out of 4, that was not detailed, and the warning disappeared after a day or two. I didn't dig too deep and kept adding disks. After 8-9 months it's still operating - not much history. Every one or two months, I see event logs recorded that claim fixing one or two files from the mirror - that is why I keep using it.
 
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