SOLVED

ReFS volume inaccessible after update from Windows 10 22H2 to Windows 11 23H2

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The starting point of this post was an up-to-date Windows 10 22H2 system, with two mirrored Storage Spaces (one NTFS, the other ReFS).

 

ReFS always was officially supported in this scenario, as this is Windows Pro for Workstations. The ReFS volume was formatted directly with ReFS version 3.4, six months ago. BitLocker is enabled.

 

Today I gave in to the insisting Windows Update prompts, finally allowing it to update to Windows 11 23H2. All went apparently well, without pre-check warnings, and with no update errors.

 

After the update to Windows 11 (build 22631.2715, refs.sys 10.0.22621.2506), the ReFS drive shows up as "Local Disk", but cannot be opened in File Explorer. The event log contains entries like "Volume X: is formatted as ReFS but ReFS is unable to mount it; ReFS encountered status The file system encountered a metadata file with inconsistent data."

 

On the affected system, fsutil fsinfo refsinfo x: now gives "Error: The file system encountered a metadata file with inconsistent data. A local REFS volume is required for this operation."

 

The storage space still mounts and works well on a different (Windows 10) system, providing these details:

 

REFS Volume Serial Number : [redacted]
REFS Version : 3.4
Number Sectors : 0x0000000121994000
Total Clusters : 0x0000000121994000
Free Clusters : 0x0000000022f8ff75
Total Reserved : 0x0000000000084548
Bytes Per Sector : 4096
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 4096
Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
Fast Tier Data Fill Percentage : 0.0%
Slow Tier Data Fill Percentage : 0.0%
Fast Tier to Slow Tier Rate (Clusters/s) : 0
Checksum Type : CHECKSUM_TYPE_NONE

 

This reminds me of similar issues Windows Server had last year after a Windows Update, although at the time the affected ReFS version was 1.x, while now it is 3.4:

 

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-server-for-it-pro/refs-volume-appears-raw-version-doe...

 

I suppose that the (expensive) workaround will be, as in the past, to copy everything to a storage space with a newer ReFS version, so I already ordered some new disks.

 

Perhaps ReFS experts @stephc_msft or @RajDas_FS can give the issue a look?

 

P.S.: I found a comment at https://gist.github.com/0xbadfca11/da0598e47dd643d933dc that says "11 v22H2 (refs.sys 10.0.2621.1) can't mount 3.1 3.2 3.3 and 3.4 with read-only, or with RefsDisableVolumeUpgrade. Maybe bug."

 

15 Replies
I've not heard on any other reports of this, but will check.
Use of ReFS on Windows11/client is, or was, non-typical.
But there is now a new 'Dev Drive' feature that uses ReFS
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dev-drive/
hi there it might be related had the same when upgrading from one version of Windows Server v.Next to a newer one, documented it in Windows Server Insider back then.
Hello @Karl-WE, are we talking about this thread:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-server-for-it-pro/refs-volume-appears-raw-version-doe...

In that case, ReFS 1.x was silently deprecated by a Windows Update, and the error type was immediately helpful about the version issue ("Version 1.2 doesn't match expected value 3.4"). Here however we are dealing with ReFS 3.4 or higher, and the error is "The file system encountered a metadata file with inconsistent data". Sure, it's again an issue that came up with a Windows update/upgrade, which shouldn't have happened in the first place. I do see a pattern, and while we can accept things being deprecated for the sake of progress, the lack of warnings before this happens and then waiting a week or more for an answer are not good.

Can somebody @microsoft perhaps escalate this?
Just the other day, I had a BSoD caused by ReFS.sys when I connected my Windows 10 storage space (4 HDDs with ReFS format) to the SATA interfaces of my newly installed Windows 11 PC.
Probably a similar problem.

No this is an entirely different thing and more like by design. The one I talk about does affect Windows Server vNext and ReFS 3.10

There is a terse "ReFS 3.10 is no longer compatible with ReFS 3.4." comment at https://gist.github.com/0xbadfca11/da0598e47dd643d933dc

Could this be our scenario (if it means that 3.4 has been dumped from the latest Windows 11/Server 2022), and if so why is it not documented anywhere?

Per the original post, I am unable to mount a 3.4 volume (which mounts fine on Windows 10) after an upgrade to Windows 11, and it seems like this is not an isolated case.

Because I saw it mentioned in the linked GitHub post, I'd like to add that the affected system does not have RefsDisableVolumeUpgrade set. The volume also is not read-only.

Thanks @stephc_msft @RajDas_FS

Hey @MikeLabatt
I am facing the exact same issue. 
Updated to Windows 11 because of the annoying popups. 
Going back to Windows 10 is not a solution. I can´t read the ReFs File system any more. 

Running  ReFSUtil Salvage -QS I: C:\refsutil  get´s no errors as far as a can see. 
Versión de ReFS: 3.4

Using https://www.reclaime.com/ I can see that all the files are there. 

I have 3 x 4TB drives in parity mode. No hardware problem found.
Now I am waiting for a new drive to copy all my data. 
This is not what I was expecting from a "Resilient " File System.

No solution found yet. Let me know if you get some success.

Update... Out of curiosity, I attached the same ReFS 3.4 (mirrored storage space) volume which won't mount on Windows 11 (but works fine on Windows 10), to a Windows Server 2022 system. Not only it mounts fine, but it auto-updated to ReFS 3.7 (per fsutil fsinfo refsinfo x:)

 

Right now I can't power off the Windows 11 box to see if the disks mount fine there as well after the update to 3.7, but I will post an update. There is some hope that the updated volume can now be seen by Windows 11 without requiring the lengthy copy process. Still a waste of money and time on new disks and troubleshooting before Christmas, while there has been no official answer here in more than two weeks...

I am having a similar issue with two 4 TB mirrored drive (formatted as RefS) that I moved from a windows 10 to windows 11 machine. In eventvwr I get the error: Volume D: is formatted as ReFS but ReFS is unable to mount it; ReFS encountered status The file system encountered a metadata file with inconsistent data.

I can see the drive in storage spaces but cannot view files.Using fsutil fsino I get the error: A local REFS volume is required for this operation. IN partition manager, the drive D shows as RAW.

Have you had any success solving this issue?

I solved my issue by creating a new Hyper-V virtual machine with Win10 on the existing Win11 machine and connected the storage pool to the virtual machine. Interestingly, the storage pool shows as a simple drive machine. Previously, I had to take the pool drive offline from the main Win11 machine in order to connect it to the virtual machine. Now I can backup the data and no longer use RefS on a storage pool. Simply not reliable to me.

best response confirmed by MikeLabatt (Brass Contributor)
Solution

Since opening this thread in December, I'd like to share two "solutions" (workarounds):

1) As mentioned before, I attached the ReFS 3.4 volume which wouldn't read on Windows 11, to a Windows Server 2022 system, which auto-updated it to ReFS 3.7. Moving the disks back to the Windows 11 system, I can confirm that they now work fine. Storage Spaces on Windows 11 prompted to upgrade the pool, but the data was readable both before and after this upgrade. The ReFS version remained unchanged at 3.7. This solution does not require purchasing new disks, but it does require access to a Windows Server 2022 system.


2) The other method is to get new disks and copy the data, using an OS version like Windows 10, which can read the ReFS 3.4 volume which became unreadable after the upgrade to Windows 11.

Hi, thank you very much! I have the same problem, Windows 10 was automatically upgraded to Windows 11 and I can't access the ReFS disks. This is very strange behavior. Is there a way to fix this directly in Windows 11 or do I have to install Windows Server 2022? I still can't believe this happened.

@MikeLabatt I ended up installing Windows Server 2022 and both ReFS drives were fixed in seconds. Then I switched back to Windows 11 and it works fine. Thanks for the working solution.
I don't understand why MS couldn't put functionality that converts ReFS to a newer version to Windows 11 as well.

They are still the same issues when using Windows Server 2025 preview and Windows 11 (preview). this is by design of different used ReFS version.
heads-up the gist is replaced as the original maintainer cannot maintain it anymore
https://gist.github.com/XenoPanther/15d8fad49fbd51c6bd946f2974084ef8
1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by MikeLabatt (Brass Contributor)
Solution

Since opening this thread in December, I'd like to share two "solutions" (workarounds):

1) As mentioned before, I attached the ReFS 3.4 volume which wouldn't read on Windows 11, to a Windows Server 2022 system, which auto-updated it to ReFS 3.7. Moving the disks back to the Windows 11 system, I can confirm that they now work fine. Storage Spaces on Windows 11 prompted to upgrade the pool, but the data was readable both before and after this upgrade. The ReFS version remained unchanged at 3.7. This solution does not require purchasing new disks, but it does require access to a Windows Server 2022 system.


2) The other method is to get new disks and copy the data, using an OS version like Windows 10, which can read the ReFS 3.4 volume which became unreadable after the upgrade to Windows 11.

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