The new file system introduced in Windows Server 2012, ReFS, has been with us for a couple releases. However, I still get questions about how to configure Windows to boot to it. The short answer is that you can’t. Windows won’t let you do it.
The reason is because of a specific limitation in the file system. ReFS does not allow for the creation of hard links. That is, a file can have one and ONLY one parent directory. This becomes an issue with Windows as ‘servicing’ requires hardlinks in order to function correctly.
No hardlinks = No servicing
No servicing = No Windows
Without the ability to have a file that can belong to multiple parent directories, the file system just can’t support Windows running on it.
ReFS is great for a number of uses, but booting to it just isn’t one of them.
For more information about how hardlinks work with servicing, please refer to the following blog entries….