Windows 10: What file system magic tricks like symlinks are there?

  1.    26 Jul 2017 #1

    What file system magic tricks like symlinks are there?


    A symlink lets you put a folder on a different drive from where a program thinks it is. What other magic tricks exist for NTFS drives?
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  2.    26 Jul 2017 #2

    My favorite is compression. I've tested on my systems with HDD and SSD and fast and slow processors and they are always faster after compression.

    For example compact /compactos:always and then compact /c /s /a /f /q /i /exe:xpress16k "C:\Games\*" (or whatever) will both reduce the size taken on disk and make your system faster.

    You may have to play with the xpress16k value and make it lower (xpress8k or xpress4k) if you CPU is feeble compared to your disk but I've never found a situation where some compression isn't better than none.
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  3.    26 Jul 2017 #3

    lx07 said: View Post
    My favorite is compression. I've tested on my systems with HDD and SSD and fast and slow processors and they are always faster after compression.
    For example compact /compactos:always and then compact /c /s /a /f /q /i /exe:xpress16k "C:\Games\*" (or whatever) will both reduce the size taken on disk and make your system faster.
    You may have to play with the xpress16k value and make it lower (xpress8k or xpress4k) if you CPU is feeble compared to your disk but I've never found a situation where some compression isn't better than none.
    Well slap my head and call me Sally! We need to let everyone know about this!
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  4.    26 Jul 2017 #4

    Deduplication is another cool feature (it only exists on server unfortunately - if you are running Pro you have to extract it from an equivalent server version and add it). It saves a huge amount of space if you run multiple similar VMs for example though.

    ReFS seems to have some nice features (automatic corruption repair etc) compared to NTFS but I've not really tried them out as it is (supposedly) very slow and, more importantly, supports neither compression nor deduplication.
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  5.    26 Jul 2017 #5

    If you do wish to try ReFS be aware that at the present time it can only be used as a data drive. You can't install any OS on it.
    ReFS has some nice features and may eventually replace NTFS but much work needs to be done before that happens.
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  6.    26 Jul 2017 #6

    lx07 said: View Post
    My favorite is compression. I've tested on my systems with HDD and SSD and fast and slow processors and they are always faster after compression.
    For example compact /compactos:always and then compact /c /s /a /f /q /i /exe:xpress16k "C:\Games\*" (or whatever) will both reduce the size taken on disk and make your system faster.
    You may have to play with the xpress16k value and make it lower (xpress8k or xpress4k) if you CPU is feeble compared to your disk but I've never found a situation where some compression isn't better than none.
    Is it okay to just go to My Computer, right click on a drive, select properties and check the 'Compress this drive to save disk space' option?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    26 Jul 2017 #7

    Use file compression with caution. First off, with the cost of HDD's today, there is no reason to compress a folder or drive to save space. You can always get a larger drive.
    Second, if you are trying to backup or restore compressed files, especially from a failed drive, it is nearly impossible to do this with a compressed folder or drive.
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    Windows 10 Pro X64 16299.192
       26 Jul 2017 #9

    lx07 said: View Post
    My favorite is compression. I've tested on my systems with HDD and SSD and fast and slow processors and they are always faster after compression.

    For example compact /compactos:always and then compact /c /s /a /f /q /i /exe:xpress16k "C:\Games\*" (or whatever) will both reduce the size taken on disk and make your system faster.

    You may have to play with the xpress16k value and make it lower (xpress8k or xpress4k) if you CPU is feeble compared to your disk but I've never found a situation where some compression isn't better than none.
    I'd like to see some actual numbers on this as this has never been the case for me. I will say in my case drives were only compressed if they were fairly small and running out of room.
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  •    27 Jul 2017 #10

    THX1138 said: View Post
    Is it okay to just go to My Computer, right click on a drive, select properties and check the 'Compress this drive to save disk space' option?
    That would do NTFS compression. Better to do the commands separately as the xpress* is more efficient (higher compression ratio and faster). Note the compact /compactos:always option uses xpress4k and can't be changed.

    spunk said: View Post
    Use file compression with caution. First off, with the cost of HDD's today, there is no reason to compress a folder or drive to save space. You can always get a larger drive.
    Not if your SSD is soldered to your motherboard like in my MacBook
    spunk said: View Post
    Second, if you are trying to backup or restore compressed files, especially from a failed drive, it is nearly impossible to do this with a compressed folder or drive.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this. I use Macruim for backup and restore and compression is completely transparent to it. I've not had a failed drive (ever, touch wood) but surely the data is either there or not - I can't see how compression would make a difference either way.

    Ztruker said: View Post
    I'd like to see some actual numbers on this as this has never been the case for me. I will say in my case drives were only compressed if they were fairly small and running out of room.
    I don't know of any proper benchmarking but there is some limited results in this thread that @eLPuSHeR and I did Any useful scenario for NTFS compression? - Page 2 - Windows 10 Forums

    I suppose it wouldn't always be faster - if you had a very fast SSD and a very weak processor perhaps - but we found it was quicker both with SSD and HDD on our systems. In any case you can always turn it off again.

    There is some background here - some of which is interesting, some just speculation. Windows 10 Compression | Page 2 | My Digital Life Forums
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