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  • Blog Post: NTFS And 4K Disks

    Since the 1960’s, hard disks have always used a block size of 512 bytes for the default read/write block size. Recently drive manufacturers have been moving toward a larger block size to improve performance and reliability. Currently there are two types of disks available with a 4KB sector size...
  • Blog Post: How Queue Deadlocks Happen

    I recently worked on an interesting system hang issue with a deadlocked work queue and wanted to share some information about how we resolved the issue.   In this example, we will demonstrate how a cascaded work item can deadlock a work queue.  As you can see from the illustration, we have...
  • Blog Post: Ntfs Misreporting Free Space (Part 2)

    Continuing our discussion on the internals of disk usage, we will now shift our focus to internal metadata usage. …….. KB in …. Indexes . Consider for a moment a world without indexes… The $MFT is a database containing records that are accessed via FRS (file record segment) numbers. This...
  • Blog Post: NTFS Misreports Free Space?

    I have recently seen a number of issues where customers called in to report a significant difference between the “Size on disk” for the root of a volume, and the reported amount of “Used space” in the volume properties. While considering this, I noticed that my own C: drive had a mysterious 20GB difference...
  • Blog Post: NTDebugging Puzzler 0x00000007: Interlocked functions

    Today, we will have some fun with interlocked functions. The following section of code is reentrant. A “well meaning” developer used interlocked functions to avoid serializing on a global table lock. Initial smoke testing shows that the code works fine. Sometimes things are not as they appear...
  • Blog Post: Understanding NTFS Compression

    As our group’s file systems expert, I see most of the common problems associated with the use/misuse of NTFS compression. Before you check the “Compress contents to save disk space” checkbox, it might be good to understand how this affects the happy little bits, bytes, & nibbles...
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