WinFX - Learning the future.

The next generation Windows, a programmers view.

March 2004 - Posts

  • WinFS and System Maintenance

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    My post today  on

    I hope Microsoft also does some serious long term testing of Longhorn.
    I'd hate to think that everyones WinFS could grind to a halt after adding 6 months worth of data and no one could predict because they were in such a hurry to release it that it was never tested for 6 months at a time.

    A lot of people I know still do six monthly or annual reinstallations of Windows XP just to clear out the garbage that tends to accumulate. With WinFS, the more
    information you put into it the better it can serve you, which doesn't tie in well with wiping everything twice a year.

    If WinFS is supposed to be able to store everything about anything you do in your life then it needs to be something that people can truely rely on longterm.
    That means the system must take better care of itself to maintain its performance and integrity. Prefetch, system scheduled defragment, disk cleanup wizard etc are
    all steps in the right direction and XP suffers less from slowdowns than previous versions but it still needs more work.

    My XP Pro system was installed on 12th March 2003, the "c:\windows\" folder is currently 3Gb in size, a fresh install is of XP is about 1.2Gb. If all the files I have
    created\downloaded this year are in c:\documents and settings\<username> and all my application installed files are in c:\program files\ where has the extra 1.8Gb
    come from over the last year? How much of it do I really need? What is safe to delete?
    Will it just keep growing forever?  It seems to be full of temporary files, crash dumps, windows update roll-backs, etc. Yet running the disk cleanup wizard does not remove
    any of it, the best it can do is compress the files I have not accessed in a long time.

    Backing up and restoring WinFS will be a lot more complicated than just backing up my user profile or data files. Will I need to be a MCDBA to know how to look after my machine?
    The WinFS sync may be useful here, if I can sync the data to another PC, reinstall Longhorn on this one and sync it back. But not everyone has a more than one PC available to them, or their other PC may not have enough room to store both WinFS stores at once.

    Will I be able to install Blackcomb over Longhorn, keep all my WinFS data intact and not lose out on any system performance because I havn't done a clean install?

    At the same time we all need hard discs that are warrentied to last over a year and
    consumer backup solutions that can deal with hundreds of gigabytes of data at a time on a medium more reliable durable than a CDR or DVDR.

    I'd also like to see cheap, quiet, low power and reliable consumer level  Network Attached Storage solutions that work with SMB shares and eventually WinFS sync to do automatic backups and file versioning. But at the moment it doesn't seem like anyone is interested in developing them.  I don't want to have to get server 2003 and a storage area network.

    At the moment my computer locks up whenever I try to enter standby or hibernate, a problem I have yet to find a solution for. Looks like I'm about due a reinstall here,
    will I be in the same situation a year on with Longhorn?