Windows 8 New File System – Protogon

It appears as though Windows 8 may include some filesystem changes after years of sticking with NTFS as the standard go-to filesystem.

Early builds of Windows 8 include a new filesystem driver codenamed “Protogon.”

It’s unclear, whether this is a major new file system or just some minor subsystem.

It is unknown whether or not this new filesystem will end up replacing NTFS in the final builds of Windows 8, but “Protogon” is certainly there in the early builds that have been circulating.

Also interesting to note is that, as shown with the above screenshot, despite Windows 8 being able to recognize a drive as using the Protogon file system, it seems the Command Prompt chkdsk function has yet to be updated to support it, instead showing the drive as being RAW formatted. Clearly Protogon is in the very early development stages and certainly not ready for Windows prime time.

Protogon sounds like Microsoft’s original concept of Windows Future Storage (WinFS). The codename (WinFS) originally made its way into Longhorn (Windows Vista) builds during the early beta phases.

WinFS was first demonstrated in 2003 at the company’s Professional Developers Conference. Microsoft promised an advanced storage subsystem designed to manage data by means of a database.

The WinFS database would allow any type of information to be stored in it alongside a defined schema for the data type.

The idea was to speed up searching and data sharing between applications. Microsoft ditched the idea before Windows Vista was brought to market.