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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Corrupt Master File Table (MFT)

    Here's a brief rundown on my system before I start:
    WinXP Pro
    Norton Systemworks 2002
    Disk1Part1 C: System and software
    Disk1Part2 D: Data
    Disk2 E: Data
    (IDE drives formatted in NTFS)

    I perform disk maintenance tasks on a weekly basis on my home system. Yesterday, I used Norton Antivirus 2002 to do a full scan of all three partitions. Then I attempted to run Speed Disk but it reported it had encountered an error, that I should close and restart Speed Disk, and if the error didn't go away, reinstall Speed Disk. Well, the error didn't go away.

    Before attempting to reinstall, I had some things to do with the data on E:. When I opened Windows Explorer I noticed instead of the volume label being D1P1, E: had the label, Local Disk. I could not access the drive feom WE.

    I rebooted to the console and ran chkdsk /r. chkdsk reported there were errors in the Master File Table and attempted to recover using the backup copy. I guess the backup copy was corrupted, too, because during Stage 5 chkdsk reported the Master File Table was corrupt and halted.

    My next step was to use the drive vendor's utility to run a diagnostic on the hard drive. Both the functional and surface scans passed using the latest version of the diag software.

    The BIOS and WinXP both recognize a drive is present. Device Manager reports the drive is functioning properly.

    A few Google searches turned up one utility that might help called, Get Data Back. I haven't tried this yet.

    Anyone have any experience with this software or have other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Lounger
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    Re: Corrupt Master File Table (MFT)

    FYI, I tried the GetDataBack software in its non-registered state. I was amazed to discover not only was it able to reconstruct the directory structure, but made access available to every file through whatever application was associated with the file's type. This amount of functionality is made available so the user can evaluate the quality of the possible recover before paying the $129 registration fee.

    However, I'm really po right now. Since I cannot afford that, and the vast majority of the files were taken from CD-R backups, I will determine which I must absolutely have, make sure their associated apps are editors, and open and save them to another disk the slow and painful way.

    I elected to allow it to detect what it calls, "lost files." It listed dozens of garbage directories which contained valid filenames, but incomplete files. A brief examination made me realize these were system and program files from a previous installation of Win2k that was on the disk. What intrigued me is I had deleted the previous partitions on this drive and created a new one during WinXP setup.

    It makes me wonder if had I low-level formatted this previous system disk before reusing it as a data drive, would I have avoided the corrupted MFT? (My usual practice is to low-level any drive before using it for anything. But I was in a hurry.)

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Corrupt Master File Table (MFT)

    IMHO, low-level formatting is a rather dicey proposition. If you have a corrupt MFT, back your stuff up, format the sucker clean, and start over....youch. NTFS doesn't booger up very often but <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.broge.com/laffs/osair.htm>when it does, look out below</A>.
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Re: Corrupt Master File Table (MFT)

    When something (anything) 'twangs' your MFT, that is serious business. I sure hope you are able to finger the cause and let us know here!

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