MFT Record

MFT stands for Master File Table, which is in fact is a database of NTFS file system. Windows operating systems use NTFS file system to store information about files and directories on a disk. Every file and directory on an NTFS volume has a corresponding record in the MFT, which contains information such as the file name, creation and modification dates, permissions, and attributes.

The MFT record is a data structure that describes a particular file or directory on an NTFS volume. It contains information such as the file or directory’s name, size, creation and modification times, ownership, permissions, and data content. Each MFT record has a unique identifier called a file reference number. The file system uses it to locate the record on the disk.

It is an essential component of the NTFS file system. Many Windows utilities and applications use it to manage files and directories on the disk. Understanding how the MFT works can be important for tasks such as data recovery, disk analysis, and disk optimization.


What is an unexpected MFT Record

An “unexpected” MFT record typically means that is corrupted or damaged in some way. This causing the file system to encounter an error when attempting to read or write data to that file or directory. This error can result in a variety of issues. File system crashes, data loss, or inability to access certain files or directories are some of them.

There can be many reasons why an MFT record becomes unexpected. They are including hardware failures, software bugs, malware infections, or improper system shutdowns. To fix the issue, the first step is to run a disk check utility to identify and repair any errors on the disk. In some cases, more advanced data recovery tools may be necessary to recover data from the damaged one or repair the file system.

A strong recommendation is to regularly backup important data. This prevents data loss in case of unexpected MFT record issues or other disk-related problems.


How to fix an unexpected MFT Record

Fixing an unexpected MFT record will depend on the specific cause of the issue. Here are some general steps to try and resolve the issue:

  1. Run a disk check: The first step is to run a disk check utility such as CHKDSK in Windows to scan the disk for errors and repair any file system issues. To do this, open a command prompt as administrator and type “chkdsk /f /r” and press Enter. This will scan the disk for errors and fix any issues found.
  2. Use data recovery tools: If the disk check utility is unable to fix the MFT record issue, data recovery tools such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or Recuva are excellent options to recover data from the damaged ones.
  3. Use relevant repair tools: If the MFT record is corrupted or damaged, there are specialized repair tools available such as TestDisk, MFT Recovery Toolkit, or DMDE, that repair or rebuild the MFT record.
  4. Seek professional help: In some cases, if the issue is severe or data is critical, seek professional help from a data recovery service or a computer technician who can perform more advanced repairs.

It is important to note the required caution when attempting to fix these issues. A good practice is to backing up important data before making any changes to the disk.

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