Windows XP uses NTFS file system to store and organize data saved on its multiple logical partitions. Thus, to maintain the records of each and every file or folder saved on the NTFS volume it uses a relational database which is termed as Master File Table (MFT). Therefore, when a new file is added to NTFS file system volume, the entries related to it are added to MFT itself and thus, MFT increases in size. On the contrary when a file is deleted from the NTFS volume then its MFT entry is marked as free or reused. Hence, any corruption to MFT may make your system unbootable and thus create inaccessibility of data. In such situations of valuable data loss, backups work as a boon but in the unavailability of proper backup, third-party Windows data recovery software can do the needful.
Consider a practical case wherein when you boot your Windows XP based computer, you encountered the below mentioned error message:
“C:$MFT is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the chkdsk utility.”
This error message is an indication of MFT damage or corruption. However, after the occurrence of this error message, the hard drive partition of your computer becomes inaccessible and you get this error message every time when you attempt to boot your computer. To rectify the issue, you must first understand the cause behind it.
The root cause of this error message is MFT corruption. The MFT of your NTFS based system becomes corrupt due to reasons like damaged metadata structure, virus infection, file system corruption, etc.
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To resolve this issue manually, you can try these steps:
- The NTFS partition always maintains a duplicate copy of MFT on the hard drive thus, use that copy to boot the hard drive partition.
- As suggested in the error itself, use CHKDSK utility to fix the issue. However, sometimes using CHKDSK utility to solve this problem results in the below mentioned error message:
“CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the master file table
(MFT)bitmap. CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.”
However, if both the above recommended resolutions fail to fix the issue then formatting of hard drive remains as only way to solve the problem. Though formatting and re-installation of operating system formally deletes all the data saved on the partition but to recover that data you can use the backup. In the unavailability of secure backup, third-party Windows recovery software work as boon. These recovery applications use high end scanning methods to recover and restore your data completely and orderly.
About the author:
Oliver has recently come across this great software and want to introduce with you as well. You can try this software for Deleted data recovery from Windows, after previewing the recoverable data, you can download the full version. You can follow oliver @powellstellar or become a fan on Google+