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Corrupted MFT (Read 17690 times)
Commodore
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Corrupted MFT
Mar 26th, 2009 at 3:38pm
 
Dear Forum,

I seem to be having a corrupted MFT Bitmap (Master File Table Bitmap). Scan Disc of partition D diagnosed that Bitmap Attribute of the MFT is wrong and Windows detected problems in my file system. Scan Disk with option /F to fix the problem was recommended. (sorry, this is my translation of the German text since I got a German Vista).

I ran Scan Disk with option /F several times and still receive the same results. I tried to find answers in the internet but all I found was that I am advised to use Scan Disk to solve the problem which does not work. One article in Wikipedia mentions that Scan Disk cannot solve the problem but there is no alternative recommended.

Can anybody tell me what I could do now?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Pleonasm
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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #1 - Mar 26th, 2009 at 5:15pm
 
Commodore, did you try running “CHKDSK /R”?  

Note:  If you have not already done so, you should immediately backup any files from the volume with the MFT problem that are of importance to you.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Commodore
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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #2 - Mar 26th, 2009 at 5:28pm
 
Hallo Pleonasm,

yes, I did run R. Matter fact I ran CHKDSK D: /F /R. And it told me that it had corrected the faults in MFT Bitmap and the problems in file system. Yet I ran a next Scan Disk just to see what it comes up with afterwards the repair and surprisingly had the same faults as before CHKDSK D: /F /R.

Thanks for the warning about backups. I am well protected with Norton Ghost.

Do you probably have any other ideas for me to try? I would be grateful.

Greetings,
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #3 - Mar 26th, 2009 at 10:43pm
 
@
Commodore

Quote:
I am well protected with Norton Ghost.


If that's the case--couldn't you simply re-format the partition to wipe it clean, and then restore the partition Ghost image--wouldn't that usually fix such a problem--or do you think the corrupt MFT is in the image file?
 

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Commodore
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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #4 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 1:21am
 
Hallo NightOwl!

That is what I actually thought, yes. Isn't that the case? Then it would be easy to do as you mentioned. So you say the MFT is not part of the Ghost image? Where is it then?

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #5 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 9:05am
 
@
Commodore

Quote:
So you say the MFT is not part of the Ghost image?

Actually, my point was not that the MFT is not part of the Ghost image--my point was 2 fold:

1.  Have you tried to restore the Ghost image?

2.  Or, did you try restoring the Ghost image, and the problem remained?  If so, then you are not *well protected* with Norton Ghost  Sad !
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #6 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 11:50am
 
Quote:
Did you try restoring the Ghost image, and the problem remained?  If so, then you are not *well protected* with Norton Ghost

Since the $MFT and $Bitmap files are contained within a backup image of the operating system volume, restoring an image from a time where the problem already existed ought not to alter the status of the problem—regardless of the backup image utility that you are using.

However, if you have a saved image from a time before the problem first manifested itself, then restoring that earlier image should be successful in resolving the problem.
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #7 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 3:40pm
 
I have restored several images, the problem remained. I restored my first image shortly after installation. It seems as if the problem already existed at this point. I have gotten the computer preinstalled.

D is the partition for installed programs. A friend of mine proposed to copy all existing folders to a different location, then formate D, run Scan Disk to see if MFT is all right and then copy back the folders - all of that without restarting the computer in between. He recommended to do this in safe mode. As I do not restart the computer whilst the folders are missing on D Windows would most likely tolerate the procedure without complaining.

I wonder if I could do this easier with the help of my clone. I could extract single folders and files from the image instead of restoring the complete backup to the partition after formatting D.

Have I forgotten any details for this trial?  Shocked

 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #8 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 4:51pm
 
Commodore, I did not realize that we were discussing a non-operating system partition.  It is possible that the proposed procedure might work.  Since registry keys contain references to installed applications, I recommend that you:

1. Create a backup image of your operating system partition and D partition.  Note:  backup both partitions in a single backup job, so that they are captured in a synchronized state.
2. Format your D partition.
3. Copy all files/folders from the backup image of D to the D partition, including those that may be hidden.
4. If applications fail to run properly, then also restore the backup image of the operating system partition created in Step 1.
5. If problems still persist, restore both backup images from Step 1, and seek another solution.

This is only a suggestion on my part for you to consider.

P.S.:  This is a good example of why keeping installed applications on a partition other than the system volume may not be wise.
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #9 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 5:27pm
 
Pleonasm,

Nice procedure.
 
 
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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #10 - Mar 27th, 2009 at 5:28pm
 
Thank you Pleonasm! I will perform your suggested procedure and report any results afterwards.
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #11 - Mar 28th, 2009 at 4:54pm
 
Protocol MFT repair on Partition D

Synchronising partition D to external HD with Microsoft SyncToy 2.0 (free tool) with the function Echo.

Format D in safe mode, ignoring the message that D is still in use by a program (which cannot be found with task manager). After completion of Format D scan disk in command prompt with command CHKDSK D reports no errors.

Without restart attempt to synchronize the folders and files from the external HD back to partition D. Attempt fails, Sync Toy does not react even though it is installed on partition C, most likely due to the active connection between D and the external HD for synchronizing. Instead copying the complete content of the synchronized file folder on the external HD to D. The following scan disk in command prompt with command CHKDSK D still reports no errors.

Restart of the system to Windows. Several error reports appear:

Avast does not have any more valid licence key and therefore "The add-in "D:\Antivirus\Avast\AshOutXt.dll" could not be installed or loaded… ". Avast can be activated again with the previous licence key. After a restart no further error reports appear. A last scan disk in command prompt with command CHKDSK D still reports no errors.

After restoration of partition D Windows SyncToy can be executed again.

Up to now no malfunctions occurred.


Thanks a lot to all of you for your help and precious advises.


Pleonasm wrote on Mar 27th, 2009 at 4:51pm:
P.S.:  This is a good example of why keeping installed applications on a partition other than the system volume may not be wise.


Well, I am rather glad to have system and programs separated. How else should that have worked if the MFT problem had occured on C? What is your reason to recommend having programs and system on the same partition?


 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #12 - Mar 29th, 2009 at 10:13am
 
Commodore, congratulations on your success in solving this issue!

Quote:
I am rather glad to have system and programs separated {on different partitions}

While this worked to your advantage in the present case, the general difficulty of separating the operating system and applications on different partitions is that a backup image must copy two partitions rather than one, to ensure that both are “in sync” and work together as one system.  In general, I see little advantage to separating the operating system and applications in this way.  I do know, however, that some users prefer such an arrangement.

The difficulty that you experienced, Commodore, could have been avoided if both the operating system and the applications were on one partition, if you had a longer historical collection of backup images, and if you more regularly ran CHKDSK to identify emergent problems.

Welcome to the forum, and please visit frequently!
 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #13 - Mar 29th, 2009 at 10:52am
 
Pleonasm, thanks a lot!

I usually write 2 images one after the other and then they do match perfectly as I do not change anything meanwhile.


Quote:
The difficulty that you experienced, Commodore, could have been avoided if both the operating system and the applications were on one partition,



This is the part I did not understand yet. Would you mind explain to me why?


Quote:
if you had a longer historical collection of backup images



My collection of images goes back to when I got the computer and they do all contain this fault as I was not aware of …


Quote:
if you more regularly ran CHKDSK to identify emergent problems.



It will be part of my regular check ups from now on!

 

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Re: Corrupted MFT
Reply #14 - Mar 29th, 2009 at 5:31pm
 
Commodore wrote on Mar 29th, 2009 at 10:52am:
This is the part I did not understand yet. Would you mind explain to me why?

Your system partition has the Windows Registry on it.  Windows uses the Registry to keep information about the state of all the various install programs and settings.  If your applications get out of synch from the information contained about them in the Registry, it will cause problems.

If I understand what he is saying, that is why Pleo is suggesting that the backups need to be made and restored together.
 
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