Author Topic: O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?  (Read 12248 times)

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Offline MikeBCda

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O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« on: December 21, 2003, 04:16:34 AM »
Hi gang,

This one's totally O/T with regard to avast, but hopefully I'm not out of line asking the experts here.  By way of background, I'm still fighting the learning curve in switching (not willingly) from 98SE to XP Home a few months ago when my old system totally died.

If my defrag analysis is showing the MFT as 98 or 99 percent in use, is that a matter for concern?  And if so, what can/should I be doing about it?

The drive is 40 gig (5 gig of that is set aside for Restore-IT's hidden partition for recovery), and is 90 percent free space, so disk space per se is obviously (?) not the problem.  Guess I spent so many years on one version or another of FAT systems that I never will understand the MFT.   ::)

Thanks, and best,
Mike
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2003, 03:31:04 PM »
Hi gang,

This one's totally O/T with regard to avast, but hopefully I'm not out of line asking the experts here.  By way of background, I'm still fighting the learning curve in switching (not willingly) from 98SE to XP Home a few months ago when my old system totally died.

If my defrag analysis is showing the MFT as 98 or 99 percent in use, is that a matter for concern?  And if so, what can/should I be doing about it?

The drive is 40 gig (5 gig of that is set aside for Restore-IT's hidden partition for recovery), and is 90 percent free space, so disk space per se is obviously (?) not the problem.  Guess I spent so many years on one version or another of FAT systems that I never will understand the MFT.   ::)

Thanks, and best,
Mike


Like a user, I will suggest you the FAT32 and not the NTFS system. I posted my opinions here. Anyway, I'm alone in these opinions. Lots of users prefer NTFS.

MFT is a different thing. I have done a lot of reseach in the past into www.sysinternals.com and www.ntfs.com. You won't be able to defrag the MFT either into FAT32 or NTFS. The fragmentation decrease your performance, of course.

For file defragmentation, I suggest:
FAT32
Page Defrag 2.21

NTFS or FAT32
Norton SpeedDisk (for me, the best)
O & O Defrag

Other files you can see at section 26. HDD Defragmentation of this page
« Last Edit: December 21, 2003, 05:43:48 PM by Technical »
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Offline .: Mac :.

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2003, 04:08:04 PM »
norton speed disk will defrag fat32 and of course for me there is a mac version  :D
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Walker

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2003, 04:49:32 PM »
Mike,

I'm not familiar with what the MTF percent is reporting/meaning.

But just for info., I set up my 160gig drive with 5 partitions. Four are NTFS for the OS, Programs, Data, Website, the last is FAT32 for my OEM recovery files.

I still have loads of space in each partitoin, but (the info bit) my NTFS partitions report 87%, 99%, 99%, 98% used by MFT.

As I say, I don't know what thismeans in reality, so it's another comparison.

W.

Oh PS; onlyone of my partitions is reporting it needs a defrag with these figures, so I guess they are normal. As an 'un-educated' guess, perhaps MFT under NTFS reports these high % numbers because 'free disk space' is also recorded on the MFT  ??? but that is a guess and no doubt I'll be corrected  ;)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2003, 04:55:54 PM by Walker »

Offline MikeBCda

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2003, 07:02:45 PM »
Thanks all,  I'm getting the impression that the NTFS was designed to be a mystery to everyone.  ::)

I'd probably have been happier if I'd thought to have my OEM dealer set this up as FAT, but at this point I'm probably at the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" stage.

But there seems to be general agreement among you that a high MFT percent-used reading is normal, which really was my question, thanks again.

Walker -

Mike,

Oh PS; onlyone of my partitions is reporting it needs a defrag with these figures, so I guess they are normal. As an 'un-educated' guess, perhaps MFT under NTFS reports these high % numbers because 'free disk space' is also recorded on the MFT  ??? but that is a guess and no doubt I'll be corrected  ;)

With regard to "don't need to defrag now", I've been running into agreement elsewhere that the defrag analysis report keeps saying that long past the point where you would normally have defragged.  And their advice is to defrag anyway on whatever schedule you would normally use, say once a week or so.

Thanks again, and best to all,
Mike
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Offline .: Mac :.

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2003, 07:10:17 PM »
 Mike how often should I defrag? i currently only do it once a month
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Walker

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2003, 07:22:21 PM »
With regard to "don't need to defrag now", I've been running into agreement elsewhere that the defrag analysis report keeps saying that long past the point where you would normally have defragged.  And their advice is to defrag anyway on whatever schedule you would normally use, say once a week or so.

Mike,

I do 'usually defrag (my most used partitions) about once a week. I only mentioned that one of my partitions was asking for a defrag because it isn't that time of the week yet  ;)

Personally, I have found the NTFS to be fine. You obviously need to retain one FAT32 partition for oem recoveries (ie to boot from a start up CD in severe cases)

W.

Walker

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2003, 07:31:42 PM »
Mike how often should I defrag? i currently only do it once a month

ML,

pmfji, I would suggest that depends entirely upon the uses you put your computer to (esp deleting any files etc) and how badly it gets defraged over whatever period of time.

W.

Offline MikeBCda

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2003, 07:33:15 PM »
Sorry, Mac, no hard-and-fast answer to that one -- if your once-a-month seems to be doing the trick, then stick with it.

Generally I've gotten into the habit of a full "housecleaning" once a week, over the weekend.  Full on-request avast disk scan, Ad-Aware, reg cleaner (JV16), chkdsk, and finally defrag.  Oh, and a quick look at "Hosts" to see if something new's snuck into that.

The one big advantage of comparatively frequent defragging is that an undelete, if necessary, is more likely to be successful if the file's contiguous (and of course not overwritten).
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Offline .: Mac :.

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2003, 10:49:24 PM »
ahhh ok Ill keep doing it once a month all my computers run fine that way  :D
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Hornus Continuum

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2004, 02:53:57 PM »
Mike,

An indication that most of the MFT is in use is no matter for concern, and there is nothing that you need to do.  Windows will expand the MFT as required, allocating it from free space at the end of the table.  If no space is available there, Windows uses other free space in the partition, fragmenting the MFT.  When you defragment the drive, e.g., with Speed Disk, it will consolidate all the pieces of the table in a contiguous area at the beginning of the partition, leaving a reasonable space at the end of the MFT for growth.

Regards,
Hornus

Offline MikeBCda

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2004, 07:27:59 PM »
Hi and thanks, Hornus -- I was a little suprised to see a reply this late, but guess you were away and/or tied up over the holidays.

And I guess I probably never will understand NTFS or the MFT -- way too many years on one version or another of FAT's, I guess.  But there seems to be general agreement, including from my OEM-dealer, that I don't need to worry about the MFT exploding or something from getting over-full  ;D

Best,
Mike
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Offline Lisandro

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2004, 09:50:39 PM »
Hi and thanks, Hornus -- I was a little suprised to see a reply this late, but guess you were away and/or tied up over the holidays.

And I guess I probably never will understand NTFS or the MFT -- way too many years on one version or another of FAT's, I guess.  But there seems to be general agreement, including from my OEM-dealer, that I don't need to worry about the MFT exploding or something from getting over-full  ;D

Best,
Mike


Mike, give a chance to http://www.ntfs.com and specially the http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs-mft.htm page... It takes time but you will understand a little bit more. But you can be cool, Bill think on everything for us  :P
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Offline MikeBCda

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Re:O/T - Can you clarify NTFS and MFT?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2004, 12:44:45 AM »
Thanks, Technical, now I can at least pretend I know a little more  ;D

I went through pretty much the whole thing -- it looks like two of the biggest advantages over FAT, at least from the viewpoint of an end-user, are that handling of small files (and folders) should be very fast in comparison, and of course the new idea of having a duplicate/mirror boot sector.
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