Corrupt Master File Table

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by ronpat, Mar 7, 2007.

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  1. ronpat

    ronpat Registered Member

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    I had three partitions on the computer "c" with Vista, "d" with XP and "e" for a back up partition. Using dd10 to resize the xp partition a little smaller and provide space to back up, everything appeared to go smooth. I rebooted and now I get "disk read error" press alt-ctl-del to reboot. Using my Vista CD to repair, it won't so I tried chkdsk /r c: at a command prompt in the repair utility and it tells me it cannot due to the MFT being corrupt. I cannot access the "c" drive at the cmd prompt, but can access "d" and "e" without issue. I tried booting with my disk director CD and get into the suite, but I cannot find anything that will help repair it and make the PC bootable. I get a red x on the Vista volume and cannot explore any contents (no error, just blank). I cannot resize it to copy or do anything to it. Help! Please. Everywhere else I read, the PC is toast and I have to completely reformat and reload.

    1. Can the DD10 CD help? If so, how?
    2. If it can't, anyway to recover the "user" folder on c, copy to e and reformat c for a fresh install?
    3. Reinstall XP on the d drive to get it bootable and somehow recover the data on C? I just need to get to the users folder.

    Thanks
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  3. ronpat

    ronpat Registered Member

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    Thanks. I have been able to mess with 98 and XP for years and fixing any MBR issues, but this is a new one for me with Vista and everything I read points to reformat/reinstall. :'( I don't necessarily mind, but the better halfs stuff from the last 2 weeks is toast and she ain't happy (and we she isn't happy, nobody is!)
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Maybe BartPE is worth trying. It may see your partitions and allow you to recover data.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You might also try booting from a Live Linux cd (such as Knoppix) and see if your partition shows up. There are also many linux disk tools available.
     
  6. adrodin

    adrodin Registered Member

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    I would also like a clear answer to this question, as I experienced exactly the same situation (Corrupt Master File Table) after installing Vista into a partition created using Acronis Disk Director.

    The situation was perfectly reproducible - Vista installation worked fine, but after a short time, the system flagged a corrupt MFT. There is a complete 'gotcha' in the Microsoft resource on this - basically, you can't fix it using chkdsk, you have to reinstall. Reinstalling got me back to exactly the same situtaion, four times in a row.

    By deleting the Acronis-created partition and the recreating it using Microsoft's own utility in Windows XP, I have completely eliminated the problem. I am very reluctant to use Disk Director 'in case problems recur'.

    What's the situation?
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    The situation is very clear at this point in time. Don't use DD to create or format or in any other way mess with Vista partitions.

    Build 2,160 is supposed to be Vista compatible, but too many people have reported these problems. When I used DD to make my Vista parition, I got the error after the first reboot problem. So I just cleared the drive and let Vista do it's own partition.

    Hopefully Acronis will fix this soon, as more and more people will be using (or trying to use) DD on computers with Vista.
     
  8. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    ronpat: You mention that you "...cannot explore any contents...", does this include Windows Explorer in your XP partition? If Vista is seen in Windows Explorer you may be able to copy the "users" folder into either the XP partition or the data partition by dragging and dropping it from the tree in the left window while the right window is showing the designation partition.

    I have a simular 3 partition drive (except with 2 XPs) with a data partition (#3 partition) and was able to copy the entire "users" folder (from the first partition) into the data partition with this proceedure. If Vista is visable to your XP partition then perhaps it is worth a try. (Here I am assuming that you didn't hide your OS partitions, if so please disregard this post).

    EDIT: if all else fails "bootcfg /rebuild" in the repair console shouldn't hurt.
     
  9. Sam Morgan

    Sam Morgan Registered Member

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    Hello All,

    Sorry to interrupt this chain of conversation. It is that I am having a (sort of) similar problem.

    I have 2 physical hard drives. C:\ and F:\. C: (containing the OS and all the applications) is running fine, but F: (containing all my photos and music) can't be accessed. When I double click on it, it says "The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable". I tried a chkdsk on it, it says "corrupt master file table".

    Can anyone explain to me how to fix this, or at least copy all my files into my C: drive? I am running Windows XP.

    Apologies again, as I don't know very much about computers. The person who built and set it up for me has just moved into another city.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Sam
     
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Sam:

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if chkdsk won't repair the damage and returns the "corrupt master file table" message then usually that's the kiss of death. If you have a backup of the data, the best approach is to reformat the defective hard drive and restore your files. If you don't, then don't give up hope before trying a couple of alternatives:

    http://www.ntfs.com/quest14.htm mentions a recovery utility that might be able to find and recover some of the files.

    You could also try viewing the disk with a Live CD version of Linux to see if it can see any of the files. Knoppix http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html is highly recommended for this.

    I know that my story may be of no help to you, but the exact same thing happened to me a month ago on my PC. I tried everything that I could think of to repair the drive, but finally concluded that it was not recoverable. Fortunately I had a backup created with Acronis TrueImage that was only a couple of weeks old. I restored the backup and was back in business 15 minutes later. If nothing else, give some thought to implementing a good backup strategy for your data in the future.
     
  11. cortez

    cortez Registered Member

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    At http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDrive_download there is a freeware utility that claims to (possibly) recover lost Vista partitions from corrupt MFTs.

    I tried it out on my laptop and it did recognize my partitions (a good start). Only thing is that all my systems are working and therefore cannot try out its effectiveness on a lost partition. Perhaps this will benifit some user. Of course the utility comes with the standard disclaimers that users must accept all risks for using it.

    EDIT: To download see left side of window on the link page
     
  12. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Sam, is the F: drive plain old NTFS? Did you try chkdsk/ r or just ordinary chkdsk?


    Colin
     
  13. Sam Morgan

    Sam Morgan Registered Member

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    Thank you to everyone who responded.

    The good news is that I managed to save ALL my files. I used Active@ File Recovery.

    Does anyone know what causes corrupt master file tables? I didn't install any new software (or hardware for that matter). Even if I did install new software, it should have been my C:\ drive that should have died, rather than my F:\ drive.

    Anyway, I am in the process of implementing a backup process. Does anyone recommend any brand of external hard drives?

    Thank you once again for everyone's help. It is greatly appreciated.

    Sam
     
  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Sam:

    That's great news! Glad to hear that you were able to recover your files.

    There are two major causes of corrupted Master File Tables. The most-likely cause is a defective hard disk, so you should rule this out by carefully checking yours. The second most-likely cause is a software error, but that's rather rare, although it was the cause of my particular encounter with corrupt MFTs. In my case the error was caused by a bug in a disk defragmentation program (third-party; not the one built into Windows) that caused the data on the disk to be scrambled up so badly that it couldn't be recovered.

    Go look at your event log in Windows to see if there are any disk errors logged, and have a good look at the integrity of the disk by doing a surface scan on it (chkdsk /r).
     
  15. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello ronpat, adrodin and everyone,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Partition and Disk Managing Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    We need some additional information to investigate this issue thoroughly. Your assistance is much appreciated, if you have time for this of course. Note that this may require reproducing the issue.

    Could you please describe the exact actions taken before the problem appears step-by-step?

    Did you use Acronis Disk Director Bootable Rescue Media or did you use Acronis Disk Director in Windows?

    Please also create Acronis Report as it is described in Acronis Help Post before and after the issue appeared. Name the created reports appropriately.

    Having collected the above information, please submit a request for technical support with the subject indicating that you want to contact Aleksandr Isakov. Attach all the collected files and information to your request along with the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with a solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
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