MFT corrupt

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by EdP, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Posts:
    83
    My brother is using Macrium Reflect 5.3 free version to image his Vista Home Premium SP2 Inspiron 530. So far, he's had three successful backups since he installed it.

    During his most recent backup attempt, Macrium reported that the Master File Table (MFT) was corrupt, suggested the user run chkdsk /f, and stopped.
    BTW, Macrium's forum members recommend chkdsk /r instead of /f.

    1. If the MFT is corrupt I wonder why no other application has a problem. Shouldn't the OS or some other affected application have reported the MFT problem?

    Relevant information? - His PC is extremely slow to start up and seems to take forever to invoke an application. I plan to install and run Ccleaner soon - maybe he has way too many temp files, etc or maybe the corrupt MFT is affecting this.

    2. Instead of running chkdsk which, for some installations, can take days to complete, would it be easier and faster to simply restore the previous image? He said he can easily manage any changes he made since then.

    Thanks for any help you can offer,

    EdP
     
  2. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Posts:
    453
    Location:
    US
    Hi Ed :)

    If he has an image that was stable before this MFT corruption, the easiest fix
    is to restore to the image BEFORE the MFT problem. it would be the quickest
    fix without going through any lengthy chkdsk routine. MFT can be corrupt for
    several reasons, usually after an unexpected shut down or improper shut down
    that is usually the case. A good image restore would be the way to go, and after
    I would have him run a chkdsk /f just to make sure the problem is gone and to
    confirm the restored image solved it.

    Here is the difference between chkdsk /f and chkdsk /r switch:

    /f: Fixes errors on the disk. The disk must be locked. If chkdsk cannot lock the drive, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer.

    /r: Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. The disk must be locked. <This is where it can take a long time to complete the chkdsk process compared to the /f switch.

    Both can also be started via an elevated command prompt, i.e., run command prompt as administrator by right clicking Command Prompt under Start programs, accessories, then right click Command Prompt, choose 'run as administrator' and at the command prompt window, type either chkdsk c: /f or chkdsk c: /r
    and it will ask for a restart to complete. The actual drive letter may differ for the OS, but it is usually C: if he does not have dual boot, etc.

    Hope that helps Ed :)

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014
  3. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Posts:
    83
    Jim ...

    Were you sitting there just waiting for my question? ;)
    That was so fast! And thanks for the comprehensive reply. Much much appreciated.

    This will be the first time I've done a full restore using Macrium or any backup application for that matter. Got some reading to do.

    EdP
     
  4. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
    Since you've never done a full restore before, it might be safer to:
    1. Make sure you have a Macrium rescue cd/dvd that boots, in case you need it later to restore a full backup.
    2. Run chkdsk /f and see if that fixes the problem.
     
  5. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Posts:
    83
    It turns out my brother never created a Macrium Rescue Disk.

    Even though the Macrium backup module reports a corrupted Master File Table, my brother is able to run the apps he normally runs, including Macrium. Assuming that Macrium allows him to create a Rescue Disk, will it be usable? Or does it need the MFT for something.

    Thanks for your help ...

    EdP
     
  6. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,052
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    EdP... if you can create a Macrium Rescue disk, it will be able to function fine with older backups (before the corrupt MFT), BUT... you need to fix that corruption before moving forward. It's best attempted with the ChkDsk suggested above.

    Once you have a Rescue Disk, I would attempt the ChkDsk. If the ChkDsk fails for some reason, you can always restore your Macrium backup with the newly created Rescue Disk. If the ChkDsk succeeds in fixing the $MFT, I would then take an additional Macrium backup to have the fixed system state on hand, if needed in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  7. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Posts:
    83
    Thanks, TRFrog ...

    One more question (we hope).

    Is the Rescue Disk PC and/or OS dependent? That is, can I create a rescue disk on my win 7 PC for my brother to use on his Vista PC? We're both using the same version of Macrium.

    EdP
     
  8. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,052
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    Sure! The Rescue Media contains its own OS and you basically determine that when you choose the WinPE version to make the rescue disk out of. The WinPE OS pretty much runs on anything that's not much older than 10-yrs. If you made it out of the WinPE v5 (or v5.1), it will contain the biggest collection of drivers... which is important with newer, stranger hardware.

    I use Win7 WinPEs (WinPE v4.1) on just about everything I come across in the way of hardware... it usually works just fine.
     
  9. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Posts:
    83
    Unfortunately, my copy of Macrium (V 5.2, Free) reports "Insufficient disk space available" when I try to create a Win PE 3.1, 4, or 5 Rescue Disk. It will create a Linux-based disk, though.

    I can't imagine what it needs to do that requires more than 100GB and it has no provision to change the drive to something with more room if that's indeed the problem.

    In any case, I found a Win PE ISO at onedrive.live.com and created a disk from that. I can't recall where I found a link to that page - probably right here. :)

    EdP
     
Loading...