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Ways to resolve MFT corruption and recover deleted files

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Master File Table (or MFT) is a crucial system meta-data file of NTFS file system which stores information, such as file name, permissions, contents etc. of all the files present on the NTFS volume. It is basically a database table which acts like a base or staring point for the whole NTFS volume. Its structure further helps to minimize disk fragmentation and thus, helps in optimizing the performance of the system. MFT records may get corrupt due to several reasons, such as virus attack, operating system problems, any damage caused to the file system etc. If the file system index or MFT is damaged, MBR (Master Boot Record) is unable to locate the files on the NTFS volume required to boot the system. As a consequence, the system becomes unbootable and thus, you may get into a severe data loss situation. To overcome the problem. You need to go for file recovery through a reliable third-party utility.

 For instance, when you try to access a file present on the NTFS volume of your Windows 2000-based computer, you may come across the following error message:

<drive>:\<folder> is not accessible
The file or directory is corrupt and non-readable.The file or directory is corrupt and non-readable. The file or directory \<folder> is corrupt and unreadable.
Please Run the Chkdsk utility


 The above error is caused by the following reasons-

  • The file or folder being accessed is corrupt.

  • The MFT component of the NTFS volume is damaged.

 Due to above reasons, you may not be able to access your corrupt NTFS volume or other volumes present on your system hard disk .In such situations, you may use a backup to perform deleted file recovery of your lost data. If you do not have your backup updated, you should follow the below given steps.


 Try the below mentioned procedure to resolve the issue:

  • Go to 'Start' and select 'Run'.

  • Then type the following command

chkdsk /f <drive>:

Here, <drive> is the letter of the damaged NTFS volume.

Running 'Chkdsk' command line utility with '/f' switch is not recommended as it may lead to data loss. To recover your lost or inaccessible data in such situations, you should first format the system hard disk and then use an efficient Windows file recovery software.

These software can recover deleted files, documents, pictures, emails, databases etc. from corrupt FAT, NTFS, and exFAT based partitions. They include features to safely clone or create an image of your system hard disk. 

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is a competent utility that recovers all kinds of Windows files in any instance of data loss. It can perform recovery of more than 185 file types. It is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000, and NT4(SP6).


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