Repairing the MFT on an NTFS drive

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So today at work I had someone bring me their USB disk that wasn't being read by her PC. As soon as I plugged it in, Windows told me it couldn't read it and it needed to be formatted - classic example of the MFT being corrupt. 


No worries, cracked open Stellar Phoenix and restored the data to another disk I had. Once I copied the data off, I formatted her disk and copied the data back - problem solved. I suspect she either didn't eject the disk correctly, or unplug from a TV (I have seen some TVs read NTFS drives, but dismount them incorrectly (or user pulls them out) leaving them in a weird state.) Easily resolved...


Now, I usually leave it at that, however today I thought of what other ways I could fix the MFT.  Suppose I could do a chkdsk /r?


Thoughts? Any half decent tools out there that can fix this without making the rest of the drive cactus? I've always gone by the rule, once your software finds the missing data, plug in another disk and get it off there. Yes yes, backups, but for the sake of this conversation pretend they dont exist lol.



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chkdsk should repair it - but you could also try testdisk there is a repair mft option


Repair An NTFS MFT

The MFT (Master File Table) is sometimes corrupted. If Microsoft's Checkdisk (chkdsk) failed to repair the MFT, run TestDisk. In the Advanced menu, select your NTFS partition, choose Boot, then Repair MFT. TestDisk will compare the MFT and MFT mirror (its backup). If the MFT is damaged, it will try to repair the MFT using the backup. If the MFT backup is damaged, it will use the main MFT.

If both MFT and MFTMirr are damaged and thus cannot be repaired using TestDisk, you might want to try commercial software like Zero Assumption Recovery, GetDataBack for NTFS or Restorer 2000.

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I usually just load the raw drive/partition image file into winhex and fix it manually. at least I know what im doing to the file instead of some automated tool.

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Think I've tried testdisk in the past and it never worked. 

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