Setting MFT zone on non-system drive

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full (30GB used
out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost completely filled
the MFT zone.

How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?

Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
11 answers Last reply
More about setting zone system drive
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Hi Bill,

    You shouldn't need to do anything, the MFT exands as files are added. To
    compact unused space (resulting from files that have been removed), you
    would need a third-party defragging utility, as the native defrag utility
    will not do this. Keep in mind also that the defrag routine will need free
    space of ~15% to run properly, so do not load the drive too full (keep it
    under 31GB).

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "Bill Woods" <woods_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
    news:Xns9602E33D6C96A51D7E@130.133.1.4...
    >I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full (30GB used
    > out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost completely filled
    > the MFT zone.
    >
    > How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >
    > Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Bill Woods wrote:
    > I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full (30GB used
    > out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost completely filled
    > the MFT zone.
    >
    > How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >
    > Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?

    Now would be a great time to buy another drive and put it in the system
    if you can. 30GB are effectively obsolete and 120--200GB are the current
    bargain price at around $0.50 per gigabyte. You could copy your entire
    35GB to a partition on the new drive.
    Bill Baka
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    > "Bill Woods" <woods_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
    >>
    >> I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full (30GB
    >> used out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost
    >> completely filled the MFT zone.
    >>
    >> How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >>
    >> Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
    >>


    On 19 Feb 2005, Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:
    >
    > Hi Bill,
    >
    > You shouldn't need to do anything, the MFT exands as files are
    > added. To compact unused space (resulting from files that have
    > been removed), you would need a third-party defragging utility,
    > as the native defrag utility will not do this. Keep in mind also
    > that the defrag routine will need free space of ~15% to run
    > properly, so do not load the drive too full (keep it under
    > 31GB).
    >


    Rick, I use a third party disk defragger (Perfectdisk) which can
    defrag the XP system areas. It will work even with drives as full as
    mine is.

    This same tool shows my D drive's MFT Zone is not even as big as the
    minimum value of 12.5% of the drive which MicroSoft would expect.
    The MFT is now about 90% of the MFT Zone and XP has not yet increased
    the size of the MFT Zone. So I figure I need to do put it up to 25%
    (setting number 2) myself. But how?
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Hi Bill,

    I guess I don't understand what you're asking. The MFT will/should grow as
    needed, and running chdsk /f should correct disk space if required (fairly
    rare). Are you actually having problems with the MFT, or are you just
    curious about what you are seeing? Using a third party tool, like Perfect
    Disk, will change the size of the metadata file as it is capable of removing
    the free space. It should not be a concern if there is only minimal free
    space showing under these circumstances.

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "Bill Woods" <woods_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
    news:Xns9603BEFD97C2251D7E@130.133.1.4...
    >> "Bill Woods" <woods_b@emercom.com> wrote in message
    >>>
    >>> I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full (30GB
    >>> used out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost
    >>> completely filled the MFT zone.
    >>>
    >>> How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >>>
    >>> Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
    >>>
    >
    >
    > On 19 Feb 2005, Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:
    >>
    >> Hi Bill,
    >>
    >> You shouldn't need to do anything, the MFT exands as files are
    >> added. To compact unused space (resulting from files that have
    >> been removed), you would need a third-party defragging utility,
    >> as the native defrag utility will not do this. Keep in mind also
    >> that the defrag routine will need free space of ~15% to run
    >> properly, so do not load the drive too full (keep it under
    >> 31GB).
    >>
    >
    >
    > Rick, I use a third party disk defragger (Perfectdisk) which can
    > defrag the XP system areas. It will work even with drives as full as
    > mine is.
    >
    > This same tool shows my D drive's MFT Zone is not even as big as the
    > minimum value of 12.5% of the drive which MicroSoft would expect.
    > The MFT is now about 90% of the MFT Zone and XP has not yet increased
    > the size of the MFT Zone. So I figure I need to do put it up to 25%
    > (setting number 2) myself. But how?
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    On 20 Feb 2005, b_baka wrote:

    > Bill Woods wrote:
    >> I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full
    >> (30GB used out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost
    >> completely filled the MFT zone.
    >>
    >> How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >>
    >> Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
    >
    > Now would be a great time to buy another drive and put it in the
    > system if you can. 30GB are effectively obsolete and 120--200GB
    > are the current bargain price at around $0.50 per gigabyte. You
    > could copy your entire 35GB to a partition on the new drive.
    > Bill Baka


    The 35GB actually is only a partition on a much larger HDD. I am
    only using the term "drive" for partition because that's what
    Microsoft seems to call them!
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Bill Woods wrote:
    > On 20 Feb 2005, b_baka wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Bill Woods wrote:
    >>
    >>>I keep my data on my D drive which is starting to get full
    >>>(30GB used out of 35GB). The MFT on this D drive has almost
    >>>completely filled the MFT zone.
    >>>
    >>>How can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    >>>
    >>>Is there a registry setting or can I use fsutil to do it?
    >>
    >>Now would be a great time to buy another drive and put it in the
    >>system if you can. 30GB are effectively obsolete and 120--200GB
    >>are the current bargain price at around $0.50 per gigabyte. You
    >>could copy your entire 35GB to a partition on the new drive.
    >>Bill Baka
    >
    >
    >
    > The 35GB actually is only a partition on a much larger HDD. I am
    > only using the term "drive" for partition because that's what
    > Microsoft seems to call them!

    Microsoft logic again. Linux/UNIX use HDA-0,HDA-1, etc. Small
    difference. What I was hinting at was to get a second physical drive to
    put all your valuable stuff on and also maybe get a removable drive
    carrier that allows you to swap drives from the front. A friend of mine
    has one of these and it makes it much easier, even though the system
    must be powered down to do it, he can plop 120GB onto a drive mounted in
    one of these. He bought a bunch of 120s when they were on sale and now
    says he will never go back to tape.
    Bill Baka, Thinking outside the box, waaay outside sometimes.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    On 20 Feb 2005, Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:

    > I guess I don't understand what you're asking. The MFT
    > will/should grow as needed, and running chdsk /f should correct
    > disk space if required (fairly rare). Are you actually having
    > problems with the MFT, or are you just curious about what you
    > are seeing? Using a third party tool, like Perfect Disk, will
    > change the size of the metadata file as it is capable of
    > removing the free space. It should not be a concern if there is
    > only minimal free space showing under these circumstances.

    The MFT Zone does not seem to the right size and it is not growing
    either. :-(
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    In article <Xns9604AFADE96EB51D7E@130.133.1.4>,
    Bill Woods <woods_b@emercom.com> wrote:
    >On 20 Feb 2005, Rick "Nutcase" Rogers wrote:
    >
    >> I guess I don't understand what you're asking. The MFT
    >> will/should grow as needed, and running chdsk /f should correct
    >> disk space if required (fairly rare). Are you actually having
    >> problems with the MFT, or are you just curious about what you
    >> are seeing? Using a third party tool, like Perfect Disk, will
    >> change the size of the metadata file as it is capable of
    >> removing the free space. It should not be a concern if there is
    >> only minimal free space showing under these circumstances.
    >
    >The MFT Zone does not seem to the right size and it is not growing
    >either. :-(


    How did you discover this ?


    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    >>> I guess I don't understand what you're asking. The MFT

    >>> will/should grow as needed, and running chdsk /f should correct

    >>> disk space if required (fairly rare). Are you actually having

    >>> problems with the MFT, or are you just curious about what you

    >>> are seeing? Using a third party tool, like Perfect Disk, will

    >>> change the size of the metadata file as it is capable of

    >>> removing the free space. It should not be a concern if there is

    >>> only minimal free space showing under these circumstances.


    Bill Woods wrote:

    >>

    >> The MFT Zone does not seem to the right size and it is not

    >> growing either. :-(


    On 21 Feb 2005, Al Dykes wrote:

    >

    > How did you discover this ?

    >


    Hello Al (and maybe Rick too). Here is some more detailed info about my
    situation.


    I have stored some screenshots of my partitions in a 525 KB zip file which I
    have uploaded to http://tinyurl.com/5r6ja.


    The zip contains screenshots of my C, D, N and R partitions. Get the zip
    and have a look at it and I will talk you through the screen shots below.


    --------- see zip file


    The main screenshot of each partition is in GIF's called C+0, D+0, N+0 and
    H+0.


    Extra data is in the small statistics window. I show two tabs of the
    statistics window for each partition and the screenshots are called C+1,
    C+2, D+1, D+2, N+1, N+2, H+1 and H+2.


    The following is some background info about each of the four partitions C,
    D, N and H:


    PARTITION D


    D is a 39 GB data partition. D was defragmented immediately before this
    screenshot was taken.


    The problem is that D's MFT occupies almost all of MFT Zone. In fact there
    is no separate square showing the MFT Zone. Note also that MFT Zone is less
    than 12.5% of the partition.


    This is the partition I am worried about and am writing to ask about. It
    seems to me that any moment now I am going to find that the MFT runs out of
    space because XP did not (a) allocate even the minimum 12.5% space to the
    MFT Zone to start with and (b) XP might also not extend the MFT Zone when
    the MFT actually does run out of space.


    PARTITION N


    By contrast, N is a 46 GB partition onto which I copied most (but not all)
    of D's contents to.


    The size of the MFT in N is more or less the same size as the MFT in D. And
    so is the size of the metadata. But N has a large MFT Zone whereas D has
    almost nothing. This suggests there is something wrong with D.


    PARTITION C


    Just for comparison purposes I am including the 11.5 GB system partition C.
    It was defragmented a few days before the screenshot and the defrag included
    a boot-time defrag of the system files. Again the MFT has a lot of space to
    grow into. (The black paging file seems to have been moved by the boot-time
    defrag from the middle of the data space to where it is now.)


    PARTITION H


    Finally, as a second example of a data drive maintained by this same XP
    system, there is the H partition which is 74 GB and that is about double the
    size of the D partition. Partition H contains largely static data which in
    the past would have been archived to tape but which I keep on this partition
    in the PC for convenience. It has smaller files than the D drive and it has
    almost no files as large as the average on D. H has an MFT and it also has
    spare space in its MFT Zone approximately equal in size to the MFT.


    So, as I asked originally - how can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    Is there a registry setting or can I use XP's "fsutil" or maybe something
    else to do it?


    --


    (Additional group added: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage)
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Bill Woods" <nomail@nomail.com> wrote in message
    news:421a2d24$0$97730$892e0abb@auth.newsreader.octanews.com...
    >
    > So, as I asked originally - how can I increase the MFT zone on the D drive?
    > Is there a registry setting or can I use XP's "fsutil" or maybe something
    > else to do it?

    I have noticed in on Win2K using sysinternals.com's ntfsinfo.

    When ever usage goes above 87.5%, the MFT zone is used to store data and on
    reboot the MFT zone is smaller. For whatever reason, the MFT zone does not go
    back to 12.5% when you decrease usage.

    The only real problems is when MFT becomes very fragmented. On data partitions
    this is rarely a problem, because the MFT is very small.

    Did you find the Microsoft KB article on increasing the MFT zone size?
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > "Bill Woods" <nomail@nomail.com> wrote in message
    > >
    > > So, as I asked originally - how can I increase the MFT zone on the D
    drive?
    > > Is there a registry setting or can I use XP's "fsutil" or maybe
    something
    > > else to do it?

    "Eric Gisin" <ericgisin@hotmail.com> wrote
    >
    > I have noticed in on Win2K using sysinternals.com's ntfsinfo.

    Hi Eric, I downloaded the tool you mentioned and I got the same results as
    my GIFs show.

    http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/ntfsinfo.shtml

    It says to be careful on NTFS on Win NT 5.0 (= Win 2000) unless you are
    administrator. I don't know but maybe XP has the same requirements. I have
    in fact been using the admin account.


    >
    > When ever usage goes above 87.5%, the MFT zone is used to store data and
    on
    > reboot the MFT zone is smaller. For whatever reason, the MFT zone does not
    go
    > back to 12.5% when you decrease usage.
    >

    And Microsoft says that in fact the MFT Zone should be increasing!
    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/Windows/XP/all/reskit/en-us/prkc_fil_xhpo.asp

    That is my problem because I reckon that if I do not force the MFT Zone to
    get bigger then I will run out of space.

    Do you know what happens at that point?
    Can I still boot?
    Can I boot the recovery CD and use that to repair the problem? (Even
    though it is the D drive.)
    This is the sort of thing it could be important to know for someone in my
    situation!

    >
    > The only real problems is when MFT becomes very fragmented. On data
    partitions
    > this is rarely a problem, because the MFT is very small.
    >

    I use PerfectDisk to defrag the system files and it seems to do a good job.
    I think System Internals have a free utility to do something similar,

    >
    > Did you find the Microsoft KB article on increasing the MFT zone size?
    >

    Do you mean the one I have linked to above?
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