Essay: Master File Table

Essay: Master File Table
April 12, 2011 Comments Off on Essay: Master File Table Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Sample Essay

The Master File Table (MFT) forms the most important structure in the NTFS. Since it’s stored as a file, the file in which it is stored is considered the most important of the key system metadata files. MFT stores the information about every file and directory on the NTFS volume. It is, in essence, a relational database table, which contains a number of attributes about different files found on the volume. In comparison to FAT, NTFS MFT contains much more information than just a list of used and unused clusters.

Every time a new file or directory is created, its record is generated in MFT. NTFS allocates the size of each MFT record based on the cluster size of the file. This space is used to store the attributes of the file or directory as well as information about the position of the record in the MFT. One interesting fact about what information is stored in MFT is, that if the size of the file is smaller than the size of the MFT record, then the data in the file will be stored in the MFT record itself, rather than separately.  Thus, no additional storage is required for storing the file as well as no additional accesses to the disk.

For larger files, as additional attributes are added to the user or file system to the file and its size grows beyond the record size of the file system, the file system moves the attributes out of the file system and makes it non-resident. For very large files, the attributes that point to the data for the file may even be external attribute themselves.

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