Increasing the size of your MFT

Why on earth would anyone want to increase the size of the Windows NTFS Master File Table?

Well in my experience the MFT can become incredibly fragmented over time and whilst the built in Windows dragger can de-fragment the MFT, it will invariably get into difficulties especially if the volume is reaching capacity.

So to help mitigate the future fragmentation of the MFT the simple answer is to cause the MFT to bloat on a newly formatted volume, if you bloat the MFT large enough it should remain in a single lump on the hard drive meaning that overall there will be less fragmentation for over larger files.

Because in my work, I need to have a large MFT, I’ve created this .Net application that will create a bunch of nested folders on a drive, then delete them again once finished.  Creating folders seems to be the easiest method of deliberately causing the MFT to grow, since each folder creates a 1024kb MFT entry (1GB of MFT = 1,024,000 folders or files).  You can check the size of your MFT by using the Sysinternals Tool – NTFSINFO.exe available from http://live.sysinternals.com/NTFSINFO.EXE.

MFTBloater

The application has been pre-configured with a number of settings, although you are welcome to change the number of folders before you click the Go button.  Depending on the speed of your disk, the application may take some time to do its stuff, plus it will max out a single core of your CPU.  Once the application has bloated your MFT, I would recommend that you defrag the volume to ensure that the MFT is placed in a contiguous block.  Ultradefrag available on SourceForge has an “Optimise MFT” action that will consolidate the MFT, moving other files out of the way.

 

 

Posted in Windows Server.