NTFS Metadata files

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

NTFS Metadata files store data associated with disk management.

Upon initializing NTFS on a disk, 11 metadata files are created in which NTFS stores data associated with disk management. Don't try to delete them. They are the heart of NTFS. (actually I don't think you can). In any case, should you find them, they are not the odd remains of the latest virus or trojan. Metadata files are typically invisible but you can see them by typing

dir /ah metadatafilename

For example, dir /ah $mft

The metadata files and description:

$MFT - Master File Table
$MFTMIRR - Copy of the first 16 records of the MFT
$LOGFILE - Transactional logging file
$VOLUME - Volume serial number, creation time, and dirty flag
$ATTRDEF - Attribute definitions
. - Root directory of the disk
$BITMAP - Contains drive's cluster map (in-use vs. free)
$BOOT - Boot record of the drive
$BADCLUS - Lists bad clusters on the drive
$QUOTA - Contains user quota information (implemented in W2k as $Secure)
$UPCASE - Maps lowercase characters to their uppercase version

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