How to Rebuild a Corrupt Master File Table

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The Master File Table contains all data concerning the logical structure of information on a hard drive, including operating system locations, operating system boot options and the logical placement of all data on the drive. Due to any number of factors, this table can become corrupt through hard drive failure or malicious software. The Windows operating system provides a simple tool for rebuilding the Master File Table.

  • Click the "Start" button located in the lower-left corner of the Windows desktop.

  • Type "chkdsk /f C:" in the text box next to the "Run" heading without quotes. Change the letter "C" if that is not the drive you are attempting to recover.

  • Click the "OK" button on the dialog box that appears to begin the recovery process. This launches the check disk utility that scans the entire drive for logical errors in an attempt to correct them. If the master file table is recoverable, it is fixed during this process. Depending on the size of the hard drive, this may take several minutes to several hours.

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