percent MFT in use is 99%, is this a problem?

February 15, 2011 at 07:58:02
Specs: Windows XP
My computer is pretty slow. I use Windows XP latest version. After defragmentation I checked the report and noticed two things:

1. The percent of Master File Table (MFT) in use is 99%
2. Two large files, Outlook.past and Hotmail.ost could not be defragmented.

Any ideas as to what has to be done for better performance?

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February 15, 2011 at 08:22:50
You need to list your system specs. For all we know, you have a Pentium 2 with 128MB RAM.

Have you checked the CPU temp?
Have you scanned for viruses & spyware?
Have you used MSCONFIG to disable unnecessary startup apps?
Have you cleaned out all your temp files/folders & other internet garbage?
Have you performed any XP performance tweaks such as disabling the indexing service?

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February 15, 2011 at 08:32:07
A high value for MFT in use is rarely a problem. The file system will allocate more space when needed. The files you mentioned were probably locked for exclusive access and thus could not be defragmented. This is not unusual.

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February 15, 2011 at 09:20:57
Thank you.
Her is some more info:

-Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz
-RAM : 2560 MB
-It's been scanned for viruses and spyware
-It's been cleaned of all temp files and other internet garbage
-The registry has been cleaned

I'll check again MSCONFIG and the the indexing service.

Will keep you posted. Thanks again

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Related Solutions

February 15, 2011 at 09:21:36
Thanks for your feedback.

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February 15, 2011 at 09:39:34
What size is your C partition ?
How much free space is left on it ?

I searched using: MFT in use: 99%
and looked at several pages of "hits"and found nothing that confirms there's a problem with that.

I used Defrag to Analyze all the hard drive partitions on a computer I have - 8 partitions, 5 are MFT in use: 99%, the other three are 97%, 95%, 45%.

None of the partitions are anywhere near full. Windows is probably as fast as it can be with what I have loaded.

References referred to on the pages I looked at....

How NTFS reserves space for its Master File Table (MFT)

Files Excluded by the Disk Defragmenter Tool

Percent MFT in use = 99%

JSI Tip 0487 - What is the MFT (Master File Table) and how can I manage it?

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February 15, 2011 at 21:18:24
Thanks for the detailed info. I am trying different things but am still puzzled by the fact that the Outlook and Hotmail e-mail files do not get defragmented.
There is one NTFS partiton on a 146 GB drive with 42% free space.

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February 16, 2011 at 07:36:43
Using Defrag is NOT going to make much difference in any case regarding the slowness of your computer. Using it made a significant difference when computers were much slower, but using it for modern faster computers won't make Windows faster any more than a few percent.
There are other things that are causing your system to be slower than it should be.
E.g. See mickliq's response 1

Email mail box files are stored in an efficient way, like a database file.
E.g.all the email in the IN mailbox is in one continuous long file - the only slack space if any is at the end of the file.
There may be an option to compress the mail box files in Outlook Express, which may automatically de-frag the mailbox files when that's done.

"There is one NTFS partiton on a 146 GB drive with 42% free space."

Okay, then the partition Windows was installed on is not too full - that is not a cause of Windows being slow.

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