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File record segment nnnnn unreadable

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      1st Sep 2004
Help pleeeese

I am getting a recurring corruption problem on some NTFS drives.
Everything is 100% fine for months until one day chkdsk reports 'file
record segment nnnnn unreadable'. Microsoft recognise this as an NTFS


and their solution is to backup the drive excluding the offending file
and then re-format. They explain the problem as

This behavior can occur if the NTFS volumes' Master File Table (MFT)
is corrupted. The short and long file name pairs that are stored in
the directory index record and the file names that are stored in the
associated File Record Segment (FRS) contain case-sensitive characters
that do not match.

NTFS supports case-sensitive (POSIX) file names, but Chkdsk does not
check file names in case-sensitive mode.

For example, assume that the directory index record has a BADFILe.TXT
entry but the FRS has a BADFILE.TXT entry for the file name. NTFS
views this as being invalid or corrupted, but Chkdsk compares only the
names and ignores the case. It does not make repairs.

The problem is that even though only one file may be corrupted, quite
often entire directories are unreadable. The only solution seems to be
to re-format, restore from a backup and then sit back and wait until
the next time.

Another MS article suggests that running chkdsk can even exacerbate
the problem.


WARNING: When Chkdsk detects problems with the file system and
attempts to repair the damage, data loss can occur. Microsoft does not
recommend running Chkdsk with the /f command-line switch unless you
have a full backup of your hard disk.

Attempt to repair the damaged file, folder or file system index using
Chkdsk. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type chkdsk /f <drive>:, where <drive> is the
letter of the drive on which the damaged file, folder or file system
index exists.
3. Click OK.
NOTE: If the hard disk is large, Chkdsk may take several minutes to
several hours to complete.

The drives are 250GB and even if XP would let you format with FAT32
above 32GB I have to run NTFS for various other reasons otherwise I
would switch to FAT32 like a shot. It might be inefficient for large
drives and you may even occasionally lose the odd file. That's not
quite the disaster that "Microsoft have confirmed to be a problem but
can't be bothered to fix".

Does anyone have any experience of this and have any more info
(ideally some chkdsk+ utility that works properly).


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