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NTFS: The Four Stages of File Growth

In my quest to better understand the inter-working of how NTFS stores information on disk, I have been researching what happens to a file as it grows in size and complexity. The reason I’m after this knowledge is so I can better troubleshoot certain storage issues. When NTFS stores a file, it starts by creating a small 1KB file record segment that we will call the base record segment. Every file starts like this, including the special hidden files such as $MFT, $LOGFILE, $VOLUME and so on. In fact when we refer to the MFT (master file table), what we are talking about is the entire list of base record segments and child record segments (explained later) for all files in the volume.

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