Summary: MFT or the Master File Table is a logbook that maintains a record of all files present in your computer/storage media. Erasing MFT allows you to utilize the entire space on your storage media. This blog discusses methods to wipe the MFT free space. To ensure that the erased MFT index files are not recovered even by a data recovery software, use a file erasure software like BitRaser File Eraser. The software can permanently wipe the MFT free space created by MFT index files and thumbnails. Download free trial from here:
Have you ever wondered why you cannot use all the available space on your storage media? MFT is the reason.
MFT or the Master File Table is a logbook present on your storage media, which maintains a record of all the files. It records information such as size, date & time of creation and modification, permissions, etc. You cannot use the space occupied by MFT on your storage media.
Why is it important to wipe MFT?
To understand the importance of erasing MFT files, you must first understand how file erasure works. When you delete a file from your system using formatting or deletion (Shift+Del or emptying recycle bin), the file and the MFT index pointers of the file aren’t deleted permanently. They disappear from the immediate view. Anyone can easily recover the file and MFT components with a Data recovery software
When you delete a file, the entry of that file is just marked as “free” by the system. You can use this “free space” to add new files to the system. However, a data recovery software can easily use the MFT table to locate the deleted files and easily restore them.
This is why you must wipe the deleted MFT files as you do not want anyone to restore your deleted files. Another reason is that you can use all the available space to store your files, once you clear the MFT.
How to Erase MFT files?
As mentioned in the above passage, deleting the files using system settings or formatting doesn’t wipe the files permanently. To do that, you must use a file erasure software. A file erasure software works by overwriting on top of the file once or multiple times. This way, the files become unreadable, and no data recovery software would be able to recover them. Therefore, a file erasure software can overwrite on the MFT free space and prevent any data recovery software from recovering the files you had deleted.
One of the most trusted file erasure software is BitRaser File Eraser, designed to permanently wipe files, folders, free space, application traces, and Internet histories from your PC, Mac or any storage media. It is a DIY tool, with a sleek interface, which efficiently erases all MFT free space.
How to use BitRaser File Eraser to erase MFT Free space?
Explore the BitRaser File Eraser screen on your PC. On the left pane, you will see the “Free Space” button [See Image 1]. Click on that.
3. On the next screen, you will see the details of your drive in your PC, where the unused space will also be defined. Please select the drive and click “Erase Now” [See Image 2].
4. A dialog box will appear, confirming the erasure. Once you confirm, the disk will be permanently erased (including the unused space), and no one would be able to retrieve any data from it.
As discussed above, the available space in storage media is always lower than the listed space. Permanently erasing MFT free space allows you to free up the space you could not use in your storage media. This blog discusses the effective methods to do that. Plus, by permanently wiping the MFT space, you prevent a data recovery software from recovering the files you had deleted. To permanently wipe MFT free space, it is recommended to use a file erasure software like BitRaser File Eraser.
Subhjeet Vimal is a Senior Content Writer at Stellar® and a Hubspot Certified Content Marketer. He likes to keep himself curious and updated with the developments in the Tech world. He writes about Data Erasure, Data Recovery and other DIY Technologies.