One can change the MFT zone reservation by altering the registry key NtfsMftZoneReservation. Details are given in:
Under WinXP, with NtfsMftZoneReservation set to 4, the MFT zone of a newly formatted volume takes up almost 50% of the volume size. One can check that using UltraDefrag, see links below.
Setting NtfsMftZoneReservation=1, using regedit; rebooting the computer and checking again the MFT zone of the volume with UltraDefrag reveals that the original MFT zone has shrunk with something like 50% (or more) although I have not at all reformatted the volume. If I then reformat the drive, the new MFT zone shrinks even more but then to its normal size (12% or so), consistent with NtfsMftZoneReservation=1.
If I then set NtfsMftZoneReservation=4, reboot computer, check the MFT zone of the volume, then the MFT zone has expanded by itself while the empty volume has not at all been reformatted. It looks like the filesystem is changing the size of the MFT zone of the (empty) volumes by itself after NtfsMftZoneReservation has been set differently followed by a reboot, but without reformatting the volume
Do I get it completely wrong here?? Did I mis something? Is there anyone who could confirm this by doing extra tests?
I have noticed exactly the same problem with Windows 7. Also there the MFT zone of empty volumes gets altered after NtfsMftZoneReservation has been set differently followed by a reboot, but without reformatting the volume.
Edited by DiracDeBroglie, 13 February 2012 - 09:24 AM.