On a Windows Server 2008 R2 file server, we are encountering a memory usage problem. We used RAMMap to troubleshoot, and found that 10GB of NTFS Metadata is being cached in memory and never gets released.

My first thought was that the Master File Table is just getting huge due to the millions of small files that are being generated on our 24TB RAID. However, with the help of NTFSInfo.exe we have found that the MFT is only a few MB in size.

So now I want to look at what else in the NTFS metadata is taking up so much space. If I can determine that, then perhaps I can determine how to handle the memory problem. NTFSInfo doesn't provide any information on other types of metadata, and so far I have not found any other tools that do.

Are there any suggestions for tools that will show me specific information about NTFS metadata?


Some NTFS metadata can be discovered using Microsoft's OEM NFI.EXE tool. check it out over at MS Article 253066 "OEM Support Tools Phase 3 Service Release 2 Availability." Also, have a look at this page titled "NTFS file system manages - NTFS file system metafiles" for some interesting info concerning both NTFS metadata and the use of NFI.exe.


That is a known issue. I recommend you to check this post for understand why it happens: High Memory Usage – Windows Server 2008 R2 File Server

Microsoft knows about this problem and has a workaround that you can check at this KB article. The bad news is that this works for Windows Server 2008 but not for Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • I have run into these articles, and while they are informative I was hoping to be able to gain enough information about NTFS that I could devise a way to reduce the amount of metadata that the OS tries to cache. For example, I could try increasing cluster size.
    – Phil
    Aug 24 '11 at 19:17
  • 1
    You will find a lot of information in this link about what is exactly in the NTFS Metadata: How NTFS Works Aug 24 '11 at 19:21

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