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Cross-Linked Files

fadiwilliam asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I want to Know the meanning of Cross-Linked Files
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If a file is bigger than a storage unit (cluster), there needs to be a pointer telling the system where to find next part of the file. If this pointer is damaged, it may point to a totally different place, like the end part of another file or something. Thus you'll have a file ending with two "heads", and orphaned clusters, which is a file fragment with no beginning...
cross-linked files

An error condition in which the FAT indicates that data from two different files occupies the same cluster on a disk. A cluster can contain data for only one file, so cross-linked files indicate an error in the disk?s file structure. Norton Disk Doctor can determine the true owner of the data and correct this type of error.
What Are Cross-linked Files?
MS-DOS organizes the disk's data area into sections called clusters or allocation units. Each file has its own directory entry, which includes the file name, size, attribute information, date, time, and the cluster where the start of the file is stored.

The file allocation table (FAT) includes an entry for each cluster. Each cluster's entry includes either a code specifying that it is the last cluster in the file, or the number of the next cluster used by the file. Clusters can also be marked unusable, which CHKDSK reports as bad sectors.

Cross-linked files occur when two or more files are both marked as "owning" the same cluster. Usually, the last file updated is correct; the other is correct except for the cluster's worth that is part of the other file.

For example, suppose you have two files, each 512 bytes in size. Each file requires one cluster. If both files are marked as being located in cluster 5, then cluster 5 probably contains the file with the later date. You can confirm this by looking at it (if it's a data file) or running it (if it's a program).
(See article Q83140)

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