Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » F »

fragmentation

(1) Refers to the condition of a disk in which files are divided into pieces scattered around the disk. Fragmentation occurs naturally when you use a disk frequently, creating, deleting, and modifying files. At some point, the operating system needs to store parts of a file in noncontiguous clusters. This is entirely invisible to users, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drivemust search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file.

In DOS 6.0 and later systems, you can defragment a disk with the DEFRAG command. You can also buy software utilities, called disk optimizers or defragmenters,that defragment a disk.

See "Learn How to Defrag Your Hard Drive" in the Did You Know...? section of Webopedia.

(2) Fragmentation can also refer to RAM that has small, unused holes scattered throughout it. This is called external fragmentation. With modern operating systems that use a paging scheme, a more common type of RAM fragmentation is internal fragmentation.This occurs when memory is allocated in frames and the frame size is larger than the amount of memory requested.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

List of Free Shorten URL Services

A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

Webopedia's computer architecture study guide is an introduction to system design basics. It describes parts of a computer system and their... Read More »

What Are Network Topologies?

Network Topology refers to layout of a network. How different nodes in a network are connected to each other and how they communicate is... Read More »