• noun memory allocation that results in related files being scattered all over a hard disk instead of being stored next to one another
  • The storage of files in non-contiguous areas of a disk. This occurs, for instance, when a file is repeatedly enlarged and saved, and the additional space required is not necessarily contiguous to that already utilized by the file. File fragmentation results in slower disk accessing, as there is more head movement. A defragmentation program can rearrange the files located on a computer disk drive, so that they are contiguous. Also called file fragmentation.
  • In a communications network, the breaking up of packets into smaller sized units of data. Used, for instance, to accommodate communications protocols whose maximum packet size is smaller. Also called packet fragmentation.

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