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Windows® 7 Resource Kit by Tony Northrup Mitch Tulloch and Jerry Honeycutt

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File System Fragmentation

As files are created, deleted, and modified over time, their size and physical location on the hard disk will change. If a file size needs to increase and the hard disk doesn't have room directly adjacent to the existing file, the file system automatically places the new portion of the file where it can find the room and then marks the necessary structures so that the file system can find the entire file when an application needs it. The file is now in two (or more) fragments.

Fragmentation is normal behavior and is completely transparent to both applications and users. The problem is that over time, more and more files become fragmented and even highly fragmented, increasing the amount of time that it takes for the hard ...

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