Fragmentation is the scattering of parts of the same disk file over different areas of the disk. Fragmentation occurs as files on a disk are deleted and new files are added. It slows disk access and degrades the overall performance of disk operations, although usually not severely. Most operating systems, including Windows XP, contain a defragmentation application program that will rearrange the blocks on disk so that the blocks of each file are contiguous and in order to enhance disk operations.
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