Meaning – The term fragmentation, in the context of computing, refers to the situation where in the contents of a file are split and stored in separate memory locations, rather than one contiguous location. However, what this does is it leads to inefficient use of storage space as well as occasional performance degradation. Users frequently create, modify, delete and save files. Back-end operating systems (OS) continuously store these files on hard drives, which inevitably creates scattered files. When fragmentation occurs, the OS needs to consolidate stored files to enhance processing efficiency.

There are three cases of fragmentation that can occur in a computer

  1. Internal Fragmentation
  2. External Fragmentation
  3. Data Fragmentation

The term fragmentation also refers to the process of dividing a datagram into smaller parts, or fragments, to match the capabilities of the physical medium over which it is to be transmitted.

Example of usage“He had to defragment his computer’s hard disk as there was a huge fragmentation problem that was actually causing some memory issues in the computer.”