Disk Fragmentation & OS X: When Does it Become a Problem?

idefrag_iconDisk fragmentation is an old problem that has affected every operating system throughout history. File fragmentation occurs when a single file isn’t located in the same physical location on the disk, but is scattered around. OS X does a great job at minimizing file fragmentation by rewriting files in contiguous space when a file is opened, is under 20MB and contains more than eight fragments. This works quite well to prevent heavy file fragmentation, but what it doesn’t prevent is free space fragmentation.

Free space fragmentation?

Free space fragmentation can become a problem when you start running low on disk space. If you have a small percentage of your disk free — and you frequently use and then free-up disk space with temporary files — you’re likely to have high free space fragmentation. This means the free space is spread all over your hard drive in small amounts here and there — its not all laid out in one contiguous section in one spot. Read More about Disk Fragmentation & OS X: When Does it Become a Problem?