Earlier this year I wrote a white paper on fragmentation's effect on system and application reliability, presenting information about the root cause of the issue. Below is the first section of that paper. You can read the entire document in our Knowledge Center. An Overview of the Problem Having all program and data files stored in contiguous form on the hard drive is a key factor in keeping a system stable and performing at peak efficiency. Though unavoidable, the moment a file is broken into pieces and scattered across a drive, it opens the door to a host of stability/reliability issues. Having just a few key files fragmented can lead to crashes, conflicts and errors. The principle of fragmentation's impact on system or application reliability is the timing out of a requestor or service provider in collecting/reassembling fragmented data. This principle holds true for both IP datagram fragmentation and file/disk fragmentation.