I just purchased a western digital external hardrive and I want to know if I keep it off most of the time [turn on once a month] can files become fragmented during the time I have it off ? Or does it only happen when the hardrive is on?
File fragmentation happens when a saved file is opened, updated and becomes larger and then is resaved. If there is not enough contiguous space to store it, the extra data (file fragment) is saved in another part of the hard drive. File fragmentation only becomes an issue when you have less than 50% free space. The HDD driver uses an algorithm to best manage file and file fragment location to make reading/saving files as fast as possible. File fragmentation increases exponetially as free space is reduced. Best to keep your internal HDD under 50%.