Resistance of HFS Plus to Fragmentation

I had been wondering for a while as to how well the combination of Panther and HFS+ stands up to fragmentation. According to Apple, there should be so little fragmentation in a typical use-case scenario that you don’t even need to worry about it. I have seen several discussions on this topic in the Mac Universe, with many poeple questioning if things were really so good. My seat-of-the-pants opinion coincided with Apple’s claims, but I wanted to quantify these things for myself (and for the benefit of others).

Fragmentation in HFS Plus Volumes is a brief analytical look at this issue. The HFS+ volumes that I sampled actually fared somewhat better than what I was expecting.

In this process, I created a tool to peek inside HFS+ — a filesystem debugger of sorts, which I am calling hfsdebug.

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