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Unformatted text preview: lock is normally a multiple of
page size in systems that use paging mechanism for memory management. Disk
space is allocated to files in units of blocks. It is possible to read a block from the
disk, to modify the block, and write it back into the same place.
In this method, each file occupies a set of contiguous blocks on the disk. Thus if a
disk has 2K blocks, a file of size 1 IK will be allocated 6 contiguous blocks. As
shown in Figure 14.21, in this method, the disk addresses in the directory indicate
the starting block number and the total number of blocks allocated to each file.
Contiguous disk space allocation has the following advantages:
1. It is simple to implement.
2. Its performance is excellent because the entire file can be read from the disk
in a single operation.
3. It easily supports both sequential and direct access because all the blocks
allocated to a file contiguous. File
Name File attributes Disk address
File 'A' Occupies 3 blocks numbered 0, 1 and 2.
File 'B' occupies 6 blocks numbered 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
File 'C occupies 8 blocks numbered 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36.
File 'D' occupies 4 blocks numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Figure 14.21. Illustrating allocation of disk blocks to files in contiguous allocation
This method, however, has the following drawbacks:
1. It suffers from external fragmentation problem. External fragmentation is a
situation when enough total free disk blocks exist to satisfy the disk space
requirement of a file, but still the file cannot be stored because the available free
disk blocks are not contiguous. The amount of unusable disk space due to external
fragmentation depends on the total disk space and the average disk space
requirement of the files. However, statistical analysis indicates that as much as
one-third of disk space may be unusable due to external fragmentation. To take
care of this problem, systems which use contiguous disk space allocation method
often provide the facility of disk compaction which moves files to bring all f...
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This document was uploaded on 04/07/2014.
- Spring '14