A few years ago Rob wrote a blog entry entitled, “The Four Stages of NTFS File Growth”. This attempted to explain what happens to a file as it gains complexity. Complexity being akin to fragmentation.
Since its posting, Rob has answered a number of questions, mostly about the structure called the attribute list. So finally Rob wrote an additional blog explaining the issues around the attribute list in more detail.
Here is a link to the long awaited, very much overdue, hot off the presses, Four Stages of NTFS File Group Part 2!