A primitive multiple curve is a Cohen-Macaulay irreducible projective curve Y that can be locally embedded in a smooth surface, and such that Y red is smooth. We study the deformations of Y to curves with smooth irreducible components, when the number of components is maximal (it is then the multiplicity n of Y). We are particularly interested in deformations to n disjoint smooth irreducible components, which are called fragmented deformations. We describe them completely. We give also a characterization of primitive multiple curves having a fragmented deformation.