Chkdsk bug found in Windows 7 RTM

— 2:36 PM on August 6, 2009

In theory, when a piece of software goes gold (or gets released to manufacturing, in Microsoft lingo), all of its major bugs have been ironed out. In practice, some issues can still slip through the cracks. That may be what happened to the RTM version of Windows 7. Neowin reports that the operating system's chkdsk tool suffers from a serious memory-leakage bug.

The bug occurs when the CHKDSK /R command is initiated on a non-system volume. Memory usage of the chkdsk.exe process soars until the system is using over 90% physical memory. In some cases this will cause the system to become unresponsive and unstable.

Neowin has even posted a screenshot of the bug in action. With chkdsk /r running normally in a command prompt window, the Windows Task Manager apparently reports a whopping 2.6GB of memory usage for the utility alone.

Could this bug delay Windows 7's release? Doesn't sound like it. Neowin points to a post by Windows Engineering Senior VP Steven Sinofsky, who states, "In this case, we haven’t reproduced the crash and we're not seeing any crashes with chkdsk on teh [sic] stack reported in any measurable number that we could find." He adds that Microsoft is looking into it, and for affected users, simply updating chipset drivers may take care of the problem.

Oh, and Sinofsky adds, "While we appreciate the drama of 'critical bug' and then the pickup of 'showstopper' that I've seen, we might take a step back and realize that this might not have that defcon level."

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