Massive memory leak bug located in Windows 7, could delay release of Microsoft's latest operating system.
The leak, which was first reported on several Windows websites and has been confirmed by Randall Kennedy, contributing editor at Computerworld UK's sister site, Infoworld.
According to Kennedy, the RTM version of Windows 7, occurs when the chkdsk.exe utility is run. Chkdsk.exe scans the PC's hard drives looking for errors in the files and file structures. The memory leak - which can cause the PC to stop operating - occurs when chkdsk.exe is run on secondary disks, as opposed to the disk Windows is installed on.
Testers report that the bug only works on PCs that have a second hard disk or multiple hard disks. The bug, which gobbles up memory and leads to a 'blue screen' crash, does not affect the main drive where the OS is installed.
IT administrators would be more affected by the bug than everyday users, according to Kennedy, since admins are more likely to run Windows 7's diagnostic and repair functions.
But Kennedy also speculated that the bug may affect the core NTFS file system, either delaying the planned Windows 7 release date or causing IT to hold off on deploying Windows 7 until Microsoft issues a patch or service pack.
Microsoft's Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky confirmed the flaw but has tried to ease concerns, and said he did not believe this would be a reason to delay the shipping of Windows 7.
"We're not seeing any crashes with CHKDSK on the stack reported in any measurable number that we could find," Sinofsky wrote. "We had one beta report on the memory usage, but that was resolved by design since we actually did design it to use more memory."
"While we appreciate the drama of 'critical bug' and then the pickup of 'show-stopper' that I’ve seen, we might take a step back and realise that this might not have that defcon level," he said.
Reports of a potential critical bug come a day before Microsoft is set to make Windows 7 available to MSDN subscribers. General availability is planned for 22 October.