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Chkdsk Bug Anything But a Showstopper

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The Chris123NT blog thought it had found a critical bug in Windows 7's chkdsk utility. Run the tool with the /r switch (locate and repair bad sectors), and you should see memory usage for chkdsk eat up all your memory, or it crashes your machine with a blue screen of death. The original report only called it "critical", but people like Randall Kennedy (who else) labelled it as a "showstopper". As it turns out, this was all way overblown.


First of all, this bug will not be seen when running chkdsk on your system drive, because Windows will offer to run chkdsk before booting the system. If you run it on a non-system drive, Windows will ask to unmount it and continue the check, or do it during the next boot. The bug will not appear in any of these cases.


When running chkdsk on an external drive, for instance, memory usage can indeed spike, but an actual blue screen of death is very hard to reproduce. There are indications that certain outdated drivers may cause a BSOD to appear, and that updating said drivers to the latest versions fixes this behaviour.


The eating of RAM is actually by design, as Sinofsky has explained:


We haven't reproduced the crash and we're not seeing any crashes with chkdsk on the stack reported in any measurable number that we could find. 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. But the design was to use more memory on purpose to speed things up, but never unbounded — we request the available memory and operate within that leaving at least 50M [reading other people's reports, this should most likely be 500MB] of physical memory. Our assumption was that using /r means your disk is such that you would prefer to get the repair done and over with rather than keep working.


more > http://www.osnews.com/story/21964/Chkdsk_Bug_Anything_But_a_Showstopper

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