An alleged bug in the final version of Microsoft's latest operating system released to PC makers has raised the prospect that the Windows 7 release may be delayed.
The newly-discovered bug is in the Final Windows 7 RTM 7600.16385 and the updated 7600.16399 builds, according to a forum post on The Hotfix.
The bug causes a massive memory leak when the check disk (chkdsk.exe) utility is run to scan the PC's hard drives for errors.
"This is a very critical bug that Microsoft should have caught before sending 7600.16385 to OEMs," the post said.
But the memory leak occurs only when the utility is run on secondary disks and is more likely to affect IT administrators than everyday users, according to reports.
The problem is said to affect both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and can cause Windows to crash when it runs out of physical memory.
Microsoft finalised is new operating system in mid-July, aiming to ship the product on 22 October.
Some commentators have said this date may be pushed back to give Microsoft time to release a patch to enable PC makers to fix the bug.
But Microsoft's Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky has said the problem is caused by a "chipset controller issue", according to a posting on industry blog Chris123NT's Blog.
According to blogger FireRx, the problem can be fixed by updating the chipset drivers from motherboard manufacturers.
Responding to reports of the Windows 7 bug, Sinofsky said in a post on the same blog site that Microsoft was unable to reproduce the error on test computers.
"We are certainly going to continue to look for, monitor, and address issues as they arise if required. So far this is not one of those issues," he wrote.