In response to my recent article on problems booting a Wndows XP partition after installing Fedora Core 2 a couple of the Fedora developers wrote me. They defended the choice of not treating the bug as a show-stopper and also scolded me a bit for possibly giving others ammunition to use FUD against the Fedora project. Their thoughtful response deserves the same forum as my warning and complaint, so with their permission I’ve posted relevant excerpts.
Jack Aboutboul responded:
I was alerted of this blog entry just a short time ago, and after reading it, I was pretty shocked at what was posted. I just wanted to send you some information regarding the bug you talk about and hope that you can somehow update this blog entry with the correct information, so as not to cause confusion.
The bug you speak about in the article stems [from] a few subtle,yet key feature changes that have happened within the 2.6 kernel. For 2.6 the kernel developers pulled out certain functionality from within the kernel related to Hard Disk geometry. In 2.6 the developers though that it may be wiser to have user space take control of things such as HD geometry. There is still discussion as to whether or not this was such a bright idea.
In addition to that, it is noted in the bugzilla report that the cause of this bug seems to be a CHS geometry problem. This problem most likely stems from an error within the parted utility, addressing bios incorrectly. In fact, many users with this bug reported that it disappeared after updating their bios to newer versions. Other than that, exhaustive testing has been done on this bug and newer machines did not seem to have this problem. It was almost totally non-reproducible.
I hope that I have been able to shed some light on this issue. You do very great work, and we salute you for trying to bring to the surface what seems like a stop-ship bug. However, I hope that the information I have provided you with will help you further investigate this problem so that you can update your blog, and spare the Fedora Project some great amounts of nonsensical FUD, that will undoubtedly be spread around by many unknowing readers of your blog.
Mr. Aboutboul in a later message said:
It is an issue that people should know about. The truth of the matter is, that almost none of the developers dual boot, and hence,no testing. Even the few that did try it, did so on IBM laptops and desktops, and didnt have any problems.
How do you think distributions should handle elusive bugs that may not be their fault, and could be wrongly used as fuel for FUD?