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Method for Displaying System Sensor Data During BIOS Boot Routine

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006601D
Publication Date: 2002-Jan-16
Document File: 4 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for capturing and displaying system sensor data during BIOS boot routines. Traditionally, boot-up BIOS displays are provided at POST (power-on self-test), and include only basic information about the status of hardware functionality. POST displays include information about BIOS, CPU type, memory test status, and whether disk drives, keyboards, and other devices have been detected. Traditionally, boot-up routines do not capture or display information about activities that are monitored or managed by microcontrollers

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Method for Displaying System Sensor Data During BIOS Boot Routine

Disclosed is a method for capturing and displaying system sensor data during BIOS boot routines.  Traditionally, boot-up BIOS displays are provided at POST (power-on self-test), and include only basic information about the status of hardware functionality.  POST displays include information about BIOS, CPU type, memory test status, and whether disk drives, keyboards, and other devices have been detected.  Traditionally, boot-up routines do not capture or display information about activities that are monitored or managed by microcontrollers.

The disclosed method incorporates micro-controller sensor values during POST.  Incorporating micro-controller sensor values during POST is controlled through a CMOS bit.  The CMOS bit is user-selected via setup features.

With the disclosed method, when the CMOS bit is enabled, and after video is initialized, BIOS issues management-bus commands to the microcontrollers.  The microcontrollers then read the sensor values for one of or any combination of the fans, temperatures, or critical voltages, as listed in the following table.

Fans

 

Temperature Settings

 

Voltages

chassis

 

baseboard temperature

 

+/-5

processor

 

processor temperature

 

+/-12

 

 

 

 

+3.3

With the disclosed method, BIOS reads the values of the fans, temperatures, and critical voltages, and also reads each corresponding threshold limit.  Based upon a comparison of each element’s value and threshold limit, BIOS prints the status of the element to the video display.

Instead of assuming at system power-up that critical voltages and fans are operating within specifications, the disclosed methods allows users to monitor critical voltages, temperatures, and fans during boot-up routines.  Being able to see additional information at POST will be useful for any system administrator who is trying to troubleshoot a system problem.  In addition, being able to monitor critical voltages, temperatures, and fans at POST is more convenient that having to start and/or load a utility to capture and display this information.

The disclosed method will be a useful feature for any laptop, desktop, or server system that includes a BIOS boot routine.   The disclosed method is an important feature for both hardware management and troubleshooting, and for lowering the overall cost of ownership of a laptop, desktop, or server computer system.  Any manufacturer of personal computers will find the disclosed method useful.

The following lines show a typical system POST video display for a traditional boot-up routine:

(BIOS version information)

(Copyright information)

CPU = (specific microproces...