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Method for advanced diagnostics of a PC system through the SMBus using an external system management controller

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009979D
Publication Date: 2002-Oct-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method and apparatus to allow an external system management controller (SMC) to perform advanced diagnostics of a PC system through the system management bus. Benefits include improved reliability and improved support for high-availability features.

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Method for advanced diagnostics of a PC system through the SMBus using an external system management controller

Disclosed is a method and apparatus to allow an external system management controller (SMC) to perform advanced diagnostics of a PC system through the system management bus. Benefits include improved reliability and improved support for high-availability features.

Background

        � � � � � The conventional SMC units that interface with input/output controller hub (ICH) units do not have the capability to perform advanced hardware diagnostics through the system management bus (SMB) in case of a system failure.The process for diagnosing system issues remotely requires manual intervention in a majority of failure cases.

Description

� � � � � The disclosed method is comprised of a system management hardware component and a BIOS software component.

System management hardware component

� � � � � The disclosed method provides an SMBus-based mechanism to request hardware diagnostics of one or more hardware subsystems. A diagnostic request register (DRR) in the ICH device can be written to by the external SMC using an SMBus Write command. A diagnostic status register (DSR) in the ICH device can be read by the SMC using an SMBus Read command. The DRR can be read by BIOS software, and the DSR can be written to by the BIOS software.

� � � � � The DRR includes a DIAG_REQ bit that is read by BIOS software during the boot-up routine to determine whether diagnostics have been requested. The DRR has several bits specifying subsystems that require diagnostics. For example, the DRR might have bits to specify diagnostic requests for PCI, system memory, hub interface, LPC interface, and hard drive information.

� � � � � The DSR has a...