Browse Prior Art Database

Method for a flip-flop boot floppy for system configuration and testing with a retry counter for automatic recovery from unbootable configurations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010893D
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-29
Document File: 5 page(s) / 165K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a flip-flop boot floppy for system configuration and testing with a retry counter for automatic recovery from unbootable configurations. Benefits include an improved test environment, improved functionality, and improved ease of implementation.

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Method for a flip-flop boot floppy for system configuration and testing with a retry counter for automatic recovery from unbootable configurations

Disclosed is a method for a flip-flop boot floppy for system configuration and testing with a retry counter for automatic recovery from unbootable configurations. Benefits include an improved test environment, improved functionality, and improved ease of implementation.

Background

        � � � � � Custom boot-loaders that provide the ability to select from multiple boot sectors (possibly from other devices) are conventional methods. Floppy loading to a hard drive boot sector is also a conventional method. The method of conditionally booting to a floppy drive when a system must be reimaged was previously implemented using relays connected to the power cable for floppy drives, which were operated by a central server.�

        � � � � � A requirement exists to retain the original functionality of the boot floppy. This requirement is not met by the conventional methods.

        � � � � � A requirement exists to dynamically self-modify the boot loader. This requirement is not met by the conventional methods.

        � � � � � A requirement exists for the recovery system to make multiple boot attempts and count the number of failed attempts before ultimately recovering and booting to the floppy. This requirement is not met by the conventional methods.

        � � � � �

General description

        � � � � � The disclosed method is a flip-flop boot floppy for system configuration and testing with a retry counter for automatic recovery from unbootable configurations. The method backs up the original boot sector in a reserved sector, enabling the new boot loader to be added while perfectly retaining the original functionality of the boot floppy. The method implements a retry counter for the device selection, making the boot loader dynamic and self-modifying.

        � � � � � The key elements of the method include:

•        � � � � Software that can shift over the file-system on the boot floppy to reserve sectors for the original boot sector on the floppy.

•        � � � � Code for a flip-flop boot sector containing a retry counter, which checks and decrements the counter. before loading either the original boot sector from the floppy or the boot sector of the hard drive using only BIOS disk services

•        � � � � Software that installs the flip-flop boot sector to the MBR of a floppy while preserving the file-system/partition metadata in the MBR and storing the original boot sector

•        � � � � Software that can check and/or modify the retry counter on a configured flip-flop boot floppy

Advantages

        � � � � � Some implementations of the disclosed structure and method provide one or more of the following advantages:

•        � � � � Improved test environment due to enabling large scale deployment because of reduced cost versus using a HW solution

•        � � � � Improved response time for error-recovery because it does not rely on an external agent but is dynamic and self-modifying

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