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Method of creating an emergency boot sector on each disk used on a computer system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011543D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-28
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method to provide an emergency boot image via any disk on a computer system.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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  Method of creating an emergency boot sector on each disk used on a computer system

A basic feature of operating systems that boot from disks are boot sectors or boot volumes. Essentially, these are reserved sectors or partitions of the disk that hold a copy of the operating system so that the firmware can "bootstrap" the computer. As this bootstrap code can be defined in many ways, this disclosure will give an example of such a boot sector so that the reader can understand the basis of this idea.

First, the user powers on the computer system. Next, the firmware of the computer reads its nonvolatile RAM area. This area holds predefined preferences as to how the computer system should boot. Typically, this will point to a bootstrap area where a copy of the operating system is loaded into memory to start the boot process. Then, the processor of this computer system will start executing instructions that are loaded into memory and enough of the system configuration is defined and found such that the "real" operating system can be found, engaged, and takes over the boot process.

On UNIX * operating systems such as AIX,** this bootstrap OS is found in a reserved area of the disk call the boot volume. For other operating systems there are emergency recovery sectors used to boot the system in a service mode so repairs or special system configuration can be attempted.

The main idea of this disclosure is that whenever a disk is added to a computer system, whether it be used as part of the operating system or it be used as a data volume, a copy of the bootstrap or emergency recovery sector is added to a reserved sector of the disk. Instead of a few key disks having the boot image, all disks - regardless of its use - will contain a useable sector that can be used to boot and perform emergency recoveries.

This is accomplished by adding cod...