Browse Prior Art Database

USB POST Error Code Diagnostic Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032794D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-12
Document File: 2 page(s) / 52K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

There are many instances when an error may occur during the boot process, and a device is needed to display the POST Errors. Of course, POST Code Diagnostic Reader Cards (and onboard displays) are already available. However, these cards require that the user open the system and insert the Card into a PCI slot. This can be a time consuming and a somewhat tedious task (especially for Blade and Rack Mountable systems). A USB key-like device with a seven segment display could be designed to simplify this process. The device will be inserted into a USB port on a BladeCenter, and display the POST errors. Along with the physical device, special software will be needed to allow communication on the USB port at the appropriate time during the boot process.

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USB POST Error Code Diagnostic Device

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Power and communication capabilities for USB are not provided by the Blades. Instead, power for the USB hubs is controlled by the Management Module. Therefore the Management Module will power the USB hubs at the appropriate time for the USB Key-like device to be recognized and function (prior to booting up individual Blades). This capability is extremely important, because USB functionality will be needed prior to the boot process (for each Blade) in order to send the POST error codes to the USB device.

HOW THE DEVICE WORKS

The USB Device is plugged into the USB port on the Blade Center. When a Blade is powered on and enters the POST routine, the BIOS can output a test point error code to I/O address 80h. This error code information is then sent from the NorthBridge to the Baseboard Management Controller, via the LPC Bus. The RS-485 Connection is then used to send Blade Status Information to the Management Module. In order for our USB device to operate as intended, software will be incorporated in the Management Module (to automatically display the error code on the USB Device's LED display).

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