Browse Prior Art Database

Resolution of Missing Hardware Options

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035022D
Original Publication Date: 1989-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 4 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Benignus, DM: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A method is disclosed for resolving the disappearance of missing hardware options. An option may not be detected for several reasons, including defective hardware, incorrect power-on procedures, and if the option has been removed from the system. If the configuration is not managed, then resources and reliability are lost. This method assumes that some non-volatile memory is available that can be used to save current configuration. This method also assumes that the hardware options, such as cards, adapters, devices, and expansion boxes have been detected, and that the Current Configuration Table has been built. The Current Configuration Table should reflect how the hardware options are interconnected.

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Resolution of Missing Hardware Options

A method is disclosed for resolving the disappearance of missing hardware options. An option may not be detected for several reasons, including defective hardware, incorrect power-on procedures, and if the option has been removed from the system. If the configuration is not managed, then resources and reliability are lost. This method assumes that some non-volatile memory is available that can be used to save current configuration. This method also assumes that the hardware options, such as cards, adapters, devices, and expansion boxes have been detected, and that the Current Configuration Table has been built. The Current Configuration Table should reflect how the hardware options are interconnected. Customer Setup Procedures are associated with external enclosures, such as expansion boxes and portable disk enclosures, because they are at least superficially managed by the customer. Each of these options has its own power supply, which the customer must turn on in order for the option to be detected. For example, the Customer Setup Procedure for the Expansion Box in the figure reminds the user that the power in the Expansion Box must be turned on in order for the Expansion Box and any of the options in the expansion box to be detected. It also does some basic problem determination concerning the power supply and cables. The Customer Setup Procedure for the Expansion Box is executed, if the Expansion Box is not detected, and the operator indicates that he did not remove the Expansion Box. The configuration is layered so that it can be processed from the inside-out, from the options in the System Unit to those outside of the System Unit (see the figure). Typically, the options in the System Unit have the least dependencies, and the external options have the greatest. Levels are assigned based on the hardware dependencies between the options themselves. For example, if option x is dependent on option y, then option x is assigned level i, depending on where option i is in the level hierarchy, and option y is assigned level (i-1). Level (-1) is reserved for portable options since their disappearance can be overlooked. Portable options are explicitly designed to be added and deleted from the system. The levels are processed from 0 to n, which allows the options to be tested in the correct order. The layering of the configuration allows the prerequisite options to be automatically tested, when an option disappears. For example, if option x is a level 2 option, and it is missing, then any of the level 0 and 1 options can be tested, since their presence has already been verified. This is important when isolating defective hardware, because an option that is detected may be defective and cause the options that are dependent on it to malfunction and not be detected. The Missing Option Resolution Process automatically resolves certain types of configuration conflicts without querying the operator. For e...