Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic Configuration of a Personal Computer System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036308D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 72K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lehman, CT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a technique to configure a personal computer system and adapters automatically without the user having to set switches for read-only memory (ROM) address, I/O address, interrupt level and arbitration level.

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Automatic Configuration of a Personal Computer System

This article describes a technique to configure a personal computer system and adapters automatically without the user having to set switches for read-only memory (ROM) address, I/O address, interrupt level and arbitration level.

The automatic configuration will configure the devices on the

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planar and any installed adapters. The adapters must have a description file (ADF) which is used by the configuration program. The ADF is merged onto the personal computer system reference diskette via a utility on the reference diskette.

The ADF contains information specific to an adapter. The ADF for the adapter is recognized by matching the adapter ID with the name of the ADF. The name of the ADF is ' ID.adf' where ID is an ASCII representation of the adapter's ID. The configuration program uses the ADF to determine what resources and other settings the adapter can be configured to. Resources include memory address, I/O address, inter rupt level, and arbitration level. In most cases adapters have a list of choices as to what their resources can be set to. For example, an adapter may have a block of 8K ROM which can be addressed on any 8K boundary within the OCOOOO to ODFFFF area. The ADF for the adapter would have a list of available settings which the adapter can be configured to. The automatic configuration would go through the list of settings until a choice was found that does not conflict with what is assigned to other adapters and assign that choice to the adapter being configured. The choices are distinguished from one another by their programmable option select (POS) data which the configuration program stores in non-volatile random-access memory (RAM). The POS data in the non-volatile RAM is written out to the adapter during power on self test (POST). The POS indicates to the adapter which resource settings it has been assigned.

The function of the automatic configuration is to interpret the ADFs for all adapters and assign resources, and other settings that do not conflict with resources already allocated to other adapters or the planar. There are two types of automatic configuration. The first type configures the entire system. This is done when POST determines that the data stored in the non-volatile RAM is not valid or when a dead battery error occurs. This can be run by passing certain parameters on the command line or by selecting the 'run automatic configuration' menu choice in the set configuration program. The other type of automatic configuration is done when the configuratio...