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Recording Failure Information on Returned Hardware

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037306D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Douskey, SM: AUTHOR

Abstract

Described is a method of using a nonvolatile RAM and modification of error isolation software to ship pertinent information on a failure along with parts back to a factory for analysis. Information returned with parts from field failures is very often incomplete, inaccurate, or nonexistent. This technique addresses this problem.

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Recording Failure Information on Returned Hardware

Described is a method of using a nonvolatile RAM and modification of error isolation software to ship pertinent information on a failure along with parts back to a factory for analysis. Information returned with parts from field failures is very often incomplete, inaccurate, or nonexistent. This technique addresses this problem.

A nonvolatile RAM is contained on every card for which failure information is required. The hardware and software for writing this information is contained on the system containing these cards. Often this function is already available, as each card requires useful unique identification data (part number, serial number, etc.). Rather than adding new hardware, the system reutilizes this hardware. Data written in the field survives the trip back to the plant of manufacture.

Area in the RAM is allocated for an abbreviated system reference code (ASRC). This ASRC contains information not only used in tracking fallout from the field versus ASRC but also used for repair of cards. A typical error detection/isolation path is as follows: 1. A fault occurs in the hardware or code.

2. The fault is detected and isolation data is

captured immediately.

3. This information is built into a system reference

code (SRC).

4. An ASRC is created from the SRC.

5. The ASRC is loaded into the RAM of all cards

likely to be replaced.

6. The SRC is displayed to the customer.

7. The repair personnel replaces the parts...