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Browse Prior Art Database

Background Diagnostics in a Diskette Machine

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039494D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hinkel, SW: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A control process in a diskette adapter detects and reports hardware failures when the adapter is not in use. When the adapter has no work requests active or pending, a 5-minute timer is started. To assure the device will not be needed immediately, the timer permits human intervention. If a new work request is received, the timer is disabled. Should the timer expire, the background diagnostic function is enabled. (Image Omitted) The diagnostics are divided into small, independently-executable packages with checks for work between packages to minimize user wait time. Reliability of the I/O device is improved such that the device can continuously detect and report hardware failures without system intervention. At the completion of a command, the adapter checks for any active or pending tasks.

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Background Diagnostics in a Diskette Machine

A control process in a diskette adapter detects and reports hardware failures when the adapter is not in use. When the adapter has no work requests active or pending, a 5-minute timer is started. To assure the device will not be needed immediately, the timer permits human intervention. If a new work request is received, the timer is disabled. Should the timer expire, the background diagnostic function is enabled.

(Image Omitted)

The diagnostics are divided into small, independently-executable packages with checks for work between packages to minimize user wait time. Reliability of the I/O device is improved such that the device can continuously detect and report hardware failures without system intervention. At the completion of a command, the adapter checks for any active or pending tasks. If there are no active tasks, a value of 5 minutes is loaded into a timer. The positive timer value indicates to a timer routine to begin a countdown of the 5 minute timer. The timer routine executes every 1.0 millisecond and is driven by an interrupt. The interrupt is generated by a hardware timer. If at any time a command interrupt is received, a value of zero is loaded into the timer and a diagnostic flag is reset. This indicates to the timer routine to stop the countdown. If an asynchronous response should be required (such as an address switch change), the timer continues to count down but the diagnostic calling routine will not be invoked until the response is sent. If the timer expires, the diagnostic flag is set indicating that the background diagnostics are allowed to run. A monitoring routine recognizes the background diagnostic flag and gives control to a background diagnostic calling routine. The background diagnostic calling routine separately calls one of the ten diagnostic routines. The diagnostic routine invoked by the calling routine tests a given portion of the hardware and indicates to the background diagnostic calling routine successful or unsuccessful completion. If everything is normal, the background diagnostic calling routine returns control to the monitoring routine. The monitoring routine then determines if background diagnostics are disabled by an incoming command or suspended by a pending asynchronous response. If not disabled or suspended, the background diagnostic calling routine receives control again, a...