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Determining the Type and Characteristics of a Disk Drive Installed in a System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000062398D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Richardson, WC: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

By having the manufacturer write a configuration record on its disk drive at a fixed location, the system can read this information and use it for the operation of the drive. In a system that may have different disk drives installed, it is necessary for the system to determine the types of drives installed and their characteristics in order to operate them. It is difficult but possible to do this using a trial and error method of attempting to read on different heads and cylinders. The trial and error approach is not fail-safe because the system cannot tell the difference between the end of a cylinder or a defective head on the cylinder. The solution to this problem is to have the manufacturer write a configuration record on the disk drive at a fixed location.

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Determining the Type and Characteristics of a Disk Drive Installed in a System

By having the manufacturer write a configuration record on its disk drive at a fixed location, the system can read this information and use it for the operation of the drive. In a system that may have different disk drives installed, it is necessary for the system to determine the types of drives installed and their characteristics in order to operate them. It is difficult but possible to do this using a trial and error method of attempting to read on different heads and cylinders. The trial and error approach is not fail-safe because the system cannot tell the difference between the end of a cylinder or a defective head on the cylinder. The solution to this problem is to have the manufacturer write a configuration record on the disk drive at a fixed location. This configuration record identifies the type of drive (manufacturer and size) and also contains drive characteristics data. It is then a simple matter for the system to read this information and save it for later operation of the drive. A backup configuration record can also be written to a fixed location to cover the case where the primary configuration record is unreadable. By having this data written on the drive, the system will know positively what the file is and its characteristics. The advantages of this approach are as follows: 1. Faster way of determining the device type and its characteristics. 2. Prevents the system...