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Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Troubleshooting of Computer System Unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000091820D
Original Publication Date: 1968-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chontos, JD: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The diagnosing and troubleshooting of malfunctions occurring in highly complicated electronic units used in a computer system, present unique problems. These can require excessive amounts of troubleshooting time during which the use of a significant portion of a computer system is prevented or restricted. The drawing shows an automated troubleshooting system which makes a significant contribution towards reducing the time required for such purposes.

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Automated Troubleshooting of Computer System Unit

The diagnosing and troubleshooting of malfunctions occurring in highly complicated electronic units used in a computer system, present unique problems. These can require excessive amounts of troubleshooting time during which the use of a significant portion of a computer system is prevented or restricted. The drawing shows an automated troubleshooting system which makes a significant contribution towards reducing the time required for such purposes.

Malfunctioning unit 10 is to be diagnosed or troubleshooted. Error step isolator 12 controls unit 10 in a manner determined by a particular function word applied to it via lines 14A from function word storage 14 addressed by function word selector 15. In response to the applied function word, isolator 12 operates via lines 12A to cause unit 10 to perform a high-speed traversal of the steps of a selected one of its functions. During such traversal, unit 10 provides test data to isolator 12 via lines 10A so that isolator 12 can determine whether or not an error is produced during performance of the function. Assuming first that no error is found, isolator 12 than provides an output signal on line 12B to selector 15. In response, this selects a new function word in storage 14 for application to isolator 12 for operation in the same manner as described for the previous function. Typically, storage 14 contains a library of function words respectively corresponding to functions performable by unit 10, any one of which is individually selected by selector 15. Software and hardware, not shown, is used to provide input data for selector 15. Thus a predetermined series of function words from storage 14 is selected for testing and diagnosing malfunctions in unit
10.

Assuming that isolator 12 finds an error during the high-speed traversal of the selected function, then isolator 12 does not cause selector 15 to select the next word. Instead, isolator 12 proceeds to traverse the steps of the function at slower speed and in smaller and smaller groups for the purpose of a more detailed diagnostic analysis of the test data provided by unit 10. Thus the particular step or steps of the function which produce an error can be determined. When a step is found to produce an error, isolator 12 freezes unit 10 at that step while, at the same time, provides function and step identifying data via lines 12C to correlation data selector 17. This, in response, addresses correlation data in correlation data storage 19 corresponding to the function and ...