Browse Prior Art Database

Power-On Self-Test Extension Providing Remote Program Load Capability For Communication Cards

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000100033D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-15
Document File: 5 page(s) / 167K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lloyd, RP: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a method to detect and configure communication cards with remote program load (RPL) capability during a personal computer system power-on self-test (POST) process.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Power-On Self-Test Extension Providing Remote Program Load Capability For Communication Cards

       This article describes a method to detect and configure
communication cards with remote program load (RPL) capability during
a personal computer system power-on self-test (POST) process.

      Personal computer system models are shipped with a minimum of
one diskette drive (drive A) and one hardfile.  After the system is
unpacked from the shipping container and other options are installed
(i.e., adapter cards, coprocessor, etc.), a reference diskette is
placed in drive A and an automatic configuration program is loaded
and executed.  This program initializes the system and adapter cards
for correct operation.  However, this requires that diskette drive A
must be installed and shipped with every system.  Thus, it is
impossible to initialize the system and adapter cards without first
running the automatic configuration program from the reference
diskette.

      In some instances the customer requirements state that the
system is to be shipped without a diskette drive or hardfile, and
that POST must initialize the RPL card and pass control to it.  Since
no diskette drive is shipped with the system, the reference diskette
cannot be run to configure the system; therefore, no setup
information is stored in non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM).
In order to meet these system-design objectives, POST is required to
automatically detect, configure, and initialize the communications
card.  Then program control has to be passed to the adapter in order
to communicate with the host network server.  POST code supports this
function.

      When the system is turned on, the POST code contained in the
system read-only memory (ROM) is executed.  Code is executed to test
and initialize the system hardware.  In the method disclosed herein,
if POST detects that the system was not configured, if an adapter
card was added or removed, or if the system battery-failed indicator
is set, POST executes a special sequence that detects and configures
adapter cards that support RPL.  This sequence is described below.

      When one of the above error conditions occurs, POST uses the
MICRO CHANNEL* features that allow slots to disable, or turn-off, all
of the system slots.  Then, starting with slot zero, POST puts each
slot in a  setup mode one at a time.  With the slot active, POST then
determines if a card-supporting RPL is installed in the system by
checking to see if the card in the active slot is capable of RPL.

      This is done in a two-step process.  If the MICRO CHANNEL
card-id of the slot that is in setup mode indicates that it is a
token ring card that supports RPL, POST saves the slot number and
sets a flag that a card with RPL capability was found.

      If the card-id is not a token ring, POST does an additional
check for other indicators that indicate that RPL is supported.  This
is done by enabling the car...