Browse Prior Art Database

Auto-Bios Image Configurator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105103D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 210K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Blackledge, JW: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a technique for use in a computer system which alleviates space constraints within the E000 and F000 segments of system memory as well as the system partitions.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

Auto-Bios Image Configurator

      This article describes a technique for use in a computer system
which alleviates space constraints within the E000 and F000 segments
of system memory as well as the system partitions.

      As the memory address space dedicated to BIOS in the E000/F000
segments becomes fully utilized, the addition of new software
functions becomes more difficult.  The BIOS image must include
support for all devices and both C and A BIOS whether or not a
particular BIOS usage is required.  A similar problem exists on
personal systems that support (IBL) initiated BIOS load.  Presently,
storage and retrieval is provided for only one (1) image.  Multiple
image storage, each tailored for a different environment will help
alleviate the problem, but the storage space available in the system
partition is constrained.  To help alleviate these problems, this
disclosure presents a method of customizing a BIOS image to meet the
requirements of the user by tailoring the image based upon current
needs and usages.

      The area on the direct access storage device, containing both
the BIOS image and the System Reference Diskette Image, will be
referred to as the system partition.  The current IBL implementation
allows for only one (1) 128KB BIOS image to be stored in the system
partition.  There is no means to store several different BIOS images
to handle several possible configurations and requirements.  Nor is a
mechanism provided to select and retrieve one of several BIOS images.
The following describes a method on how to customize a BIOS image so
that only BIOS and power on self test (POST) code, which is actually
needed for the particular configuration during normal system
operation, will be loaded into memory.

      In order to accomplish the goal of making a tailorable or
self-configuring BIOS road, entities understood today must completely
restructured.  The contents of the system partition today consists of
a BIOS image, System Reference Diskette Image and header/map
information.  In addition to existing system partition content, each
BIOS module, i.e., diskette, disk, keyboard will need to be stored
individually.  These modules will be stored as object code.  Source
code will not be stored.  To handle initial configuration of a system
or an error situation where system configuration data has been lost,
a default BIOS image will be stored in the system partition at
manufacturing time.

      In addition, the individual BIOS modules will need to be made
relocatable.  In other words, all accesses outside of a module will
need to be declared to the assembler.  These will be referred to as
external entry points.  Also, all entry points within a module who
other modules must access, must be declared to the assembler.  These
will be referred to as internal entry points.  The modules that
require loading an absolute locations must declare that information
at the time of initial assembly, in addit...