Browse Prior Art Database

Personal Computer Systems Information Code Extension

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000106950D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 5 page(s) / 186K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cronk, D: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Described is a code extension software facility for personal computer (PC) systems which is designed to enhance generic error codes by combining error messages, thereby providing critical recovery information.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Personal Computer Systems Information Code Extension

       Described is a code extension software facility for
personal computer (PC) systems which is designed to enhance generic
error codes by combining error messages, thereby providing critical
recovery information.

      The concept described herein is designed to provide user
interface code (UIC) information regarding error situations.  The UIC
is designed to provide the following:
     - Information as to what caused an error
     - Guides the user through the steps to work around an error
     - Allows system test and initialization with errors present
     - Allows the user to load and to run diagnostics or the
operating system programs
     - Facilitates error reporting and recovery through power-on self
test (POST) and diagnostic operations
     - Enhances the reporting of more than one error condition
     - Provides vital recovery information condensed into one UIC for
videoless systems

      Typically, PC systems utilize the POST and Basic Input/Output
System (BIOS) routines, which are resident in read-only memory (ROM),
to provide a load diagnostic function so as to provide a user with
information regarding the system's operation.  Fig. 1 shows a block
diagram of a typical sequence used during initial program load (IPL)
operations.  After this initialization is complete, the remainder of
the POST is loaded from the hard disk to continue the POST process
and to load additional diagnostics or the operating system.

      Error message codes are used in initial microcode load (IML)
based systems to have error conditions displayed when performing the
IML sequence.  Malfunctional errors are indicated through the use of
error numbers displayed on the screen.  However, in prior art, the
errors often did not allow the IML operation to continue, or the
system could be prevented from booting the diagnostics.  Therefore,
the concept described herein provides an improved method of
displaying guidance to the user to help in the recovery process.

      Since POST, BIOS and diagnostics for IML-based systems are all
loaded from the hard disk or diskette, the user requires a means
whereby, through a correct sequence of steps, to load the system
diagnostics and the operating system should a malfunction occur.  The
concept described herein introduces the UICs for IML-based systems.
The codes provide the user with additional detailed information and
provide guidance on critical error recovery situations.  The UIC can
combine information if more than one problem prevents the IML
operation, or the loading of reference diskette diagnostics.  The
codes are useful on systems equipped with video capabilities and are
necessary for systems which display only one error code at a time.

      Fig. 2 shows a block diagram implementation of the UIC for IML
error recovery in a POST operation.  A hard disk failure is an
example which illustrates...