Browse Prior Art Database

Multiple Bootable Operating System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000108573D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 4 page(s) / 200K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Anschuetz, B: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Described is a software facility, called multiple bootable operating system (MBOS), for personal computer systems. The facility allows different operating systems (OSs) to be booted on a single system and enables a user to easily switch between the execution of different OSs on a single personal system. Also, the facility enables the user to be able to boot different versions of the same OS program. It is designed to be compatible with existing personal systems that utilize disk partition mechanisms.

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Multiple Bootable Operating System

       Described is a software facility, called multiple
bootable operating system (MBOS), for personal computer systems. The
facility allows different operating systems (

OSs

) to be booted on a
single system and enables a user to easily switch between the
execution of different

OSs

on a single personal system.  Also, the
facility enables the user to be able to boot different versions of
the same OS program.  It is designed to be compatible with existing
personal systems that utilize disk partition mechanisms.

      In prior art, OSs had their own parochial mechanism for booting
when the computer hardware is reset, such that each OS had their own
version of a master boot block (MBB).  As a result, there was no
graceful way for a system to easily share itself between different
OSs and to easily switch between different OSs.  Although virtual
machine (VM) OSs permit simultaneous emulation of different OS
variations, serial execution of different OSs is not supported.  The
concept described herein provides the ability for multiple OSs and
versions to be run on a single machine.  It helps to tie different
OSs together so that the user can gain the advantages of synergy
between different OSs.  In addition, the facility simplifies the task
of a change management instruction that occurs when the user is
confronted with the task of updating to a new version of an operating
system that is already in use on the user's personal system.

      Generally, personal systems support disk drives that can be
partitioned into separate regions.  Each separate partitioned region
on a physical disk drive behaves as if it is a separate logical disk
drive.  A partitioned region can contain data that is only available
to a single OS, or it can contain data that is shared between
different OSs.  A partitioned region can be used to house a version
of an OS that can be run to control the computer.  In addition to
allowing a single disk to be partitioned, the partition architecture
expands to other disk drives present in the personal system
configuration.

      While it is possible to store multiple different OSs onto the
partitions and disk drives of a personal system, the prior art
provided no support that allows the OS to run the computer under the
control of one OS and then to run it under the control of a different
OS.  This is because each OS has no knowledge of the other OS
versions that are present on the personal system.

      For example, a computer is partitioned to hold both a version
of OS/2* in one disk partition and a version of AIX* in another
separate disk partition.  If the computer is currently running OS/2,
the user would have no support available that prepares the system to
run AIX or XENIX**, or upgraded versions, the next time the system is
booted.  The user has no simple way of viewing the choice of OSs
installed on the personal system or in selecting the OS to be booted.
Onl...