Browse Prior Art Database

User Data Area Protection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109906D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 105K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Blackledge, JW: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

This article describes a technique for use in a computer system to avoid over-writing user data so that no inadvertent destruction of data occurs.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

User Data Area Protection

       This article describes a technique for use in a computer
system to avoid over-writing user data so that no inadvertent
destruction of data occurs.

      User data area can be corrupted by Restore the System Programs
which is a utility included on the Initial Microcode Load (IML)
reference diskette.  This problem is pertinent to all IML machines.
If a user has a machine with a common configuration of among other
installed devices, two identical 320MB fixed disk drives, the second
fixed disk is commonly used to back up the first.  If the main fixed
disk was to malfunction, the customer would remove the malfunctioning
fixed disk and replace it with the backup fixed disk.  When the
system was started a message would be displayed instructing the user
to insert the reference diskette, the user would then be instructed
to continue to the Backup/Restore menu and select Restore the System
Programs.  This is where the problem was, since in the design for IML
systems it is a requirement to have these system programs on the hard
file before any operating system, the program assumed that the disk
was empty and its installers protected information on the last three
megabytes of the fixed disk.  When the Restore the System Programs
process is complete, there is no indication that anything is wrong
because the program assumed that it was working with an empty fixed
disk.  The user will not miss the information lost until an attempt
is made to access the information that was on the last three
megabytes of the fixed disk.  Then the operating system will inform
them that the disk has bad or missing sectors.  At this point there
is nothing that can be done to recover the lost data.  The process
disclosed herein offers maximum protection to user data, and safely
allows the user to make the final decision in certain situations
where user interface is necessary.

      The following is a description of the process: First a check
for the system partition (protected three megabytes of data at end of
fix...