Browse Prior Art Database

Local Area Network Diagnostics for a Remote Program Load Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111687D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 166K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Devlin, TP: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Described is a software implementation to provide diagnostics in a Remote Program Load (RPL) environment as used Personal Computer (PC)-controlled ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) station operations. The diagnostics provide a layered environment that allows the proper loading and operation of both OS/2* and Novell** RPL environments.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 37% of the total text.

Local Area Network Diagnostics for a Remote Program Load Environment

      Described is a software implementation to provide diagnostics
in a Remote Program Load (RPL) environment as used Personal Computer
(PC)-controlled ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) station operations.
The diagnostics provide a layered environment that allows the proper
loading and operation of both OS/2* and Novell** RPL environments.

      In the operation of medialess LAN stations, the PC operates
without diskette or fixed-disk drives.  An ethernet adapter is
connected that is capable of loading and operating the system
remotely from a server using RPL software.  The RPL is designed to
perform from either an OS/2 or Novell network LAN server.  Not only
can the operating system be booted remotely, but images of the LAN
station reference diskette can be performed as well.  Since the
ethernet LAN station comes standard without a disk-access system
device, it is critical that a reference diskette image be able to
execute its diagnostics remotely.

      When the LAN station is first powered on, the ethernet adapter
determines whether or not the LAN station will RPL from the network.
If the LAN station RPLs from the network, the ethernet adapter
automatically establishes a connection with the LAN server.  For the
Novell network server, an ethernet device driver, called a bootstrap
loader, is down-loaded from the server to the LAN station.  The
device driver loads onto the adapter where the adapter proceeds to
call the server to down-load a diskette image.  For the OS/2 server,
a boot-strap program, called a LAN Support Program (LSP) and an
ethernet device driver are down-loaded onto the ethernet adapter
where the adapter proceeds to call the server to down-load the
operating system or a diskette image.  Fig. 1 shows a block diagram
flowchart of the diskette RPL operation.

      When the LAN station reference diskette is down-loaded, the
user can invoke the required diagnostics.  The diagnostic modules are
under the control of a diagnostic control program (DCP).  Because a
LAN device driver is loaded onto the ethernet adapter, the adapter is
considered active.  Active means the ethernet adapter is
communicating with the network and interrupting the medialess system
being serviced.  The interrupts and the network communications
continue to occur during diagnostic execution.  In addition, the LSP
drivers take ownership of the timer interrupts for further periodic
processing.

      In prior art, for medialess systems, most diagnostic modules,
such as asynchronous diagnostics, were designed with the expectation
that all other subsystems and their device drivers in a system would
be inactive.  Asynchronous diagnostics test all of its allowable
interrupt settings regardless of the current configuration.  The
ethernet adapter can also be set in such a way that the RPL
environment will cause the asynchronous diagnostics to hang or report
an "i...