Browse Prior Art Database

Invisible Customer Engineer Zones on Optical Media

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000111765D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Power, RR: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

One of the most difficult field problems to isolate is defects in removable storage media. When a permanent error is posted during normal operation, one or more drives might be varied off-line in case the error is drive-related. This keeps the customer running in a degraded mode until off-shift hours, when the Customer Engineer (CE) services the machine.

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

Invisible Customer Engineer Zones on Optical Media

      One of the most difficult field problems to isolate is defects
in removable storage media.  When a permanent error is posted during
normal operation, one or more drives might be varied off-line in case
the error is drive-related.  This keeps the customer running in a
degraded mode until off-shift hours, when the Customer Engineer (CE)
services the machine.

      The CE then runs CE-diagnostics using a maintenance package.  A
special CE-media cartridge is used, and the CE-diagnostic test writes
and reads various data to the media.  Sometimes, the test passes
using the CE media, and no defect is found.  The CE turns the machine
back over to the customer, and the same problem occurs.  Alternately,
the CE might replace the drive, and the same problem occurs because
in fact the problem is related to a media defect.

      If a media is suspected as causing the problem, it is difficult
to get absolute proof because the CE diagnostics do not allow the CE
to write on the customer's media.  The customer typically considers
the media to have confidential data so that he is unwilling to
release the media for external analysis and the external analyzers
are usually equally unwilling to receive the media for the same
reasons.

      We propose the use of OS/2* APIs to enable the CE to conduct a
series of I/O (read/write) tests on suspect media at customer
accounts.  These I/O tests would be conducted from the dynamic
console of the removable media library.  These tests would consist of
the writing and reading of a few standard file sizes, such as 4 KB,
125 KB, 1000 KB, etc.  These standard files could be written in
various locations across t...