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Timeout Feature in a Hardware Failure Simulator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112056D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 109K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Beaton, CB: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a software method for providing a timeout feature within a Hardware Failure Simulator (HFS), which is used to simulate various types of hardware errors, or "bugs," in a target system, in the determination of whether Power-On Self-Test (POST) and diagnostic programs can detect such errors.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Timeout Feature in a Hardware Failure Simulator

      Disclosed is a software method for providing a timeout feature
within a Hardware Failure Simulator (HFS), which is used to simulate
various types of hardware errors, or "bugs," in a target system, in
the determination of whether Power-On Self-Test (POST) and diagnostic
programs can detect such errors.

      In an automated mode, the HFS uses text files, known as "Bug
Files," indicating, to the target system, each desired fault and its
location.  This automation is managed through the use of additional
text files, known as "Matches Files," which provide for the display,
on the screen of the target system, of keystrokes to be entered by
the operator.  Sometimes, either by design or by accident, detecting
a certain fault causes the target system to "hang" or quit.  On other
occasions, an error by the operator in using the information supplied
by the Matches Files causes the target system to fail to advance
through a diagnostic program, so that the HFS cannot advance past a
certain panel.

      A timeout feature is provided to circumvent such situations,
forcing the HFS to move to the next simulated failure.  This feature
may be set from DOS command line to cover an entire session using the

HFS.  This feature can alternately be set by means of a setup
statement in the Bug File to cover an entire file, by means of a
timeout keyword for a specific simulated failure only, or by means of
a timeout parameter for a specific screen identifier, covering the
specific screen only.

The HFS is started from the DOS command prompt by entering the
following command:

   HFSn86xx [filename[.ext]]  [/B:n[,m] ]  [/G]  [/N]  [/S]  [T:n]
[/V:d]

When the "/T:n" option is entered in this command, a timeout is
created, covering all simulated failures occurring during the
following session using the HFS.  This option instructs the HFS to
"timeout," proceeding to the next simulated failure when the screen
of the target system is not changed within the number of minutes
indicated by "n," which can be from 1 to 999.  In all cases, the
duration of the timeout feature must be set as an integral number of
minutes.

      The timeout function can alternately be assigned to an
individual simulated failure by including "timeout=n" as a keyword on
the line.

      The timeout parameter can also be assigned by the Setup
statement, which assigns parameters to all simulated failures in the
Bug File.  The format of the setup statement is:

   Setup[,Option:...]  [;Granular={Yes/No}] [;Matches=filename]
      [;Save={Both/None|CMOS|NVRAM}] [;Suppress={Yes/No}]  [;Vdisk=d]
      [;]

   where the "Setup" parameter must be entered as shown, with the
"Option" parameter setting defaults for the options in use for the
remainder of the Bug File.  Only "Noauto," "Noscreen," and "Reset"
are allowed with "Setup."  During setup, the user must enter
"timeout=n" in the format required for th...