Dismiss
InnovationQ will be updated on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 10am ET - noon. You may experience brief service interruptions during that time.
Browse Prior Art Database

Instruction Mechanism for a Hardware Failure Simulator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112865D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Beaton, CB: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method of defining hardware errors, or simulated faults called "bugs," to be applied to a target system by a Hardware Failure Simulator (HFS). The definitions of such errors are stored in text files, called "Bug Files," which tell the HFS the fault location, such as a location within system memory, an I/O port, or CMOS memory. The location is further defined by specifying an address and bit pattern, and sometimes by including additional information, such as the port address or the slot associated with a Programmable Option Select (POS) register in which a failure is to be simulated. These text files provide a simple one-to-one mapping, with each line in a Bug File, except for setup and comment lines, corresponding to a fault.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 12% of the total text.

Instruction Mechanism for a Hardware Failure Simulator

      Disclosed is a method of defining hardware errors, or simulated
faults called "bugs," to be applied to a target system by a Hardware
Failure Simulator (HFS).  The definitions of such errors are stored
in text files, called "Bug Files," which tell the HFS the fault
location, such as a location within system memory, an I/O port, or
CMOS memory.  The location is further defined by specifying an
address and bit pattern, and sometimes by including additional
information, such as the port address or the slot associated with a
Programmable Option Select (POS) register in which a failure is to be
simulated.  These text files provide a simple one-to-one mapping,
with each line in a Bug File, except for setup and comment lines,
corresponding to a fault.

      The HFS simulates hardware errors in the target system to test
the ability of the Power-On Self-Test (POST) and diagnostics programs
running in the target system to find known errors.  The HFS uses the
Bug Analysis Research Tool (BART) interface to make a simulated
component problem appear real to the target system.  Since the
hardware supports the simulation of only one failure at a time, only
one simulated failure is described in each entry within the text
file.  However, since Matches files associated with Bug files provide
for automation of the test process, multiple failures are described
in an instruction set.

      Bug Files are text files residing in the host system in the
same directory as code executable by the HFS.  Each Bug File usually
has a BUG file extension, together with a file name corresponding
with its purpose.  While Bug Files are generally written with an
editor, they may be coded while using the HFS.

      Thus, a Bug File provides the details of one or more hardware
failures that are to be simulated by the HFS.  Each entry in the Bug
File describes a single such failure by providing target and options,
a break address, a pattern, a type, and a port size.  Some entries
also contain optional fields, including fault, port address, and slot
number data.  An entry consists of one or more of the above fields,
with each filed being separated from the next by a semicolon (;).
Each entry must be on a single line.

      Before these bug entries, the HFS supports the use of a "setup"
statement to build parameters for all of the simulated failures in
the Bug File without having to duplicate various commands throughout
the Bug File.  While the Setup statement is optional, if it is used,
it must be the first non-comment statement in the file, preceding the
description of the first simulated failure.  All of the parameters in
the Setup statement must be on the same line.  The format of a Setup
statement is:

     Setup[Option:...][;Granular={YesºNo}] [;Matches=filename]

     [;Save=[BothºNoneºCMOSºNVRAM}][;Suppress={YesºNo} ][:Timeout=n]

     [;Vdisk=d][;]

      The Set...