Browse Prior Art Database

Basic Input/Output Services (BIOS) Generic Call for Personal Computers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112993D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Marx, FK: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Described is a software implementation for determining the functional capabilities configured in a Personal Computer (PC) system. The implementation uses existing BIOS along with a subfunction to provide generic information about a system's configuration.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 84% of the total text.

Basic Input/Output Services (BIOS) Generic Call for Personal Computers

      Described is a software implementation for determining the
functional capabilities configured in a Personal Computer (PC)
system.  The implementation uses existing BIOS along with a
subfunction to provide generic information about a system's
configuration.

      The intent of the concept is to provide a service that is
common across all BIOS PC systems and is easily expanded as new
future functions are incorporated.  In this way enhancements can be
made for compatibility, usability and maintenance of the systems.

      In prior art, difficulty had been experienced in determining
all the functional capabilities of a PC system.  Configuration
information was often gathered in a piecemeal manner, or by
programming cut and try methods, e.g., executing a real time check of
a port to determine which units were attached to the PC system.

      The concept described herein defines a common generic method
for obtaining overall configuration and functional capability
information about the system.  It uses the existing BIOS system call
INT 15 with a subfunction in the AH register equal to 3D hexadecimal
and named 'Return Generic Information'.  The method is open ended and
expandable in order to allow for the incorporation of additional
generic data.  The detailed specification is:

            (AH) = 3DH-Return Generic Information

Registers are denoted with the parentheses (...